The Bog: The Plant Family Ericaceae   2 comments

 The Bog Family Ericaceae

 

 

Andromeda glaucophylla (Bog-Rosemary)

 

Http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Andromeda_glaucophylla

Http://plants.usda.gov/java/profile?symbol=ANPOG

 

  

 

 

 

 

 

Bog-Rosemary is generally only found in bogs in the Northern Hemisphere. It is a small shrub, about 12-24 cm tall bearing thick lance-shaped evergreen leaves that are blue-gray on the upper surface and white underneath (fine white hairs). The leaves are arranged alternately along the stem and have an entire margin. A complete plant can grow asexually from underground stems (Rhizomes) and from branches (stems) that become buried in the heath . White to pink bell-shaped flowers as shown above are produced during the spring. The plant and all other rhododendrons contain poisonous glucosides (Andromedotoxin or Grayanotoxin) that in the right concentrations have been used to lower blood pressure and to treat rheumatism.

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Adaptations:

 1. Anti predator defense: Poisonous glucosides in plant tissue help protect the plant from being consumed by herbivores.

 2. Increased population size: Underground stems (Rhizomes) give rise to new individuals, thus increasing the population size quickly.

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Chamaedaphne calyculata (Leatherleaf)

 

  Http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chamaedaphne_calyculata

  Http://plants.usda.gov/java/profile?symbol=CHCA2

 

  

  

 

 

  

  

  

 

The leathery, evergreen, alternately placed leaves are green above and yellowish below. About 1/3 of the leaves are shed in the fall and most of the remaining leaves drop off during the following spring. Leather-leaf about 0.5 meters high, is often the most abundant bog species. Leather-leaf grows asexually by extending rhizomes (underground stems) that give rise to new roots and stems. Roots and stems can also arise from buds on the lower part of the stem. A horizontal, reproductive branch extends from the vertical stem. Whitish bell-shaped flowers are formed on one side of this branch; the resultant fruit are brown capsules that remain attached during the winter months. This branch eventually dies and a new horizontal reproductive branch (New growth) is formed complete with leaves, in the spring . Leather-leaf has been used to colonize bog areas disturbed by commercial peat removal. Rabbits feed on the stems while deer, moose and caribou consume leaves and stems.

 

 Adaptations:

 1. Evergreen leaves: Discussed above

 2. Increased population size: Underground stems give rise to new plants asexually thus quickly increasing population size.

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  Empetrum nigrum (Crowberry, Black)

 

Http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Empetrum_nigrum

  Http://plants.usda.gov/java/profile?symbol=EMNI

 

 

 

 

  

 

Crow-berry is a dwarf evergreen shrub with needle-like leaves, about 0.8 cm long, that extend outward all around the stem, The margins of the leaves are rolled toward the underside. Single flowers originate in leaf axils. The species has a black, berry-like fruit (Drupe). The berries are edible in raw or cooked form but tasteless. Berries have been used to make preserves and pies. Concoctions made from leaf-bearing stems have been used as an astringent and as a diuretic. Crow-berry is a common species along the coast on exposed headlands. It was found at the Campobello, Corea and West Quoddy Head sites.

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Gaultheria hispidula (Creeping Snowberry or Spicy Wintergreen)

 

Http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gaultheria_hispidula

Http://planta.usda.gov/java/profile?symbol=GAHI2

Creeping Snow-berry extends (Creeps) over the surface of portions of the landward bog edge. Dark green, evergreen, toothed, ovoid leaves, about 6 mm long, are attached alternately to a relatively straight stem. Leaves are rounded at the base and gradually taper to a point. The underside of the leaf bears stiff, dark bristles.  The plant produces white, round, fruit. The bell-shaped, white flowers arise from leaf axils.  The flower is 4-lobed. Blossoms can be found from about April to May.  Flowers develop into white, round, edible berries, about 5 mm wide.  Berries have a wintergreen flavor.

Gaultheria procumbens (Teaberry or Wintergreen), a common woodland species, is a close relativeCreeping Snowberry.

 

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Gaylussacia baccata (Huckleberry, Black)

 

Http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gaylussacia_baccata

Http://plants.usda.gov/java/profile?symbol=GABA

 

 

  

  

 

This species is a deciduous, upright, many branched shrub typically about 1 meter tall, although plants at the edge of the bog are taller. The alternate, elliptical yellowish-green leaves are entire and have orange-red resin dots on both surfaces. The reddish flowers are bell-shaped. Berries are borne on short stalks in clusters. Initially the berries are green and as they ripen turn red and then dark blue to black. The fleshy berries contain 10 hard seeds. Ripe berries are edible and have been used to flavor bread and make pies. A mixture of crushed leaves in aqueous solution has been used to treat dysentery. Refer to the Bog Border Page for a more detailed description. 

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Gaylussacia dumosa (Huckleberry, Dwarf)

 

 Http://plants.usda.gov/java/profile?symbol=GADU 

  

  

   

 

 

 

 

Dwarf Huckleberry is a deciduous erect shrub about 20-60 cm high. Leaves towards the base of the plant tend to be dark green and shiny on their upper surfaces while those more exposed to the sun are a lighter green. The leaf midrib projects beyond the leaf tip as a point. Resin dots are prominent on lower leaf surfaces. White, bell-shaped, flowers arise from elongated leafy stalks. Both the stalks and developing fruit (Berries) are hairy. The fruit is initially green and as it matures it turns red and then a dark blue-black. The edible, but tasteless berries contain 10 hard seeds. In the fall, the leaves turn from green to a bright shiny red.

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   Kalmia angustifolia (Laurel, Sheep)

 

Http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kalmia_angustifolia

   Http://plants.usda.gov/java/profile?symbol=KAAN

 

   

  

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sheep laurel is a small, slow-growing shrub generally between 0.3 and 1 meter tall. The pale, bluish-green, opposite, evergreen leaves occur on upper parts of the stem. The simple leaves have an entire margin. Flowers emerge in clusters on the upper part of the stem just below a whorl of terminal leaves. This species is not restricted to bogs. Leaves and other plant parts are poisonous to cattle and humans due to the presence of the glucoside Grayanotoxin.

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Kalmia polifolia (Laurel, Bog)

 

Http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kalmia_polifolia

   Http://plants.usda.gov/java/profile?symbol=KAPO

 

 

 

 

 

 

  

Bog Laurel is a small, evergreen shrub, generally restricted to bogs, that is about 0.15 to 0.6 meters tall. It has narrow, dark green, shiny (waxy), opposite leaves with curled edges. The underside of the leaf is whitish. Note the pink flowers typical of laurels. The glucoside, Grayanotoxin, present throughout the plant, is a poison that causes diarrhea, vomiting and respiratory distress. The leaves have been used as an astringent and also to treat inflammation and some skin diseases.

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Adaptations:

 1. Evergreen leaves: Discussed above

2. Anti predator defense: The glucoside Grayanotoxin ,present in plant tissues, protects the plant from most herbivores.

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Rhododendron canadense (Rhodora)

 

Http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rhododendron_canadense

  Http://plants.usda.gov/java/profile?symbol=RHCA6

 

 

 

  

 

 

 

  

 

  

 

 

 

Rhodora is a deciduous shrub, about 1 meter tall, with terminal, pink flowers in clusters of 2-6, each about 2 cm long. The pink flowers have a 5 lobed corolla. The gray-green, oval leaves are about 2.5 cm long.They don’t emerge until after the flowers have bloomed. What is the importance of this feature? Note the unique seed pods.

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  Rhododendron groenlandicum (Labrador Tea)

 

 Http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rhododendron_groenlandicum

  Http://plants.usda.gov/java/profile?symbol=LEGR

    

 
 

 

  
 
 
  

 

 

This shrub is generally shorter on the heath, but reaches heights of 1 meter or more at the forest edge. The evergreen, leathery leaves are light to dark green on their upper surfaces and white to rust colored beneath due to the presence of dense hairs. Five petaled white flowers arise from the top of the plant and the seed pods may be retained into the fall season. The lowest leaves turn red in the fall as shown above and eventually fall off. Most of the leaves are retained from one season to the next. This feature conserves nitrogen, an element in short supply on the heath. The wooly underside of the leaf may insulate leaves to an extent allowing the plant to photosynthesize for a longer period during the fall. Labrador Tea is eaten by deer and moose and a tea made from the leaves has been used as a diuretic, astringent, insect repellent, and as a treatment for burns and insect bites.

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Adaptations:

1. Evergreen leaves: Plants that shed all their leaves in the fall must develop new ones in the spring, a process requiring a significant amount of nitrogen. Labrador Tea and other evergreen plants keep most of their leaves from one season to the next and therefore don’t need as much nitrogen as deciduous plants.

2. Insulation: The wooly white hairs on the leaf underside may insulate the plant, protecting it from extreme cold and as a result the plant may be able to photosynthesize for a longer time during the fall.

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  Vaccinium angustifolium (Blueberry, Low Bush)

Http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vaccinium_angustifolium

 Http://plants.usda.gov/java/profile?symbol=VAAN

 

 

 

 

This deciduous shrub is shorter than the High Bush Blueberry and tends to sprawl outward over the bog surface. The dark green leaves are lance shaped and a long tap-root extends downward.

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 Vaccinium oxycoccos (Cranberry, Small)

 

Http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vaccinium_oxycoccus

 Http://plants.usda.gov/java/profile?symbol=VAOX

 

 

 

 

  

 

The small cranberry is a low creeping shrub that has small, evergreen, elliptical, pointed leaves that arise alternately from the stem. The leathery leaves are dark green above and white underneath. White to pink flowers are characterized by four petals that curve downward. The red berries are often spotted. Berries are consumed by both birds and mammals. North American Indians used cranberry juice to treat skin rashes caused by insects and poisonous plants such as poison ivy. They also flavored pemmican with the berries. The leaf, stem and fruit contain glucosides (Anthocyanins). Cranberry, high in vitamin C, has been used to treat bladder and yeast infections as well as asthma.

 

 

 

Posted February 7, 2011 by zottoli

2 responses to “The Bog: The Plant Family Ericaceae

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  1. This page is exemplary for its insitu pics of the shrubs through the various seasons and phases. Most helpful for a novice- or would be – botanist like me. I’ve been bedeviled for days now trying to identify dwarf huckleberry, and though looking at the bugger all my life could never name it until now. Thanks.

  2. Very nice post. I simply stumbled upon your weblog
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