For the Love of Plants (Part 2)

Continuing from last week’s post about lichens, some of my favourite plants (and fruit!) are those in the Rose (Rosaceae) family.

Roses can be herbaceous plants (they don’t have persistent woody stems above ground), shrubs or trees. They have alternate leaves; simple or compound, and usually stipulate. The flowers are usually in racemes (an unbranched, elongated inflorescence with flowers maturing from the bottom upwards) or cymes (a flat or round topped inflorescence with lower pedicels longer than the upper).

Flowers in the rose family generally have all parts in multiples of 5, and many fruit we love to eat are found in the family (strawberries, peaches, plums, cherries, apples, pears, saskatoon berries, raspberries and blackberries to name a few!)

These three below are my favourite to eat... what about you?


For the Love of Plants (Part 1)

One plant group I love the most are Lichens. Lichens are technically NOT a plant, as they are only occurring thru a photosynthetic partnership between fungi and algae or cyanobacteria. Lichens don’t have a vascular system, and typically spread through spores or fragmentation. Lichens don’t have any organized leaf, root or stem structures; they are only equipped with hyphae and mycelium (which are the vegetative part of the fungus). Lichens grow in 6 different forms, including crusts, scales, leaves, clubs, shrubs, and hairs.

There are over 500 lichens species in Alberta’s forests, but my favourites are Cladina mitis (reindeer lichen) and Cladina stellaris (Northern reindeer lichen). They are very similar to each other, with key distinguishing features being their colour and shape. Reindeer lichen is pale yellowish green, and forms mats on ground, whereas Northern reindeer lichen is yellowish white, grows upright & reminds me of cauliflower.

We will continue with our love of plants posts all month long!