Well, whether or not that peculiar hypothesis turns out to be true, I have accumulated a fair number of both Alberta ‘native’ plants (i.e. allegedly part of the flora of Alberta before Europeans arrived) and North American native plants that may eventually have reached Alberta on their own, assuming our current inter-glacial period lasted long enough. Also, although I think blogging should be a recreation and not another chore, I could use a bit of a stimulus to post more regularly. So, I shall now embark upon a new tradition at the HBG: Wildflower Wednesday.
First up is something so native its provenance is Albertan and its name Canadian: Anemone canadensis, aka Canada or Meadow Anemone (Zones 2-9, moist to dry soil, shade to sun). Although its flowers are not as large as the domesticated Eurasian Snowdrop Windflower (Anemone silvestris), they are almost as showy and a similar bright white with yellow centers. Usually, Canada Anemone starts blooming here in late May, although this cold spring has held it up for a few weeks. The HBG has more shade than sun, but Canada Anemone tolerates shade well. In fact, it is probably a better plant in a shady garden than in a sunny one since it spreads by rhizomes and can be aggressive. The first sets that I planted came from a ranch in southern Alberta where the lady rancher was yanking them out of her garden by the handful. I’ve since added a local set from our place in the country because I’d read (Douglas & Cruden 1994 Amer. J. Botany 81: 314-321) that Canada Anemome is xenogamous – it is an outcrossing species that likes fooling around with alien pollen and doesn’t set seed well with its own pollen. The only pollinators that I could find records for were sweat bees (Halictidae), but the HBG has lots of halictids, like the Halictus confusus that graces the picture in the header.