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No means of vegetative reproduction. The plant flowers regularly and seems to be little damaged by bad weather as the flowers are partly protected by the pubescence. Fruit-set is regular. The flowers are adapted to pollination by flower-specific insects. It has been assumed that the genus Pedicularis is obligately pollinated by bumble-bees, but no representatives of this insect group are present in Svalbard. It is probable that the main pollinators are flies and it is also probable that many flowers are self-pollinated. Seed germination is up to 20% both in laboratory and field (Alsos et al. in prep.; Müller et al. in press). The stiff stems and the apical opening of the capsule are adaptations to ballistic dispersal.
The two Svalbard species of Pedicularis − P. dasyantha and P. hirsuta − differ in size (P. dasyantha is often larger, especially the flowers), density of pubescence (P. dasyantha is much more hairy), flower shape and pubescence (P. dasyantha has hairy flowers, P. hirsuta glabrous ones), and somewhat in ecology (P. dasyantha usually occupies drier sites than P. hirsuta, but they often co-exist). Digging up the plants, the roots of P. dasyantha appear distinctly yellow (when fresh), while those of P. hirsuta are white or brownish. The seeds of P. dasyantha have a fluffy white seed coat that acts as a sponge to catch rain water, whereas the seeds of P. hirsuta are small and brown.
Not thermophilous. Most common in moderately to densely vegetated herb-mats and heaths, moist tundra, and patterned ground. Due to being hemi-parasitic on other plant species, P. hirsuta hardly survives in sparsely vegetated environments. Usually on mixed soils, moderately drained to slightly wet. Largely indifferent as to soil reaction (pH), but perhaps avoiding sites with the most acidic substrates. Requires a minimum of snow protection during winter, but plants germinating from seeds the same spring are often seen also on exposed sites. Probably little grazed by reindeer and geese.
Alsos, I.G., Müller, E. & Eidesen, P.B. In prep. Germinability of 87 arctic species stored in Svalbard Global Seed Vault.
Müller, E., Cooper, E.J. & Alsos, I.G. In press. Germinability of arctic plants is high in perceived optimal conditions but low in the field. – Botany.
Høyeste registrerte funn på Svalbard
Scientific name, meaning and origin:
Pedicularis: Of latin pediculus, which is deminitiv of pedis, louse. Plantenavn at Scriponius Largus, 40.
hirsuta, hirsutus: Very hairy.See all
|English name:||Hairy Horsewort|
|German name:||Rauhes Lâusekraut|
|Distribution on Svalbard:|
|Chromosome number (2n):||(16)|
|Main mode of pollination:|
|Source: Brochmann, C. & Steen, S.W, 1999 - Sex and genes in the flora of Svalbard|
All species of the genus Pedicularis:
- Pedicularis dasyantha
- Pedicularis hirsuta