Mountain Avens - Dryas integrifolia
|Arctic dryad, Dryas integrifolia.|
The dryads, or mountain avens, Dryas spp., are among the best known arctic plants and several closely related species are found in Canada's North. In fact, arctic dryad, D. integrifolia, is the official flower of the Northwest Territories. The taxonomy of the arctic members of this genus is uncertain; some taxonomists recognize several species, others treat them as subspecies of D. integrifolia.
General Information and Anatomy
The various Dryas species are distinguished from one another by minute differences in leaf pattern.
The avens, Geum spp., have pinnate, basal leaves and flowers with five petals. Both arctic species – glacier avens, G. glaciale, and Ross' avens, G. rossii – possess yellow flowers, but can be distinguished by their differences in hairiness and flower size. Glacier avens is covered in long, fine hairs, while Ross' avens is not. As well, its flowers are twice as large in diameter as those of Ross' avens. Both species grow mostly in the western Arctic, but Ross' avens also extends into the High Arctic on Ellesmere, Axel Heiberg, and Melville Islands.
Each solitary flower of the mountain avens, Dryas integrifolia, has eight white petals; the leaves are long, dark green, shiny, and leathery. This plant is found throughout the Arctic and thrives as a pioneer species of rocky or gravelly river flats, but it does not survive long when in competition with other tundra plants.
|iNaturalist||Entireleaf Mountain Avens|