Harrimanella stelleriana

Like yesterday’s starflower, Alaska moss heath or Alaska bellheather is found in northwestern North America and northeastern Asia. In most books, you’ll find this species listed as Cassiope stelleriana, but it does seem to more properly belong in the different genus. If you’re able to, see Stevens, P. 1970. Calluna, Cassiope and Harrimanella: A Taxonomic and Evolutionary Problem. New Phytologist. 69(4):1131-1148. Properties differentiating the two include leaf arrangement (spirally arranged in Harrimanella vs. decussate (opposite pairs) in Cassiope) and petiole length (short in Harrimanella vs. absent in Cassiope). Eight other differences between the two genera are also noted in the paper.

A low cloud ceiling was ever-present during the Alaskan portion of my trip, so these images were taken in the clouds at @1050m (3450ft) along Hatcher Pass.

Harrimanella stelleriana
Harrimanella stelleriana

9 responses to “Harrimanella stelleriana”

  1. Max

    Thanks Daniel. So glad to see the photos and read the descriptions again 🙂

  2. Gina

    Ah, summer in Alaska! Thanks for the glimpse into another world, it is cooking here in the Great Basin today, 100F!

  3. rindi

    My fiance and I hiked around Hatcher recently while these tiny flowers were in bloom. Wherever they were, I thought it smelled like wheat flour; a little dusty, a little sweet. He thought it smelled more like sewage when the sun broke through and intensified the smell.
    It took us hours to realize the smell was coming from the flowers. Did you notice a smell, Daniel? How would you characterize it?

  4. Daniel Mosquin

    No, I’m afraid I didn’t. But it was a cold afternoon when I was up there, so I’m not sure if there was much scent being given off. I just remember the cold humidity of the clouds.



  6. Margaret-Rae Davis

    I am so pleased with today’s Photographs, they are lovely. It is so nice to see the lay of the land and then to come in on such beautiful flowers.
    Thank you,

  7. Knox

    Great photograph, it gives me the impression of an opportunity to walk forever up that valley. And those humid and chilling clouds certainly add to the impact of the photographs.

  8. Natalie Campbell

    Gorgeous photos! I saw Alaska in winter and so missed beautiful floral displays like this. I so enjoy BPOTD. Thank you for doing such a great job with it. 🙂

  9. Linda C Miller

    Daniel, welcome back – I have missed your daily botanical beauties! Thank you again for sharing your recent finds with us.
    Have a great weekend,
    Linda C Miller
    Williamsburg, Virginia

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