Polemonium boreale

Last night, I attended Ron Long’s extended presentation on “Pink Mountain Revisited — The Conservation Crisis That No One Is Aware Of”. For local readers of BPotD, Ron will be giving a shorter version of the lecture on Monday at noon here at the Garden. I encourage you to attend to get informed about the industrial threats to this special area.

I visited Pink Mountain last year in mid-June with Ron. The species in today’s photograph, northern Jacob’s-ladder, is one of ten British Columbian blue-listed species (and one-red listed) of vascular plants identified to-date from Pink Mountain. It is my understanding that no site identified as-yet north of the 50th parallel in British Columbia has as many threatened and endangered species in so small an area (the border with the US on mainland British Columbia is the 49th parallel). This area, though, is a candidate for a wind farm — meaning (in part) widening and improvement of roads to transport the materials and concrete needed to create the concrete slabs for supporting the turbines. Ron remained in the area for weeks after I had to return to work, and witnessed a construction crew (there to re-install a wind-speed test tower) decimate (in the literal sense) a population of blue-listed Ranunculus pedatifidus subsp. affinis through the parking of heavy equipment.

Road improvement and widening is a direct threat to the populations of Polemonium boreale on Pink Mountain, as very few (any?) individuals can be found more than 5m (16ft.) distant from the edge of the road. Unfortunately, the road typically follows the highest ridge where the soil layer is at its thinnest and where Polemonium boreale thrives in the gravelly substrate.

Despite its rarity in British Columbia, Polemonium boreale is stable as a species world-wide, with a panarctic distribution (Canada, Alaska, Russia, Greenland and Norway), including Svalbard: Polemonium boreale.

Polemonium boreale is a low-growing perennial, perhaps reaching 30cm tall. If I recall correctly, a quick way to tell it apart from the nearby Polemonium acutiflorum when not in flower was that the foliage did not have a skunky smell if the leaves were lightly pressed between one’s fingers (or perhaps it was the other way around). When in flower, the tips of the corolla lobes of Polemonium boreale are rounded with more apparent colour venation on the surface than those of the pointy-tipped Polemonium acutiflorum.

Additional photographs are available from the Toolik-Arctic Geobotanical Atlas: Polemonium boreale.

Polemonium boreale

14 responses to “Polemonium boreale”

  1. Daniel Mosquin

    The similarly-sized flower of Polemonium acutiflorum with pointed corolla lobes for comparison, also from the same area:

  2. Ann Rein

    What a lovely little plant, I wish I had a high-res copy of this photo, I’d make it my wallpaper on my phone.

  3. Madelyn Foster

    beautiful photography… If you wish to make it a wallpaper or a iphone/ipad/ipod cover go to my new discovery called
    Infectious.com and you can load your photo…..have fun.

  4. Daniel Mosquin

    Madelyn, I’m unclear as to whether that’s an allowable use because of the terms and conditions of Infectious.com. While people are free to use the photos I personally post to BPotD for their own enjoyment, e.g., for a wallpaper on their computer, Infectious.com requires the granting of rights to their company that I would not permit (to quote from their site):
    “License Grant. …by uploading, posting, submitting or otherwise transmitting any Member Submission on the Site or to Infectious, you hereby grant to Infectious a worldwide, royalty-free, sublicensable, perpetual and irrevocable right and license to use, reproduce, distribute, perform, prepare derivative works from and display such Member Submissions on the Site and in promotional materials and to provide the Services.
    You represent and warrant that you own or have the necessary licenses, rights, consents and permissions to grant the foregoing licenses to Infectious. Infectious will own all right, title and interest in and to all derivative works and compilations of Member Submissions that are created by Infectious (“Derivative Works”), including all worldwide intellectual property rights therein.”
    So, I suppose it isn’t permissible to do so, as you would be misrepresenting the fact that you don’t have license to grant those permissions to Infectious.

  5. Don

    Very nice!!!

  6. phillip

    here is part of a letter Yahoo sent me for copyright infringement of a picture from your site, and a responce from the author.
    “you are hereby advised that our receipt of another notification of infringement alleging your unauthorized use of another party’s intellectual property may result in not only the termination of your Yahoo! Pulse account, but the termination of all Yahoo! services as well as the deactivation of your Yahoo! ID.”
    Dear Mr. Lacock,
    Thank you for your apology, which I accept. I granted UBC single use licenses to the photos as their BPOD. Maybe they haven’t made it clear that the photos are still fully copyrighted. I would have been fine with the photo in your album if you would have asked for permission, given proper credit and linked back to the source. I have to be diligent on where and how my work is used since I am licensing my photos also to publishers and agencies. Copyright laws apply to electronic media the same way as for printed.
    Best regards,
    Michael Graupe

  7. Michael F

    I’m familiar with red-listed (endangered) and orange-listed (threatened), but what does ‘blue-listed’ mean?

  8. Bonnie

    Every week my email brings some power point that has pictures with no credit, and I suspect they have been swiped. So few realize the importance of copyright. PSP groups emphasize it.

  9. Daniel Mosquin

    Michael, there is a link to the definition of blue-listed, but it sounds like roughly the equivalent of orange-listed.
    phillip, we make that statement on the About Botany Photo of the Day page (link at the bottom of each page, but I suspect it will be more prominent when the site is redesigned):
    “Reader-submitted photographs and text are copyright by their respective photographers, so permission must be sought from the photographer for any use of those images or text.”
    It will also be far more obvious as to who the photographer is and who should be contacted with the site redesign. I get at least an email a week asking me for permission to use someone else’s photograph, which means telling the inquirer that if he/she had read the first paragraph of the entry, he/she would know they have to contact the actual photographer at such and such Flickr account.

  10. Eric in SF

    Does Canada have the equivalent of the Endangered Species Act?
    Not many plants make it on the USA Endangered Species Act listing but animals do. The construction on the Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART) subway to SFO International airport was completely halted at least once because an endangered garter snake was killed by construction equipment. They had to come up with a new plan to avoid squishing snakes before construction was allowed to proceed again.

  11. Eric in SF

    Daniel – very similar terms and conditions are one of the biggest reasons I am not on Facebook. There’s no way I’m giving Facebook such broad rights over the text I type or the photos I post. Flickr has tailored their license very narrowly – you only give them the legal rights to display the photo as part of the Flickr service, nothing more.

  12. Daniel Mosquin

    Canada has a Species At Risk Act, so that will cover organisms that are federally endangered. Many of the provinces also have similar legislation to cover provincially-threatened or endangered species. British Columbia, I believe, is one of two or three exceptions, with no legislated mechanism in place to force the province to act to protect red-listed or blue-listed species.

  13. elizabeth a airhart

    pretty pretty little darlings
    i agree with daniel and others about copy rights it is so hard
    to protect ones work in this day and age – becareful of downloads
    from other sites you can download a very ugly virus to your computer
    i have so much spam from facebook etc and i do not belong- bon jour

  14. Gordon Remenda

    The photos are not the best however the plants are nice.

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