It is likely this plant is just finishing its flowering in UBC Botanical Garden’s E.H. Lohbrunner Alpine Garden, but I can at least revisit it with my photograph from 2015.
One of the tasks performed in January by UBC BG’s Beryl Zhuang was to upload the latest version of our collections dataset to the Global Biodiversity Information Facility. The lone dot in the Americas in the global occurrence map of Anemone pavonina is this particular little plant. The vast majority of dots, though, represent the natural range of the species (the northeast Mediterranean) and areas where it has been introduced and naturalized, in particular Italy and France.
As one might expect from such a striking plant, it is cultivated for ornament in some gardens, though not abundantly so. Acquisition would tend to be via specialist nurseries or societies like the Alpine Garden Society and its seed exchange programs. Our plant of peacock windflower was grown from seed sent by a Czech gardener from Hostinné, likely a participant in one such seed exchange list.
These are difficult plants to photograph when in bloom, particularly if they are the red-petaled morph. A photography trick that often works with red-coloured flowers (and was employed here) is to initially underexpose by two-thirds of a stop. Then, continue to lower the exposure if that isn’t enough. This preserves details in the red, such as the venation in the petals.
On an entirely different note: I invite you to have a look at something that has kept me busy the past little while. In late February, the World Biodiversity Forum was held in Davos, Switzerland. UBC Botanical Garden was there (represented by our director, Patrick Lewis, and myself) in a special collaboration we have with a locally-owned, but globally-operating, tea company, TEALEAVES. Our presentation and workshop sessions, co-presented with representatives from the World Health Organization, Botanic Gardens Conservation International, Kew Royal Botanic Gardens, Johns Hopkins Center for a Livable Future, Durham University and Nova Scotia College of Art & Design, were on the connections between botanical gardens, biodiversity loss, public health challenges, and biomimicry.
TEALEAVES has an exceptional media division, and they’ve produced the following:
- Public Health Challenges Due to Biodiversity Loss, an article in their excellent OnBlend magazine that summarizes what we did in Davos
- the accompanying video on Youtube
- the panel of slides accompanying the “The Role of Biomimicry in Tackling Biodiversity Loss and Public Health Challenges” presentation (the workshop is summarized in the magazine article)