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Dryas ×suendermannii

Dryas ×suendermannii

Long-time readers will know I like to feature plants from upcoming UBC Botanical Garden events and plant sales. With that in mind, today starts a small series showcasing a few of the plants available at this year's Perennial Plant Sale. If you're interested in browsing through what's available, the plant lists are available online for the first time ever this year.

Suendermann's avens is a hybrid between two species, the circumpolar Dryas octopetala and the northern North American Dryas drummondii. Dryas is rare, if not unique, within the rose family for having eight petals; most of the Rosaceae have five. In trying to investigate why Dryas has a strange number of petals, I've come up short. I'd personally be interested if anyone knew of any journal articles that explained the evolutionary mechanisms involved.

The massive quantities of Dryas pollen found in ice cores have prompted the naming of two historic cold climate episodes, the Younger Dryas stadial and the Older Dryas stadial.

Photography resource link: for inspiration, the photography of Jenny Ellerbe. Be sure to check out both the northeastern Louisiana landscapes and her black and white images (I really like this cotton study).


Dryas x suendermannii - Z2 - RHS Index of Garden Plants, Griffiths
Dryas x suendermannii - Z3-6 - A-Z Encyclopedia of Garden Plants, Brickell, Cole, Zuk

I don't know of any research on the petal number, but it is worth noting that 8 is the next Fibonacci number up from 5, so it may be a relatively minor mutation

It's in the rose family? I'd taken it (at first glance) for some sort of daisy!

These are individual flowers, daisies produce a compound head of tiny flowers--each division of the disc in the center is a flower (floret) , as is each ray ("petal"). The family daisies belong to (now Asteraceae) used to be called Compositae because of these multi-floret flowerheads.

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