Flora of the Canadian Arctic Archipelago

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S.G. Aiken, M.J. Dallwitz, L.L. Consaul, C.L. McJannet, R.L. Boles, G.W. Argus, J.M. Gillett, P.J. Scott, R. Elven, M.C. LeBlanc, L.J. Gillespie, A.K. Brysting, H. Solstad, and J.G. Harris

Antennaria media Greene subsp. compacta (Malte) Chmiel.

English: Everlasting, Pussy-toes.

Asteraceae (Compositae), Daisy family.

Published in Brittonia 49: 324. 1997.

Type: Canada: Northwest Territories, Mackenzie Distr., Bernard Harbour, 06.07.1915, leg. F. Johansen. Holotype: CAN 91545.

Synonymy. Antennaria compacta Malte, Rhodora 36: 111. 1934.

Antennaria friesiana (Trautv.) E. Ekman subsp. compacta (Malte) Hultén, Ark. Bot., ser. 2, 7, 1: 134. 1968a.

Vegetative morphology. Plants 5–12 cm high; perennial herbs; caespitose. Only fibrous roots present (fibrous roots off underground stems). Ground level or underground stems horizontal, or vertical; stoloniferous; compact; 1–5 mm wide. Caudex present (between basal tufts of leaves and roots). Aerial stems developed; erect. Leaves mainly basal, or basal in a rosette; alternate; marcescent. Petioles absent. Leaf blade bases truncate, or attenuate. Leaves not grass-like. Blades 4–12 mm long, 1.8–2.4 mm wide, spreading or divaricate, oblanceolate, flat, with inconspicuous veins. Blade adaxial surface hairy, hairs woolly, hairs simple, hairs dense, hairs white, or translucent (hairs) or grey (colour of the leaf surface). Blade abaxial surface hairy, hairs woolly, hairs very dense, hairs white, hairs straight, hairs appressed. Blade apices acuminate, or acute, or obtuse (sometimes apiculate; upper leaves of the flowering stems tipped with brown, scale-like, glabrous "flags" to 2 mm long).

Reproductive morphology. Plants dioecious (male plants unknown). Flowering stems with leaves. Flowering stems hairy. Flowering stems woolly. Flowering stem hairs simple; white or translucent. Inflorescences of several flowering heads; globose or sub-globose (often spreading); 1–2 cm long; 10–25(–30) mm wide. Flowering heads 6.5–8 mm deep; 10–12 mm wide; with only disc florets. Pedicels absent, or subtending flowering heads (short when a second capitulum is present); with non-glandular hairs. Involucral bracts present. Number of rows 2–3. Outer involucral bracts mostly green (drying brown); lying adjacent to the flowers; lanceolate; 5–6 mm high; 1.1–1.3 mm wide; densely hairy (at the base); without glandular hairs. Inner involucral bracts lanceolate; 4.5–5 mm high; 0.8–1 mm wide; margins wide, scarious for at least one quarter of the bract (at apex); apex entire (acute). Flowers radially symmetrical (actinomorphic); unisexual. Sepals represented by a pappus. Pappus with a single row of hairs; whitish. Disc florets pappus 4.8–5.2 mm long. Petals conventional; fused; shorter than the calyx; 5; white (total flowering head), or purple (magenta petals, in a short zone near the top, the tips brownish); 3.5–4 mm long. Corolla tubular; 5-lobed. Stamens absent. Ovary inferior; carpels 2; syncarpous. Styles 1; 4–4.5 mm long. Stigmas per ovary 2. Placentation basal. Ovules per ovary 1. Fruit sessile; dry; cypselas (none seen); indehiscent. Seeds 1.

Chromosome information. 2n = 56 and 60 (-70).

2n (8x) = 56. Chmielewski and Chinnappa (1990);

2n = 60–70; Zhukova et al. (1973, northeastern Asia, 2n = more than 60); Yurtsev et al. (1975, eastern Chukotka, 2n = 60); Zhukova (1982, northeastern Asia, 2n = more than 60 about 70).

Ploidy levels recorded 8x.

Ecology and habitat. Substrates: snow patches (a major habitat), slopes, ridges, cliffs; imperfectly drained moist areas, dry; rocks (or talus), gravel, sand, silt; peat. Shale slope (CAN 295563); raised fluvial terraces parallel to a modern floodplain, growing in a disturbed sandy patch on a raised river terrace that is only rarely flooded (CAN 502458); well-drained silt plain near eroding peat bluff (CAN 528185).

North American distribution. Alaska, Yukon, Northwest Territories Islands, continental Northwest Territories, Nunavut Islands, continental Nunavut. Range in the Canadian Arctic Archipelago widespread. Uncommon. High Arctic. Arctic islands: Baffin, Ellesmere, Axel Heiberg, Parry islands (Melville and Eglinton), Banks, Victoria.

Northern hemisphere distribution. North American, or amphi-Beringian (?). East Chukotka (?), West Alaska, North Alaska – Yukon, Central Canada, Labrador – Hudson Bay, Ellesmere Land – Peary Land, West Greenland, East Greenland.

General notes. Section Alpinae.

Antennaria compacta was included in A. alpina s.l. by Bayer in Cody (1996) and in Bayer (2006), who stated that morphological overlap between A. alpina and A. media poses a taxonomic problem. Bayer (2006) suggests that some of the entities he has synonymised under A. alpina, including A. friesiana subsp. compacta, are of apomictic clonal origin. This subspecies was included in A. media s.l. by Chmielewski (1997). Elven et al. (2003) followed Chmielewski (1997) by recognising this taxon as a subspecies of A. media because Chmielewski (1998) presented an analysis that included the A. alpina complex. Elven et al. (2003) will follow this treatment until a consensus is reached about A. alpina in North America and we follow this treatment here.

In A. media subsp.compacta, Section Alpinae, male plants are unknown and the taxon is most probably an agamo-subspecies. It is a widely distributed entity from eastern Greenland to western Alaska, and perhaps to eastern Chukotka. Some authors synonymise A. cryomophylla with A. compacta. The very restricted continental range of A. cryomophylla falls entirely inside that of A. compacta (see Porsild and Cody 1980).

Antennaria densifolia A.E. Porsild [Bull. Natl. Mus. Canada 101, Biol. ser. 30: 26. 1945], from the continental Northwest Territories and Yukon, has been indicated as a synonym of A. compacta. This is probably not correct, as both sexes are present in populations of A. densifolia and it is probably sexual (Bayer in Cody 1996). Antennaria densifolia is treated as a separate species by Bayer (2006). It is not present in the Arctic, as its northern limit seems to be in the Mackenzie Mountains.

Illustrations. • Two species in same habitat: Dorset. Left of the marker, plants with inflorescences that have more than one head per flowering stem are A. media subsp. compacta. Right of the marker, inflorescences with a single head per flowering stem are A. monocephala subsp. angustata. Nunavut, Baffin Island, Cape Dorset. Aiken. 4 August, 2005. Scale bar in cm. • Arctic Island Distribution.


This publication is available on the internet (posted May 2011) and on CD-ROM (published in 2007). These versions are identical in content, except that the errata page for CD-ROM is accessible on the main index page of the web version.

Recommended citation for the web-based version of this publication: Aiken, S.G., Dallwitz, M.J., Consaul, L.L., McJannet, C.L., Boles, R.L., Argus, G.W., Gillett, J.M., Scott, P.J., Elven, R., LeBlanc, M.C., Gillespie, L.J., Brysting, A.K., Solstad, H., and Harris, J.G. 2007. Flora of the Canadian Arctic Archipelago: Descriptions, Illustrations, Identification, and Information Retrieval. NRC Research Press, National Research Council of Canada, Ottawa. http://nature.ca/aaflora/data, accessed on DATE.

Recommended citation for the CD-ROM version of this publication: Aiken, S.G., Dallwitz, M.J., Consaul, L.L., McJannet, C.L., Boles, R.L., Argus, G.W., Gillett, J.M., Scott, P.J., Elven, R., LeBlanc, M.C., Gillespie, L.J., Brysting, A.K., Solstad, H., and Harris, J.G. 2007. Flora of the Canadian Arctic Archipelago: Descriptions, Illustrations, Identification, and Information Retrieval. [CD-ROM] NRC Research Press, National Research Council of Canada, Ottawa.

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