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

Potentilla chamissonis Hultén

Rosaceae, Rose family.

Published in "Potentilla nivea". N Sweden: "In praeruptis montis Njammats prope Quickjock Lapponiae Lulensis", 06.07.1856, E.C.J.Cederstråhle. Holotype. S.

Type: Potentilla kuznetzovii (Govor.) Juz., in Kom., Fl. URSS 10: 137. 1941. Described from Russia: northern Ural.

Synonymy. Potentilla chamissonis Hultén, Bot. Not. 1945: 140. 1945.

Potentilla nivea L. subsp. chamissonis (Hultén) Hiitonen, Arch. Soc. Zool.-Bot. Fenn. 'Vanamo' 2: 25. 1947.

Potentilla hookeriana Lehm. subsp. chamissonis (Hultén) Hultén, Ark. Bot., n. s., 7, 1: 73. 1968a.

Potentilla prostrata Rottb. subsp. chamissonis (Hultén) Soják, Candollea 44: 751. 1989.

Potentilla kuznetzovii (Govor.) Juz. in Kom., Fl. URSS 10: 137. 1941. Described from Russia: northern Ural.

Vegetative morphology. Plants (4–)6–25(–30) cm high; perennial herbs; caespitose. Taproot present (slender to stout). Ground level or underground stems vertical; (3–)5–10(–12) mm wide. Caudex present (short, with leaf crown and lateral peduncles). Aerial stems branching from a tap at or near ground level into two or more branches; erect, or ascending. Leaves mainly basal; alternate; dying annually and non-persistent (blades), or marcescent (petioles and stipules). Stipules present; (6–)8–12(–14) mm long; 1.5–3.5(–4) mm wide; not sheathing; green (or hyaline when fresh, reddish brown when marcescent); hairy; pilose; glandular, or without glands; apex acuminate, or acute. Petioles 4.5–25(–80) mm long; without sessile glands, or with sessile glands; hairy; pilose (with long patent bristly pilose and verrucose hairs). Petiole hairs longer than the diameter of the petiole; spreading; straight; rough. Leaf blades compound. Blades 5–15(–40) mm long, 8.5–24(–40) mm wide, veins palmate (leaflet veins pinnate). Blade adaxial surface without sessile glands, hairy, hairs pilose or long-silky (mostly hairs scattered appressed and pilose, rarely with shorter silky hairs), hairs simple, hairs sparse or moderately dense (rarely), hairs white, or translucent. Blade abaxial surface dull (when visible), hairy, hairs tomentose (between veins) or long-silky (on veins), hairs very dense, hairs white, hairs straight or wavy, hairs appressed (short hairs) or spreading (long hairs). Blade margins dentate or deeply divided, with non-glandular hairs, with 3–5 teeth on each side of the blade, with teeth all around the blade or toward the apex; degree of incision 25–75%; apices rounded. Leaflet arrangement palmate, or digitate (rarely). Leaflets 3(–4); 7–15(–30) mm long; 7–13(–20) mm wide; elliptic, or obovate; veins conspicuous. Apical leaflet base distinctly stipitate, or not distinctly stipitate (rarely); stipe (0–)1–3(–5) mm long.

Reproductive morphology. Plants agamospermic (usually), or bisexual (possibly). Flowering stems two or more per plant; with leaves. Flowering stems hairy. Flowering stems pilose, or pubescent. Flowering stem hairs simple; shorter than the diameter of the flowering stem, or longer than the diameter of the flowering stem; white or translucent. Flowers in inflorescences, or solitary (rarely). Inflorescences cymose; lateral; diffuse. Pedicels present. Flowers per inflorescence (1–)2–4(–6); medium-sized, or large. Sepals conventional. Epicalyx present. Epicalyx segments (4–)5–8(–9) mm long. Epicalyx segments (0.8–)0.9–1.1 mm wide. Epicalyx segments equal in length to the calyx segments, or shorter than the calyx segments. Epicalyx segments narrower than the calyx segments (conspicuously narrower). Sepals 5; free; 1–2(–2.5) mm long; (4–)5–9(–11) mm wide; green; herbaceous; accrescent. Calyx with sessile glands; hairy. Calyx hairs pilose, or long-silky; white or translucent. Calyx margins without cilia. Petals conventional; free; 5; yellow; obovate; slightly lobed or undulating (distinctly notched); 5–10 mm long; 6.5–11 mm wide. Stamens 15–25(–30); stamen filaments glabrous. Anthers yellow; ellipsoid, or triangular; 0.4–0.5 mm long. Ovary superior; carpels 25–35; apocarpous. Styles 0.8–1.1 mm long; straight; basal portion covered with short papillae, less than 0.1 mm high (often nearly smooth in northern European plants). Ovules per ovary 1. Fruit sessile; with calyx persisting; dry; an aggregate of achenes; ovoid; green at maturity, or straw-coloured; 0.7–0.8 mm long; 0.9–1.1 mm wide (achenes 0.8–1.2 mm long, 0.4–0.7 mm wide); glabrous; surface appearing veinless; indehiscent.

Chromosome information. 2n = 49, or 56, or 77.

2n (7x) = 49. Dansereau and Steiner (1956, northeastern Canada);

2n (8x) = 56. Böcher and Larsen (1950, Greenland); Sokolovskaya (1970, northern Russia); Löve and Löve (1982a, Arctic Canada); Uotila and Pellinen (1986, Finland);

2n (11x) = 77. Müntzing in Hultén (1945, Sweden). Supposed basic chromosome number of family 7.

Ploidy levels recorded 7x, 8x, 11x.

Ecology and habitat. Substrates: river terraces, slopes, ridges, cliffs, dry meadows; dry, moderately well-drained areas; rocks, gravel, silt; with low organic content, with high organic content (e.g., a large bird perch); calcareous, or nitrophilous. As far as known ecologically similar to P. nivea but perhaps even more confined to calcareous, dry substrates.

North American distribution. Amphi-Atlantic and restricted to the eastern-central and Low Arctic parts of Canada. Northwest Territories Islands (?), continental Northwest Territories, Nunavut Islands, continental Nunavut, northern Quebec. Range in the Canadian Arctic Archipelago moderate. Uncommon. Low Arctic and boreal. Arctic islands: Baffin, King William, Southampton.

Northern hemisphere distribution. Amphi-Atlantic. Northern Fennoscandian, Kanin–Pechora, Svalbard – Franz Joseph Land, Polar Ural – Novaya Zemlya, Yamal–Gydan, Central Canada, Labrador – Hudson Bay, Ellesmere Land – Peary Land (?), West Greenland, East Greenland.

General notes. See Potentilla arenosa for notes.

Illustrations. • Habitat. Adjacent plants of three species of Potentilla indicated by the markers and growing on dry gravel. Left, P. arenosa subsp. chamissonis (01–038), centre P. pulchella (01–037) and right P. multifida (01–036). Manitoba, Churchill. Aiken and Brysting 2001. CAN. • Habitat. Calcareous scree slope with large population of P. arenosa subsp. chamissonis, here also mixed with P. nivea and P. crantzii but with no hybrids. Norway, Svalbard, Odindalen. 1997. Voucher at 0. Photograph by R. Elven. • Close-up of plant. Large cespitose plant. Greenland, Sondrestrom. 3 July, 1960. CMN Photo library 78–437. Photograph by Raymond Wood. • Close-up of flower bud. Epicalyx segments erect, narrower than the calyx segments that are folded around the bud, green at the base and red towards the tips. Manitoba, Churchill. Aiken and Brysting 01–038. CAN. • Close-up of flower bud. Centre, calyx segment. Left and right, much narrower, epicalyx segments that are equal in length to the calyx segments or slightly shorter and are covered with long silky hairs. Manitoba, Churchill. Aiken and Brysing 01–038. CAN. • 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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