Were there lots of wildflower bulbs in Greenland?

Jane McGary janemcgary@earthlink.net
Sat, 07 Jul 2007 18:15:14 PDT
Joe wrote,
I don't know what bulbs are associated with boreal forests, but I suspect
>they were present in ancient Greenland in a complex ecosystem.

I spent 12 years in the boreal forest zone (in Alaska), and am sorry to 
report there are almost no bulbs that far north in the Americas; the only 
bulb that gets to the interior is Lloydia serotina. There is also a 
Zigadenus (I think Z. elegans) but I believe it is more fibrous rooted. 
Fritillaria camschatcensis, on both sides of Bering Strait, is strictly 
coastal in its northern range. In Siberia there are a few more, such as 
Lilium martagon and Erythronium sibiricum, but they are far eastern in 
Asia, so presumably not likely to have had relatives in Greenland.

Hulten's Flora of Alaska contains maps showing circumboreal distributions 
of many plants, and these would be a good guide to what might have been 
present in Greenland in earlier millennia, I think.

Jane McGary

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