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Central Mixedwood: Prickly RoseFlora refers to the plant life that can be found in a specific region. There are many different kinds of flora from the six different Natural Regions in Alberta. The climate and geography of each Natural Region defines what will grow in it.

The Boreal Forest exists as a nearly continuous belt of coniferous trees across Alberta. Aspen and Balsam Poplar are the dominant tree species, but Evergreens, Jack Pine, and Spruce are plentiful as well. Commonly seen flowers and small plants in the region have whimsical names, like Marsh Reed Grass, Rusty Peat Moss, Foxtail Barley, Sweet-scented Bedstraw and Low-bush Cranberry, and are adapted well to growing in shade, underneath trees.

The Parklands occupy the region between the Boreal Forest and the Grasslands in Alberta. The area is considered to be an ecotone, or area of transition, as the aspen groves are in a constant state of competition with the grasslands for supremacy of the region. It is also populated with plants like the Saskatoon berry, Common Flat-brocade, Beaked Willow, June Grass, and Black Eyed Susan.

The Grasslands are made up flat low rolling plains with the main flora consisting of Dry Mixed grass, Mixed grass, Northern Fescue, and Foothills Fescue. You will also find Silver Sagebrush, Blue Grama Grass, Golden Aster, Cushion Cactus, and Greasewood. These plants typically grow low to the ground to shield themselves from the prairie wind.

The Canadian Shield in Alberta covers the surface in the most northeasterly part of the province. Precambrian rocks create a landscape of lakes and marshy depressions. The flora, often rooted into rock, includes Pale Reindeer Lichens, Dusty Green Sage, and Bearberry.

Lower Foothills Labrador TeaThe flora of the Foothills include the Lodgepole Pine, Aspen, and Evergreen trees, as well as the Prickly rose, Wild Lily of the Valley, Bunchberry, Slender Hair-cap Moss, and Labrador Tea.

In the Rocky Mountain Region, you can find a diverse range of species: White Spruce, Englmann Spruce, Stair-step Moss, the Common blueberry, Flattened Snow Lichen, Western Course Wort, Heart-leaved Arnica, Bearberry, and Rough Hair Grass. These flora are tough and hardy, capable of withstanding the extreme conditions of high altitudes. They can grow in very little soil and shield themselves from the elements by growing close to the ground or rock face.


There's a whole bouquet of information about wild Alberta waiting to plucked at the Alberta, Naturally website. It's another fine flower you'll find at Alberta's Online Encyclopedia, www.AlbertaSource.ca !

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