The Peace River Parkland Vegetation
The upland forests of the Peace River Parkland occur mostly on till deposits and are virtually indistinguishable from those of the surrounding
Mixedwood Boreal Forest. They are dominated by
aspen and white spruce with lesser amounts of balsam poplar especially on wetter sites. The grasslands, on Solonetzic soils, are dominated by
sedges, intermediate oat grass, western porcupine grass, bearded
wheatgrass, inland bluegrass, old man's whiskers, and low goldenrod. Grasslands on steep, south-facing slopes are dominated by
western porcupine grass, sedges, and pasture sage. Other common species include
columbia needle grass, June grass, green needle grass, pale comandra and
More northerly grasslands occur on both fluvial and glaciolacustrine sites and are best characterized as an
wheatgrass-sedge type. These grasslands are dotted with willow groves and dense thickets of
western snowberry and woods rose.
The grasslands of the Peace River Parkland are most closely related to those of the Northern Fescue Subregion. The absence of
rough fescue is perhaps not surprising since it is often absent from Solonetzic soils in the Central Parkland and Northern Fescue
These isolated grasslands are also notable for their disjunct occurrence and the presence of
species which have a more southerly or westerly distribution. These include
brittle prickly pear cactus, Richardson's needle grass, columbia needle
grass, short-stemmed thistle, and groundsel.
Information provided by and printed with the permission
of Alberta Community Development, Provincial
Parks and Protected Areas.