"Artemisia rigida is restricted to the Columbia Plateau scablands with shallow, poorly drained, lithic soil over fractured basalt that is often saturated in winter, but typically dries out completely to bedrock by midsummer. "

The area can't be bounded by one rectangle, but this view is for mostly scabland around Whiskey Dick ridge:

Scablands (as used here) are common in Kittitas and Yakima Counties, and there are more localized patches to the east and northeast in Douglas and Grant Counties on the other side of the Columbia River. The easily recognized Pediocactus nigrispinus is a good indicator in many areas, but it is not always present or may be sparse and hard to find. With a little experience Artemisia rigida is easy to pick out and it is present in all but the rockiest patches. If you see a sizeable area with rocky soil and sparse vegetation but lots of a low Sagebrush (no more than 3 feet tall) it is very likely Artemisia rigida. The scabland supports a remarkable diversity of plants, but they are rarely very densely spaced and often early plants have died back before later plants flower, so they look rather sparsely vegetated. By midsummer all but the Artemisia rigida and a few of the subshrubs and the cacti have died back, so they look even more barren. For a few precious weeks in early to mid spring the are a lot of flowers. April and early May are peak flower times, but there are Lomatiums in flower in March as well, and a few plants still in flower through mid June.

Common associates in Kittitas County scablands (associates in Yakima County are probably very similar but I have not visited them as much):
Astragalus purshii
Antennaria dimorpha
Balsamorhiza hookeri
Castilleja thompsonii
Delphinium nuttallianum
Eremogone franklinii
Erigeron linearis
Erigeron poliospermus
Eriogonum douglasii
Eriogonum thymoides
Lewisia rediviva
Lomatium canbyi
Lomatium macrocarpum
Lomatium quintuplex
Lupinus sp. (probably L. saxosus)
Neoholmgrenia hilgardii
Nestotus stenophyllus
Nothocalais troximoides
Pediocactus nigrispinus
Penstemon gairdneri
Phacelia linearis
Phlox douglasii
Phlox hoodii
Phlox longifolia
Phoenicaulis cheiranthoides
Poa secunda
Trifolium macrocephalum
Viola trinervata

There are less common associates, and be aware that this list does not include plants of deeper soils adjacent to many of the scabland expanses, which support a rather different plant community (associated with Big Sagebrush). For scabland, look for areas that are rather barren looking and with obviously rocky soil, lacking any tall shrubs, and usually lots of the low rather scraggly looking Artemisia rigida (which is also deciduous if you are there from about November to March). Often the Big Sagebrush will be in lower areas, including shallow valleys, with the scabland mostly on ridges and slopes (low rounded ridges, don't expect mountains). There may be interspersed talus slopes or rocky ridge tops, which tend to support even fewer plants.

The delineation between scabland and Big Sagebrush is often rather abrupt but sometimes they are intergraded or occur in interspersed patches.

Publicado el 1 de junio de 2023 15:51 por jhorthos jhorthos


No hay comentarios todavía.

Agregar un comentario

Acceder o Crear una cuenta para agregar comentarios.