Low shrub

The purpose of this forum is to help people identify things they've seen while out hiking: wildflowers, trees, birds, insects, small animals, animal tracks, even geographical features like buttes or streams
Post Reply
User avatar
K.Wagner
Posts: 641
Joined: June 2nd, 2013, 1:25 pm
Location: Vancouver, WA

Low shrub

Post by K.Wagner » February 10th, 2019, 11:32 am

What is this low, woody shrub that I see frequently mixed in with heather, on open, rocky ridges? Typically at 3,000 to 4,000 feet? These pictures on the west ridge of Siouxon Peak, from this fall.
09-Heather & +++ Ridge-S.jpg
10-What-S.jpg
14-Siouxon Peak Summit-S.jpg
Adam, I know that you know what this is!

Thanks,
Kelly
There is no shortcut to anyplace worth going to.

PM me about the soon to be released:
Skamania 231
"How to really get off the beaten path in Skamania County"

User avatar
adamschneider
Posts: 2924
Joined: May 28th, 2008, 10:02 pm
Location: SE Portland
Contact:

Re: Low shrub

Post by adamschneider » February 10th, 2019, 12:14 pm

Bearberry, a.k.a. kinnikinnick, a.k.a. pine-mat manzanita (Arctostaphylos uva-ursi).

Its scientific name means "bear-grape grape-bear."

User avatar
K.Wagner
Posts: 641
Joined: June 2nd, 2013, 1:25 pm
Location: Vancouver, WA

Re: Low shrub

Post by K.Wagner » February 10th, 2019, 12:33 pm

Thanks Adam! My little brain kept saying kinnikinnick, but never got past that.
Kelly
There is no shortcut to anyplace worth going to.

PM me about the soon to be released:
Skamania 231
"How to really get off the beaten path in Skamania County"

User avatar
bobcat
Posts: 1955
Joined: August 1st, 2011, 7:51 am
Location: SW Portland

Re: Low shrub

Post by bobcat » February 10th, 2019, 8:34 pm

K.Wagner wrote:
February 10th, 2019, 11:32 am
What is this low, woody shrub that I see frequently mixed in with heather
I think you mean common juniper (Juniperis communis) not heather; at least that's what I see in the third picture. Regardless, both J. communis and Arctostaphylos uva-ursi are circumpolar in distribution - across N. America, western Europe, Siberia, and down to the Himalaya. J. communis has a wider distribution on the planet than any other woody plant. It was also one of the first species to establish after the ice sheets retreated at the end of the last ice age. Much more practically, its cones are used to flavor gin!

In Oregon, what's also called pinemat manzanita (Arctostaphylos nevadensis) seems to be much more common in the Cascades than A. uva-ursi. The two plants are very similar (and apparently hybridize), but A. nevadensis has pointier leaves and white, not pinkish, flowers.

User avatar
adamschneider
Posts: 2924
Joined: May 28th, 2008, 10:02 pm
Location: SE Portland
Contact:

Re: Low shrub

Post by adamschneider » February 10th, 2019, 9:05 pm

Bobcat's right, the frosty-looking stuff in the last photo is juniper. And now that he mentions it, you don't frequently see bearberry and heather together... although you'll see juniper with both of them.

I was curious about A. uva-ursi vs. A. nevadensis in Oregon, so I made a couple of maps from Oregon Flora Project data:

Image

Like bobcat said, nevadensis is all about the higher elevations; uva-ursi is all over the place, but tends to be lower and loves the coast.

User avatar
K.Wagner
Posts: 641
Joined: June 2nd, 2013, 1:25 pm
Location: Vancouver, WA

Re: Low shrub

Post by K.Wagner » February 11th, 2019, 12:05 pm

Thanks for the input guys, I will change my notes. I don't think of juniper being a low shrub like this. I think of it as the invasive tree all over central Oregon.
Kelly
There is no shortcut to anyplace worth going to.

PM me about the soon to be released:
Skamania 231
"How to really get off the beaten path in Skamania County"

Thuja
Posts: 57
Joined: February 10th, 2018, 8:19 pm

Re: Low shrub

Post by Thuja » February 11th, 2019, 5:55 pm

.
Last edited by Thuja on March 8th, 2019, 7:41 pm, edited 1 time in total.

User avatar
adamschneider
Posts: 2924
Joined: May 28th, 2008, 10:02 pm
Location: SE Portland
Contact:

Re: Low shrub

Post by adamschneider » February 11th, 2019, 10:11 pm

K.Wagner wrote:
February 11th, 2019, 12:05 pm
Thanks for the input guys, I will change my notes. I don't think of juniper being a low shrub like this. I think of it as the invasive tree all over central Oregon.
"Invasive" is an interesting term when it comes to junipers. They're native plants, but human land management has allowed them to run rampant.

At any rate, the low shrubby juniper (Juniperus communis) can also grow as a tree, although it doesn't get nearly as big (or grow as fast) as those rampant western junipers.


More fun with OFP data... orange is western juniper, green is common juniper. Looks like their ranges correlate mostly with precipitation:
Image

User avatar
K.Wagner
Posts: 641
Joined: June 2nd, 2013, 1:25 pm
Location: Vancouver, WA

Re: Low shrub

Post by K.Wagner » February 12th, 2019, 10:23 am

Adam, poor choice of words. I probably should have used something like "problematic", "over running" or as you suggest "rampant".

Back to the shrub in question. Last night I looked at the original pictures and zoomed in trying to look at the leaf detail. Since I wasn't trying to focus on the plant, nothing was as well focused as I hoped. Long story, I could not see any sign of the pointy leaves that I saw on the descriptions of A. nevadensis. The typical manzanita red color only showed up on one plant in one picture. This certainly was in the range, at 3,900 to 4,100 feet. So guess I just going to have to go back this summer and look at it closer. Shucks, life is hard!
Kelly
There is no shortcut to anyplace worth going to.

PM me about the soon to be released:
Skamania 231
"How to really get off the beaten path in Skamania County"

User avatar
adamschneider
Posts: 2924
Joined: May 28th, 2008, 10:02 pm
Location: SE Portland
Contact:

Re: Low shrub

Post by adamschneider » February 12th, 2019, 10:37 am

K.Wagner wrote:
February 12th, 2019, 10:23 am
Back to the shrub in question. Last night I looked at the original pictures and zoomed in trying to look at the leaf detail.
Yup, you'll never be able to ID low shrubby manzanita species without closer pictures. Could be either one.

Post Reply