Subject of sun

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Abgeschickt von Darcy Gunnlaugson am 02 August, 2003 um 18:09:00:

Antwort auf: Re: I agree with mostly sun. von Matti Niissalo am 29 Juli, 2003 um 16:53:15:

Hi Matti;

I think this issue of sun is a matter of perspective. You are arguing that grasses protect the plants, but this does not necessarily constitute a lack of a sunny exposure. The roots are well protected by a grassy overburden in such sunny situations as the plants are not growing in a sun baked and exposed soil. However, the sun is still a full exposure situation for such grass protected plants. Grassy/weedy Railway Right of Ways are a good example of this in Alberta, where I have seen colonies of cyps in full sun and happily doing very well.

Many pubescens colonies I have seen in Canada have been quite exposed to sun but with grass protection over the roots, which was often tall enough to partially obscure the leaves. The plants seem to like it. Woodland grassy meadows on Manitoulin Island in Ontario are another good example. I have also seen montanum growing in similar situations on road banks in B.C., celebrating the full sun, but with tall companion grasses affording them protection. In all cases the plants were vigorous and healthy. In counterpoint, I have seen the same species growing in too much shade and not doing as well. In these cases it seemed that young trees on the forest edge which the plants had originally grown up under, were maturing, and the older cyp colonies were slowly disappearing under them due to a lack of sun. Younger plants which were seeded and growing into the sunny openings, were evidence of how such a species migrates out of shade to sustain itself.

The only healthy colonies I have seen under an exstensive canopy of trees, without any full sun openings, were massive colonies of guttatum in the Yukon Territory. They grew under stunted arctic alders for as far as the eye could see and seemed to like the filtered shade. Obviously these trees were small from the perpetually harsh winters, and were very very old. These alders would not ever get any bigger and the shade was pretty much a standard, bright filtered shade, when the guttatum were in bloom. Like the trees, these guttatum colonies were likely hundreds of years old.

My own plants here seem to prefer more light than not, and those in shade do not bloom as well. A balance of sun and shade through the day is what is aimed for but not always achieved. Those that grow in full sun, however, do well if they have the proper medium to grow in. For example, reginae and californicum both like it hot and sunny, but both also must have a very moist medium to sustain this exposure. In a part shade situation they do not seem as happy, and bloom is not as floriferous. Insuring that the root run is cool is the most important aspect of sunny exposures and I believe in nature the plants do very well in conditions where this is provided. Also insuring that too much moisture is not retained, is a shifting and delicate balance with the different species... as we are all too well aware of the problems associated with a medium that does not allow free drainage for a species that requires it.

Best regards



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