Highland Wildflowers: Their Beauty and Their Biology

On Friday, November 2nd, 2012, Dana Visalli opened OHA’s third indoor educational series with an engaging talk on “Highland Wildflowers: Their Beauty and Their Biology.”

After a brief review of the parts of a flower, Dana led the audience through a tour of the main families of flowers found in the highlands, noting certain curious traits along the way. The final portion of the evening revisited those mysteries, and revealed the fascinating functions performed by those structures.

Flowers can be enjoyed on many levels: they are often beautiful to look at, they always have interesting biological adaptations that allow them to survive in a world full of chomping herbivores, and, they are inevitably connected in one way or another to the rest of their ecosystem. Highland and alpine plants live in even more challenging environments than average, and have difficult and exciting lives, which we will explore in this presentation. As we learned about our native upland plants, we found that, as John Muir observed, they are “hitched to everything else in the universe.”

To view Dana’s PowerPoint show, click here (13 MB)

Thank you, Dana, for a great presentation!

Dana Visalli has worked for the last twenty years as a professional botanist and naturalist. He has published the quarterly natural history journal, The Methow Naturalist, for the past 17 years, and has directed a summer ecology camp for children for 20 years.  He lives in the Methow Valley, where he is an organic market gardener, and maintains the regional species lists for flowering plants, mosses, lichens, birds, amphibians, reptiles and mammals.

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