Sunday, January 6, 2013

Isoetes bolanderi Engelm.


I. bolanderi in its natural habitat in Box Lake in Rock Creek Valley
Wide spread yet easy to miss, Isoetes bolanderi is part of the ancient lineage of lycopods that I am particularly interested in. I. bolanderi is primarily an aquatic plant, but has been recorded to survive out of water. Difficult to identify, I. bolanderi's most noticiable feature is the tip of its leaf, which abruptly tapers to a narrowed point, as opposed to gradually tapering like most other Isoetes.

I. bolanderi after being removed from the ground and cleaned of soil

I. bolanderi is most often found in alpine lakes and ponds in the Sierra Nevada mountains, extending all the way up into Canada and east through the Rockies. In the northern part of its range, it can co-occur with two other species: Isoetes echinospora, and Isoetes occidentalis.

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