50 Monkstown Rd. St. John's, Nfld. Canada. A1C 3T3
The Dragon's Mouth orchid ( Arthusa bulbosa) makes a dramatic find when trekking across the bogs. Orchid species found in northern climes are all terrestrial, that is they have a root system which draws sustenance from the soil, whereas many tropical species are epiphytic, having a root system capable of drawing sustenance from the air. In Newfoundland 21 varieties of orchids are photographed and recorded in the authoritative A Traveller's Guide to Wild Flowers of Newfoundland Canada by Bill and June Titford (1995 Flora Frames, P.O. Box 28141, St. John's, Nf. Canada A1B 4J8).
The Coastal Safari tour area along the South Coast of Newfoundland is in an area classified as the Maritime Barrens Ecoregion. The area is dominated by open barrens interspersed with an extensive cover of dwarf shrubs and intermingled with bogs and shallow fens. In sheltered portions of the barrens are lichens and patches of low growing balsam fir or tuckamore. Good forest growth is localized to protected valleys. A characteristic of the Maritime Barrens Ecoregion is the presence far below the Arctic Circle of arctic barren land species such as Cotton Grass ( Eriophorum spissum ) and Mountain Avens (Dryas intergrafolia) the floral emblem of the Northwest Territories. Overall the most common plant is Sheep Laurel ( Kalamia). Hikers will quickly notice the wide variety of berries. Bakeapples ( Rubus chamaemorus), Blueberries(Vaccinium angustifolium) and Partridgeberries (Vaccinium vitis-idaea) are abundant and have traditionally made up an important part of the Newfoundland diet. A day on the barrens spent berry picking is the precursor to another in the kitchen preparing jams, jellies and bottles of fruit for the winter.
Two prints reproduced above of the Pitcher Plant and buckets of berries, entitled "Oh! My Aching Back", are the work of Newfoundland artist Leona Ottenheimer. Leona also produced the print of old St. John's, "Kimberly Row" found on the 7 day tour page. More information about Leona's work and how to buy her prints is found at the Art and Frame Shop and the James Baird Gallery .
For those interested in flowers and gardens a visit to the
Botanical Gardens of Memorial
is very worthwhile during your time in St. John's.