|Arrowleaf balsamroot and Saskatoon berries (white shrubs) in bloom, April 7, 2016|
I purchased a dozen of the arrowleaf balsamroot plants at a native plant nursery in Oliver recently. I had been meaning to get to Sagebrush nursery for the last 2 years, and finally got myself there after an impulse to drive somewhere on a sunny morning. If you had any ideas about transplanting these from the wild, just abandon that thought. Like many dryland plants, these have very long taproots and therefore don't transplant well (and there's also the disturbance that digging in wild areas will cause). Mine were fairly small plants and as such, seem to be doing well after being planted in my yard. They are the ultimate in drought-tolerant plants and will not being needing additional water once established. They dry up to little crisps in the summer, so I think that planting other things around them will be a good idea, much like disguising the dying foliage of spring bulbs with other perennials. We have predominantly sandy soil, which this plant likes. Also, I am planting them on slopes, which seems to be consistent with where they like to be in the wild.
Did you know the arrowleaf balsamroot is not destroyed by fire, and may actually increase due to fire? The top part of the plant is burned, but the deep taproot (up to 8 feet) survives unscathed to grow again the next year.
|Looking north from Sumac Ridge, Summerland|
While they may be hated as pests by the fruit-growers, we like to watch the yellow-bellied marmots hanging out on their stack of old logs. Otherwise, they are often seen sunning themselves on the top of concrete barriers at the sides of highways.
|Poles going in for new apple orchard|