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Pretty pink lousewort

(Post 2 of 5)

This one’s is lovely: Pedicularis hirsuta (hairy lousewort, but common names are not encouraged by my guides, Jeff and Roger). I’m walking with @museumofnature botanists here in Iqaluit. The tundra is lush compared to #svalbard where I spent much of the spring. Here it’s heather, sweetgrass, willow, poppy, saxifrage, and bearberry all over the place. (Correction! Cassiope tetragona, Anthoxanthum monticolum, Salix arctica, Papver labridoricum, Saxifraga tricuspidata, and Arctous alpina all over the place.) After an hour and a half, Jeff Saarela, research scientist and Director of the Centre for Arctic Knowledge and Exploration at the Canadian Museum of Nature, tells me that we’ve seen about 20% of the flora on the Canadian Arctic Islands. Not bad for a morning outing.

Jeff and Roger are here to sample the tundra for diversity, to find out what’s here and where. “You don’t know if you don’t look,” says Jeff.

Check out the next post for some snacking tips.

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