Limestone Barrens



A Photo-Linked Checklist of our "Limestone Loving" Plants

All photo links connect to appropriate sections of "A Digital Flora of Newfoundland and Labrador Vascular Plants":

Key to distributions, within the Province of Newfoundland and Labrador:

*      known to occur on the Great Northern Peninsula and/or the Port au Port Peninsula/Table Mountain "limestone barrens"
**     occurring only on "limestone" outcrops, patches and marls on the Island of Newfoundland and/or in southern Labrador
***    occurring only in "limestone" areas in the northern 2/3 of Labrador
?      distribution needs more study

NOTE: Judging what species to include, or not to include, in the following lists has proven to be much more difficult than first imagined, since the chemical preferences and tolerances of most of the species considered have never actually been scientifically determined. Provisional decisions have been made primarily on the basis of "the habitat where a species mostly grows", both within this Province, and elsewhere. In this, the conclusions of several earlier writers - notably Harvard University's Merritt Lyndon Fernald - have proven to be an invaluable guide.

CALCICOLES: Plants that thrive in lime-rich soils. Found only on the "limestone barrens" and/or on smaller "limestone" outcrops, patches and marls within the Province

    Spleenwort Family (Aspleniaceae)
    Cliff Fern Family (Woodsiaceae)
    Wood Fern Family (Dryopteridaceae)
    Maidenhair Fern Family (Pteridaceae)
Eudicots (= "Dicots")
    Composite [= Aster] Family (Asteraceae)
    Mustard Family (Brassicaceae)
    Bluebell Family (Campanulaceae)
    Pink Family (Caryophyllaceae)
      Alpine Chickweed - Cerastium alpinum subsp. lanatum *
      Arctic Chickweed - Cerastium arcticum ***
      Mountain Sandwort - Minuartia biflora **
      Dawson Sandwort - Minuartia dawsonensis *
      Arctic Catchfly - Silene involucrata ***
      Mountain Campion, Northern Catchfly - Silene uralensis subsp. uralensis ***
    Sundew Family (Droseraceae)
    Oleaster Family (Elaeagnaceae)
    Heath Family (Ericaceae)
    Pea Family (Fabaceae)
    Gentian Family (Gentianaceae)
    Water-Milfoil Family (Haloragaceae)
    Evening-Primrose Family (Onagaceae)
      Dahurian Willowherb - Epilobium davuricum *
    Broom-Rape Family (Orobanchaceae)
    Grass-of-Parnassus Family (Parnassiaceae)
    Primrose Family (Primulaceae)
    Buttercup Family (Ranunculaceae)
    Rose Family (Rosaceae)
    Willow Family (Salicaceae)
    Saxifrage Family (Saxifragaceae)
    Valarian Family (Valerianaceae)
      Northern Valerian, Marsh Valerian - Valeriana dioica subsp. sylvatica **
    Violet Family (Violaceae)
      Selkirk's Violet, Great Spurred Violet - Viola selkirkii **
    Onion Family (Alliaceae)
    Sedge Family (Cyperaceae)
    Rush Family (Juncaceae)
      Alpine Rush - Juncus alpinoarticulatus [= Juncus alpinus]
      Northern White Rush - Juncus triglumis var. albescens *
    Orchid Family (Orchidaceae)
    Grass Family (Poaceae)
      Purple Reedgrass - Calamagrostis purpurascens **
      Viviparous Fescue - Festuca frederikseniae [= Festuca vivipara] *
      Wood Millet - Milium effusum var. cisatlanticum **
      Purple False Oats - Trisetum melicoides
    Pondweed Family (Potamogetonaceae)
      Fries' Pondweed - Potamogeton friesii **
      Narrowleaf Pondweed - Potamogeton strictifolius **
    Tofieldia Family (Tofieldiaceae)

BASICOLES: Plants that thrive on basic (ie. non-acid) soils, including lime-rich soils. Found only on the "limestone barrens" and/or on smaller "limestone" outcrops, patches and marls; AS WELL AS on other basic substrates such as "serpentine", within the Province

    Spleenwort Family (Aspleniaceae)
Eudicots (= Dicots)
    Composite Family (Asteraceae)
    Pink Family (Caryophyllaceae)
    Heath Family (Ericaceae)
    Broom-rape Family (Orobanchaceae)
    Leadwort Family (Plumbaginaceae)
    Willow Family (Salicaceae)
    Grass Family (Poaceae)
      Northern Rough Fescue - Festuca altaica

PLANTS OF WIDER TOLERANCE: Commonly found on our "limestone barrens" and/or on smaller "limestone" outcrops, patches and marls; and/or on other basic (ie. non-acidic) substrates such as "serpentine"; but also found more widely, within the Province.

No attempt has been made to include a list of these plants.


The interested reader is encouraged to browse:

[1] A Digital Flora of Newfoundland and Labrador Vascular Plants], in order to gain a wider understanding of "all" of the vascular plants of Newfoundland and Labrador. [A "Keyword Search" panel on the homepage will help find desired pages in this extensive website.]

[2] Burnt Cape Plant Species checklist, which includes photos of numerous species, and detailed accounts of many of the rarer ones [NOTE: MAY require Internet Explorer - eg. photos do not always work with Firefox!].

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