2016 Update: Echinacea Hybrids — exPt 7

To the trained eye, Echinacea pallida is easily distinguished from E. angustifolia by its white pollen, large heads, and long, droopy ray florets.

Echinacea pallida observed at Hegg Lake.

This summer, we remeasured plants in experimental plot 7 at Hegg Lake. These plants are hybrids of Echinacea angustifolia (native) and Echinacea pallida (non-native, but planted at a nearby restoration). Shona Sanford-Long performed these crosses in 2012, Jill Pastick germinated the seeds that winter, and Stuart planted the seedlings the following spring. It is not yet known how the introduction of this non-native species will affect local Echinacea angustifolia populations. The survival rates and reproductive fitness of these plants can tell us how well the hybrids can compete with the native species. We have returned to the plot each of the last three years and measured the plants found there.

198 of the original 294 planted seedlings (67.3%) were found this year. The table below shows the fate of each cross-type in 2016 — the first name in the cross type is the maternal species, and the second name is the paternal species (e.g., ‘ang_pal’ is angustifolia mother and pallida father). These plants were measured on August 3rd and rechecked on September 2nd. No plants flowered this year, meaning that we must wait longer to assess seed set and reproductive fitness.

Cross Type

Found16 ang_ang ang_pal pal_ang pal_pal

no      34      10      20      32

yes      37      21      65      75


Start year: Crossing in 2012, Planting in 2013

Location: Hegg Lake Wildlife Management Area – Experimental Plot 7

Overlaps with: Echinacea hybrids: ex Pt 6; Echinacea hybrids: ex Pt 9

Data collected: Rosette number, length of all leaves, herbivory for each plant collected electronically and exported to CGData. Recheck information for plants not found was also collected electronically and stored in CGData.

Products: Taylor Harris’s 2015 poster demonstrating fitness benefits of pallida parenthood.

You can find more information and links to previous flog entries involving experimental plot 7 on the background page for the experiment.


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