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"The Western Blue Flag ..." Province of Alberta Warnings Or Dangers Tip by Shara.Buchan


<p> The Western Blue Flag </p>
<p> Although not an animal the Western Blue Flag is in danger of becoming extinct.</p>
<p> Status: Surveys in the late 1980s found only six populations of western blue flag, with a total of fewer than 7,500 stems. It is considered rare and potentially endangered in Alberta.</p>
<p> Habitat: Moist meadows and stream banks that are wet early in the spring but often dry later in the summer. </p>
<p> Reproduction: The western blue flag is a long-lived perennial with a thick, underground rootstock which enables populations to maintain themselves over long periods of time. The rootstock allows the plant to withstand heavy trampling and to spread quickly when competition from other plants is reduced.The flowers are cross-pollinated by insects, usually bees. Seeds are released when a seed capsule opens and is shaken by the wind or passing animals.</p>
<p> Human use: The Alberta Native Plant Council, a conservation group dedicated to protecting our native vegetation, chose the western blue flag as its emblem. Aboriginal peoples have used the western blue flag for medicinal purposes. The rootstock was added to a smoking mixture to induce nausea or chewed raw to relieve headaches. </p>
<p> Risk factors: Only a fraction of the western blue flag's historic habitat is uncultivated. Other problems include humans trampling and picking the flowers and agricultural herbicide. </p>

Review Helpfulness: 1.5 out of 5 stars

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  • Written Aug 29, 2002
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