Galium anisophyllum   

Galium anisophyllum whole Galium anisophyllum close

Looking very much like any other (difficult to identify) Galium which you can find on the continent, this plant was growing amongst rocks in the high alps. It has two interesting properties neither of which is obvious by observation in the alpine meadows.

It is tolerant of heavy metals and so can thrive on spoil heaps contaminated with heavy metals such as copper, along with similar tolerant species such as Noccaea (old name Thlaspi) caerulescens (Alpine Pennycress).

G. anisophyllum is also a polyploid in that the same species will have different numbers of chromosomes yet remain the same plant. Galium anisophyllum plants can be found which have have a number of chromosomes from diploid (multiple of two) to decaploid (x ten). It is thought that this can be the start of speciation (an evolutionary change into different species).

Galium anisophyllum

Galium anisophyllum English

Bernina Alps above Pontresina, Engadine, Switzerland, 5th July 2010

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Galium anisophyllum

Bernina Alps above Pontresina, Engadine, Switzerland, 5th July 2010, updated 19th April 2015

Added on 2nd November 2010

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