30 November 2009

Mount Cook buttercup [2]

Ephemeral, fragile, tough
Ranunculus lyallii is endemic to Aotearoa/New Zealand, where it grows naturally only on Te Wai Pounamu/the South Island and Rakiura/Stewart Island. Most commonly called the Mt Cook lily, it’s actually a buttercup (Ranunculaceae). The little insect on the stamens of the central flower is a native hover fly (Syrphidae); the distant mountainside in the background is predominantly southern beech (Nothofagus) forest. This plant and many others of its species flowered on the slopes of Avalanche Peak, Arthur's Pass National Park during the 2005 summer.

All content © 2009 Pete McGregor

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