Alchemilla alpina, the alpine Lady’s mantle

Alchemilla alpina, the alpine Lady’s mantle was collected for the Darwin Tree of Life project by Dr Markus Ruhsam from a rock ledge on Ben Lawers, on the 16th June 2021.

Alchemilla alpina habitat, Ben Lawers

This arctic-montane herb is native to Europe and Southern Greenland, and is easily distinguished from other lady’s-mantle species because its leaves are made up of separate leaflets, while the other species have pleated leaves. Alpine lady’s-mantle plants are hermaphroditic (i.e., they have both pollen- and ovule-producing parts inside the same flowers), with seeds that develop without fertilisation (apomictically). This will have a strong impact on the plant’s genome, with different populations of the plants unable to cross-pollinate, so drifting apart into very similar but genetically isolated micro-species.

The 12 Days of DToL