01 May 2010

2010 Spring Botanical Excursion, Part I

In April 2009, Justin Thomas and I took a botanical trip to Tennessee, Alabama, and Georgia. Because seeing numerous species of Trillium was our goal, we dubbed our botanical excursion "Trillium Tromp 2009" (see posts here and here). Although we were only able to hunt down three species of Trillium, our trip was a huge success, as we saw various other interesting plants. This April, Justin and I were at it again, this time with Brad Slaughter and Doug Ladd joining us on our ramblings through Missouri and Arkansas. While this year's trip was not technically considered a Trillium Tromp by name, we did two better than during Trillium Tromp 2009, finding five species of Trillium (three new to me).

Brad drove down to my house from Michigan on 20 April 2010, and the two of us then headed to Missouri. Justin met us at Victoria Glade just southwest of St. Louis, where we saw Wood Wakerobin (Trillium viride), shown above.

The following day at a preserve in Shannon County, Missouri, we stumbled apon a familiar trillie, Toadshade (Trillium sessile), shown above.

On our way south to Arkansas on 22 April 2010, we stopped near Winona, Missouri to see Ozark Wakerobin (Trillium pusillum var. ozarkanum), pictured above.

At Magazine Mountain in Arkansas on 25 April 2010, we found Tapertip Wakerobin (Trillium viridescens), shown above. The characters used to distinguish this species from Wood Wakerobin are not very clear; I'm using the known ranges of the two species, more than anything else, to distinguish between the two.

The fifth species of Trillium that we observed on our trip was Bloody Butcher (Trillium recurvatum), not shown. We observed this species at several locations in Arkansas.

But enough of those trillies... let's get to the rest of the trip!

As I mentioned, we stopped at Victoria Glade on our way south. The plant richness on rocky, thin-soiled glades never ceases to amaze me. Our target at this location was the rare Fremont's Leatherflower (Clematis fremontii), known only from Missouri, Kansas, and Nebraska.

As with most of our target plants on this trip, we were not disappointed.

Also common in the glade was Prairie Blue-eyed Grass (Sisyrinchium campestre), a species found throughout central North America from Manitoba to Texas.

A partial list of other plants we observed in the glade inlcudes Baptisia australis, Bouteloua curtipendula, Camassia scilloides, Carex crawei, Carex meadii, Castilleja coccinea, Dodecatheon meadia, Echinacea pallida, Eleocharis compressa, Glandularia canadensis, Nothoscordum bivalve, Rudbeckia missouriensis, Sorghastrum nutans, and Sporobolus neglectus.

Along an intermittent stream in moist woods surrounding the glade, we found both the blue (forma tricorne) and white (forma albiflora) color morphs of Dwarf Larkspur (Delphinium tricorne). You can see the white color morph in the background in the photo below.

Additional plants we saw in the wooded portion of the property include Arisaema dracontium, Asarum canadense, Carex blanda, Carex jamesii, Carex oligocarpa, Chaerophyllum procumbens, Erythronium albidum, Hybanthus concolor, Hydrastis canadensis, Ilex decidua, Lilium michiganense, Mertensia virginica, Phlox divaricata, Rhamnus caroliniana, Sanguinaria canadensis, Silene stellata, and Staphylea trifolia, among others.

The three of us spent 21 April 2010 botanizing in Missouri's Ozarks. Our first stop was at a Shannon County preserve, where we saw a mix of dolomite glade and woodlands.

Here, our target was White Lady's Slipper (Cypripedium candidum), as this site is one of just a few stations for this species in Missouri. The flowers seemed smaller than those on plants I've seen in Indiana prairies and fens.

Of course, we didn't just go for a single species, so we did plenty of botanizing before and after finding the lady slipper population. Scarlet Indian Paintbrush (Castilleja coccinea) was in bloom, with bracts ranging in color from red to orange to yellow from plant to plant.

Another attractive plant that was in bloom was Robin's Plantain (Erigeron pulchellus). This composite is generally found in dry conditions throughout the eastern half of North America.

Other plants we saw at this preserve include Actaea racemosa, Astragalus crassicarpus var. trichocalyx, Baptisia bracteata, Berchemia scandens, Carex digitalis, Carex hirsutella, Carex meadii, Carex planispicata, Carex umbellata, Castilleja coccinea, Celtis tenuifolia, Cypripedium parviflorum var. pubescens, Dichanthelium boscii, Dirca palustris, Echinacea pallida, Galium arkansanum, Gymnopogon ambiguus, Hypoxis hirsuta, Liatris cylindracea, Lithospermum canescens, Lonicera flava, Manfreda virginica, Minuartia patula, Pedicularis canadensis, Pellaea atropurpurea, Rhamnus lanceolata, Rudbeckia missouriensis, Scutellaria bushii, Silene virginica, Silphium asteriscus, Sorghastrum nutans, Taenidia integerrima, Thaspium trifoliatum, Vaccinium stamineum, Zizia aptera, and Zizea aurea, among many others.

Our next stop on 21 April 2010 was the fens at Shut-in Mountain.

At the fen and in the surrounding woodland, we saw Calopogon tuberosus, Carex albolutescens, Carex buxbaumii, Carex crawei, Carex leptalea, Carex sterilis, Carex suberecta, Carex tetanica, Castilleja coccinea, Nemastylis geminiflora, Parnassia grandifolia, Pedicularis lanceolata, Rhynchospora capillacea, Rudbeckia fulgida, Solidago buckleyi, Zizia aptera, and many, many others.

On 22 April 2010, we left Salem, Missouri and drove to Arkansas, where we met up with Doug Ladd and Theo Witsell. Theo was our guide for the next couple of days, taking us to various preserves and giving us directions to various others.

Our first stop was at Dry Lost Creek Glade in Bauxite Natural Areas. As the name implies, this property was historically mined for bauxite for the production of aluminum; however, remnants of the glade and woodland complex present prior to settlement still exist.

At this preserve, Fringed Bluestar (Amsonia ciliata) was one of our highlights. This species is known from the southeastern and southcentral United States.

Fuzzy Phacelia (Phacelia hirsuta) was also observed in abundance at this site, particularly in scrubby areas and woodlands.

Some of the other plants we saw at Dry Lost Creek Glade include Aesculus pavia, Aristolochia reticulata, Asclepias hirtella, Callitriche heterophylla, Carex bushii, Carex flaccosperma, Carex glaucodea, Chasmanthium sessiliflorum, Clinopodium glabellum, Dichanthelium laxiflorum, Dichanthelium scoparium, Drosera brevifolia, Hypericum pseudomaculatum, Isoetes butleri, Isolepis pseudosetacea, Juncus scirpoides, Lotus unifoliolatus, Melica mutica, Muhlenbergia capillaris, Packera tomentosa, Piptochaetium avenaceum, Scutellaria parvula var. australis, Tridens chapmanii, Trifolium carolinianum, Ulmus alata, Vicia minutiflora, and Zanthoxylum clava-herculis.

I've posted some additional photos from our trip here on Get Your Botany On! If you haven't already read Part II of my report, click here.


beetlesinthebush said...

Great stuff - I love seeing plants photos from my neck of the woods that represent rare/unusual species, photographed by people who actually know what they are!

Scott Namestnik said...

Thanks Ted. You live in a great part of the country!

Eric Hunt said...

Great stuff! I was just in Eureka Springs (scouting for a possible relocation) and took two hikes. One around Leatherwood Lake and the other in Van Winkle Hollow. I didn't see quite the diversity of things you did but I was pleased with what I found. Check it out here:


Scott Namestnik said...

Thanks Eric. I enjoyed looking at your photos as well. If I ever get a second, I hope to comment on a couple of the photos on your Flickr page.

Eric Hunt said...

Scott - thanks a million for the comments and corrections. Flickr has a really active botany community - if you have any spare time come join us. You can even easily host your blog photos there. There are a lot of us botany nerds from California and a few from the Deep South/Smokies, too.

Scott Namestnik said...

Hi Eric. No problem. I wish I had spare time to get involved in Flickr's botany community. If I every have a spare second, maybe I'll get involved.