08 May 2010

2010 Spring Botanical Excursion, Part II

In a previous post, I began discussing the trip that I took to Missouri and Arkansas with Justin Thomas, Brad Slaughter, and Doug Ladd in April 2010. Here, I will conclude with my recap of our trip, beginning with the afternoon of 22 April 2010 after our visit at Dry Lost Creek Glade.

Our next stop was at Middle Fork Barrens Natural Area, a preserve with interesting shale barrens communities. One of our highlights at this site, and also one of my targeted plants for the trip, was Hubricht's Bluestar (Amsonia hubrichtii), pictured below. Hubricht's Bluestar is endemic to Arkansas and Oklahoma, found in the Ouachitas and just one county in the Ozarks. It can be found on gravel bars, along creeks, and in bottomlands.

Nuttall's Cornsalad (Valerianella nuttallii), pictured below, is endemic to the Ouachitas, only known from Arkansas and Oklahoma. Its global conservation status is G2, meaning that it is considered imperiled (at high risk of extinction due to very restricted range, very few populations, steep declines, or other factors). We also saw this species at Middle Fork Barrens Natural Area, growing in a shale glade.

Growing with Nuttall's Cornsalad was the much more common and widespread Beaked Cornsalad (Valerianella radiata). Notice that the flowers of Nuttall's Cornsalad are much larger than those of Beaked Cornsalad, shown below.

Yet another of my target plants, Entireleaf Western Daisy (Astranthium integrifolium ssp. ciliatum) was found in shale barrens at Middle Fork Barrens Natural Area. This composite is known from Nebraska, Missouri, Oklahoma, Arkansas, and Texas. Most of the plants in the family Asteraceae bloom late in the year, but Entireleaf Western Daisy blooms from March to June.

Some of the additional plants we saw at Middle Fork Barrens Natural Area were Amsonia tabernaemontana, Arnoglossum plantagineum, Asclepias hirtella, Astragalus distortus var. engelmannii, Boltonia diffusa, Camassia scilloides, Carex bushii, Carex caroliniana, Carex cherokeensis, Carex digitalis var. macropoda, Carex granularis, Carex meadii, Carex oligocarpa, Carex oxylepis, Collinsia violacea, Delphinium carolinianum, Dodecatheon meadia, Draba aprica, Eleocharis tenuis var. verrucosa, Eleocharis wolfii, Glandularia canadensis, Grindelia lanceolata, Krigia caespitosa, Melica mutica, Minuartia patula, Muhlenbergia sobolifera, Nemastylis nuttallii, Nothoscordum bivalve, Ophioglossum engelmannii, Parthenium hispidum, Phemeranthus calycinus, Phlox pilosa var. ozarkana, Quercus stellata, Sabatia angularis, Scleria verticillata, Selenia aurea, Silphium laciniatum, Trepocarpus aethusae, and Triodanis leptocarpa.

We spent the morning of 23 April 2010 botanizing at Frog Hollow, a property with various habitats including mesic bluffs, floodplains, and ridgetop shale barrens. One of my highlights at this property was a plant of the southcentral and southeastern United States that I'd never heard of, Smallflower Baby Blue-eyes (Nemophila aphylla), pictured above. This small member of the water leaf family (Hydrophyllaceae) grows in moist woods, alluvial soil, and disturbed areas.

Also at Frog Hollow we came across a population of the parasitic Oneflowered Broomrape (Orobanche uniflora). This species, shown above, is known from much of North America and 49 of the 50 states in the United States (it is not known from Hawaii). Because the roots of this species take nutrients from a host plant, it has no need for green leaves, and instead has brown scale-like leaves at the base of the plant. The flowers range from white to lavendar (sometimes blue).

We knew that Kentucky Lady's Slipper (Cypripedium kentuckiense) grew in moist woods at Frog Hollow and that it might be in flower. As we were searching for this target plant, we happened upon Greater Yellow Lady's Slipper (Cypripedium parviflorum var. pubescens) (above). This orchid was very quickly overshadowed (figuratively and literally), however, by the enormous Kentucky Lady's Slipper (below).

Kentucky Lady's Slipper grows up to 3 feet tall. The creamy yellow blooms are more blunt at the tip than are the lemon-yellow slippers of Greater Yellow Lady's Slipper. The slipper opening in the lip of Kentucky Lady's Slipper is also larger than that of Greater Yellow Lady's Slipper. Kentucky Lady's Slipper is found throughout the southeastern United States.

Other plants we saw at Frog Hollow include Aescula pavia, Amorpha nitens, Amsonia tabernaemontana, Aristolochia reticulata, Arundinaria gigantea, Asclepias variegata, Astranthium integrifolium ssp. ciliatum, Bignonia capreolata, Carex abscondita, Carex blanda, Carex crinita, Carex debilis, Carex digitalis var. macropoda, Carex intumescens, Carex jamesii, Carex joorii, Carex muehlenbergia, Carex nigromarginata, Carex ouachitana, Carex radiata, Carex retroflexa, Carex torta, Carya texana, Celtis laevigata, Chaerophyllum tainturieri, Chasmanthium sessiliflorum, Chionanthus virginicus, Coreopsis grandiflora, Corydalis flavula, Desmodium dillenii, Desmodium rotundifolium, Dichanthelium ashei, Dichanthelium boscii, Dichanthelium commutatum, Dichanthelium depauperatum, Dichanthelium dichotomum, Galium uniflorum, Glandularia canadensis, Halesia caroliniana, Hamamelis vernalis, Hybanthus concolor, Ilex opaca, Iris cristata, Itea virginica, Krigia dandelion, Lathyrus venosus, Liquidambar styraciflua, Lyonia ligustrina, Melica mutica, Muhlenbergia sobolifera, Muhlenbergia sylvatica, Nuttallanthus texanus, Oxalis violacea, Pedicularis canadensis, Penstemon arkanasanus, Phlox pilosa var. ozarkana, Piptochaetium avenaceum, Planera aquatica, Platanthera lacera, Poa autumnalis, Poa sylvestris, Quercus nigra, Quercus phellos, Quercus stellata, Ranunculus micranthus, Salvia lyrata, Silene virginica, Taxodium distichum, Trachelopsermum difforme, Tradescantia ernestiana, Tradescantia hirsuticaulis, Trillium recurvatum, Uvularia sessilifolia, Vaccinium arboreum, Vaccinium virgatum, Vaccinium pallidum, Vaccinium stamineum, and Wisteria frutescens, among others.

Our next stop was at Alum Fork Ponds. Unfortunately, we were rained out at this site, but not before seeing species including Carex albolutescens, Carex debilis, Dulichium arundinaceum, Gratiola brevifolia, Itea virginica, Juncus coriaceus, Nyssa sylvatica, and Viola lanceolata.

While driving, we stopped along roadsides at various Saline County locations. At one of those locations in moist woods, we saw Southern Twayblade (Listera australis), shown below. This tiny orchid can very easily be overlooked. It is known from the southern and northeastern United States and several eastern Canadian provinces.

At another roadside location, we stopped to photograph Yellow Wild Indigo (Baptisia sphaerocarpa). The Latin name of this species describes the spherical fruit (unlike other species of Baptisia that have fruit that look more like legumes) that are formed in summer. Yellow Wild Indigo grows in sandy soils and roadsides in the southern United States from Texas to Alabama.

The evening of 23 April 2010 and morning of 24 April 2010 were spent botanizing at Camp Road Shale Barrens. The lighting was bad while we were at this site, so I didn't get to take many photos. One of the highlights, though, was Longtube Cornsalad (Valerianella longiflora), a species endemic to Arkansas and Oklahoma. In the photograph below, you can see the long floral tube for which this species is named.

Some of the other plants observed at Camp Road Shale Barrens were Acer leucoderme, Asclepias viridiflora, Callirhoe pedata, Crataegus triflorum, Delphinium carolinianum, Dichanthelium linearifolium, Echinacea pallida, Eriogonum longifolium, Euphorbia ouachitana, Ilex vomitoria, Lonicera sempervirens, Piptochaetium avenaceum, Rhus trilobata var. trilobata, Ribes curvatum, Scutellaria parvula var. australis, Solidago petiolaris, Thelesperma filifolium, Vaccinium stamineum, and Yucca arkansana.

Theo was not able to join us for the rest of our trip, but he set us up with several sites to visit. Our next stop was at a novaculite glade at Tall Peak. Highlights on the glade included Cardamine ouachitana, Cheilanthes tomentosa, Houstonia ouachitana, Liatris compacta, and Liatris squarrosa var. hirsuta.

We next drove to Cossatot River State Park, where we quickly found yet another of our target species, Brown's Waterleaf (Hydrophyllum brownei). Brown's Waterleaf is only known from eight counties in Arkansas and is endemic to the Ouachitas. It is considered globally imperiled (G2), as there are less than 30 known occurrences of the species worldwide. Unfortunately, it was not quite in flower, as seen in the photograph below. Brown's Waterleaf grows in moist, rich, deciduous forests, and was described as new to science in 1991.

Other species observed at this location at Cossatot River State Park included Asarum canadense, Carex basiantha, Carex blanda, Chaerophyllum procumbens, Claytonia virginica, Elephantopus carolinianus, Enemion biternatum, Erigenia bulbosa, Festuca subverticillata, Lactuca floridana, Podophyllum peltatum, Sanguinaria canadensis, Sedum ternatum, Symphoricarpos orbiculatus, Trillium recurvatum, Valerianella palmeri, and Viola pubescens. Some of our highlights at Cossatot Falls included Amorpha nitens, Amorpha ouachitana, Carex latebracteata, Ceanothus herbaceus, Clematis pitcheri, Dichanthelium commutatum, Dichanthelium laxiflorum, Dichanthelium villosissimum, Leptopus phyllanthoides, Panicum bicknellii, Ulmus alata, Valerianella palmeri, and Vernonia lettermannii. We also botanized at Sand Bar Ridge along the Cossatot River, where we saw Arundinaria gigantea, Salix caroliniana, Tephrosia virginiana, and Ulmus alata, among other things.

While driving through a rich, seepy forest on 24 April 2010, we stopped for some quick roadside botany and found Large Whorled Pogonia (Isotria verticillata) in flower.

The final stop on our destination was to the highest point in Arkansas, Mount Magazine. In addition to breathtaking views, we were treated to some excellent botanizing.

We found our target species, Mapleleaf Oak (Quercus acerifolia). The leaf shown below was one of few that we saw that actually looked a lot like a maple... most looked more like Shumard's Oak (Quercus shumardii), which makes sense because Mapleleaf Oak was treated as a variety of Shumard's Oak until 1990. Mapleleaf Oak is a Ouachita endemic known only from Arkansas, where it is considered threatened. Globally, it is considered critically imperiled (G1), with only a few hundred individuals known from six occurrences. Mapleleaf Oak is a scrubby tree that grows in open woods and on rocky ledges.

We also came across several populations of Dwarf Crested Iris (Iris cristata), a handsome species of rich wooded slopes and forested floodplains found throughout the eastern United States. Flower color of this species ranges from white to lavendar to blue.

Other species of note observed in our half day at Mount Magazine include Amsonia tabernaemontana, Carex artitecta, Carex umbellata, Chionanthus virginicus, Clinopodium glabellum, Corydalis micrantha, Delphinium tricorne, Deschampsia flexuosa, Dichanthelium scoparium, Dichanthelium villosissimum, Dryopteris marginalis, Galium arkansanum, Gillenia stipulata, Hydrangea arborescens, Hypericum gentianoides, Ligusticum canadense, Lonicera flava, Oenothera pilosella, Orbexilum pedunculatum, Nothoscordum bivalve, Parthenium hispidum, Penstemon tubiflorus, Philadelphus pubescens, Polymnia canadensis, Quercus marilandica, Quercus stellata, Ranunculus harveyi, Saxifraga palmeri, Silphium asteriscus, Solidago arguta, Solidago hispida, Solidago petiolaris, Symphyotrichum anomylum, Symphyotrichum patens, Thaspium barbinode, Trillium viridescens, Vaccinium arboreum, Vaccinium pallidum, Vaccinium stamineum, and Woodsia obtusa.

Thanks to Doug, Justin, and Brad for a great spring botanizing trip, and to Theo for setting us up with some great sites to see some amazing plants. For more photos from our trip, see my post at Get Your Botany On!.


Anonymous said...

I'd not heard of mapleleaf oak - amazing resemblance in the leaf that you photographed.

Great list of plants - thanks for sharing.

Justin Thomas said...

Great synopsis, Mad Dog. I'm glad to see the photo of Listera australis. I especially like how you start that paragraph with "While driving...". Talk about an understatement!

Scott Namestnik said...


Mapleleaf Oak has an extremely small geographical range... I'd never heard of it before preparing for our trip, either. Glad you enjoyed the plant lists. They're not complete, but I thought it would give a nice idea of what we were seeing.


Glad you enjoyed the synopsis. I look forward to the trip report you're putting together. Yes, we did a bit of driving that day, didn't we?

Anonymous said...

Quercus acerfolia has been found on Sugarloaf Mtn on the OK side of the AR?OK state line (app 50 individuals), hich is not surprising since it had already been found on the same Mtn in AR a few miles away.

Scott Namestnik said...

Very interesting. Thanks for letting me know. I would love to see a photo of what it looks like on Sugarloaf Mountain in Oklahoma. Looking at herbarium specimens, there is some confusion as to what truly is Quercus acerifolia.