13 June 2010

Bog Buckbean

I was in Superior, Wisconsin last week for work, and once our fieldwork was completed, Tony Troche and I spent a morning checking out several Douglas County preserves. We thoroughly enjoyed botanizing the bogs, muskegs, and boreal forests of the northwoods. One of the highlights for me was finally getting to see Bog Buckbean (Menyanthes trifoliata) in flower. I had seen this species vegetatively a few times, and I knew that the flowers were quite extravagant, but I was blown away when I saw them in person.

Bog Buckbean, which used to be treated as a member of the family Gentianaceae, is now placed in the family Menyanthaceae. It is circumboreal in distribution and known from much of North America, with the exception of the southcentral and southeastern United States. However, it is considered vulnerable to critically imperiled (S1 to S3) in 16 states and extirpated from Delaware. This attractive plant with legume-like leaves and beautifully bearded petals grows primarily in bogs and poor fens, but it can also be found in acidic marshes and pond margins.

I hope to have time to post some of my other photos from Douglas County, Wisconsin, both here and at Get Your Botany On!, at some point in the future.


Justin Thomas said...

Sweet photos! We actually have a population of this crazy thing in the Ozarks. I've only seen the plant flowering in Nova Scotia.

I like the new blog look.

Scott Namestnik said...

Thanks Justin. I saw that there was a record from Reynolds County, Missouri. I can't imagine the habitat it is growing in or the plants it would be growing with.

Thanks for the comment on our new blog format. I think I like it, too.

Justin Thomas said...

It is growing in a sinkhole pond with sinkhole pond plants (funny aren't I?).

Scott Namestnik said...

I wouldn't have expected it in a sinkhole pond. And especially not with sinkhole pond plants.