28 May 2010

One Week

I think I accomplished a lot in the past week... I mowed the lawn, washed clothes, worked on plant collections, slept about 42 hours, walked Bootypants, worked over 50 hours, and worked on the blog post you are currently reading, among other things. Not bad for one week. I'll wake up and do it all again next week, and for many more weeks, months, and years.


Do you know what this guy did in the last week? He emerged from a chrysalis, drank nectar, and mated (hopefully!), and he will die in the next couple of days. This is the story of the entire one week life span of an adult Karner Blue Butterfly (Plebejus melissa samuelis; Lycaeides melissa samuelis).

The Karner Blue Butterfly is a federally endangered species with a wingspan of only approximately one inch. There are two generations, or broods, per year. Caterpillars of the first brood hatch in April and feed on leaves of wild lupine (Lupinus perennis var. occidentalis), shown below. In early- to mid-May, the caterpillars pupate and spend the next week or two in a chrysalis. Adult butterflies then emerge, mate, and sip nectar from flowers of a variety of plant species. Females then lay eggs on or near wild lupine plants, completing the life cycle of the first brood. The eggs from the first brood hatch about a week later, and caterpillars feed on wild lupine leaves for the next several weeks. These caterpillars then pupate, and adult butterflies of the second brood appear in July. The second brood adults eat, mate, and die; the eggs of the second brood overwinger and hatch the following spring. Because wild lupine is their only host plant, Karner Blue Butterflies are negatively affected as we continue to degrade and destroy habitat for wild lupine.


Wild lupine is not an uncommon plant in the right habitat. Often, it is the dominant groundcover species in black oak savannas and barrens. In the absence of some form of disturbance, however, an open savanna or barren will transition into a woodland and eventually into a forest with too much shade for wild lupine to survive. Fire and macrofauna were historically the main cause of this disturbance, and in some places human-induced fire is still the main mechanism by which savannas escape succession. In our anthropogenic landscape, however, mowing and clearing also serve as disturbances beneficial to wild lupine. In fact, all photographs in this blog post were taken within powerline rights-of-way maintained by mowing/brush-hogging and herbicide application outside of the growing season.


Male and female Karner Blue Butterflies look nearly identical on the ventral side (underside) of the wings. The wings are grayish or grayish-brown with several dark spots with light borders and with a continuous band of blue-green, orange, and black spots along the edges of the hind and forewings. The orange spots distinguish Karner Blue Butterflies from the similar looking Spring Azure (Celastrina ladon), Summer Azure (Celastrina neglecta), and Silvery Blue (Glaucopsyche lygdamus). Eastern-Tailed Blues (Cupido comyntas; Everes comyntas) can also look similar, but have two orange spots and a small tail on the hind wing.


The sex of a Karner Blue Butterfly can best be determined by looking at the dorsal side (upper side) of the wings. The wings of males are an irredescent blue surrounded by a black margin and a white outer band (below).

The dorsal side of female Karner Blue Butterfly wings are dark blue to brown or even charcoal with orange crescents near the outer edges inside the black band; they also have a white outer band (below).


Karner Blue Butterflies are currently known from only eight states: Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Minnesota, New Hampshire (reintroduced), New York, Ohio (reintroduced), and Wisconsin; they are considered extirpated from Maine, Massachusetts, Pennsylvania, and Ontario, and may have occurred in Iowa but are no longer present there.

I hope you enjoy this short video, which is equivalent to about half of a day in the average human life.

video

22 May 2010

Sedgin'

This afternoon I wound up in an interesting seep/forested fen while doing some sedgin' at Potato Creek State Park in North Liberty, Indiana.


I realized that I don't take enough sedge photos, so I decided to photograph the inflorescences of three of the more interesting sedges I saw today.


The sedge above may look superficially like the common Awlfruit Sedge (Carex stipata), but in fact, this is actually Smoothsheath Sedge (Carex laevivaginata). The best way to tell these two species apart is by looking at the sheath. As the Latin and common names imply, the sheaths of Smoothsheath Sedge are... you guessed it... smooth (ain't botany easy?!?!); those of Awlfruit Sedge are cross-puckered. In addition, the sheaths of Smoothsheath Sedge possess thickened ridges at the summits, whereas those of Awlfruit Sedge lack this feature.


With gracefully dangling spikelets and terminal spikelets that are pistillate at the apex, Drooping Sedge (Carex prasina, above) is one of my favorites. This species could potentially be confused with the sedge in my previous post, Purple-sheathed Graceful Sedge (Carex gracillima), but the perigynia of Drooping Sedge are beaked, whereas those of Purple-sheathed Graceful Sedge are not. Drooping Sedge also lacks the red-purple pigmentation on the basal sheaths that Purple-sheathed Graceful Sedge possesses. The foliage of Drooping Sedge is a soft blue-gray-green, adding to its charm.


My best find of the day is shown above. This is Eastern Rough Sedge (Carex scabrata), State Endangered, and only known from a few locations in Indiana. The perigynia of this species are short pubescent, but the leaves lack hairs. There aren't really any species around here with which it can be confused. American Woollyfruit Sedge (Carex lasiocarpa var. americana) and Woolly Sedge (Carex pellita) both also have the combination of pubescent perigynia and glabrous leaves, but the leaves of Eastern Rough Sedge are more than 5 mm wide, whereas those of the woollyfruit sedges are narrower.

Those who say that sedges are not attractive are just plain wrong.

16 May 2010

Surprise After Surprise

Last September, I sampled transects through our 11-acre property so that I can track changes to the plant community over time. During my sampling, I came across several populations of Purple Twayblade (Liparis liliifolia), the second orchid species documented on our property. Because this is a spring/summer-flowering orchid, I made a note on my calendar to get back out in mid-May to the spot where I initially discovered it. As you will see below, I was not disappointed.


Purple Twayblade grows in a range of ecological conditions, ranging from dry woods to pine plantations to shrubby fields to savannas to mesic forests. It is even often found in fields that were recently cropped; however, it doesn't hang around long in these recovering fields. There seems to be a period of time when Purple Twayblade thrives, between the initial colonization of a field after cultivation and the heavy shade and thick leaf litter created by forest trees thirty to forty years later. In the heart of its range, Purple Twayblade currently seems to be increasing in abundance, possibly as a result of ever increasing anthropogenic disturbances.


I've read several accounts that note that the flowers of Purple Twayblade are not showy, or that they are inconspicuous. I wholeheartedly disagree. Until this year, I'd never paid close attention to its flowers... but have a look at the two close-ups below. Those are some of the craziest looking flowers around.


You can see the three sepals, three petals, and reproductive column in the photos above and below. The sepals are the ~1/2 inch long whitish structures. The petals are the pale purple structures. The two lateral petals are filiform; the third petal is the broad, circular or heart-shaped lip. The reproductive column is just above the lip. In some of the photos above and in the photo below, you can also see the shiny, waxy leaves for which the genus is named; Liparis is from the Greek word for "fatty" or "greasy."


When we bought our property in spring of 2007, I was pretty convinced that the land was a mundane pasture of Hungarian Brome (Bromis inermis), Tall Goldenrod (Solidago altissima), Kentucky Bluegrass (Poa pratensis), and Tall Fescue (Schedonorus phoenix). Purple Twayblade was one of the surprises on our property (but maybe it shouldn't have been, given the history of our property and the ecology of the species). Ragged Fringed Orchid (Platanthera lacera) was another. Swamp Rose (Rosa palustris), Golden Ragwort (Packera aurea), and Humped Bladderwort (Utricularia gibba) were also nice surprises. Recently, I've also found Inflated Narrow-leaf Sedge (Carex grisea), Redbud (Cercis canadensis), Sweet Crab Apple (Malus coronaria), and American Plum (Prunus americana) on our land. And today, while heading out to photograph Purple Twayblade, I found a couple of clumps of the dainty Purple-sheathed Graceful Sedge (Carex gracillima), shown below.


Our property plant list is up to 182 species, and it seems like I see a new plant every week. Our bird list stands at 107 species. There's no telling what surprise we will encounter next.

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!.

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.