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Fall 2006 Minnesota Plant Press
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Fall 2006 Minnesota Plant Press

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  • 1. Minnesota Plant Press The Minnesota Native Plant Society NewsletterVolume 26 Number 1 Fall 2006 Monthly meetings Thompson Park Center/Dakota Lodge New location for meetings Thompson County Park Because the Nationl Wildlife Refuge Visitor Center is being 360 Butler Ave. E., West St. Paul, MN 55118 closed for remodeling, MN NPS meetings for the upcoming year 651-552-7559 (kitchen) will be in a new location. We will meet at the Dakota Lodge in Dakota County’s Thompson Park in West St. Paul. Meeting dates 6:00 p.m. — Social period and times will not change. 7 – 9 p.m — Program, society business Thompson County Park and Dakota Lodge are at 360 Butler Programs Ave. East, West St. Paul. Take Hwy. 52 to Butler Ave. East. Go The MN NPS meets the first Thursday west on Butler 0.2 miles to Stassen Lane, the park entrance road.in October, November, December, Go south on Stassen Lane to the Dakota Lodge. For additionalFebruary, March, April, May, and June. information about the park, a map, and driving directions, go toCheck the website for more program www.co.dakota.mn.us/Parks and click on Dakota Lodge.information.Nov. 2: “The Importance of Native Plantsin the Streamside Environment,” byBrian Nerbonne, stream habitat specialist, Several methods helpMN DNR Central Region Fisheries.Annual seed exchange. control invasive cattails by Cindy Kottschade, a graduate student at Minnesota StateDec. 7: “Growth Pressures on Sensitive University studying mechanisms for invasion of T. angustifolia. ThisNatural Areas in DNR’s Central is an abstract of her talk at the June 1 MN NPS meeting.Region,” by Sharon Pfeifer, regional A substantial portion of wetlands in North America have beenplanner, DNR Central Region. impacted by disturbances, changes in hydrodynamics and nutrientFeb. 1: “Recent Highlights in the cycling, and they are further impacted by the presence of invasiveMinnesota County Biological Survey,” by species, including Typha spp. (cattails).Carmen Converse, Minnesota County There are actually three taxa of Typha found in Minnesota – TyphaBiolgical Survey supervisor, DNR. latifolia (broad-leaved cattail), Typha angustifolia (narrow-leavedSeed exchange cattail) and Typha x glauca (hybrid cattail). Ecologically, these three Bring native seeds you have collected to plants are very different.the November meeting. They must be in T. latifolia is actually native to Minnesota and is a co-dominantlabeled envelopes — no bulk piles. Donors wetland plant associated with greater levels of diversity. T.will be first in line to choose seeds. angustifolia, a non-native cattail, invades wetland areas and forms monospecific stands which reduce plant diversity. Finally, T. x glauca,MN NPS website a hybrid between T. angustifolia and T. latifolia, also formwww.mnnps.org monospecific stands and maye-mail: contact@mnnps.org actually be more invasive than T. angustifolia. In this issueMN NPS Listserve President’s column................2 Send a message that includes the word In order to reduce the presence“subscribe” or “unsubscribe” and your New board members..............2 of invasive cattails, we need toname in the body of the message to: Minnesota mushroom............3mn-natpl-request@stolaf.edu Continued on page 4 Plant Lore, hog-peanut..........3
  • 2. Conservation is a priority MN NPS Boardby Scott Milburn, Minnesota Native Plant Society president In this political campaign season, we have been inundated with promises of Directorsof what one candidate (national and local) or the next will do for you. It President: Scott Milburn,seems that these campaigns saturate the public with narrowly focused president@mnnps.orgcampaign messages, sometimes irrelevant to what we truly care about. Vice President: Shirley MahThe issue of conservation is often lost in the shuffle during these politicalcampaigns, but what does that mean? Kooyman, vp@mnnps.org Secretary: Daniel Jones, The assumption is that people do care about conservation, but the issue secretary@mnnps.orgitself is not one that drives people to vote. In analyzing this further, maybeit is due to the lack of a clear and concise message that enables the general Treasurer: Ron amd Cathypublic to rally behind such a cause. Environmental issues are picking up Huber, treasurer@mnnps.orgsteam lately, mainly climate change. This has been due to intense media Ken Arndt, board member,coverage, which has even included the release of a motion picture karndt@mnnps.orgdocumentary. Yet with all of this attention, the environment was still termed Jason Husveth, board member,a non-issue in a recent Zogby poll (September 12-14, 2006) for the jhusveth@mnnps.orgupcoming November elections. Sandy McCartney, board The Minnesota Native Plant Society has an obligation to make this an member, smccartney@mnnps.orgissue and to inform the public about conservation. In an effort to prioritize Sean Jergens,our efforts, the national level is not where we need to begin, but rather sjergens@mnnps.orgfocusing locally. Our bylaws describe two committees through which we Beth Nixon, bnixon@mnnps.orgcan achieve this — the Conservation Committee and the Education andOutreach Committee. They provide our membership a great opportunityto get involved with the Society. Program Coordinator: Linda The role of the Conservation Committee is to serve in the capacity of Huhn, 612-374-1435providing information to the membership pertaining to plant conservation, Listserv Coordinator: Charlesand the role of the Education and Outreach Committee is to spread the Umbanhowar, ceumb@stolaf.eduword about the Society to the general public. At this time, we are looking Field Trips:for members of the Society who would like to get involved with these fieldtrips@mnnps.orgcommittees. In doing so, those involved will be helping to bring attention Memberships:to the subject of conservation on a local level. With this, we will be memberships@mnnps.org; 651-achieving the objectives of the Society. If you have an interest, please 739-4323contact me at president@mnnps.org Historian/Archives: president@mnnps.orgWelcome, new board members Technical or membership Sean Jergens and Beth Nixon have accepted appointments to the MN inquiries: contact@mnnps.orgNPS board. Minnesota Plant Press editor: Sean Jergens has been a Society member since he was a student at the Gerry Drewry, phone, 651-463-University of Minnesota. He earned a master’s degree in landscape 8006; plantpress@mnnps.orgarchitecture and now works in the landscape architecture studio at SRFConsulting Group. Before that, he worked at a small firm that specialized Conference on aspenin ecological design and restoration. His family frequently camped in parklands is Oct. 23regional and national parks, where Sean learned to appreciate the natural “Ecology of the Aspen Parkland,”world. Courses he took at the university sparked a strong interest in a day-and-a-half conference on “LifeMinnesota’s native flora and ecosystems. He enjoys taking his six-month at the Edge,” will be held Oct. 23 andold son on nature walks and gardening with native plants. 24 at the University of Minnesota, Beth Nixon has been a follower of the Society since she was a graduate Crookston. Jim Brandenburg will givestudent in the University of Minnesota Botany Department. She and her a special presentation. Registration,husband, U of M Professor Bud Markhart, have diversified a wooded area including meals, is $35 for students,in White Bear Lake with native plants and seeds. Beth is an executive $65 for all others. A brochure withboard member of the North Central Chapter of the Society of Wetland program and registration details is onScientists and has more than 20 years of experience as an ecologist and the university website,wetland scientist. She is employed by Emmons and Olivier Resources. www.crk.umn.edu2
  • 3. Psathyrella rhodospora is a little Plant Lorebrown Minnesota mushroom by Thor Kommedahl What is hog-peanut?by David McLaughlin and Maj Padamsee. This is an abstract of David McLaughlin’s Hog-peanut is Amphicarpaea“Fungus of the Month” presentation at the March 2 meeting. bracteata in the pea family. Minnesota is home to several mushrooms known nowhere else on Earth. What do its names mean?One of these is Psathyrella rhodospora, first collected in Minnesota in 1971. Amphicarpaea refers to its twoPsathyrellas are a group of little brown mushrooms or LBMs often kinds of fruits, one above and oneoverlooked by collectors. They get their name from the Greek word below ground. Bracteata refers to“psathyros,” meaning fragile, because the caps of many species break readily bracts that subtend the pedicel. Hog-when picked. They are actually a quite diverse group and have microscopic peanut is “much relished by hogs.”characters that can be used to identify them. Psathyrella rhodospora is a Lewis and Clark in their journal (10/red-spored species, from which it gets its species name. It was collected 11/1804) wrote that while camped infirst near Nerstrand Woods State Park and brought to Margaret Weaver, a South Dakota, they ate the plant thatkeen student of mushrooms. She described and preserved it and sent it to the “frontiersmen called the hog-Alexander Smith at the University of Minnesota, who gave it its scientific peanut.”name. Most psathyrellas have brown spore prints, but a few have red ones. Spore What do plants look like?print colors are used to identify mushrooms. They are easily made by setting It is an annual, twining vine withthe cap on a piece of white paper for 1 to 12 hours under a cover to prevent ovate leaflets in threes, and two kindsdrying. Psathyrella rhodospora is readily distinguished from the other red- of flowers: pale-lilac or white flowersspored species by its cap, which is not fragile but cracks on drying, by its in upper parts of plants, but flowerslarger size, fruiting bodies that grow in clumps, and by some microscopic without petals at the base of the plant.features, including its spore size and some thick-walled sterile cells (cystidia) Upper pods contain three to fouron the gills. seeds, and basal flowers produce It was originally reported on a Tilia stump. We have found it recently in pods underground containing singleHennepin and Ramsey counties on a cottonwood stump and at the base of a seeds.living poplar tree. We assume that it is involved in wood decay, i.e., in Where do plants grow?recycling dead wood, as this is the presumed role of most psathyrellas. We Hog-peanut is a native plantalso know now that it can fruit from June until October or early November growing in moist woodlandswhen sufficient rain is available. throughout Minnesota. One of the surprises was finding it on the University of Minnesota campus, Are the “peanuts” edible?which highlights how little attention is paid to many mushrooms, as we Underground seeds are edible rawassume that it has been growing near or on campus for many years. But it or cooked (15-20 minutes and servedalso points out how little we know about mushrooms in Minnesota in general, with butter). They can be harvestedas they require some effort to study. throughout winter. Upper seeds can We owe a great debt to Margaret Weaver, who was present at the March be cooked and served like lentils.meeting when this talk was presented, for her contributions to the knowledge Hog-peanut was an important sourceof Minnesota mushrooms. Her collections are an important part of the of food for the American Indian,documentation for Minnesota fungi and are housed in the University especially those living in theHerbarium, Bell Museum of Natural History. Pictures and records of this Missouri Valley. Indian women in fallmushroom and other rare as well as more common species can be seen on and winter would rob nests of micethe herbarium website: www.fungi.umn.edu. and other rodents who stored seeds; Dakota Indians would leave corn or SNA volunteer projects other seeds in exchange in the nests. The fall SNA volunteer schedule Are plants poisonous or medicinal? includes four sites for seed collection They aren’t poisonous, and and/or brush removal. They are: American Indians made root Lost Valley Prairie, Washington infusions to treat diarrhea. County, Oct. 28 and Nov. 18; St. Croix Savanna, near Bayport, Nov. Are there economic uses? 11 and Dec. 2; Wolsfeld Woods, near Not really. Some have grown hog- Long Lake, Oct. 21; and Zumbro peanut as a ground cover in shady Falls Woods, near Zumbro Falls, areas. Growing it as a crop is not Dec. 9. Contact Christine Drassal at practical because of low yield. BeingPhoto copyright Bell Museum Christine.drassal@dnr.state.mn.us a legume, it will fix nitrogen in soil. 3
  • 4. Minnesota Native Plant Society P.O. Box 20401 Bloomington, MN 55420Fall 2006 over a short period of time, and Finally, cattails can be controlledCattail control native plants cannot adapt quickly through chemicals such asContinued from page 1 enough to maintain their competitive glyphosate, a non-selective systemic advantage. Research has shown herbicide. Glyphosate can be wipedunderstand first why this plant is stabilization of the hydrology of a onto plants with paint brushes orinvasive. Many hypotheses have wetland and increased nutrient cotton gloves over PVC gloves. Also,been proposed to explain the success loading increases the presence of since cattails have a waxy coating onof invasive cattails, including the invasive cattails. their leaves, a surfactant should behybridization, novel weapon or used to increase the uptake of the Invasive cattails can be managedhuman disturbance hypotheses. The herbicide. Please note — the through a variety of mechanisms,success of the hybrid cattail may be herbicide should be for aquatic use. including biological, physical andbecause it has the tolerance of T. chemical controls. Muskrats provide In addition, management shouldangustifolia for deep water and the a natural and efficient biological also focus on preventing theability of T. latifolia to spread rapidly control by creating openings in cattail establishment of cattails by educatingvegetatively. stands for waterfowl to use. professionals and the general public The novel weapons hypothesis Cattails can be physically on the invasiveness of cattails.states that a non-native plant may controlled by discing or hand/disrupt the native community by the For more information, contact mechanical cutting. The stems Cindy Kottschade at 612-868-2924release of chemicals not previously should be cut at the sediment surfacepresent in the environment. The or cindy.kottschade@mnsu.edu . in late summer or early fall and thensuccess of the non-native cattail T. submerged in water to preventangustifolia may be due to the rhizomes from receiving oxygen.possible presence of allelopathic Correction Cutting too early in the season can Joe Beattie wrote the article,chemicals released by roots. actually stimulate growth. Flooding “Hastings turns industrial park into Human disturbances, such as can kill T. latifolia but may be prairie,” that was in the summerchanges in hydrology or nutrient ineffective for T. angustifolia and T. issue. We apologize for the incorrectcycles, often alter an environment x glauca. attribution.

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