Minnesota Plant Press The Minnesota Native Plant Society NewsletterVolume 21 Number 3 Spring 2002 Monthly meetings Minnesota Valley National Wildlife Refuge Buckthorn can be Visitor Center, 3815 East 80th St. Bloomington, MN 55425-1600 952-854-5900 controlled or reduced 6:30 p.m. — Building east door opens Part II 6:30 p.m. — Refreshments, By Janet R. Larson, Consulting Arborist and Master Gardener information, Room A [Note: Part I, published in the Winter 2002 issue, discussed the 7 – 9 p.m. —Program, society business 7:30 p.m. — Building door is locked differences between common and glossy buckthorn and the reasons 9:30 p.m. — Building closes why both species are listed as noxious weeds in Minnesota.] Control or reduction? Programs Where buckthorn has not completely infested an area, control is a The MNPS meets the first Thursday in reality. Where it has created a near monoculture throughout a sizableOctober, November, December, February, area, reduction might be a better reality than control. A single stem ofMarch, April, May and June. Check theWeb page for additional program buckthorn cut down to the ground and not chemically treated will re-information. sprout from the stump and grow many new stems up to six feet in a single season. In one to two years, the plant can be producing fruitMay 2: “Gardening with Butterflies,” again. “If you cut it, you just anger it,” says Norm Erickson ofby Dean Hanson; Plant of the Month: Rochester. This aggressive re-growth must be stopped or the plantWild Lupine, by Robert Dana, DNR. will soon reach its former size, take up more space, and continue toJune 6: “Sustainable Spiritual Design: exist indefinitely.Visioning Your Own Sacred Space,” by Chemical treatmentsDouglas Owens-Pike, Energyscapes; For larger buckthorn control projects, some type of chemicalPlant Sale following the meeting. treatment is the best control method. It is important not to treat during the spring-flush growth period. This is a time when the plant is usingPlant sale guidelines its stored energy reserves to grow, from the break of dormancy in late Members are urged to donate plants for March until about June 1. During the spring-flush, the plant generally does not store energy, it spends energy. Chemical treatments workthe June 6 sale, which is our annual best when the plant is dormant or transporting sugars to its root systemfundraiser. Plants must have been grown (storing energy).in your garden or started from seed. Donot dig wild plants. Put the plants in Summer, autumn, and winter are the three seasons when chemicalindividual containers and label them. treatment of buckthorn is effective. Late September through NovemberMembers who help will have first choice is a convenient time, since buckthorn leaves remain green and attached,of plants. To volunteer, call Gerry Drewry while leaves of our native plants are turning color, falling, andat 651-463-8006. gone.When using herbicides, always follow label instructions and take recommended precautions; be certain that your chemical is labeledMNPS Web site for your site.http://www.stolaf.edu/depts/biology/mnpse-mail: MNPS@HotPOP.com Continued on page 4
every two weeks throughout the MNPS Board ofBe a Prairie Care process. Being a Species Stewardvolunteer at Wild will give you an opportunity to learn Directors a tremendous amount about your President: Joel Dunnette, 4526River State Park species, and see parts of the park that Co. Rd. 3 S.W., Byron, MN 55920; you might otherwise miss. Wild 507-284-3914 (W); 507-365-8091by Dave Crawford River provides detailed data on If you like plants, being outdoors, identification, observation, and (H); email@example.com learning about the natural world, locations of your species. Vice-President: Harriet Mason,consider helping with Wild River 905 5th St., St. Peter, MN 56082-State Park’s Prairie Care Project. We Collector: Arrange in advance toneed your help (and the help of other come to the park on a specific day 1417; 507-931-3253; firstname.lastname@example.org persons you know) to and collect seeds of one or moremake the project a success this species that are ripe at the time of Secretary: Deborah Strohmeyer,summer. You will make a big your visit, using directions we Education and Outreach Chair, 7900difference to the future of the park, provide. We also need people whom Wyoming Ave. S., Bloomington, MNand you’ll learn about prairies we can call on short notice to collect 55438; 952-943-9743;firsthand. seed that is ripe and about to be lost. email@example.com All seeds collected will be used on There are two ways you can help. Meredith Cornett, Conservation restoration sites within Wild RiverThe ability to use maps and to walk Committee Co-Chair, 1520 N. 9th State Park. Prairie Care participantsoff-trail on uneven ground are who meet or exceed our goals are Ave. E., Duluth, MN 55805; 218-needed for both. eligible for recognition awards such 728-6258; firstname.lastname@example.org Species Steward: Locate, identify, as Prairie Care patches or certificates. Linda Huhn, 2553 Dupont Ave.and mark sites of occurrence and To volunteer with the Prairie Care S., Minneapolis, MN 55405; 612-record blooming and ripening time Project, please call or e-mail Dave 374-1435of a native plant species assigned by Crawford, Park Naturalist, Wildpark staff. Collect seed when it is River StatePark, 39797 Park Trail, Jason Husveth, 1284 N. Avon St.,ripe. Stewards are needed starting Center City, MN 55012, 651-583- St. Paul, MN 55117; 651-222-2009;in mid-spring to mid-summer, with 2925 (Visitor Center), email@example.com minimum commitment of once firstname.lastname@example.org. Janet Larson, 7811 W. 87th St., Bloomington, MN 55438; 952-941-Minnesota Native Plant Society’s purpose 6876; email@example.com (Abbreviated from the bylaws) Esther McLaughlin, Biology This organization is exclusively organized and operated for educational Dept., Augsburg College, and scientific purposes, including the following: Minneapolis, MN 55454; 612-330- 1074; firstname.lastname@example.org 1. Conservation of all native plants. 2. Continuing education of all members in the plant sciences. Ethan Perry, Conservation 3. Education of the public regarding environmental protection of plant Committee Co-Chair, 1520 N. 9th life. Ave. E., Duluth, MN 55805; 218- 4. Encouragement of research and publications on plants native to 728-6258; email@example.com Minnesota. Treasurer: David Johnson, 6437 5. Study of legislation on Minnesota flora, vegetation and ecosystems. Baker Ave. N.E., Fridley, MN 55432; 6. Preservation of special plants, plant communities and scientific and 763-571-6278; natural areas. MNPS@HotPOP.com 7. Cooperation in programs concerned with the ecology of natural Listserve Coordinator: Charles resources and scenic features. Umbanhowar, firstname.lastname@example.org 8. Fellowship with all persons interested in native plants through Editor: Gerry Drewry, 651-463- meetings, lectures, workshops and field trips. 8006; email@example.com
Three field trips In memory of Tom Morleyscheduled in May Dr. Thomas Morley, professor emeritus at the University of Minnesota, died Saturday, Feb. 2, 2002, at his home. He was 85.Two Duluth trips May 19 The Minnesota Native Plant Dr. Morley received his A.B. (1940), M.A. (1941), and Ph.D. (1949) degreesSociety, the Hartley Nature Center, in botany at the University of California, Berkeley. A scholar’s son, his father,and the Arrowhead Chapter of Wild S. Griswold Morley, was the president of the Modern Language AssociationOnes are sponsoring two field trips of America during the 1950s. Dr. Morley was predeceased by a sister, and isin Duluth Sunday, May 19. Trip survived by her children and a brother.leaders will be Carol Reschke, DNR Tom Morley joined the Botany Department (now Plant Biology) in the fallCounty Biological Survey of 1949 to share in the teaching of taxonomy with Gerald Ownbey (thenecologist, and Ethan Perry and curator of the herbarium). He was successful in helping recruit suchMeredith Cornett, Minnesota distinguished faculty as Eville Gorham. After advising several graduateNative Plant Society board students, including Kingsley Stern, Lawrence C.W. Jensen, and Barbaramembers. Delaney, he retired in 1987.9 a.m. to noon: Magney-Snively Dr. Morley was a specialist in the genera Mouriri and Votomita (tropicalCity Park, Duluth trees of the Melastomataceae), and he described several new species in these If the season progresses normally, groups from central Amazonia, where he conducted field work around Manausthis hardwood forest should host a and Belem, Brazil. During his tenure at the University of Minnesota, Dr.wide variety of spring-blooming Morley also developed an extensive, firsthand knowledge of Minnesota’swildflowers at their most native flora. He revised and updated Frederic Clements’ original “Guide tospectacular peak. Chances are that Spring Flowers,” which is now used as a standard spring text. He co-authoredone of them will be Moschatel, a with Gerald Ownbey “Vascular Plants of Minnesota: A Checklist and Atlas,”rarity of mature sugar maple forests another seminal work for the state.that is listed as a species of “specialconcern” by the DNR. A strong advocate for the preservation of nature, Tom Morley was a charter member of the Minnesota Chapter of the Nature Conservancy and served on 1:30 to 3:30 p.m.: Lighthouse the board during the 1970s. He was also active in the Minnesota NativePoint, Two Harbors Plant Society, having a special concern for rare plants and serving as an early This will be a unique chance to champion of buckthorn eradication in Minnesota natural areas. He enjoyedhave the unusual plants of the rocky canoeing and was a generous contributor to the Friends of the Boundaryshoreline identified and described Waters Wilderness.by Carol Reschke, who studies thenatural communities that persist in In retirement, Tom Morley maintained an office adjacent to the herbariumthe harsh conditions along Lake in the Biological Sciences Building on the Saint Paul campus of the University.Superior. He was a familiar face around the department — remembered for his habit of walking to work each day across the expanse of experimental fields, even in There is no cost for these trips, the coldest of Minnesota winters. His daily routines contributed to the rhythmbut each will be limited to 20 to 25 of life at the University, including his climbing the eight flights of stairs topeople. Register for one or both his office, which he performed until the very day before his death. A softtrips by contacting Ethan Perry at spoken and kind man, he is missed by his firstname.lastname@example.org or by callinghim at 218-728-6258. He will send The family asks that memorials be sent to the Lake Itasca Forestry & Biologydirections to the meeting locations Station, University of Minnesota Foundation, 200 Oak St. NE (Suite 500),to those who sign up. Minneapolis MN 55455. how to identify herbaceous plants, Participants will visit prairie, forestWildflower Walk May 25 shrubs and trees in the valley. and wetland plant communities close Jason Husveth will lead a Spring to the building. Participants will meet in theWildflower Walk from 9 a.m. to Fireplace Room at the refuge at 9 a.m. The walk will be held rain or shine,12:30 p.m. Saturday, May 25, at the Jason, a professional ecologist/ for up to 30 participants. Bring aMinnesota Valley Wildlife Refuge. botanist, will give an introductory talk wildflower guide, boots and a hand During the walk, beginners and on the spring flora and the use of plant lens or magnifying glass. To register,experienced naturalists will learn keys and wildflower guides. call the refuge at 952-854-5900.
Buckthorn circumference of the tree. For mixing chemicals. Be sure to read diameters 2 inches or less, only one and follow label instructions.Continued from page 1 side of the stem needs to be sprayed.Cut stump treatment This is a fast, effective way of Mechanical control During cutting and brush-hauling controlling trees up to 6 inches in Mechanical control is not possibleoperations, stumps are easily lost diameter on large sites. Dead trees with large infestations of buckthorn;under leaves and debris. Marking can be left standing or cut at a later it is extraordinarily labor-intensive.stump locations with wire flags, time. Garlon 4 and Crossbow are The following methods aresimilar to those used by utilities to effective brand-name chemicals for recommended for people who wishmark underground pipes or wires, is basal bark treatment. to avoid chemicals and have smallhelpful when it comes time to locate areas to clear.the stump for treatment after an area Herbicides that work wellhas been cleared. Secure the flags 1. Roundup (now off patent; Hand pullingwell, so they will not be dragged Glyphosate active ingredient) = Pulling plants out of the ground byaway with the brush. Razor, GlyStar Plus, others. Mix hand works well for stems 1/2-inch with water for stump, frill and foliar diameter or less. The soil must be Stumps can be chemically treated applications. moist, or your efforts will bewith a paint brush, a wick applicator, • A 25 percent solution is needed for frustrating and with very little result.or with an ultra low volume spray stump and frill methods. When the soil is dry, the plants won’tnozzle and wand. It is very important • A 3 percent solution is needed for budge. If they do budge, they breakthat bark on the sides of the stump, foliar spray. off, leaving the root system intact. Toincluding exposed root flares, be remove, pull at the base of the stemtreated as well as the top of the 2. Rodeo (now off patent; for aquatic lightly to loosen the soil, then pullstump. Under the bark, many latent use; Glyphosate active ingredient) = again to dislodge the plant from thebuds have the capability to re-sprout Aqua Neat, others. ground. When you pull buckthorn,with vigor. Chemicals are most • Same rates as Roundup apply for you will discover buckthorn’s dense,effective if applied within 24 hours, Rodeo black, highly successful, fibrous, rootbut can be applied up to 48 hours 3. Garlon 3A (Triclopyramine active system.after the cutting. ingredient) = Ortho Brush B-Gon • Mix with water for stump and frill DiggingFrill cuts with chemical spray With a sharp shovel blade, it is applications. Wound the bark with an axe at a 45- possible to cut the roots around smalldegree angle around the 4. Garlon 4 (Triclopyr ester active stems (about 1 inch in diameter orcircumference of the tree, to create a ingredient) = Crossbow, (Pathfinder less). Stomp your shovel blade intofrill. It’s not necessary to girdle the is ready-to-use) the ground up to a foot away fromstem completely. Then apply • Mix with diluent or kerosene for the stem, and pull the shovel handleherbicide spray to exposed cut areas stump, frill, and basal bark back; this will sever roots, but mayand adjacent bark. This is an treatments need to be repeated. Do this alleffective method when trees can be • Mix with water for foliar around the stem until all lateral rootsleft standing. Consider this method applications are severed. There will likely be aespecially when buckthorn has Tordon is not recommended. couple of central roots to cut, too.overtaken steep slopes. If you This method works well with single-physically remove all the buckthorn, Spraying in a buckthorn thicket stemmed plants, but is quite difficultyou set the site up for erosion. This 1. In densely infested areas, use a with shrubby individuals that havemethod works well on stems greater re-sprouted after a previous cutting. hand-held tank sprayer; backpackthan 4 inches in diameter. sprayers can be difficult to negotiate WrenchingBasal bark treatment through the woods. A few tools are available on the When mixed with a diluent (a market to facilitate the manual 2. An ultra low volume spray wandsolvent that may contain dye that can leveraging of a woody stem or stemsbe mixed with some herbicides), can cut chemical use by 75 percent. out of the ground. With a steel clampester formulations of Triclopyr can 3. Wear appropriate clothing when or claw, a stem is grasped; then thebe applied directly to the bark at the using chemicals, especially when tool handle becomes a lever, bendingbase of the tree to provide effective mixing concentrate. Use neoprenecontrol. Spray the lowest 1 1/2 feet the stem down and lifting the roots gloves, not latex, cloth, or leather.of bark around the entire out of the ground. Tools range in size Wear goggles or safety glasses when and will pull stems up to 2 inches in
diameter. The largest tools are heavy eliminate buckthorn. A recent study 6. Prioritize removals to be in high-and need to be wielded by large, out of DePaul University explains profile areas (along bike paths,strong individuals. Some why it is difficult to burn in parkways, play areas).communities have organized to buckthorn-infested sites, due to the 7. Publicize what you’re doing. Putpurchase various wrench sizes and rapid degradation of the leaf litter. up informational signs in the projecthave made them available for free area, distribute flyers to nearbyrental from local hardware stores. Overwhelmed by it all? If you’ve worked in a heavily residents, write an article for yourContinuous cutting local paper or association. buckthorn-infested area, it is easy to Cutting buckthorn without feel overwhelmed. Don’t give up. 8. Stop to answer questions of allchemically treating the stump is not Buckthorn has had decades to get a those who inquire.recommended unless there are only root-hold ahead of those of us whoa few plants to remove and you are Hope for a biological control would like to eliminate it. However,willing to re-cut new sprout-growth “Good news came this month,” with the control methods describednearly every week for the entire wrote Cynthia Boyd in the St. Paul here, total elimination is not really agrowing season and beyond. Pioneer Press, Sept. 26, 2001, “in a possibility. These plants are simplyContinuous cutting will exhaust the $20,000 report commissioned by the too widespread, and the volume ofplant of its extensive energy reserves. state Department of Natural their biomass is staggering. The costIt may exhaust you, too! Resources from the Center for in terms of human-power, time, Applied Bioscience International inTin can method equipment and funds is unreasonably Delmont, Switzerland. The 100- high in economic terms. Reduction This approach, developed by Steve page research paper includes a list of of the critical mass is a possibility.Glass, University of Wisconsin 14 insects that are possible natural Following are my suggestions forArboretum, is only recommended for those who would like to do predators (of buckthorn), thusvery small removal projects and for something, but have limited time and potential control agents.” Accordingstump sizes small enough to fit under budget. Prioritize. Doing something to Luke Skinner and Jay Rendall,a metal can. Find a can large enough is far better than leaving the invasion coordinators in the DNR’s exoticto fit over the stump and root flare. unchecked. species program, the feasibility studyCut the stump 1 to 2 inches shorter was completed in August, but thethan the height of the can. Since Priorities for a limited budget entire study may take up to 10 yearsbuckthorn re-sprouts from latent 1. Partner with conservation groups, to complete, provided funds tobuds under the bark, including stump neighborhood groups, your continue the research materialize.bark, it is important that the inverted municipality, volunteers. The next step will be to test the 14can cover all exposed bark. Drive species and determine which oneslong nails through the can into the 2. Search locally for potential grant harm buckthorn exclusively. Tax-stump to secure it in place. Sprouts funding, then write grant proposals. deductible contributions can be madethat grow into the can will not have Ask local businesses and to: DNR Buckthorn Research Fund,enough light and will die. Leave the foundations for assistance. Exotic Species Program, 500can in place for one to two complete 3. Survey your site to find treasure Lafayette Rd., St. Paul, MN 55155-growing seasons. pockets of remaining native plants. 4025.Burning Clear around these plants first to A Web page within the MN DNR John Moriarty, Ramsey County release them from their buckthorn Web site contains buckthornParks and Recreation Department, competition. Protect them during biocontrol research updates at:reported on a study he conducted cutting and removal. Sometimes www.dnr.state.mn.us. (Search onwith Hennepin Parks to control these natives are very, very small, but buckthorn biocontrol).buckthorn in Carver Park. Burning when they are freed, they bounce The herbicide information given in thiscan be a good technique for forest or back with new growth. Find a local article is for educational purposes only.park-like settings, but is not really native plant expert to help you with Reference to commercial products orpractical for homeowners. Burn identification. Mark them with flags. trade names is made with thetiming is very critical, and it may be understanding that no discrimination is 4. Protect quality areas that are only intended and no endorsement is implied.difficult to coordinate factors such as marginally infested.ground fuel, moisture, wind speed in The MNPS has received athe woods, and approval from the 5. Remove female buckthorn first. donation to the Think Nativelocal fire department. Fire is a Mark them in late fall, when full of Program in memory of Wright andmanagement tool, but it will not fruit, for later removal. Elizabeth Reed.
Birds are most diverse in rural areasby Kim Chapman, visiting assistant large areas. In suburban“structural” development were concentrated andprofessor, biology and grasslands and savannas, often with modified, leaving more vegetationenvironmental studies, Macalester short grass, pavement and buildings, and larger expanses of wild land andCollege. Abstract of his Nov. 1, the abundance of non-native species forests. Rural lands represent an2001, talk on “For the Birds: Nature was much higher than elsewhere in unrecognized conservationreserves, rural lands and suburbs’ the region. But on a positive note, opportunity threatened by dispersedcontribution to the avifauna of the wild vegetation and forest remnants residential and suburban-styleTwin Cities region.” in suburbs were used by several development. Conservation native bird species, such as Gray measures taken in rural lands would Kim Chapman spoke about his Catbird and Baltimore Oriole.doctoral research. His message was increase the likelihood that mostpositive, yet cautionary. The Interestingly, the bird communities members of the region’s biota wouldincreasingly intensive use of land of forests in reserves and rural lands persist well into the future.which the Twin Cities region is were similar, while the grasslandsexperiencing raises concerns that and savannas in reserves and ruralspecies might disappear from the lands were less similar to each other. Showy locoweedregional biota. Kim studied the Those species most likely to requireresponses of bird, tree, and shrub special management, or which were in Minnesotaspecies to the variety of land-use decreasing steadily in the region, by Michael Heinztypes and habitats in the region. preferred grasslands, savannas, and Oxytropis splendens (showyWorking in some 300 plots located nature reserves. locoweed) thrives on the northernin nature reserves such as Wild River Kim and his colleagues in the field plains, but in Minnesota thisState Park and Sherburne National encountered some 120 species of handsome species of locoweed hasWildlife Refuge, in rural lands, and birds in the two-year study. Of 63 been collected only once. On Junein the suburbs of the north metro bird species common enough for 25,1853, while members of a railroadarea, Kim measured species detailed analysis, one-fifth appeared expedition camped on the Chippewaabundances in a variety of habitats, intolerant of development (e.g., River in Pope County, in the west-from grasslands to forests. He sought Vesper Sparrow, Eastern Towhee, central part of the state, one of theto understand how communities or Least Flycatcher), two-fifths scientists added the species to thespecies simultaneously varied as land tolerated agriculture but not expedition’s extensive plantuse and habitat varied. suburbanization (e.g., Eastern collection. Unexpectedly, within single plots Bluebird, Indigo Bunting, Yellow-he found that bird richness and throated Vireo), and 29 percent Members of the surveying party,diversity were equal at all land-use benefited from suburbanization (e.g., under the command of Lt. E. G.intensities — in nature reserves, rural House Sparrow, House Wren, Gray Beckwith, had left Pike Lake andlands or suburbs. But looking across Catbird). Even though forest stopped at the Chippewa beforethe entire region, the rural lands songbirds have been considered quite heading to a camp on the Bois desupported the greatest bird richness sensitive to habitat fragmentation, Sioux River, which flows out of Lakeand diversity, with reserves being the grassland and savanna birds of Traverse along the South Dakotaslightly lower. His results for trees the region are more vulnerable border. In a report published by theand shrubs (which he did not present) because grassland-savanna habitat U.S. War Department, John Torreywere somewhat different than results loss is greater than forest loss in the and Asa Gray listed the specimen asfor birds. For example, rural lands region, and grasslands and savannas Oxytropis splendens Dougl.supported fewer species of woody are more intensively used. They wrote: “A most elegant plant,plants than reserves and suburbs, but Kim presented several with its crowded silvery-villousthe increased woody plant diversity recommendations for conservation. foliage and spikes, and deep bluein suburbs was largely due to Reserves may best serve as refuges corollas. It was gathered on theplanting of non-native species. for regionally declining grassland Chippewa River.” This note refers In general, suburban style and savanna birds, while suburbs to the specimen in the collection atdevelopment depressed bird species could support large populations of Gray Herbarium. Showy locoweeddiversity and shrub abundance over development-tolerant native birds if Continued on page 7
for the specialist. The database isMinnesota fungi searchable in multiple ways, Plant Loreare on centralized including by plant host and habitat, and it can produce reports that can by Thor Kommedahldatabase be sorted by up to three fields. The database contains about two-thirds of What is blue cohosh? Blue cohosh is Caulophyllumby David J. McLaughlin, Professor, the herbarium records. Record entry thalictroides in the barberry family.Department of Plant Biology, and is continuing. It is a perennial that grows in moistCurator of Fungi, Bell Museum of woods throughout most of MinnesotaNatural History, University of An example of the way the except in the northeast. AnotherMinnesota, St. Paul database can be used is in analyzing common name is blue ginseng. The fungi of Minnesota are poorly the results of last summer’s Northdocumented. To aid in their study, a American Mycological Association How did it get its names?centralized database for mushrooms, Foray held at St. John’s University, The name cohosh comes from anplant pathogens, and other fungi has Collegeville, July 5-8. Half-day Algonquian word that means roughbeen produced as a result of collecting trips were made to various because of the knotty, roughconsolidation of the two University sites, including three Scientific and rhizomes; its stems and pea-sizedof Minnesota fungal collections, with Natural Areas, Quarry Park, Partch seeds are bluish. Caulophyllum issupport from the Legislative Woods, and Clear Lake. Specimens derived from the Greek words stemCommission for Minnesota were brought to a laboratory on the and leaf and alludes to the emergenceResources. Access to the database St. John’s University Campus for in spring of a naked stem that endsis available at www.fungi.umn.edu. processing and identification by in a compound leaf without a petiole. scientists. Through the efforts of staff The stem seems to form a stalk for This database provides information of the Field Museum of Natural the three-parted leaf.on the distribution, ecology, and History, Chicago, especially Dr.history of the fungi of the state. It Patrick Leacock, the data have been What about thalictroides?includes a non-technical general compiled and specimens processed. Its leaves resemble meadow rue, inintroduction to the fungi, illustrations Vouchers specimens will be the buttercup family, whose genus isof mushrooms and plant pathogens, deposited in the University Thalictrum.a history of the collection and the herbarium. What about its growth?state of knowledge of the fungi of It is striking in spring as theMinnesota, and a taxonomic outline The specimens collected during unfolding leaf is prominent over the this foray not only provide an still barren forest floor. Later, theShowy locoweed important initial survey of the fleshyContinued from page 6 attractive, large, cluster of blue seeds fungi for these Scientific and Natural captures one’s attention. The ovarygrows about a foot tall from a taproot Areas, but also are among the firstand woody root crown. The collector mushroom records for Stearns wall splits to expose two blue drupe-probably was James Snyder, who is County. Our previously documented like seeds. It is somewhat shrub-likecredited by Torrey and Gray with collections showed 19 Stearns and can be two to three feet tall. Itcollecting and submitting many of County records, but almost all of blooms from April to May.the expedition’s plants, including all these are microscopic plant Has it medicinal properties?of those from Minnesota. pathogens. Continued surveys are Yes, American Indians used The expedition was following the needed to obtain a complete picture infusions from the roots for treatingRed River Cart Trail used to transport of the fungal diversity, i.e., to observe rheumatism and in aiding childbirth.goods from Selkirk’s settlement at species that appear in early spring, The Chippewa Indians used a strongPembina, on the Canadian border, to late summer, and fall. root decoction as a contraceptive.St. Paul. Quite possibly, the seeds Research since then has shown its Of the 217 species collected during value in treating menopausalof Oxytropis splendens were this foray, approximately 45 are newtransported from the settlement, an state records. Members of the symptoms, and the root is officinalarea within or near the species’ range, Minnesota Native Plant Society can in the “U.S. Pharmacopeia.”to the hills of the Chippewa in make an important contribution to Is any part of the plant edible?Minnesota. The chief range of the the study of Minnesota fungi by Plant parts, including seeds, can bespecies is from the northern counties assisting in future collecting, poisonous. The plant is also anof North Dakota into the prairie documenting, or processing of irritant to the skin. Its seeds haveprovinces of Canada. It reappears specimens. been roasted to make a beverage.on the foothills of the Rockies.
Minnesota Native Plant Society NON-PROFIT ORG.University of Minnesota U.S. POSTAGE220 Biological Sciences Center PAIDSt. Paul, MN 55108 Minneapolis, MN Permit No. 2233Spring 2002 Issue