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  • 1. Minnesota Plant Press The Minnesota Native Plant Society NewsletterVolume 26 Number 3 Spring 2007 Monthly meetings Thompson Park Center/Dakota Lodge Restoring Minnesota’s Thompson County Park360 Butler Ave. E., West St. Paul, MN 55118 651-552-7559 (kitchen) ecological landscape by Hannah Texler, regional plant ecologist, Minnesota DNR. This is 6 p.m. — Social period an abstract of part of her talk at the March 8 Society meeting. 7 – 9 p.m — Program, society business As a plant ecologist and an avid native plant gardener, I am heartened Programs by the burgeoning use of native plants for landscaping, gardening, The MN NPS meets the first Thursday and restoration of disturbed landscapes, and I am grateful to all of thein October, November, December, organizations and native plant and seed businesses that are crucial toFebruary, March, April, May, and June. making this happen. In this age of national discussions about usingCheck the website for more program native prairie mixes for biofuels, it is especially exciting. This makesinformation. it an excellent time to take a step back and ask whether the use of May 3: “Motorized Recreation in native plants is as informed by ecology as it could be.Minnesota: Social and Ecological This article summarizes some of the ways the science of ecologyConsequences,” by Matt Norton, can help us create more successful, diverse, and locally adapted nativeMinnesota Center for Environmental plantings and restoration projects.Advocacy. Plant of the Month: Carexgarberi, Scott Milburn. The ecological issues The four levels of ecology most pertinent to the topic include June 7: “Decorative Tree Harvest landscape, plant community, species, and genetic ecology. I’ll brieflyfrom Minnesota’s Spruce Bogs: Social discuss why each is important and give some practical suggestionsand Ecological Consequences,” by Mike about resources for incorporating them into practice.Phillips, DNR Division of Forestry.Annual Native Plant Sale. Landscape ecology Most of Minnesota’s landscape is characterized by fragmentedSee and count orchids patches of vegetation, often separated by land uses that provide barriers Western prairie fringed orchids and Red to the movement of native plants and animals. By paying attention toRiver prairies are the focus of a field trip landscape ecology, one can look for opportunities to connect patchesto wildlife management areas near of native habitat, provide meaningful animal movement corridors,Crookston, Minn., July 7 and 8. Co- and surround isolated native plant communities with appropriatesponsors are the MN NPS, Minnesota restored habitat.Department of Natural Resources, and Plant community ecologyNature Northwest. Nancy Sather andDerek Anderson of the Minnesota Natural Many restoration projects are very low in diversity and have been In this issueHeritage and Nongame Research informed by a single goal, such as President’s column.................2Program, MN DNR, will lead participants preventing erosion on steep slopes Field trips......................1, 2, 6to orchids in several wildlife management or providing habitat for a few Wildflower photo project ....3areas. In addition to counting orchids, wildlife species. While these are Endangered species debate...4they will visit a state-of-the art worthy goals, plantings tend to be Riparian vegetation ..............5management study at Pembina Trail more successful and ecologically MN NPS plant sale ..............5Preserve and enjoy an evening meaningful when many plant Reed canary grass control .....6presentation on recent orchid research. For species that occur in the native Bob Jacobson dies ...............7more information and to register, write to Plant Lore -Spiderwort..........7derek.anderson@dnr.state.mn.us Continued on page 3 1
  • 2. President’s Column MN NPS Board by Scott Milburn Another year of botanizing is about to begin. This has been an exciting of Directors President: Scott Milburn, year, and we still have quite a bit to do. The Society has a great deal of president@mnnps.org momentum, much thanks to our last president, Jason Husveth. Jason’s tenure on the board will end in June after six years, and we look forward Vice President: Shirley Mah to his participation in the future. The formula derived by Jason under his Kooyman, vp@mnnps.org tenure was to focus on a few things and to do them well. These few things, Secretary: Daniel Jones, which include monthly programs, symposia, the newsletter, and field trips, secretary@mnnps.org are the bread and butter of the Society. Logic would suggest continuing Treasurer: Ron and Cathy with this approach. Huber, treasurer@mnnps.org As noted in our last newsletter, the Society has been in existence for 25 Ken Arndt, board member, years. We will celebrate this milestone next September and hope that our karndt@mnnps.org entire membership will be able to participate. It is amazing to think how much has changed over the past 25 years, especially in terms of technology. Jason Husveth, board member, With this increased ability to communicate, we still face the challenge of jhusveth@mnnps.org how best to reach prospective members in an attempt to increase overall Linda Huhn, board member and membership. The board has started to develop new materials for that very program coordinator, 612-374-1435 purpose. We are also looking into new ways to make annual membership Sean Jergens, renewal less burdensome. With this, we are looking to grow, but we cannot sjergens@mnnps.org do this without your help. I have been extremely impressed with efforts Beth Nixon, bnixon@mnnps.org thus far, but I would encourage all of our members to think of ways to attract new members and to expand. Listserv Coordinator: CharlesSpring and summer field trips Umbanhowar, ceumb@stolaf.eduby Ken Arndt June 30 is a field trip to the Field Trips: Now is the time to sign up for MN Chippewa National Forest near fieldtrips@mnnps.orgNPS field trips. Sign-up sheets and Grand Rapids. MN DNR Forest M e m b e r s h i p s :detailed information will be at each Ecologist John Almendinger will memberships@mnnps.org; 651-monthly meeting. Or, go to our lead an all-day hike through cedar 739-4323website and follow the link to “Field swamps, black spruce bogs, and Historian/Archives: RoyTrips” for information and to sign up. many upland areas. Plants will Robison, historian/ include orchids, carnivorous plants, archives@mnnps.org Saturday, April 28, 1-4 p.m., join sedges, rushes and grasses.Barr Engineering Botanists Daniel Technical or membershipJones, a Society board member, and Saturday, July 14, 9 a.m. to 3 inquiries: contact@mnnps.orgDaniel DeJoode at Nerstrand-Big p.m., the Society will co-sponsor a Minnesota Plant Press editor:Woods State Park. This fine working field trip to Pioneer Park Gerry Drewry, phone, 651-463-example of “Big Woods” is home to in Blaine. Work with Critical 8006; plantpress@mnnps.orgmany spring ephemerals and the Connections Ecological Servicesfederally endangered dwarf trout lily. Ecologist Jason Husveth in the continued effort to restore the fen that Future plant events Saturday, May 12, 11 a.m. to 2 is home to several of Minnesota’s The Linnaeus Symposium isp.m., join MN DNR Regional Plant most rare plants. April 24 and 25 at GustavusEcologist Ann Pierce and explore the Aug. 9, 6 to 8:30 p.m., join MN Adolphus College, St. Peter, Minn.Whitewater Wildlife Management DNR Regional Plant Ecologist The annual Friends School PlantArea in coulee country in Hannah Texlar at St. Croix Savanna Sale will be May 11 - 13 at the Statesoutheastern Minnesota. Scientific Natural Area for a hike Fair Grandstand. June 16 and 17 is a follow-up to through a fantastic hill prairie and Phalen WaterFest is May 19 atthis year’s symposium on the Prairie oak savanna and assist Hannah with the Phalen Park Pavilion, WheelockCoteau. Join the DNR’s Fred Harris, surveying for the rare Louisiana Pkwy. and Arcade St., St. Paul.Nancy Sather and Robert Dana in broomrape. This parasitic plant is The Iowa Prairie Conference willsouthwestern Minnesota, hiking typically found west of Minnesota, be July 13 and 14 at Briar Cliffthrough several plant communities, but recently a population was found University, Sioux City, Iowa.including a calcareous fen. at this SNA. www.ipc2007.com 2
  • 3. Ecological issues General information Wildflower photosContinued from page 1 An overview of using native plantsplant communities that have become for landscaping is found at: help minority group www.dnr.state.mn.us/gardens/ Peter Dziuk, a nursery inspector foradapted to each site over thousands nativeplants/index.html the Minnesota Department ofof years are used. Diverse, locallyappropriate plantings also create The Global Restoration Network, Agriculture and a Society member,habitat for more animal species; a project of the Society for has started a wildflower greeting cardnectar for butterflies; food for Ecological Restoration International: business with a small minoritymigrating birds, and nesting habitat www.globalrestorationnetwork.org/ collective in North Minneapolis. Itfor reptiles, amphibians, and Landscape Ecology: Minnesota’s is called “Wildflowers for Ordinarymammals — all are necessary Ecological Classification System People.”components of ecosystems. Plant provides a hierarchical framework Proceeds from card sales benefitcommunity ecology provides for mapping the landscape based on James Everett’s and Sister Jean’sinformation that can be used to create geology, soils, hydrology, and efforts to rebuild Minneapolis’ Northdiverse, locally adapted restorations. vegetation. For more information: Side. Their projects include at-riskSpecies ecology www.dnr.state.mn.us/ecs/index.html youth programs, the SubZero Species ecology (also called A number of programs are planning Collective (collectivesight.com), andautecology) gives information about for ecologically meaningful Mothers of Slain Sons, a politicaltraits of individual species that make landscape protection and restoration. action committee supporting womeneach adapted to a particular set of One is the Conservation Corridors who have lost sons to domesticconditions. Many of us choose plant program:www.dnr.state.mn.us/ violence or war. For information,species based on their beauty or their metroconservationcorridors/ call 612-521-8021, ext. 285.potential use as food by a favorite index.html “My intent is to provide a validanimal. Landscape plantings and Plant community, species ecology source of economic capital for arestorations are more successful The three-volume set of field historically excluded group, while atwhen the species used are those guides, Native Plant Communities of the same time providing meaningfulnative to and adapted to the local Minnesota, provide the most outreach on a topic that both mylandscape. comprehensive information available spouse and I have become passionateGenetic ecology about the state’s native plant about, to inner-city minority Genetic ecology provides communities. The books can be communities and the public at large,”information about how a particular purchased from Minnesota’s Peter said.ecotype of a species is adapted to a Bookstore: www.comm.media.state. Peter has about 20,000 digitalsite. There is a great deal of genetic mn.us/bookstore/bookstore.asp images of wildflowers. He hasvariation among populations of many Fact sheets from the books are at: donated all the tools of his projectplant species, giving each population www.dnr.state.mn.us/npc/index.html — hundreds of images, severaltraits that make it adapted to local Complete species lists for native hundred handmade cards, card racks,environmental conditions. plant communities in the greater materials, cutting boards and a Using plants or seeds from far Twin Cities area, derived from computer. Everett is enlistingaway may mean the plants are not vegetation plot data and developed volunteers to create new cards,adapted to local conditions. This can for restoration practitioners are at: Peter has started to translate theresult in lower success and can also w w w. g r e a t r i v e rg r e e n i n g . o rg / cards into Spanish, Hmong, andimport genetic material that can plant_communities.asp Somali and wants to develop tribalspread to naturally occurring plants, Genetic ecology contacts. “This is an opportunity toreducing the original population’s A good discussion about the issues remind people that humans lived inviability by making the plants less surrounding genetic ecology is in the harmony with all of these species foradapted to local conditions. This is article: How local is local? A review thousands of years,” he said.especially important with rare of practical and conceptual issues in The cards are sold at $3.95 each atspecies, but is a concern with all the genetics of restoration, by John the Science Museum of Minnesotanaturally occurring plant McKay et al, in Restoration Ecology in St. Paul; Highland Nursery onpopulations. Vol. 13, No. 3, pp. 432-440, West 7th St., St. Paul; 101 Market inSources of ecological information September 2005. The authors advise Otsego, Minn., and through Here are a few ecological resources that practitioners use local seeds and Environmental Justice Advocates offor native plant gardeners and match climatic and environmental Minnesota. For more information, gorestoration practitioners: conditions between the sites. to www.ejamn.org. 3
  • 4. Regarding endangered DNRand other listed speciesby Roy Robison, president, as we understand it. The first is the response by Hannah Texler, regional plantLandscape Alternatives, Inc., and a prohibition. This is the gist of the ecologist, Minnesota DNRformer MN NPS board member. complaint being made. The second On behalf of the DNR, I want to Concern for the diminished natural looks beyond protecting what is here thank Roy for expressing hisoccurrence of all native plants is to the future, when listed species may concerns and for participating withcentral to Landscape Alternatives’ be so abundant as to no longer be me and others on the panel at the MNvery existence. Our policy regarding threatened. This is where NPS meeting where this wasthe plants we propagate and offer for Minnesota’s native plant nurseries discussed.sale has always been that the plants have a great role to play. We shouldmust be of local ecotype as much as be seen as partners with state As I said at the meeting, we greatlyis possible and be able to be regulatory agencies, not adversaries appreciate the vital work done bycommercially produced either by our in protecting Minnesota’s natural native plant and seed nurseries, andcompany or by another reputable, plant resources! Minnesota’s we consider them important partnerslicensed nursery. professional native plant nurseries in the protection and stewardship of This policy automatically leads us have the propagation experience and biodiversity. We also acknowledgeto avoid all federally listed facilities required to make a valuable that the endangered species statuteendangered species. We also avoid contribution to solving the and rules are imperfect and difficultplants that either take exceptionally endangered species problem. to interpret and hope to be able tolong to produce or have improve them once we have the Finally, as with all state legislationexceptionally stringent establishment resources to do so. that may affect interstate commerce,criteria, such as the lady slippers. there is an important exclusion to the I would like to correct two pointsThere are many wonderful species law. Any state-listed (not federal) that Roy made in his letter. First, thethat are not considered threatened plants purchased legally outside of law has always applied to native plantthat we still don’t sell because they the state may be transported legally and seed nurseries; this is not new.are just too difficult or unreliable to into the state. Such interstate Second, he is correct in stating thatpropagate. We’d like to change that commerce is protected by the United by law (Minnesota Statute 84.0895)but can only do so much on our own. States Constitution. we can’t prohibit importation intoWe look to the University of The natural ranges of native this state and subsequent possession,Minnesota and the appropriate state species do not follow political transport or sale of state-endangeredagencies for leadership in research boundaries. A given species may be and threatened plants that are legallyand support for our industry. “rare” in one state because the state brought here from another state. Thus, we were very disappointed line crosses through the edge of the However, we can regulate thesewhen we learned recently of efforts species’ natural range. On the other activities.to apply the Minnesota Endangered side of that line, the plant may not Our interpretation is that whileSpecies prohibitions to our work. We be considered “rare” at all and thus nurseries from other states can legallycertainly support the intent of the law can be propagated and sold. bring plants or seeds from speciesto stop the wanton destruction of Therefore, should efforts to restrict that are endangered or threatened inMinnesota’s rare natural resources. Minnesota native plant nurseries Minnesota into the state, theseWe have always strongly from working with certain listed species cannot be propagated ordiscouraged digging from the wild species succeed, all that will be planted here without a permit. Sobecause even if the transplant is accomplished is to harm part of our effectively, no one can plant state-successful, there is no net increase state’s business community. Our listed endangered or threatenedin population. This is the key to the customers will just buy from outstate species without a permit. For amatter. Landscape Alternatives and sources. This will only increase the discussion about why we believe theother reputable native plant and seed threat to local genetic populations. law does protect rare species, see thenurseries work to increase For the good of all Minnesota article in the Winter 2007 Minnesotapopulations of native plants and, by native plants and the small nursery Plant Press.their use of local germplasm sources, businesses that raise them, we ask Note:Roy Robison’s comments andpreserve the existing gene pool. state officials to work with us so that the DNR response are a follow-up to There are three main aspects to the one day no Minnesota native plant the panel discussion at the March 8,Minnesota Endangered Species Act, will be endangered. 2007, MN NPS meeting. 4
  • 5. Native vegetation has eggs while they incubate on the stream bottom. Stream restoration work oftenvaluable riparian roleby Brian Nerbonne, stream habitat provide as much protection for focuses on stabilizing eroding stream banks, although the methods used vary significantly. Traditionally,specialist, Minnesota DNR Central stream banks because they create stream banks were covered in rockRegion Fisheries. This is an abstract dense monocultures that limit riprap to reduce erosion, but thisof his presentation at the Nov. 2, understory growth and deter the approach often only shifts erosion2006, meeting. regeneration of longer lived and problems downstream, does not It’s easy to think of a stream as a deeper-rooting tree species. improve habitat, and can lead toworld unto itself — its own Runoff from the surrounding increased warming of the stream. Anecosystem contained within the landscape must pass through the alternative is to employ temporarybanks that define it, with separate riparian area as it drains off the land, techniques to stabilize the steamworlds living above and below the meaning the riparian area serves an bank while establishing suitablewater’s surface. However, streams important function in buffering the vegetation to create a stable streamare intimately tied to the land use of stream from pollutants such as silt bank in the long term. A riparianthe entire watershed that surrounds and excessive nutrients. Riparian buffer of an appropriate mix of nativethem, especially the streamside vegetation slows runoff velocity and grasses, forbs, sedges, shrubs, orenvironment known as the riparian settles out sediment particles, as well trees suited to site conditions is onearea. as the phosphorus that is frequently of the best long-term solutions to The riparian area of streams serves bound to them. Both woody and protect stream health.many functions that are crucial to herbaceous vegetation are able totheir physical condition as well as remove sediment, although grassed Plant sale is June 7biological makeup, and the buffers tend to be slightly more by Ken Arndtvegetation present is the most effective due to a higher stem density Our annual native plant sale willimportant factor in how riparian that is better at slowing runoff. be June 7, following the speaker’sareas affect streams. One of the most Buffers are also effective at removing presentation. We encouragedirect effects is how vegetation nitrogen and pesticides. members to divide or propagate their Riparian vegetation is especially own native plants and donate them.controls the stability of stream banks, A few volunteers are needed to helpthereby contributing to the shape and important in providing habitat for set up the sales area and assistdimensions of the stream channel. organisms that live in the stream. members with their plants. When theNon-native species such as Kentucky Overhanging vegetation and sale begins, volunteers will selectbluegrass or smooth brome have undercuts below well-rooted stream plants first, followed by those whoroots that penetrate up to only a foot banks provide overhead cover that is donated plants, and then by otherinto the soil, while native grasses important in protecting fish from members and visitors.such as big bluestem or switchgrass avian predators. Additionally, wood The sale will be on the patio outsidehave root masses that extend up to habitat in streams is crucial to the of Dakota Lodge. Bring your plantssix feet deep. invertebrates that form a lower level by 6 p.m. We want only native plants For stream banks that exceed more of the aquatic food chain. These from Minnesota and westernthan a foot in height, only deeper- invertebrates rely on wood as stable Wisconsin. Do not bring cultivarsrooted native vegetation is able to refuge from the shifting sands that (horticultural selection) of nativehold soil together to reduce erosion. often comprise the bed of streams. plants. Plants should come fromThe same can be said for native tree Other invertebrates, especially in your own property, gardens or otherand shrub species such as green ash, small streams where shading limits private property, with that owner’scottonwood, various dogwood algal production, rely on leafy permission, but not public property.species, and most willow species. detritus from surrounding vegetation Dig your plants two to four weeksThese woody plants have roots that as their primary food source. before the sale, put them in typicalpenetrate around three feet into the Excessive stream bank erosion can nursery containers, and label themsoil. They are generally better at contribute to a decline in sensitive with both common and scientificholding stream banks in place than stream biota due to reduced foraging names. Pricing will be done byherbaceous vegetation, due to the efficiency in turbid waters, volunteers. Dave Crawford and Kengreater diameter of the roots of sedimentation of gravel areas Arndt are co-chairs. To volunteer,woody plants. Non-native woody important for invertebrate contact karndt@ccesinc.com or callinvasives such as buckthorn do not production, or the smothering of fish 651-433-4410. 5
  • 6. landscape that has a limited seedAccessory treatments help bank due to previous land-usesuppress reed canary grass history. A variety of treatments andby Craig A. Annen, consulting density 26 percent greater than treatment combinations are availableecologist, Michler & Brown, LLC. sethoxydim application alone. for reed canary grass abatement and In a previous article (Minnesota A vegetation survey was conducted subsequent native speciesPlant Press, Spring 2005), I reported during the post-treatment regrowth restoration. Results of this studyon the effects of a grass-specific year to assess the degree of reed demonstrate that tillage and plantherbicide, VantageÆ (sethoxydim), canary grass resurgence taking place growth regulator pretreatments canon reed canary grass. [Vantage is in each treatment. Resurgence enhance the effectiveness ofpresently marketed as Sethoxydim G occurred in all treatment plots during sethoxydim on reed canary grass ifPROÆ .] After observing substantial the regrowth year, but it occurred to administered for at least tworecovery in the post-treatment a lesser extent in tillage-herbicide consecutive growing seasons.regrowth year, I postulated that apical and PGR-herbicide plots than in Craig A. Annen is a practicingdominance in reed canary grass sethoxydim-only plots. Thus, restorationist and researcher. Forrhizomes might affect herbicide coupling tillage and PGR more information, contact him atperformance and the ability of this 608-424-6997 or pretreatments to sethoxydimspecies to recover (resurge) from annen00@aol.com. application for two consecutiveherbicide treatments. In this article, growing seasons reduced reed canaryI summarize results of an experiment grass resurgence capacity relative to Help search fordesigned to test if short-circuitingrhizome apical dominance prior to solitary herbicide use. In general, plots that were more diverse at the dwarf trout liliessethoxydim application would The Minnesota Natural Heritage beginning of the experiment and Nongame Research Program isenhance this herbicide’s effects on responded more positively toreed canary grass. seeking volunteers to help with dwarf treatments than plots that were less trout lily monitoring and searches. The purpose of this experiment was diverse or monotypic at the They especially need volunteers whoto determine if either tillage or plant beginning of the experiment, are available on weekdays.growth regulator (PGR) pretreatment regardless of which treatment wasfollowed by sethoxydim application administered. The presence of native Volunteers work in teams to searchwould suppress reed canary grass to vegetation may augment control designated areas under supervisiona greater extent than solitary use of measures by shading out reed canary of DNR staff and/or experiencedherbicide. One year of coupling grass during its recovery period. volunteers. The exact scheduletillage (ca. June 1) to sethoxydim Although tillage and PGR depends on lily phenology and canapplication (ca. June 21) reduced pretreatments enhanced occur anytime between April 23 andreed canary grass stem density 35 sethoxydim’s effectiveness on reed May 10. All work is within an hour’spercent greater than sethoxydim canary grass, multiple-year drive south of the Twin Cities in Rice,application only. treatments were required to reduce Goodhue, or Steele Counties. resurgence capacity, demonstrating Minimum time commitment is one Two consecutive years of the the necessity for long-term full day. Sites vary in topographictillage-sethoxydim treatment management to control this species. difficulty and risk of getting wet feet.reduced reed canary grass stem Training is in the field.density 443 percent greater than Surges in native species abundancesethoxydim application only. Tillage and diversity may not always To volunteer, contact Derekalso enhanced native species accompany tillage treatments. The Anderson, botany assistant:abundance (up to 270 percent) and diversity-enhancing effects of tillage derek.anderson@dnr.state.mn.us ordiversity (up to 87 percent) because may be limited to transitional 651-259-5071. Include your fulltillage stirs up the seed bank and communities where reed canary name; phone number where you areburies litter, facilitating germination. grass is commingled with native best reached at the last minute; andApplication of a 2:1 mixture of species or occurs as a clonal patch e-mail if possible. Indicate the totalCycocelÆ (chlormequat chloride) and within a native species matrix, areas number of days you are willing toProxyÆ (ethephon) growth regulators where native species seed banks are commit, and list dates during the(ca. June 15) followed by herbicide more likely to be intact and in two-week time period when you areapplication (ca. June 21) for two moderate or high density. I am available. You can expect a follow-consecutive growing seasons presently testing this hypothesis with up e-mail or phone call no earlierreduced reed canary grass stem a tillage experiment in a restored than the week of April 16. 6
  • 7. Plant Lore Robert (Bob)by Thor KommedahlWhat is spiderwort? Jacobson dies by Roy Robison and George Hild Spiderwort is Tradescantiabracteata, T. occidentalis, or T. The Minnesota Native Plantohiensis. They are in the spiderwort Society lost a good friend whenfamily (Commelinaceae) of Robert (Bob) Jacobson diedmonocotyledons — these three of suddenly Jan. 23 at his home in St.six species are native to Minnesota. Paul. Bob was a very active member ofWhere did it get its names? the Society. Besides attending Tradescantia was named after numerous monthly meetings, leadingBritish plant collector John field trips and presenting severalTradescant (1608-1637). He was talks, he also was the editor of thegardener to King Charles I in Minnesota Plant Press from fall ofLondon. It was named spiderwort 1990 through spring of 1993 and a Photo of T. occidentalis by Scotteither because the sap from broken frequent contributor of articles. Milburnstems forms filaments like a spider’s He is survived by his parents, Jeanweb, or the angular leaf arrangement and Robert L. Jacobson ofsuggests a squatting spider. Minnetonka, and his brother, RonaldBracteata refers to bracts in the Jacobson, of White Bear Lake.inflorescence. Occidentalis means Bob worked at MnDOT for 19western and ohiensis means of Ohio. years and played an important roleWort means herb, but is often added in getting the state to use local nativeto common names if a plant was once ecotypes in MnDOT projects. Heused in medicine. worked closely with otherWhere does the plant grow? Photo of T. bracteata by Sean organizations to develop Spiderworts are typically prairie Jergens specifications that are still usedplants: T. bracteata is the most Does it have any economic today. He was currently working onwidely distributed of the three native importance? various wetland programs in thespecies in Minnesota, and T. ohiensis Although grown as an ornamental Environmental Services Departmentoccurs in extreme southeast counties in gardens, none of these three of MnDOT.of the state. However, T. ohiensis and species is as popular as T. virginiana. Bob helped the use of Minnesotasome other species have been planted Wandering Jew (T. fluminensis) is native plants by testifying beforein gardens and have escaped grown as a house plant. Spiderworts several committees at the statecultivation elsewhere. have been eaten as a raw salad or pot Capitol a few years ago, supporting herb. the use of natives along roadsidesWhat does the plant look like? and against a law that would have Plants are perennials. All three A winter afternoon banned their use.species have three petals that are blueto rose-colored, six stamens, and by Ken Arndt Bob loved plants; he also lovedflowers that are borne in umbel-like On Feb. 17, 10 MN NPS members animals. He lost his big black dog acymes. Long bracts that resemble enjoyed a warm afternoon outing at few years ago, and that was hard onleaves in shape subtend the flowers. Terrace Horticultural Books in St. him. Bjorn was a slobberingT. bracteata has dense, sticky hairs Paul, shopping for plant books. scoundrel that Bob insisted onon sepals and pedicels, T. Owner Kent Petterson opened his bringing with him on field trips. Heoccidentalis is sparsely hairy, and T. store for us and also donated 10 was also a “leaner,” so combinedohiensis is hairless. percent of sales from member with the dripping, the experience purchases to the Society. He gave always proved interesting.Does it have any medicinal uses? us a tour and a short history of the There are plans to rename a couple Cherokee Indians made a plant tea business before we were let loose in of wetland projects for Bob, as wellfor treatment of kidney and stomach the candy store. If you didn’t make as the establishment of the Bobailments. A leaf poultice was applied it, go to this great little bookstore Jacobson Wetland Memorial Fund.to insect bites, and a root poultice for sometime. Information is at Donations are also being accepted bycancers. www.terracehorticulturalbooks.com the Humane Society. 7
  • 8. Minnesota Native Plant Society P.O. Box 20401 Bloomington, MN 55420 Spring 20078