Minnesota Plant Press The Minnesota Native Plant Society NewsletterVolume 28 Number 3 Summer 2009 Monthly meetings Thompson Park Center/Dakota Emerald ash borer is found in St. Paul Lodge Thompson County Park 360 Butler Ave. E., West St. Paul, MN 55118 by Gerry Drewry 651-552-7559 (kitchen) The deadly emerald ash borer has arrived, as anticipated, in Minnesota. Programs The infestation was discovered in the South St. Anthony Park section of St. The Minnesota Native Plant Paul on May 13. The borer could kill all varieties of ash trees in Minnesota.Society meets the first Thursday It has already killed 30 million ash trees since it was discovered in Detroitin October, November, December, in the early 1990s.February, March, April, May, and The borer probably came to this country from China in the wood ofJune. Check at www.mnnps.org crates. It has now been found in 13 states and two Canadian provinces. Thefor more program information. tiny eggs are laid in bark cracks. The creamy white larvae live under the 6 p.m. — Social period bark for one or two years; the adult emerald-green beetles emerge in mid- 7 – 9 p.m. — Program, Society June. Symptoms may take several years to show. They include die-back ofbusiness the canopy, split bark that reveals serpentine tunnels made by the larvae, Oct. 1: “Forest Warming — an and epicormic shoots growing from the trunk of the tree. Eventually, theEcotone in Danger” by Rebecca infected trees die.Montgomery, University of At this time there is no way to stop the borers, but their spread can beMinnesota Department of Forestry contained. To do this, ash wood and trimmings from both Hennepin andResources. Plant-of-the-Month: Ramsey counties are quarantined and cannot be taken out of those counties.Quercus macrocarpa, bur oak. Ash wood is also quarantined in a portion of Houston County, which is 15 Nov. 5: “Decorative Tree miles from an infestation in Victory, Wis.Harvesting from Minnesota’sSpruce Bogs,” by Norm Individual trees may be given a chemical treatment in mid-autumn orAaseng, Minnesota in spring, before the adults emerge. However, the annual cost is typically County $50 to $200 per tree. Experts recommend removing small infected treesBiological Survey plant ecologist.Seed exchange. and replanting with another species. The Department of Agriculture is using purple sticky traps to monitor the beetles. Their natural predators Dec. 3: “Salvage Logging in in Asia are three forms of parasitic wasps, which are being studied by theSt. Croix State Park: Restoring In this issue U.S. Department of Agriculture’sa Rare Community,” by Gretchen Agricultural Research ServiceHeaser, St. Croix State Park resourcespecialist. Information is available on President’s column ...................2 the Internet. Go to the Minnesota Board of directors ....................2 Additional program information Department of Agriculture websitewill be on the Society’s website. Book review.............................3 at www.mda.state.mn.us or call its Sioux Community floral atlas ..3 Arrest the Pest Hotline at 651-201-MNNPS website Beltrami Island Area history ...4 6684 or 888-545-6684. For detailed Roseau wildlife drive ......5 For current information about information on treatment options, Botany of Charles Geyer ......6Society field trips, meetings and go to the University of Minnesota Plant Lore: fringed gentian.......7other events, check the website: Extension website at extension. New members .......................7www.mnnps.org umn.edu/issues/eab/
President’s column MNNPS Boardby Scott Milburn The Society wrapped up another great year of presentations in June of Directorswith Nancy Sather’s talk on the Western Prairie Fringed Orchid. This was President: Scott Milburn,followed by several field trips in Northern Minnesota, where members had firstname.lastname@example.org opportunity to explore a cedar swamp near Hill City and trek to the Vice President: Shirley MahAspen Parklands. Kooyman, shirley.mah.kooyman@ mnnps.org Planning has already begun as we approach the upcoming year with ourfirst set of talks scheduled. The basic themes for the year will be similar DerekAnderson, board member, email@example.com recent years, with the emphasis being on ecology, conservation, andrestoration. One topic I hope we can explore in our second half is the Ken Arndt, board member, fieldemergence of the emerald ash borer in Minnesota. Questions we need to trip chair, firstname.lastname@example.org regarding the subject include what will be the true impacts and what Michael Bourdaghs, boardwill happen to forest communities whose major components are black and member, michael.bourdaghs@green ash. mnnps.org Regarding the board, we will have our summer board meeting in early Angela Hanson, board member, email@example.comAugust, when we will elect officers and discuss our path for the next year. Elizabeth Heck, board member, I would like to announce that we need to bring a proposed bylaw change webmaster, firstname.lastname@example.org the members’ attention. We had mistakenly added another membership orgcategory of Lifetime membership. This actually requires approval by the Dylan Lueth, board member,general membership, and not through action of the board alone. The board email@example.com hereby proposing to add the category of Lifetime membership to ourlist of membership categories. The cost for a Lifetime membership will Elizabeth Nixon, board member, conservation committee chair, beth.be set at twenty times the cost of an individual membership, or $300 at firstname.lastname@example.org current membership price. This will be brought to the members thisupcoming year. The date will depend on attendance and whether we have Erika Rowe, board member,a quorum at that point. email@example.com Russ Schaffenberg, board I hope and encourage folks to enjoy the summer months, and I look member, russ.schaffenberg@forward to seeing you in October. mnnps.org Treasurer: Ron and Cathy Minnesota Native Plant Society’s purpose Huber, firstname.lastname@example.org (Abbreviated from the bylaws) Linda Huhn, program coordinator, 612-374-1435 This organization is exclusively organized and operated for educational and scientific purposes, including the following. Secretary: Andrés Morantes, email@example.com 1. Conservation of all native plants. 2. Continuing education of all members in the plant sciences. Field Trips: fieldtrips.mnnps@ 3. Education of the public regarding environmental protection of plant mnnps.org life. Memberships: memberships. 4. Encouragement of research and publications on plants native to firstname.lastname@example.org Minnesota. Historian-Archives: Roy 5. Study of legislation on Minnesota flora, vegetation, ecosytems. Robison, historian-archives. 6. Preservation of native plants, plant communities, and scientific and email@example.com natural areas. Technical or membership 7. Cooperation in programs concerned with the ecology of natural inquiries: contact.mnnps@mnnps. resources and scenic features. org 8. Fellowship with all persons interested in native plants through Minnesota Plant Press Editor: meetings, lectures, workshops, and field trips. Gerry Drewry, 651-463-8006; firstname.lastname@example.org
Book review Sioux Community is‘Wildflowers ofthe Boundary making a floral atlas by Victoria Ranua, environmental and potentially others on non-SMSCWaters’ assessment specialist, Shakopee lands. Its origin here is unknown. Mdewakanton Sioux Community. Tall wheatgrass is an Eurasian Book by Betty Vos Hemstad, This is a summary of her talk at the pasture grass that has spread acrosspublished by the Minnesota May 7, 2009, MNNPS meeting. the Great Plains. It presumablyHistorical Society Press, St. Paul, The Shakopee Mdewakanton came here in a seed mix used on a2009; 272 pages, 7- by 10-inch Sioux Community (SMSC) is construction project.format, softcover, $22.95. located at an agriculture/urban In the absence of a floristic qualityReview by Ron Huber interface in Scott County. In 2007, index for all of Minnesota’s plants, Here is another welcome and the SMSC began a floral atlas of its the atlas data can serve as a proxy forvery useful regional guide, arranged 3,000 acres of land to complement habitat quality. A farm field mightby season and then by color. The its faunal atlas. have 15 species, but 90 percent areauthor is a summer resident of the An atlas project documents non-native. One grassland might have 55 species, but 60 percent areGunflint Trail and a longtime nature particular species occurring at a specific period in time. For plants, non-native, while another grasslandphotographer. might have 40 species, but only 15 they are strictly presence or absence, She offers 620 color photographs and do not record species abundance percent are non-native. This canof some 120 regional flowers, or health. The data can be used to help land use planners or naturalshowing each in its general habitat compare with historical records and resource managers determine whichand then in close-up throughout its as a baseline for future atlas projects areas are priorities. lifecycle, from bud to flower to seed at the same location. The SMSC complements itspod. She has chosen to show some The SMSC Land and Natural atlas work with the Minnesota Landof the common species that might be Resource staff used the quarter- Cover Classification System, pre-encountered while hiking through quarter section (40 acres) of the European settlement vegetation data,the woods, so a few non-native taxa Public Land Survey as a sampling and wetland and forest inventories. Once the floral atlas is complete,(usually, but not always, noted as unit. There are approximately 90 the SMSC will likely create ansuch) are also included. sampling units. Staff members record all plants identifiable to the electronic publication of all species Each species is accompanied by species level within each 40-acre encountered. a paragraph or two describing such unit. Some units, like farm fields,things as fragrance, uniqueness of have few species and do not take Symposium washabitat, uses by Native Americans, long to survey. Other units withtranslation of Latin names, woodland, grassland, and wetland successful The Society’s 2009 symposiumsuperstitions regarding the plant, and take longer to survey. Each unit is sampled twice, at different times on the Aspen Parklands earned aassorted other interesting factoids. during the growing season. Survey net profit of $1,241, treasurers Ron Some “fussier” guides are careful work will be complete in 2009. and Cathy Huber reported. Aboutnot to include flower photos that 135 people attended. So far, the survey has resultedhave distractions such as beetles or in 60 potential new Scott County Income included admissions,butterflies, but not so this book. It records and two new Minnesota vendor fees, and the silent auction,is delightful to see the occasional records. The two new state records in that order. Expenses included thenectar-seeking insects on these are the buttercup pennywort catered lunch, speakers’ honorariaflowers, imparting therein a more (Hydrocotyle ranunculoides) (meals, lodging and mileage —natural, rather than sterile, image. and tall wheatgrass (Thinopyrum some came from Canada), and the ponticum). The nearest state with The book was printed in China. printing/mailing of the brochures, the buttercup pennywort is Illinois,The price is reasonably low, given which lists it as endangered. It is in that order. The Bell Museum ofthe number and quality of the not native to Minnesota. It is found Natural History graciously did notphotographs. in three wetlands on SMSC lands, charge for the use of its spaces. 3
A natural history of the Wisconsin Glacier, whose surface water inundated the depressedBeltrami Island Area peak of Beltrami Island. Waters of Glacial Lake Agassiz subsided when ice dams broke and floodedby Scott C. Zager, plant ecologist, enormous volumes of freshwater Beltrami Island is named after into the Arctic and Atlantic oceans.Wildlands Ecological Services. the Italian explorer GiacomoThis is a summary of his talk at the Constantino Beltrami, who searched As Beltrami Island emergedMarch 5, 2009 MNNPS, meeting. for the source of the Mississippi above the surface, waves sorted The greater Beltrami Island River in 1823. In 1897, Warren the glacial till, depositing sand andArea in northwest Minnesota Upham described Beltrami Island gravel in a series of beach ridgesincludes LUP lands that were the in his massive tome on Glacial Lake or strandlines, while silts and clayssubject of an ecological assessment Agassiz: were deposited within basins of inter-documented in part by a natural beach swales. Today, these beach “These [elevation] data show ridges are covered by a mixed foresthistory report. These parcels are that Lake Agassiz in its highest of coniferous and deciduous trees,federal lands administered by the stage had a large island northwest and the swales support a portion ofU.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. of Red Lake, comprising the the largest peatland complex in theThey were purchased by the federal headwaters of numerous streams contiguous United States.government from a few remaining flowing outward from it to the Lakesettlers, scattered throughout of the Woods, Rainy River, Red The Beltrami Island Area isthe area, who were isolated and Lake, the Red Lake River, and the characterized by broad areas ofdistressed by the extreme financial Red River of the North. This island conifer forests, mixed hardwood-crisis of the 1930s. had probably a diameter of 40 miles conifer upland forests, and swamps The acronym ALUP comes from or more, with an area exceeding with extensive peatlands and lakes.A Land Utilization Project, which 1,000 square miles. ... [Beltrami BIA is part of the Agassiz Lowlandsauthorized the federal government Island] had before been supposed to Ecological Subsection, whichto purchase submarginal lands be comparatively low and perhaps consists of a flat, poorly drained,and relocate their owners to wholly beneath the highest level of glacial lake plain with beach ridgesmore accessible and productive Lake Agassiz. … ” and peatlands. The peatlands are alands. LUP lands are leased to the mixture of acidic fens, bogs, blackMinnesota Department of Natural Beltrami Island is a knob of spruce forests; and circumneutral-Resources and managed by the Red hard rock that arises above the to-alkaline (mineral-rich) fens andLake Wildlife Management Area, surrounding peneplain — a level swamps dominated by tamarack,whose headquarters at Norris Camp plain worn down from ancient white cedar and sometimes, blackwas built in the 1930s to aid the mountains by countless years of spruce.resettlement program. Norris Camp erosion. The peneplain is underlain At the time of the original publicis a little north of center for the by Precambrian bedrock comprised land survey, the upland beach ridgesBeltrami Island Area and is located of igneous, metamorphic and were dominated by jack pine with270 miles north-northwest of St. sedimentary rock of volcanic lesser amounts red pine, paper birchPaul. The camp is 100 miles east- origin. The prominence of Beltrami and very rarely white pine. Aspennortheast of Grand Forks, N.D., Island is attributed to the bedrock’s probably occupied lower slopesand about 28 miles due south of the superior resistance to erosion. bordering swamps and other moistCanadian border. During the ice age, the bedrock areas, which were scattered about The greater Beltrami Island Area was repeatedly covered by in small basins. Because fire was a(BIA) is a geopolitical boundary thousands of feet of glacial ice, commonly recorded occurrence, andartificially created for analytical which deposited up to a hundred because jack pine requires periodicpurposes for the report. It is feet or more of unsorted sediments fire for regeneration, pine trees858,811 acres (1,342 square miles) of glacial till. The enormous formed open-canopied woodlandsin area. It comprises mostly public weight of the glaciers compressed or pine savannas with an openland that largely encompasses the the Earth’s crust hundreds of feet, understory (i.e., brush thickets weregeomorphic land formations known and it is still rebounding to this day. scarce). The pine openings wereas the Red Lake Peatlands and Glacial meltwater created Glacial small meadows scattered throughoutBeltrami Island, although no defined Lake Agassiz, a vast meltwater- the barrens.boundary exists. lake surrounding the margin of the By the late 1800s and early4
1900s, logging and farming causeda precipitous drop in pine forests. The margins of bogs are sensitive to the adjustment in height of the Birds, butterfliesSeveral miles of drainage ditches water table. These changes are best need native plantswere dug in the peatland area between evident in areas altered by drainage Summarized by Thor Kommedahl1900 and 1918 in preparation for ditches. Blocking the drainage Managed home landscapes inagriculture. However, despite the ditches within BIA will impede which non-native ornamental plantsfailure of this homestead project, waters from leaving the peatland are favored over native plantsthese ditches remain today. and promote high water tables, dominate home properties in the Historic climate patterns reveal thereby lowering the likelihood of United States. The question arises asimportant considerations for the peat fires. to how this affects bird and butterflymanagement of peatlands in the populations on home grounds. This question was investigated by Karin Roseau ‘WildlifeBeltrami Island Area. Peat did notdevelop in northwestern Minnesota Burghardt and associates at the Drive’ is open onuntil about 5,000 years after University of Delaware.Glacial Lake Agassiz receded from They reported that propertiesMinnesota. weekends with native plants supported many Deglaciation was immediately The 29-mile “Wildlife Drive” more caterpillars and caterpillarfollowed by a gradual change from that provides vehicle access to the species and greater abundance ofa cold-dry climate to a warm-dry birds with greater diversity and Roseau River Wildlife Management more species, and more breedingclimate maximum during the Late- Area (WMA) opened July 20-26 andMiddle Holocene period (about pairs, than properties landscaped will be open on weekends through with more conventional plants and7,000 to 5,000 years ago). This Aug. 23. shrubs. Moreover, when bird specieswarming period is known as theHypsithermal. During this time, The drive traverses wetland, that were of special conservationthe moisture balance between concern were considered, they were woodland, brushland, and farmlandprecipitation and the moisture eight times more abundant and habitats, allowing visitors ample more diverse on the native-plantloss due to evapotranspiration was opportunity for wildlife viewing.negative, causing water tables and properties. Motorists are urged to use caution Note: This summary is basedlake levels to drop across the UpperMidwest. This dry climate hindered because of narrow roads, soft on an abstract in Conservationthe development of the Red Lake shoulders, deep ditches, and two- Biology 2009 of research by KarinPeatlands until about 3,500 years way traffic. The speed limit on all T. Burghardt, Douglas W. Tallamy,ago. WMA roads is 20 mph. and W. Gregory Shriver, Department of Entomologyand Wildlife Ecology, It is predicted that in the next The Minnesota Department of University of Delaware, Newark,100 years the climate will increase Natural Resources may close the Del. An extensive discussion ofin temperature in a magnitude drive if road conditions deteriorate their research is found in Tallamy’sequal to or possibly greater than due to poor weather. Only motor book, Bringing Nature Home.historical levels. The peatlands vehicles licensed for use on publicwithin northwest Minnesota are onthe edge of a favorable moisture highways are legal to operate Tallamy’s nature bookbalance for peat development, where on the WMA wildlife drive. The is updated, expandedevapotranspiration losses just equal recommended entry point is the Douglas Tallamy’s book,precipitation. main dike road, one and three- Bringing Nature Home, is now This is evident by the prevalence quarter miles south of the WMA available in an expanded, paperbackof fire-scarred peat, which is headquarters on Roseau County version. The publisher is Timbercommon along the edge of the Road 3. Press, www.timberpress.comprairie-forest boundary. Peatlandsat this boundary are extremely The Roseau River WMA is Plant sale results located 20 miles northwest of Cathy Huber reports that in spitevulnerable to atmospheric changes Roseau. For more information, of bad weather, the Society receivedthat would tip the balance to awarmer-dryer climate. Historically, contact or stop by the Roseau River $416 at the June plant sale. Thanksthis has been shown to lower local WMA office: phone 218-463-1130; to all those who brought plants andwater tables and thereby increase 27952 400th St., Roseau, MN to those who helped arrange thethe propensity of peat fires. 56751. plants. 5
Between the Mississippi andthe Missouri, 1838-1839A new look at the botany of Charles Geyerby Charles Umbanhowar, Jr. This is seminal work about the Nicollet posted eventually at the St. Olafa summary of his talk at the April 2 expeditions of 1838-1839 by Martha Nicollet website. These specimensmeeting. and Edmund Bray. Mike Heinz did provide an invaluable way to check highlight Geyer’s work in the Spring Geyer’s identifications. “He will triumph who understands 1989 Minnesota Plant Press.how to conciliate and combine with Geyer summarized his workthe greatest skill the benefits of the Geyer’s botanical notebook in a never published “Report ofpast with the demands of the future.” of 1838 contains a wealth of an agricultural botanical survey– J.N. Nicollet information on the vegetation of as an addition to a general report the region as well as the identity of a geographical survey…” This The 1836-1839 Nicollet and distribution of many individual report is housed at the Smithsonianexpeditions in Minnesota and plants. For example, for Tuesday, Archives. The report summarizes thethe Dakotas represent the earliest Oct. 2, 1838, he records the banks 1838-1839 expeditions and providesdetailed description of the landscape, of Spirit Lake, Iowa, as being “well long lists of plants, both commonplants, and people of the “Northwest timbered but only interrupted” and and rare, associated with differentTerritories” located between the then proceeds to fill a page with a geographic regions and soils andMississippi and Missouri rivers. list of the plants found on the shores should provide a real answer toThe field notes and observations of of the lake. Only one-third of this the question of what plants should/Nicollet were the basis for his 1843 journal entry makes it into the Brays’ could be present in different typesmap and report on the region, and book, but it and other such listings of remnants and restorations. Workfor the time they were unrivalled could form the basis for a more to transcribe and eventually publishin their detail and accuracy. Often detailed look at the 1830s flora of or post this report on the Internet isoverlooked are the contributions of region. Sadly, if it existed, any 1839 on-going.Charles A. Geyer, who accompanied botanical journal that Geyer kept isNicollet in 1838-1839 as the missing.expedition botanist. Geyer collected and pressed Over the past two years, our team many botanical specimens. Mostof three faculty and 12 students at of these were collected in 1839,St. Olaf College has been working because hundreds of the specimensto illustrate the expeditions of he collected in 1838 were sadlyNicollet. We have been supported lost in transit from Fort Snelling toin these efforts by a generous St. Louis. John Torrey cataloguedgrant from NCUR/Lancy. We the Geyer collection in the 1843are working to better understand Report to illustrate Nicollet’s mapchanges in the landscape since the and lists 430 plant specimens. Wetime of Nicollet, combining modern have now located over 300 of theselandscape photography with lake specimens. The majority we havewater data, sediment cores from five found were either at the Nationallakes, and images of the original Herbarium or the Missouri Botanicaljournal. The current product of our Garden Herbarium, but others werework can be found at www.stolaf. found at the Philadelphia Academyedu/academics/nicollet/index.html of Sciences, New York Botanical As part of this project, we have Garden, Harvard Herbarium, andbeen “rediscovering” the botanical even one at the University of John Almendinger, DNR forestwork of Charles A. Geyer. His Minnesota. The herbaria have all ecologist, talks to participantswork has often been overlooked, graciously either arranged to image on a June 27 field trip to a cedarperhaps because his journal notes these specimens or have allowed swamp in the Hill City area.are interwoven so seamlessly in the us to image them, and they will be Photo by Scott Milburn.6
Plant Loreby Thor Kommedahl about the fringed gentian by William Cullen Bryant, Emily Dickinson, Edgar Allan Poe, Helen HuntWhat is fringed gentian? Jackson, and Sarah Whitman. It is Gentianopsis crinita, Is it a garden plant?formerly known as Gentiana crinita, It needs sunny locations in moistin the gentian family, native to moist habitats and to be seeded annually.prairies in Minnesota. The lesserfringed gentian is G. procera.How did it get its names? To the Fringed Gentian Gentianopsis means “like agentian,” and gentian was namedafter Gentius, King of Illyria (second by William Cullen Bryant (1794-century B.C.) who, according 1878)to Pliny, was supposed to have Thou blossom bright withdiscovered medicinal uses for the autumn dew, yellow gentian (G. lutea). Crinita And coloured with the heaven’smeans “with long hairs,” referring own blue, to the long fringe on petals. Procera That openest when the quietmeans tall. which is contradictory light Fringed gentian, Gentianopsisbecause G. procera is the shorter of Succeeds the keen and frosty crinita, photo by Scott Milburn.the two species. night.Where does it grow? It grows in moist meadows in the Thou comest not when violets MNNPS welcomesstate from southeast to northwest, lean new membersbut less so in northeast and southwest O’er wandering brooks and The Society gives a warmMinnesota. It often heralds the end springs unseen, welcome to 17 new members (listedof the wildflower season. It is either Or columbines, in purple alphabetically) who joined duringthreatened or endangered in many dressed, Nod o’er the ground-bird’s the second quarter of 2009.states. hidden nest. Dale Blount, MinneapolisWhat does it look like? Thou waitest late and com’st Susan Damon, St. Paul It is a biennial and flowers inthe second season; sometimes it alone, Jim Drake, Arden Hillsbehaves as an annual. The plant When woods are bare and birds Katherine Grumstrup,forms a small, basal rosette the first are flown, Minneapolisyear. Plants are 12-32 inches tall. And frosts and shortening days Cary Hamel, Winnipeg,Flowers open and close daily, and portend Manitobaare open when it’s sunny and closed The aged year is near his end. Bobby Henderson, Adawhen it’s cloudy. It has four petals, Ross Hier, Crookston Then doth thy sweet and quietfour sepals, and the blue petals Kristina Hughes, Minneapolis eye flare out with fringed lobes from a David Klett, Eden Prairie Look through its fringes to thecorolla tube. The fruit is a capsule Rachel Marty, Burnsville sky, containing many tiny seeds that Brian O’Brien, St. Peter Blue — blue — as if that sky letare wind-blown. It flowers in late Donovan Pietruszewski, fall summer. The opposite leaves are A flower from its cerulean wall. Karlstadegg- to willow leaf-shaped. I would that thus, when I shall Laura Reeves, Gardenton,Is it edible, poisonous, or Manitobamedicinal? see The hour of death draw near to Russ Reisz, Karlstad None of the above. Somegentians have medicinal properties me, Cheryl Ryland, Plymouth(tonic) but not this species. Hope, blossoming within my Dan and Vicki Svadarsky, heart, CrookstonIs there folklore for fringed Susan Weaver and Paul Mote,gentian? May look to heaven as I depart. Yes, poems have been written St. Cloud 7
Minnesota Native Plant SocietyP.O. Box 20401Bloomington, MN 55420Summer 2009 Directions: Take MN Hwy. 52 to the Butler Ave. E. exit in West St. Paul. Go west on Butler 0.2 mile to Stassen Lane. Go south on Stassen Lane to Thompson County Park.