Minnesota Plant Press                                  The Minnesota Native Plant Society NewsletterVolume 30 Number 1    ...
Lake vegetation of Minnesota is                                                 MNNPS Boardtopic of March 26 symposium    ...
Where the new SNAs are                                                  Northfield group is                               ...
highly successful where shrubs likeTree rings reveal history                                                           bea...
uses and benefits. However, theConservation Corner                                                                        ...
President’s column                                                                                a donation of $2,500.  T...
New field guidePlant Loreby Thor Kommedahl                        identifies aquatic                                      ...
Minnesota Native Plant SocietyP.O. Box 20401Bloomington, MN 55420Winter 2011                      Directions:             ...
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Winter 2011 Minnesota Plant Press

  1. 1. Minnesota Plant Press The Minnesota Native Plant Society NewsletterVolume 30 Number 1 Winter 2011 Monthly meetings Thompson Park Center/Dakota Lodge DNR increases Thompson County Park 360 Butler Ave. E., West St. Paul, MN 55118 amount of protected Programs The Minnesota Native Plant lands in Minnesota by Peggy Booth, SNA program supervisor. This is a summary of her talk at Society meets the first Thursday the Dec. 2, 2010 MNNPS meeting. in October, November, December, The DNR’s Scientific and Natural Area Program is responsible for February, March, April, May, and protection and management of special places and rare resources, primarily June. Check at www.mnnps.org through the system of designated Scientific and Natural Area (SNA) sites for more program information. and our Prairie Stewardship Program. 6 p.m. — Social period 7 – 9 p.m. — Program, Society The Prairie Stewardship Program provides assistance to private business landowners of native prairie through the Prairie Tax Exemption Program, Feb. 3: “New Frontiers in prairie stewardship planning and management assistance, acquisition ofInvasive Earthworm Research,” Native Prairie Bank (NPB) conservation easements, and various outreachby Dr. Lee Frelich, director, and education activities. These include the recently released DVD calledUniversity of Minnesota Center for Prairie Treasure: A Native Prairie Bank Story, which is available freeHardwood Ecology. Plant-of-the- through the SNA Program. As of November 2010, 100 NPB easementsMonth: Viola selkirkii (Selkirk’s protect 8,111 acres; this includes 26 new NPB easements on 2,066 acresviolet), also by Dr. Frelich. acquired in the last four years. March 3: “Shoreline Designated SNAs are units within the state’s outdoor recreation systemRestoration Tricks and Tips established to protect and perpetuate in an undisturbed natural state thosewith Financial Help from the natural features which possess exceptional scientific or educational value.Watersheds,” by Rusty Schmidt, As of November 2010, about 184,100 acres are protected at 152 SNAslandscape ecologist, Washington across the state. Activities on SNAs include ecological managementConservation District. Plant- (such as prescribed fires and, in a few locations, deer exclosures andof-the-Month: Chelone glabra plant community reconstruction), monitoring, research, and educational/(Turtlehead), by Rusty Schmidt. volunteer events sponsored by In this issue others. March 26: Symposium. Seearticle on page 2. During the last four years, 1,636 acres (at 23 sites) have been acquired, Symposium ..............................2 April 7: “Minnesota Forest history revealed ...........4 through purchase and/or donationMushrooms – Then and Now. A Invasive weed project .............4 and added to the SNA system.Report on Some Recent Survey Wild rice regulations .............5 These include 10 newly createdResults and on the Impact of Fungal New members ..........................5 SNAs: Lester Lake SNA (HubbardTree of Life Studies on Mushroom President’s column .................6 Co.), Boltuck-Rice Forever WildClassification,” by Dr. David J. Oriental bittersweet .................6 SNA(Itasca Co.), Langhei PrairieMcLaughlin, Department of Plant Book review ............................7 SNA (Pope Co.), Englund EcotoneBiology, University of Minnesota. Plant Lore: Pussy willow .........7Mushroom-of-the-Month: TBD. Continued on page 3
  2. 2. Lake vegetation of Minnesota is MNNPS Boardtopic of March 26 symposium of Directorsby Michael Bourdaghs President: Scott Milburn, scott. The Society’s 2011 symposium committee has again decided to focus on milburn@mnnps.orga specific habitat and has chosen Minnesota’s Lake Vegetation Above andBelow the Water Line. Sessions will touch on the natural history and current Vice President: Shirley Mahconservation issues of the plants and plant communities occurring in the Kooyman, shirley.mah.kooyman@State’s lakes and adjacent shorelines. mnnps.org The Bell Museum of Natural History on the University of Minnesota Secretary, program coordinator:Minneapolis campus has agreed to host the symposium on Saturday, March Andrés Morantes, andres.26. A brochure with a full program listing and registration information will morantes@mnnps.orgbe mailed soon. Treasurers, membership data base: Ron and Cathy Huber, ron.huber@ mnnps.org Derek Anderson, board member, derek.anderson@mnnps.org Ken Arndt, board member, field trip chair, ken.arndt@mnnps.org Michael Bourdaghs, board member, michael.bourdaghs@mnnps.org Elizabeth Heck, board member, webmaster, elizabeth.heck@mnnps. org Daniel Jones, board member, daniel.jones@mnnps.org Dylan Lueth, board member, dylan. lueth@mnnps.org Shell Lake in Becker County exhibits some of the varied vegetation that will be discussed at the symposium. Photo by Erika Rowe. Elizabeth Nixon, board member, conservation committee chair, beth. nixon@mnnps.org Minnesota Native Plant Society’s purpose Erika Rowe, board member, erika. (Abbreviated from the bylaws) rowe@mnnps.org This organization is exclusively organized and operated for Russ Schaffenberg, board member, educational and scientific purposes, including the following. russ.schaffenberg@mnnps.org 1. Conservation of all native plants. Field Trips: fieldtrips.mnnps@ 2. Continuing education of all members in the plant sciences. mnnps.org 3. Education of the public regarding environmental protection of plant Memberships: memberships. life. mnnps@mnnps.org 4. Encouragement of research and publications on plants native to Historian-Archives: Roy Robison, Minnesota. historian-archives.mnnps@mnnps. 5. Study of legislation on Minnesota flora, vegetation, ecosytems. org 6. Preservation of native plants, plant communities, and scientific and natural areas. Technical or membership inquiries: contact.mnnps@mnnps. 7. Cooperation in programs concerned with the ecology of natural org resources and scenic features. 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; plantpress.mnnps@mnnps.org2
  3. 3. Where the new SNAs are Northfield group is building an outdoor classroom  by Arlene Kjar Getting children outdoors into the natural world to learn about nature is the goal of Prairie Partners’ next project in Northfield. This volunteer organization has received a $900 grant from the Northfield Garden Club to fund their work in the Greenvale Lone Oak Nature Area. The major part of the project will be building an outdoor classroom, which will consist of seven benches grouped together in the prairie/ woods area. A teacher will be able to instruct an entire class. The students can be seated, and then pursue their various activities in the nature area. The project will be started in the spring of 2011. $150 was allotted for 27 species of native flower seeds. They arrived just in time and were scattered before the Nov. 13 snowfall. Some money is allotted for plants, such as ferns, for the woods and prairie. The sign on the west side of the prairie will be restored, and a park bench will be constructed and placed where visitors may sit and enjoy theNew SNAs sights and sounds of nature.Continued from page 1 Additional volunteers areSNA (Benton Co.), Twin Lakes welcome. For more information,SNA (Isanti Co.), Franconia Bluffs contact Laura Bergdahl, 507-645-SNA (Chisago Co.), Seminary Fen 3537, or Arlene Kjar, president ofSNA (Carver Co.), Hastings Sand Prairie Partners, 507-645-8903.      Coulee SNA and Chimney RockSNA (Dakota Co.), and Butternut Dues are due nowValley SNA (Blue Earth Co.). The MNNPS year starts Jan. 1. In addition, by early in 2011, If you have not paid your 2011 dues,three new sites will be added, Lester Lake SNA in Hubbard this is a reminder. You may pay themprotecting an additional 353 acres: County (above) is one of the 13 at the Feb. 3 meeting or mail themLaSalle Lake SNA (Hubbard Co.), new SNAs. Their locations are to P.O. Box 20401, Bloomington,Clinton Falls Dwarf Trout Lily SNA identified by a star symbol on MN 55420.(Steele Co.), and Blaine Preserve the map. The map is courtesy of the DNR. The photo of Lester Membership categories are:SNA (Anoka Co.). The map shows • Individual or family, $15;the locations of these 13 newest Lake is by Erika Rowe. • Student or senior, $8;SNAs. these sites, their primary native • Institution, $20; Attendees at the MNNPS plant communities, and selected • Donor, $25;meeting heard an overview about species they feature. • Lifetime, $300. 3
  4. 4. highly successful where shrubs likeTree rings reveal history beaked hazel (Corylus cornuta) and mountain maple (Acer spicatum)of Minnesota forest were less abundant. In all, this study pinpoints criticalby Mike Reinikainen, Master of to tree death, but tree ring evidence moments in the development ofScience student, in conjunction revealed a uniquely prolonged and one of Minnesota’s most abundantwith Dr. Anthony D’Amato of the severe defoliation event that lasted aspen-types, moments whereUniversity of Minnesota Department throughout the 1950s and resulted managers may be able to interveneof Forest Resources, and Shawn in heavy mortality, even in young to enhance the diversity andFraver of the USDA Forest Service aspen. Interestingly, the recorded ultimately the ecological function ofNorthern Research Station. This is history of defoliations within these forests. Retrospective studiesan abstract of his talk at the Nov. 4, Minnesota strongly corroborates using dendroecology can be used2010 MNNPS meeting. these findings. to better inform the management of our changing forest resource. Dendroecology, or the dating The mortality resulting fromof ecologically significant eventsusing tree rings, was used to severe and prolonged defoliation of aspen increased species diversity Pilot programassess forest disturbance patterns roughly 20 to 30 years into stand aims to halt newover nine decades and to relateobserved patterns to current forest development. Canopy gaps resulting from overstory aspen mortality led invasive weeds The City of Maplewood has joinedcomposition within the Northern to increased growing space and forces with the Ramsey CountyWet-Mesic Boreal Hardwood- increased resources for the growth Cooperative Weed ManagementConifer Forest (MN native plant of other tree species. Species like Area to begin a pilot monitoringcommunity MHn44) in north- balsam fir, red maple, and, to a lesser program aimed at stopping newcentral Minnesota. This study was degree, trembling aspen increased invasive plant species in theirconducted to better understand and in abundance during these periods tracks. Early detection will allowinform the management of MHn44 of canopy tree mortality. Over time, quick action to prevent buckthorn-forest communities, which cover simple aspen stands were made more like takeovers.nearly 320,000 acres of Minnesota. diverse due to canopy disturbance.Understanding how these forests Volunteers are needed to help In later decades, periodic tent monitor more than 10,000 acreschange is imperative to forest caterpillar defoliation of aspen andmanagement and the provision of a of parks, trails, open spaces and extensive defoliation of balsam fir natural areas. These volunteers willhost of ecosystem services. and white spruce (Picea glauca) hike on and off trails during optimalHere is how MHn44 changes: by Eastern spruce budworm detection periods for each species. Trembling aspen (Populus (Choristoneura fumiferana) caused They will mark locations and reporttremuloides) dominated the dense elevated mortality of the respective weeds for removal. An informationaloverstory of early forests following host species. We observed the meeting will be held at 7 p.m.severe disturbances. When adequate greatest mortality within populations March 22 at the Maplewood Natureseed, seedlings, or saplings were of balsam fir. While these events Center. Each volunteer will chooseavailable, ensuing forest change reduced diversity of overstory a monitoring area. GPS units willwas facilitated by the growth of species, they created canopy gaps be available during training and forshade-tolerant understory species and contributed large amounts of each monitoring period. Call 651-like balsam fir (Abies balsamea) aspen and balsam fir deadwood 249-2170 to register.and red maple (Acer rubrum) in the material to the forest floor. In the For additional information,low light conditions under the taller absence of deer herbivory and the contact Carole Gernes, Ramseyaspen stems. The mortality of some presence of adequate seed source, County Cooperative Weedyoung aspen enhanced the growth of such material may further contribute Management Area coordinator, atunderstory species. Such mortality to the diversification of these forests 651-792-7977, or carole.gernes@occurred as a result of resource by providing the necessary substrate rwmwd.org.competition between neighboring for germination of more “finicky”aspen trees and severe forest tent species like Eastern white cedar MNNPS websitecaterpillar (Malacosoma disstria) (Thuja occidentalis) and white For information about Societydefoliation. Defoliation events are spruce. Otherwise, regeneration of field trips, meetings and events,usually brief and typically do not lead balsam fir and trembling aspen was check the website: www.mnnps.org4
  5. 5. uses and benefits. However, theConservation Corner 1997 amendment, subpart 1, nowCurrent status of rules specifically speaks to ecological uses and benefits of wild rice, this beingfor wild rice protectionby Beth Nixon the only plant resource specifically called out.  One goal of the MPCA is to protect those surface waters used for the MNNPS welcomesproduction of wild rice. The quality of these waters will permit their usefor irrigation without significant damage or adverse effects upon any new membersvegetation usually grown in the waters. The Society gives a warm welcome to 19 new members who The current state water rule establishes pollutant standards to be used as joined during the fourth quarter ofa guide for determining the suitability of waters for such uses, including the 2010. Listed alphabetically, theyproduction of wild rice. The standards specify sulfates at “10 milligrams are:per liter, applicable to water used for production of wild rice during periods Laura Aldrich-Wolfe, Moorhead;when wild rice may be susceptible to damage by high sulfate levels.” Peggy Booth, St. Paul; Jeff L. Emmel, Brooklyn Center; Other substance, characteristic, or pollutant standards for 4A waters are Doug, Sheila Grow, Minneapolis;bicarbonates (5 mE/L); boron (0.5 mg/L), minimum (6.0) and maximum Terri and David Hanke, Shakopee;(8.5) pH values; specific conductance (1,000 uMhos/cm at 25C); total David Hanson, Coon Rapids;dissolved salts (700 mg/L); sodium (60 percent of total cations in Pam Larson Frink, White BearmE/L); and radioactive materials (not to exceed the lowest concentrations Lake;permitted to be discharged to an uncontrolled environment as prescribed Jenny Lewis, Winona;by the appropriate authority having control over their use). Jordan Manuel, St. Louis Park; Chris Niskanen, Stillwater;  When evaluating any facility or project with potential wild rice impacts, Curt Olen, St. Michael;the MPCA will consider all available information to determine which Laura Pipenhagen, Zimmerman;surface waters are used for the production of wild rice. If any surface water Stephen D. Poole, Eagan;is determined to be a wild rice water, the MPCA will evaluate whether there Michael Reinikainen, Minneapolis;is a reasonable potential for the discharge(s) to cause or contribute to a Priya Shahani, St. Paul;violation of the applicable water quality standard. If a reasonable potential Karen Sutherland, St. Paul;exists, then the MPCA will establish an appropriate water quality-based Steve Travers, Moorhead.effluent limit in the facility permit to protect the applicable water qualitystandard and the designated uses of the water as a wild rice productionwater. 2010 MNNPS  The 1997 Statement of Need and Reasonableness (SONAR) was for treasurers’ reportamending Minnesota Rules Chapter 7050 and 7052 and designated wild Ron and Cathy Huber, MNNPSrice waters in the Lake Superior Basin.  The amendments were to be of treasurers, have prepared a summarylimited scope but did call potential additional benefits to these classes of of the Society’s accounts, as of Dec. 31, 2010. Assets totaled $17,065.15.people:  those who harvest wild rice for food, recreation, or as an income Expenses ($17,661.87) exceededsource; sportspersons, particularly waterfowl hunters; and cultivated wild income ($9,831.28) by $7,830.59,rice producers and supporting industries. Water level fluctuation (greater primarily because the Society madethan six inches) was identified as the most critical influence on sustained $7,550 in donations that support itswild rice production.  The amendments were considered a starting point purpose.to examine additional water quality criteria for wild rice protection to be Major items in the report includeaddressed in future rule-making amendments. income from membership dues,  The wild rice rule update, recognizing the important resource value, $3,215. Plant sale income was $566.was placed in Class 4A Agriculture and Wildlife Waters, where the Symposium income was $5,275; itslanguage already existed for the sulfate standard adopted in 1973. The expenses totaled $3,857.40, for net symposium income of $1,417.60.first part prescribes the qualities or properties of the waters of the state Dakota Lodge rent for seven monthsthat are necessary for the agriculture and wildlife designated public was $2,078.24. 5
  6. 6. President’s column a donation of $2,500.  Those who have knowledge of his latest work,by Scott Milburn the Trees and Shrubs of Minnesota,New DNR Commissioner understand why it is so important to My past column touched on the November election and political have this high quality educationalappointments. One of the most important positions that affect the mission resource material available. I amof the Society is commissioner of the Department of Natural Resources happy to report that the Trees and(DNR). The newly appointed commissioner, Tom Landwehr, has the Shrubs of Minnesota is now up for aresume and background that are appropriate for this position and is in second printing.stark contrast to his counterpart in neighboring Wisconsin. Commissioner The board also decided to donateLandwehr will have to deal with budget constraints and vocal interests to the Minnesota Conservationfor every issue. However, I am optimistic that Tom understands natural Volunteer, the Bell Museum, andresource management and that there is a difference between management toward the funding of educationaland depletion. kiosks at several of the new Scientific and Natural Areas. Each of theseState needs volunteers three entities received $1,250 in this I would also like to point to something that Governor Dayton mentioned round of contributions. Overall, theduring his inauguration speech. He requested that every capable adult Society donated $7,550 in 2010, andvolunteer one day of their time a month. As an all-volunteer organization, that should be considered a smartwe are reliant upon our membership to step forward and donate their skills investment for the future.and time as well. I ask that each one of us contribute in some capacity,either directly with a non-profit natural resource organization, or with Oriental bittersweeta state agency such as the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency or theDNR. These agencies and non-profits are likely to see reduced budgets has invaded stateand private donations in upcoming years, and we can help. One thing to Oriental bittersweet (Celastrus orbiculatus Thunb.) has been foundconsider is how much we can accomplish as a volunteer army. If each in Winona and on rights-of-waymember donated six hours of time in one year, that would amount to a full in Anoka, Hennepin and Ramseywork year for one person. counties, the Minnesota DepartmentSociety donations of Agriculture announced in On a contrary note, we are in a different position financially. Much December. “Oriental bittersweet isof our revenue comes from either memberships or symposia. What we considered a serious threat to ourcharge for memberships and programming has not increased in cost to forests, based on what it has done in Eastern states,” said Monikaour members this last decade. Yet, the Society has been in a position of Chandler, an invasive plant specialistbuilding up our treasury over this time. This is due to keeping our costs for the department.low, with our members contributing where needed. We are fortunate to be The vine is established in manyin a position to donate this excess revenue, with the board not taking this Eastern states and in Canada. Singleresponsibility lightly. In just the past few years, we have donated with the vines can grow up to 66 feet inapproach of investing these dollars where it benefits many versus a limited length and four inches in diameter.few. We have also looked for opportunities to invest rather than declaring They can strangle and smotheran open checkbook to those that are interested. trees, dominate the forest canopy, Earlier in the year, we donated $1,300 to the Bell Museum to assist reduce forest productivity and block sunlight from ground-story plants.with costs associated with the digital transformation of the Sand Country Their “berries” (capsules) areWildlife film by the late Walter Breckenridge. This was a great opportunity yellow. Native American bittersweetto help preserve the legacy of “Breck” and his contributions to natural (Celastrus scandens) has orangehistory. Especially now, it is an important time to think about donating to capsules.worthy entities, given the economy and budget forecasts. In December, To report an infestation, call thethe board was ambitious and decided to donate additional funds. It was department’s pest hot line, 651-201-decided that these funds would go to four different entities that are in line 6684 or 1-800-545-6684, or sendwith our mission as an organization. We will once again be supporting the an e-mail to arrest.the.pest@state.efforts of Welby Smith to further his publications on Minnesota plants with mn.us6
  7. 7. New field guidePlant Loreby Thor Kommedahl identifies aquatic bound book is small and portable but contains a lot of information and 280 photos.What is pussy willow? Pussy willow is a shrub or small Wisconsin plants On the back cover is stated: Aquatic Plants of Wisconsin: “Aquatic Plants of Wisconsin is atree named Salix discolor in the a Photographic Field Guide full-color, photographic guide towillow family (Salicaceae). to Submerged and Floating- Wisconsin’s true aquatic plants,How did it get its names? leaf Aquatic Plants, by Paul M. highlighting 120 species. This guide Salix is the classical Latin name Skawinski, published by Wisconsin is designed to be comprehensivefor willow. Discolor refers to the Lakes, 2010, $34. and user-friendly for professionalscontrast in color between the upper and casual users alike.” Review by Russ Schaffenbergand lower leaf surfaces. “Pussy” Because we need more awareness The book uses leaf shapes anddenotes the furry male catkin, which in the general public  about aquatic arrangements to separate plants intois appropriate, as catkin means plants, and more people to watch for eight groups; then you look throughkitten in Polish. invasive species, this book is a good that section to identify your plant.What does the plant look like? thing and should help the cause. It In the Appendix, traditional keys The pussy willow shrub has an is portable and has photos, which are also provided for three of theextensive root system and usually many people prefer. At only 6” x genera, Myriophyllum, Utriculariamultiple stems. The leaves are 9” x ½” thick, this glossy, spiral- and Sparganium, courtesy of Dr.elliptical with a smooth upper green Robert Freckmann, who servedsurface and a felt-like, lower whitish as a technical advisor. When yousurface. The flowers are either open the text, you see two speciesmale or female, borne in structures presented on the two facing pages,called catkins. The male catkin with the photos on the right page andis the silky “pussy,” and a female the text on the left. The text statescatkin comprises fruits as  capsules the name, habitat, status, water type,containing seeds that are dispersed distribution, form, what other plantby wind. looks most similar to it, and a shortWhere does the plant grow? paragraph on identification. Key Pussy willow is an opportunistic characteristics are in bold type.shrub that grows quickly along This book will encourage morestreams, swamps, and moist to wet people to learn about aquatic plantslocations, but rarely on prairies, in and watch for invasive species.most Minnesota counties. Until now, the popular and widelyAre there medicinal properties? used 1997 Wisconsin DNR/Lakes The Greek physician Dioscorides Partnership publication, Throughin the first century prescribed the Looking Glass: A Field Guidewillow bark for treating fevers and to Aquatic Plants (DNR #FH-207-pain. The active ingredient was later 97), has filled this niche. It remains Salix discolor male catkins (top)identified as salicin, then salicylic an excellent book. It is 8½” x 11,” and leaves. Photos courtesy ofacid, which centuries later was paperback, has illustrations rather Welby Smith.modified to acetylsalicylic acid and than photos, and separates plants intosynthesized as aspirin. Do we value pussy willows in our four groups: emergent, free-floating, culture? floating-leaf and submersed.What is the legend of pussywillows? Its extensive root system enables Both books include several non- The legend hangs on a Polish the shrub to hold soil together, vascular aquatic plants, such astale about willows rescuing kittens valuable for erosion control, but liverworts and algae. Skawinski didfrom the river. Dot McGinnis wrote sometimes incompatible with garden not include emergent plants (cattails,a poem, excerpted as follows: or landscape plants. By collecting wild rice, etc.). He did include a few…To reach the kittens was their stems in late winter and bringing sometimes puzzling species thatgoal; them indoors, they will bloom and are typically terrestrial/emergentA rescue mission, heart and soul. serve for table arrangements. but often have aquatic forms, such…Tiny fur like buds are sprung Pussy willows are harbingers of as Galium, Glyceria, Sagittaria,Where little kittens once had clung. spring! Berula, and Juncus pelocarpus. 7
  8. 8. Minnesota Native Plant SocietyP.O. Box 20401Bloomington, MN 55420Winter 2011 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.