Fall 2003 Minnesota Plant Press


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Fall 2003 Minnesota Plant Press

  1. 1. Minnesota Plant Press The Minnesota Native Plant Society NewsletterVolume 23 Number 1 Fall 2003 Monthly meetings Minnesota Valley National Wildlife Refuge Projects are restoring Visitor Center, 3815 East 80th St. Bloomington, MN 55425-1600 952-854-5900 wetlands and prairies Prairie and wetland restoration projects are underway in many 6:30 p.m. — Building east door opens Minnesota locations, but we hear mainly of losses of natural areas. 6:30 p.m. — Refreshments, information, Room A From time to time news of some of the new or successful projects 7 – 9 p.m — Program, society business will be included in the Minnesota Plant Press. Is there a project in 7:30 p.m. — Building door is locked your area that would interest MNPS members? If there is, contact 9:30 p.m. — Building closes Gerry Drewry, editor, at 651-463-8006, or gdrewry@infionline.net Programs Olmsted County The MNPS meets the first Thursday in by Joel DunnetteOctober, November, December, February, If you wonder if you can make a difference, I have an example forMarch, April, May and June. Check the you. Six years ago, with aid of a DNR Conservation Partners grant,Web site for more program information. we developed a “local origin” seed production nursery in Chester Nov. 6: “Old Growth Trees, a Seed Woods Park in Olmsted County. It took many hours of effort, manySource for Reforestation and collaborators and volunteers to establish. Now the nursery is maturePropagation,” by Lee Frelich, University and producing seed for harvest. The parks department has built theirof Minnesota Department of Forest own harvester for seeds of grasses and major forbs. To provideResources; Seed Exchange. diversity, we still need to hand-harvest many species of forbs. So we have volunteers and parks staff hand-collecting seed each summer Dec. 4: “Minnesota Wild Rice,” its and fall.biology, traditional harvest and culturalsignificance, by Darren Vogt. He is with We had already begun developing a prairie management programthe 1854 Authority, which is in charge of with Olmsted County Parks — including prescribed burning and brushwild rice management in the 1854 Ceded cutting. The seed production fits well into this program. To date,Territory, the Arrowhead region of Parks has planted more than 30 acres to prairie, adding to the aboutMinnesota. Plant of the Month: to be 100 natural acres. Production is going so well that the county isannounced. starting to use the seed for converting lawn areas to prairie around the administration buildings. Feb. 5: “Native Plants of Papua, NewGuinea,” by George Weiblen, Department We planted a seed of an idea and nurtured it for several years. Now it is growing on its own and bearing fruit.of Plant Biology, University of Minnesota. Dakota CountyMNPS Web site by Karen Schikhttp://www.stolaf.edu/depts/biology/mnps A 50-acre wet meadow and wet prairie restoration will be takinge-mail: MNPS@HotPOP.com place this fall at the Empire Wastewater Treatment Plant north of Farmington. With a grant from Metropolitan Council, Friends of theMNPS Listserve Mississippi River and Applied Ecological Services are working on Send a message that includes the word restoring an existing agricultural field to its pre-settlement condition.“subscribe” or “unsubscribe” and your Located in Empire Township near the Vermillion River, this projectname in the body of the message to:mn-natpl-request@stolaf.edu Continued on page 3 1
  2. 2. RestorationsContinued from page 1 Symposium to Plant Lorewill improve water quality andreduce runoff to the river while be March 27 by Thor Kommedahl What is Culver’s-root?providing wildlife habitat and The 2004 Native Plant Society Symposium has been scheduled for Culver’s-root, or Culver’s-physic, isconnectivity to other natural areas. Veronicastrum virginicum, in the Saturday, March 27, at the Bunker Wet meadows are one of the snapdragon family. Hills Activity Center in Coon Rapids.wetland types most likely to be How did it get it’s name? The topic will be savanna andimpacted by development projects It was once named Veronica woodland ecology — the dominantand least likely to be restored by virginica, but the genus name was historic plant communities of themitigation projects. Wetland changed to Veronicastrum; the suffix metropolitan area.mitigation projects typically create -astrum means false, so this is adeeper emergent marsh wetlands. We will explore details about these communities, their geologic origins, “false veronica.” It was named forWet meadows have become St. Veronica who was reputed to haveincreasingly rare across the state, so current threats, research and restoration efforts, and much more. wiped the sweat off of Christ’s face.it will be a treat to see a sizable one The roots contain a powerful laxativerestored. This project also provides The Bunker Hills building is surrounded by recent native prairie and emetic substance, hence thea link in an important greenway name. Culver or Culvert was said tocorridor across Rosemount that and savanna restorations that may provide an opportunity for have used it in his medical practiceconnects the Vermillion River with in Massachusetts.the Mississippi River. Eventually, the exploration. Watch the newsletterMet Council hopes to make this site and Web site for more information. What does the plant look like?available to the public for birding and Members of the symposium It is a native perennial, about two towildlife viewing. committee are Karen Schik, chair , five feet tall, with leaves in whorls Shirley Mah Kooyman, and Jason of three to seven around the stem A 30-acre wet meadow and wet leading to terminal spike-likeprairie restoration is also underway Husveth. panicles of tiny, usually white, tube-this fall at Lock and Dam No. 2, in like flowers that bloom from June toHastings. Friends of the Mississippi Fall Plant Sale? September.River is working with the City of Various means of raising moneyHastings to establish native Where does it grow? were discussed at the Sept. 4 MNPSvegetation at a former industrial site Culver’s-root grows in almost all Board meeting, as a $1,000 deficit isthat used to be occupied by numerous counties in the state in moist projected for 2003/04 if currentpetroleum tanks. The tanks were meadows, thickets, and woods. project funding levels are sustained.removed in 1995, most of the Does it have any medicinal uses?property was donated to the city, and One suggestion was to have a plant Early colonists learned its uses fromit is now known as Hastings River sale in September. This sale would Indians. The Seneca Indians, forFlats Park. The city has been working not be as extensive as the spring sale. example, used the root as a purgative.to improve the property and restore Plants that are left over could be Dried roots are used. Fresh roots areits natural features for public taken home by the grower, or they violently laxative. Cotton Mather’senjoyment and education. An would be donated to a public park daughter in 1716 had tuberculosis,interpretive center and other facilities restoration project. Before MNPS and Mather specially requested attempts a fall plant sale we wouldare part of a long-term site plan. Culver’s-root as a treatment (not like to hear from the members.Equal Protection appropriate for a lung ailment). She 1. Would you be interested in died soon after. The MNPS board has endorsed a purchasing native plants in the fall?California NPS campaign for equal Seed exchange is Nov. 6protection of plant species under the 2. Would you be likely to have any native plants to donate to such a sale The annual exchange of native plantfederal Endangered Species Act. TheESA protects listed animals if it were held in September? seeds will be held Nov. 6. Seedsanywhere they live, but most Please contact Dianne Plunkett should be in individual envelopesendangered plant species are Latham with your response. Call her and labeled with the common andprotected only on land under federal at 952-941-3542, send an e-mail to scientific names, place of collection,jurisdiction. The campaign’s goal is PlunkettDi@mn.rr.com or write: original location of the seed source,to raise public awareness of this Dianne Plunkett Latham, 7013 if known, and type of habitat. Davediscrepancy in federal law. Comanche Ct., Edina MN 55439. Crawford is chair of the exchange. 3
  3. 3. Minnesota Native Plant SocietyUniversity of Minnesota250 Biological Sciences Center1445 Gortner Ave.St. Paul, MN 55108Fall 2003 Issue4