Fall 2005 Minnesota Plant Press


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Fall 2005 Minnesota Plant Press

  1. 1. Minnesota Plant Press The Minnesota Native Plant Society NewsletterVolume 25 Number 1 Fall 2005 Monthly meetings Minnesota Valley National Wildlife Refuge Wild lupine has key role Visitor Center, 3815 American Blvd. East Bloomington, MN 55425-1600 in saving endangered 952-854-5900 6:30 p.m. — Building east door opens 6:30 p.m. — Refreshments, Karner blue butterfly information, Room A Wild lupine, Lupinus perennis, is the only plant eaten by the 7 – 9 p.m — Program, society business caterpillars of the endangered Karner blue butterfly, Lycaeides melissa 7:30 p.m. — Building door is locked samuelis. Efforts to preserve the Karner blue are underway in 9:00 p.m. — Building closes Minnesota, which is at the western edge of the butterfly’s traditional range. Today it can be found in two valleys in the Whitewater Wildlife Programs Management Area near Winona. Until the early 1980s, a colony of The MNPS meets the first Thursday in Karner blues also existed alongside a gravel road in Cedar CreekOctober, November, December, February, Natural History Area in Anoka County. Then the wild lupine wasMarch, April, May, and June. Check the scraped off by a grader during a road improvement project, and theWeb site for more program information. butterflies vanished. The topside of the male Karner blue is silvery or dark blue with Nov. 3: “Plant Communities of the narrow black margins; the female’s topside is grayish brown to blue,Mississippi River Gorge,” by Karen with irregular bands of orange crescents inside the narrow black border.Schik, ecologist with Friends of the They were named for the vanished upstate New York hamlet of Karner,Mississippi River and MNPS board where millions of the butterflies once flocked. The inch-wide insectsmember. Seed Exchange. Labels should were once plentiful in a narrow swath of oak savanna and pine barrensinclude your name, common and scientific in 12 states from Maine to Minnesota and in Canada. They are now found in isolated pockets in seven states. Wisconsin is a leader in thenames of plant, seed origin (nursery name preservation efforts.if plant was purchased, or city/county In Minnesota, current efforts to preserve the Karner blue are focusedlocation) and habitat (prairie, savanna, on restoring oak savannas that have open patches in tree canopieswetland, woodland). and sandy soil where wild lupine thrives. Jaime Edwards, a nongame Dec. 1: “Moonwort Madness, Part II,” wildlife specialist with the Minnesota DNR, has been working in theby Cindy Johnson-Groh, biologist, Whitewater area for about five years, endeavoring to recreate the habitat that Karner blues prefer. She said that Minnesota may haveGustavus Adolphus College. This is an started its conservation efforts too late. “We’re really playing catch-update of her 1999 program on this up to get the habitat in shape before we lose the butterfly,” she said.interesting Minnesota fern. Minnesota preservation efforts began in the 1990s, when Cynthia Feb. 2: To be announced Lane studied the Karner blue for four years while pursuing a doctorate in conservation biology at the University of Minnesota. She learnedNew MNPS Web site the insect’s life cycle, which includes two generations a year, and thewww.mnnps.org varied habitat of sun, partial shadee-mail: contact@mnnps.org and dense shade that it requires. In this issueMNPS Listserve For additional information, go Flora ID CD-ROM ..............2 Send a message that includes the word to www.fws.gov/Midwest/ Winter botany field trip .......2“subscribe” or “unsubscribe” and your Endangered/ or to Maja President’s column ..............3name in the body of the message to: Beckstrom’s article in the Sept.mn-natpl-request@stolaf.edu 25, 2005, St. Paul Pioneer Press. Moonseed (Plant Lore )........3
  2. 2. Plant identification system on MNPS Board ofCD-ROM is available to Directors President: Jason Husveth,members at discounted price president@mnnps.org by Ron Huber flora@ucinet.com about once a year Vice-President: Scott Milburn, vp@mnnps.org A new expert identification system for any updates, which he will sendfor Minnesota plants is available on free. Secretary: Karen Schik, secretary@mnnps.orgCD-ROM and may be purchased ata discount by members of the Treasurer: Ron Huber,Minnesota Native Plant Society. Winter botany field treasurer@mnnps.org Flora ID Northwest, Minnesota is trip is Nov. 12 at Ken Arndt, board member, karndt@mnnps.organ interactive key developed by Maplewood Mary G. Brown, board member,Bruce Barnes that allows the user to by Ken Arndt mbrown@mnnps.orgidentify a plant using any number of Join MNPS President Jasondifferent characteristics, such as Husveth and MNPS Board Member Daniel Jones, board member,leaves, stem, inflorescence, flower or Ken Arndt for a winter botany field djones@mnnps.orgfruit. It has color photos of almost trip at the Maplewood Nature Center Shirley Mah Kooyman, boardall Minnesota native and introduced Saturday, Nov. 12. We will be member, skooyman@mnnps.orgnaturalized plant species. Detailed leading a walk through the nature Sandy McCartney, boarddescriptions and geographic ranges center grounds to learn about the member, smccarntney@mnnps.orgfor each species are included, as well many native wildflowers, grasses, Program Coordinator: Lindaas some line drawings. For a sedges, trees, and shrubs and will Huhn, 612-374-1435description and demo, go to: focus on the winter aspects of vegetation, natural communities, and Listserv Coordinator: Charleswww.xidservices.com/FID Umbanhowar, ceumb@stolaf.edu vegetation associations. The CDs (for Windows 98 through Field Trips: The field trip will start at 9 a.m.XP) are available for purchase, by fieldtrips@mnnps.org and go until noon. We will meetmembers only, through the inside at the nature center, where we Memberships:Minnesota Native Plant Society for will learn about the history of the memberships@mnnps.org; 651-$70. The regular price is $100. A Maplewood Nature Center and 739-4323portion of the proceeds will support briefly talk about the ins and outs of Historian/Archives:the society. winter botany before we venture president@mnnps.org A similar key for plants in the Great outside. Technical or membershipPlains covers a much broader area. Depending on the time and amount inquiries: contact@mnnps.orgMNPS members may purchase it for of ground we cover at the nature Minnesota Plant Press editor:$150. Multiple-site licenses are also center, we may drive to Jim’s Prairie, Gerry Drewry, phone, 651-463-available. The CDs are published by which is located a short distance from 8006; plantpress@mnnps.orgFlora ID Northwest, LLC. Maplewood Nature Center. Many consider Jim’s Prairie to be the finest Prairie plants on the Web Both the Minnesota and Great Plants in Prairie Communities is a wet prairie in Ramsey County.Plains Flora ID keys will be available University of Minnesota Web site. It Although only five acres in size, itat MNPS regular monthly meetings has more than 150 different plants contains information compiled bythrough Treasurer Ron Huber. Both throughout the preserve. MNPS member Roy Robison,CDs are also available through the Donald B. White, and Mary H.mail, but add $2 each for shipping. For sign-up information and Meyer about three typical prairie directions, go to our Web site at communities — wet, mesic, and dryFor mail order, contact Ron at www.mnnps.org or e-mail Jason at — and the most significant plantshuber033@umn.edu or president@mnnps.org to sign up in found in each of them. Go tohuber@mnnps.org advance. Space will be limited to 30 w w w. e x t e n s i o n . u m n . e d u / Bruce Barnes suggests that society members, so sign up today distribution/horticulture/purchasers contact him at to reserve your spot. DG3238.html2
  3. 3. From the president Plant Lore Welcome back to all of our society’s new Web site by Thor Kommedahlmembers to the beginning of another (www.mnnps.org) and have this What is moonseed?membership year of the Minnesota information more readily available Moonseed, also called CanadaNative Plant Society. I am pleased for the society’s 25th anniversary in moonseed, is Menispermumto report that we continue to grow in 2007. Shirley Mah Kooyman and canadense, a member of themembership and as an organization, Linda Huhn are investigating the moonseed family.thanks to an active board of directors possibility of establishing a society How did it get its name?and the contributions of our scholarship to benefit Minnesota The bluish-black fruits (drupes)membership. students of botany, ecology, and each contain a single, crescent moon- What a fantastic summer it has related areas of study. shaped, flat seed, hence the namebeen to be a member of the We always welcome the ideas of Menispermum, which meansMinnesota Native Plant Society! Our our members, and we invite all of our “moonseed” from the Greek words.members really stepped up and membership to participate in the What does the plant look like?offered some exceptional many programs, field trips, and It is a climbing, woody vine up toopportunities to visit natural special events we are planning for the 12 feet long. Leaves have three tocommunities throughout the state. coming year. Please feel free to send seven shallow lobes, and the petioleOn behalf of the society, we thank your ideas and suggestions to me at is attached to the blade above the leafHannah Texler, Paul Bockenstedt president@mnnps.org. I look base. The flowers are small and(MNPS) and the Iowa Native Plant forward to seeing you all at the whitish. Some have mistakenlySociety, Karen Schik, Barb Delaney, November native seed exchange, identified moonseed as wild grapeand Ken Arndt for leading outings to winter field trips, and future because of the resemblances ofMinnesota’s Scientific and Natural meetings. leaves, fruits, and vines. Leaves areAreas and destinations on the Jason Husveth, president, Minnesota more obtuse than grape leaves.Minnesota-Iowa border. Thanks to Native Plant Society Remember, wild grape vines haveDoug Mensing for his effective tendrils.service as field trip coordinator in Master Naturalists The first Minnesota Master Where does it grow?2005, and to Ken Arndt and Mary It is native to Minnesota in rich,Brown for serving as coordinators for Naturalist Program is underway. This volunteer program is similar to moist thickets and along stream2006. banks. the Minnesota Master Gardener Our board and officers are working Is it edible or medicinal? Program. Three locally taught 40-on some interesting projects to move The yellow root extract once hour courses are: Big Woods, Bigthe society forward in 2006. served as a substitute for sarsaparilla Rivers, started this fall; Prairies andPlanning for the spring 2006 in soft drinks. Early on, it was used Potholes, starting in 2006;symposium is underway. It is as a diuretic and laxative and even Northwoods, Great Lakes, starting inpointing to a location south of the listed then as an official drug in theTwin Cities, addressing the ecology 2007. Additional information is at www.minnesotamasternaturalist.org US Pharmacopeia.of vegetation in the Driftless Area ofsoutheastern Minnesota. But is it poisonous? Grey Cloud Dunes SNA Yes. Fruits and seeds are The board is working on designing 2005 marked the first year of the poisonous. Cases of poisoning, withand printing our very first Native society’s stewardship role at Grey some fatalities, have been reportedPlant Society T-shirt in the coming Cloud Dunes SNA in Cottage Grove. from children confusing moonseedmonths, which should serve to In cooperation with the DNR, we with wild grapes (which are edible).increase our exposure within our hosted three work events and one The poison is an alkaloid that affectscommunities and social circles. Scott prairie hike. The prairie hike was the the nervous system. Menispermum isMilburn and Jason Husveth will be best-attended event. Four hard-core in the family of plants that produceparticipating in workshops through souls worked on honeysuckle tubocurarine, the chief ingredient ofthe Science Museum of Minnesota removal in February, about 15 people curare — the South American arrow(funded by the National Science stacked brush and cut large trees with poison.Foundation) to document the hand saws in March, and fourSociety’s 23-year history and to intrepid volunteers pulled spotted Would anyone actually cultivatepreserve the many archival materials knapweed on a “slightly warm” this plant?on loan from our many members. We evening in July. Many thanks to all Yes, it is cultivated outdoors for itsplan to incorporate much of this members who helped. We hope to foliage. It can be propagated fromarchival information into the increase our participation in 2006. seeds and by cuttings. 3
  4. 4. Minnesota Native Plant Society University of Minnesota 250 Biological Sciences Center 1445 Gortner Ave. St. Paul, MN 55108 Fall 20052