Fall 2007 Minnesota Plant Press


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Fall 2007 Minnesota Plant Press

  1. 1. Minnesota Plant Press The Minnesota Native Plant Society NewsletterVolume 27 Number 1 Fall 2007 Monthly meetings Thompson Park Center/Dakota Lodge Easements to help Thompson County Park360 Butler Ave. E., West St. Paul, MN 55118 651-552-7559 (kitchen) owners protect 6 p.m. — Social period 7 – 9 p.m. — Program, society business Programs rock outcrops by Tom Cherveny, West Central Tribune, Willmar, Sept. 27, 2007. The MN NPS meets the first Thursday in October, November, December, Reprinted with permission. February, March, April, May, and June. A project near Olivia, initiated by the Renville County Soil and Check the website for more program Water Conservation District, aims to help landowners protect the information. unique scenery and environments of rock outcrops on their property. Nov. 1: “Effects of moose browsing on The project will compensate landowners for protecting the rocklong-term forest succession on Isle outcrops in a perpetual conservation easement, said Tom Kalahar ofRoyale,” by Dr. Peter Jordan, University the [conservation district]. “It provides fair compensation forof Minnesota. Annual seed exchange something that they would really like to have done,” he said.following the program. Package seeds in The new project is attracting interest from landowners in Renvillesmall envelopes; label them. and Redwood counties, despite the fact that there has been little done Dec. 6: Program to be announced. Check to advertise it, he said. The Renville County Soil and Waterour website: www.mnnps.org Conservation District is processing applications from four Renville County and three Redwood County landowners interested in placingDo your holiday shopping at rock outcrops in the easements. Kalahar said they will continue toTerrace Horticultural Books accept applications into October. The Legislative Citizensby Ken Arndt Commission on Minnesota Resources has provided $470,000 for Need a hard-to-find gift this holiday easements.season? Join us Saturday, Dec. 15, between10 a.m. and 3 p.m., on another Society The protected lands will still be available to their owners for usesouting to Terrace Horticultural Books. such as hunting. The conservation district and the DNR will provide Owner Kent Petterson will donate 20 staff to remove invasive species such as red cedar and sumac frompercent of all purchases made by MN NPS the sites. They will work with the landowners in future years tomembers to the Society. A similar outing continue to manage the rock outcrops to protect the unique nativelast winter resulted in a very nice donation plant and animal populations found on them.to the Society. We thank Kent for opening Kalahar said the project was proposed to serve two goals. Firstthat day and thank the members who among them is the desire to protect the rock outcrops for futurepurchased the books. generations. They hold unique Terrace Horticultural Books is located at plant and animal species found503 St. Clair Ave., St. Paul 55102. For a nowhere else in the state, and their In this issuepreview of their selections and directions geologic features are also of President’s column...............2on how to get there, go to special importance. The exposed Field trips.............................2www.terracehorticulturalbooks.com granite bedrock is more than 3.5 Conservation committee ......2MN NPS website: www.mnnps.org Plant Lore: Dogbane ............3Blog: www.mnnpsblogspot.com Continued on page 3 Welby Smith award..............4
  2. 2. President’s Column Conservation groupby Scott Milburn needs helpers MN NPS Board A great deal of behind-the-sceneeffort goes into the operation of our The MN NPS Conservation of Directorsorganization. This happens when Committee will launch a web page President: Scott Milburn,members step up and volunteer their soon. Under the leadership of president@mnnps.orgpersonal time for the betterment of Committee Chair Beth Nixon, they Vice President: Shirley Mahthe Society. For almost 10 years, are seeking members who can Kooyman, vp@mnnps.orgEllen and Chuck Peck have mailed complete tasks related to developing Secretary: Sean Jergens,each issue of the Minnesota Plant the web page. These tasks include secretary@mnnps.orgPress. They also have been mailing creating a compendium of state Treasurer: Ron and Cathythe new member packets. The Pecks legislation related to native plant Huber, treasurer@mnnps.orghave graciously served the Society conservation and links nationally and locally to other organizations doing Ken Arndt, board member,and, after all of these years, will be karndt@mnnps.orgturning over these duties. On behalf plant conservation. The committee is also seeking: Peter Dziuk, board member,of the Society, I thank the Pecks and pdziuk@mnnps.orglook forward to their continued • Members who want to be notified of letter-writing action items; Linda Huhn, board member andparticipation. program coordinator, 612-374-1435 Membership participation is • A member to “monitor the monitor” for public notices of Daniel Jones,crucial for the success of any djones@mnnps.orgorganization. We are fortunate to upcoming environmental reviews ofhave a diverse group of enthusiastic state projects that may be worthy of Beth Nixon, bnixon@mnnps.orgfolks on the 2007 - 2008 board. We letter-writing campaigns; and Russ Schaffenberg,recently held our second board • Member input on action items for rschaffenberg@mnnps.orgmeeting with new members Peter this year. Listserv Coordinator: CharlesDziuk and Russ Schaffenberg. Peter Please contact mnconservation@ Umbanhowar, ceumb@stolaf.eduand Russ bring their experiences and comcast.net if you can contribute a Field Trips:great ideas and are very welcome little of your time. fieldtrips@mnnps.orgadditions to the board. Memberships: We are now beginning our secondyear meeting at the Dakota Lodge in Two nature center memberships@mnnps.org; 651- 739-4323West St. Paul. There have been some field trips planned Historian/Archives: Royquestions as to why we are meeting by Ken Arndtthere rather than at the Wildlife Robison, historian/ Are you interested in learning how archives@mnnps.orgRefuge in Bloomington. Initially, we to identify plants outside of thewere informed that the facility at the Technical or membership growing season? The MN NPS willRefuge was due for renovating. Then inquiries: contact@mnnps.org lead two field trips this fall that willwe learned the Refuge would no focus on this challenging task. New member packets: To belonger allow groups to hold meetings announcedthere dueto a cut in their budget from Warner Nature Center Minnesota Plant Press editor:the federal government. We are Join Jason Husveth Saturday, Nov. Gerry Drewry, phone, 651-463-happy to have a new home for the 10, at Lee and Rose Warner Nature 8006; plantpress@mnnps.orgnext few years and thank those on Center for a morning of plantthe board who help set up for each identification. Jason, a former MN from Scott Milburn, our current MNmeeting. Attendance numbers have NPS president and ecologist for NPS president and botanist forbeen great thus far. Critical Connections Ecological Midwest Natural Resources. The Services, will lead participants event will begin indoors at 9 a.m. Another issue is the need to form a through several unique plant with a brief lecture on how to identifysocial committee and find a chair for communities on the property, which plants outside of the growing season.it. The hour before our scheduled is typically closed to the public. The This will be followed by a hike tomeeting provides an opportunity for field trip will begin at 9 a.m. with a several diverse plant communities inmembers and friends to mingle. If brief winter botany lecture inside the this fine nature center.you can help with this, please contact nature center. This will be followed For details and directions, visit ourour vice president, Shirley Mah by a hike until about noon. website (www.mnnps.org) andKooyman. In closing, I encourageeveryone to enjoy the Fall colors. I Maplewood Nature Center follow the link to the field trips page.look forward to seeing you at our Saturday, Dec. 1, learn winter Register on-line or at our generalnext monthly meeting. botany at Maplewood Nature Center meetings throughout the year.
  3. 3. Rock outcropsContinued from page 1 Plant Lore by Thor Kommedahlbillion years old, and is among the What is dogbane?oldest known rock in the world. Dogbane is Apocynum androsaemifolium (spreading No less important, he said the dogbane) or A. cannabinum (hempproject is an opportunity to do right dogbane). It is in the dogbane family.for landowners. If we truly believein the value of protecting the How did it get these names?outcrops as a society, then we ought In Greek, apo means away andto compensate the landowners no kuon is dog (cynon in Latin),differently than when we set aside meaning that these species were Apocynum androsaemifolium,lands for parks or other conservation considered poisonous to dogs. It photo by Scott Milburnpurposes, Kalahar said. literally means “Away Dog.” used by Menomini Indians for bow The easements are available for Androsaemifolium means that the strings. Stem fibers have been usedproperty both inside and outside of leaves look like Androsaemum. And in making rope.the Wild and Scenic River corridor. cannabinum means that its leavesKalahar noted that lines drawn on look like hemp (Cannabis). Seed harvest atmaps in the 1970s largely determined Where do these plants grow?which properties were included in the Both are shrub-like perennials Morris is a recordprotected Wild and Scenic corridor native to Minnesota, with spreading by J. B. Bright, trip leader and refugealong the Minnesota River in dogbane being more frequently operations specialist, MorrisRedwood and Renville counties. found in upland woods, whereas Wetland Management DistrictLandowners who happened to have hemp dogbane is more in open fields. The weather cooperated Saturday,property inside the corridor These species interbreed in nature, Sept. 22, making for an enjoyablediscovered that hard rock mining was and the hybrids are sometimes named time on the prairie. Nineteenprohibited on those lands, but that A. medium. volunteers turned out to hand-collectthey would receive no compensation prairie wildflower and grass seed. In What do the plants look like? the process, they learned aboutfor the limitation. Flowers are small bells, pink in district management and prairie Kalahar said inquiries have come spreading dogbane and white infrom landowners who like the idea hemp dogbane, arranged in terminal ecology, while getting an “up close”of protecting the outcrops. This helps cymes. Seed pods (follicles) are three experience with native prairie.make it economically feasible for to eight inches long and in pairs. The site was a tract of remnantthem to do so, he said. prairie on the Maki Waterfowl Leaves are egg-shaped and occur in The lands will be assessed this fall pairs. The stems (one to four feet Production Area, located eight milesto determine the diversity of plants tall) are reddish and contain milky south of Hancock in Section 16 oflocated on each. The assessment will latex. Tara Township, Swift County. Somebe used to prioritize which lands to of the species harvested included: purple prairie clover, blazingstar,enroll. He said there is more land Does it have any medicinal uses? Actually it is poisonous. Cymarin golden alexanders, prairie dropseed,being offered than can be funded. He prairie onion, snakeroot, and Virginiais hoping to return to the state to in plants is a cardioactive glycoside, mountain mint.obtain funding to continue to enroll poisonous to ruminants. Yet, the plantlands in future years. has been found to have anti-tumor The fourth annual seed harvest day activity. The Chickasaw and was by far the most productive and Kalahar said it would be successful event yet, as Choctaw Nations used root juice as“irresponsible” to fail to protect the approximately 23 bulk pounds of a specific treatment for syphilis. Bothoutcrops. He said that we have lost seed were collected, with an dogbanes were listed in the National95 percent of the wetlands and over estimated retail value of $11,000! Formulary and in the U.S.99 percent of the native prairie in this Many thanks are owed to the Pharmacopeia until 1952 as aarea, and he fears the same will be volunteers, because this amount cardiac medicine. Plant extracts havetrue of the rock outcrops if steps equals or exceeds the previous three been used as an emetic and diuretic.aren’t taken today. years’ collections combined. The2007 membership list Does it have any economic uses? seed will be used in native The list is enclosed or will be e- The fibers in the stem are finer and restorations on the district this fallmailed separately to all members. stronger than cotton thread and were and next spring.
  4. 4. Minnesota Native Plant Society P.O. Box 20401 Bloomington, MN 55420Fall 2007Welby Smith receives member awardby Scott Milburn none is more deserving than Welby. Those who have visited the University of Minnesota herbarium on the St. Welby is one of the foundingPaul campus and viewed the Minnesota collection of vascular plants have members of the Society and has beenseen Welby Smith’s name continuously appearing. He has contributed active, holding almost every positiongreatly to the collection at the herbarium, and he is truly appreciated by and leading field trips. With all ofthose who understand his craft. Just by looking at some of the collections Welby’s contributions over the years,made by Welby, the care and appreciation for each collection can be seen. the board thought he deserved our Welby is a lifetime resident of Minnesota, having grown up on a family highest award. It was presented tofarm in Wright County. He headed to St. Cloud State University to study him at our 2007 symposium and wasbiology, a subject that had always interested him. He completed both his graciously received.undergraduate degree (biology) and Master’s degree (botany) there and Welby enjoys botanizing in thethen went to the University of Minnesota to start his Ph.D. It was there that northeast and southeast portions ofWelby met other botanists who inspired him to learn as much as he could Minnesota, but he is content with anyabout plants. natural remnant. When asked about Rather than continue pursuing his Ph.D., he accepted a job with the his favorite plant, he indicated anMinnesota Department of Natural Resources in 1978. He was given the interest in sedges, woody plants, andtask of exploring the best places in Minnesota, and he has been exploring ferns, then said any plant that offersever since. In that time, Welby has increased our knowledge about an intellectual challenge. He is aMinnesota’s flora with much devotion. He is probably best known for his great source of information and funbook Orchids of Minnesota, which in turn has encouraged many to start to listen to. Welby has an ability toexploring. He has also just written Trees and Shrubs of Minnesota, which capture the attention of his audienceis due out in early 2008. when speaking about plants. Just as Honorary lifetime membership in our Society is reserved for those who others inspired him, he inspires othershave provided exemplary service to the plant sciences, for outstanding work in the subject. The Society is honoredin plant conservation, or for 20 years of active membership. Less than 10 to have such a great member asindividuals have been awarded this in our 25-plus-year history, and perhaps Welby.