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Spring 2003 Minnesota Plant Press


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Spring 2003 Minnesota Plant Press

  1. 1. Minnesota Plant Press The Minnesota Native Plant Society NewsletterVolume 22 Number 3 Spring 2003 Monthly meetings Minnesota Valley National Wildlife Refuge Visitor Center, 3815 East 80th St. Caution! Not every Bloomington, MN 55425-1600 952-854-5900 shrub is buckthorn 6:30 p.m. — Building east door opens by Karen Schik 6:30 p.m. — Refreshments, information, Room A Restoration Ecologist, Friends of the Mississippi River 7 – 9 p.m — Program, society business Concerned citizens have done an excellent job in recent years of 7:30 p.m. — Building door is locked getting the word out about buckthorn. It seems that awareness is very 9:30 p.m. — Building closes high, and there has been a virtual tidal wave of eager volunteers attending dozens of buckthorn removal events throughout the Twin Programs Cities area. So what could be wrong with that? Nothing! It’s all great, The MNPS meets the first Thursday in except for one very important thing. In our eagerness to rid ourOctober, November, December, February, woodlands of this invasive shrub, we are often removing some of theMarch, April, May and June. Check the very native shrubs we are trying to protect and nurture.Web site for more program information. Janet Larson, a professional native plant landscaper and self-May 1: “Rainwater Gardens,” by Fred proclaimed buckthorn buster, has observed several buckthorn removalRozumalski; Plant of the Month: Malaxis projects that resulted in a virtual clearcut of the shrub layer. Goneunifolia (green adder’s mouth), by Otto were the species that most closely resemble buckthorn, like blackGockman. cherry, American plum and pagoda dogwood. But also gone wereJune 5: “Shoreline Landscaping,” by hawthorn and bitternut hickory, which bear little resemblance toPeter MacDonagh; Annual plant sale. buckthorn. It became clear to her that we need to get the word out to be careful. If you are overseeing a removal project, make sure thatPrepare native plants your crew can positively identify buckthorn in all stages. If there is any doubt, a knowledgeable person should flag the site prior to for June 5 sale Flag the native shrubs in a dense buckthorn stand so they are not cut. Do you have extra native plants that youcan bring to the MNPS sale? If you dig The following description may be helpful in distinguishingand pot them in May, they will have time buckthorn from other adjust to their pots and become strong Common buckthorn has ovate-elliptic leaves that are smooth ontransplants. Each plant in the sale must both surfaces and have minute teeth on the margins. They vary frombe potted and labeled. They must be from rounded to pointed on the tip, and the leaf surface appears slightlyyour garden or raised from seed. It is wavy. The veins curve so they are almost parallel to the leaf margin.illegal to take them from the wild. Leaves are alternate or sub-opposite. Compare the leaves to similar Volunteers who help with the sale and species to identify distinctive characters. Plum, for instance, hasthose who bring plants comprise the first straighter veins and double-toothed margins. Pagoda dogwood hastwo groups in the line to choose plants. entire (smooth) leaf margins. The veins also curve like buckthorn, butFor more information or to volunteer, call follow the leaf margin all the way to the tip. Buckthorn leaves remainGerry Drewry at 651-463-8006. The sale on the plant well into the fall, when most other trees and shrubs haveis the annual MNPS fundraiser. dropped their leaves.MNPS Web site Buckthorn bark is gray to brown with prominent, horizontal, lighter- colored lenticels. I recognize the bark also by a very slightly bronzye-mail: Continued on page 5
  2. 2. Conferencesand symposia Two wildflower fieldNative Orchid Conference A Native Orchid Conference will trips planned for Maybe held on the Bruce Peninsula in Spring Wildflower WeekendOntario, Canada, June 14-18. It will Jason Husveth has organized a weekend wildflower trip to the Whitewaterinclude two days of presentations at State Park and Whitewater Wildlife Management Area in southeastMcMaster University in Hamilton, Minnesota Friday evening, May 9, through 1 p.m. Sunday, May 11. ForOntario. The last three days of the about four hours on Saturday morning he will lead a hike up a ravine in theconference will include field trips on Whitewater Wildlife Management Area. Morel and wildflower hikes willthe Bruce Peninsula, about 100 miles be held from 1 to 3 p.m. Dave Palmquist, park interpreter, will give a talk atnorth of Hamilton. The peninsula and the visitor center on the history of the Whitewater River Valley at 4 p.m. AtFlowerpot Island at its tip are 8 p.m. Saturday there will be a slide presentation at the interpretive centerlegendary places for botanizing and on morel mushrooms. There may be an evening walk to some goat prairiesbirding. There are 43 species of or limestone bluffs or a spring amphibian walk. Sunday morning there willnative orchids documented on the be another wildflower/morel walk.Bruce, which makes it one of therichest North American native orchid Group Camp Site 1 has been reserved MNPS. For additional informationareas outside of Florida. Information and to register, go the society’s Web site, at mnps.Natural Areas Symposium Spring wildflower walk A free symposium, “Landscaping Saturday, May 31, from 9 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., botanists and MNPS boardand Maintaining your Natural Area,” members Jason Husveth and Douglas Mensing will lead a spring wildflowerwill be held July 9 at Arneson Acres, walk in the Louisville Swamp portion of the Minnesota Valley National4709 West 70th St., Edina. It is Wildlife Refuge. They will explore a floodplain forest, maple-basswoodsponsored by the Edina Garden forest, wet meadows and dry prairies.Council and League of Women New MNPS board Attendees should bring their ownVoters of Edina. Three of the members elected wildflower guides, hand lenses,speakers are current or incoming Shirley Mah Kooyman, Daniel magnifying glasses, a sack lunch andMNPS board members — Janet Mielke and Dianne Plunkett Latham water. The walk is co-sponsored byJohnson, Dianne Plunkett Latham were elected to the MNPS Board of the society and the refuge. There isand Douglas Mensing. Other Directors at the March meeting. no charge.presenters are Arlene Savory of Their terms are for 2003 - 2005 and The tour will start promptly at 9Savory’s Gardens, Edina, and Bob will begin in June. Karen Schik was a.m. at the main Louisville SwampHuffman, Prairie Restorations, previously appointed for 2003 – 2005 trailhead, about 4.5 miles south ofInformation is at to complete Don Knutson’s term. Shakopee. To register or for moreLocalLeagues/Edina Retiring board members are information, contact Jason HusvethNative Plant Summit VII Secretary Meredith Cornett, Ethan at or Native Plant Summit VII, Perry and President Esther Douglas Mensing at“Planning Native Landscapes — McLaughlin. The new board will dougm@appliedeco.comUrban and Rural,” will be Sept. 16 – elect officers at its June meeting.18 at the Best Western Doublewood Shirley Mah Kooyman is adult ‘Art in Bloom’ is wildInn, Fargo, ND. Information is at education manager for the Wildflowers/Wild Flowers is the Landscape Arboretum. Dan theme of the 20th annual “Art inInvasive Plants Symposium Mielke’s property includes marshes Bloom” exhibit at the Minneapolis An Invasive Plants Symposium and ponds in McLeod County. He is Institute of Arts April 30 - May 4.will be held Sept. 27 at Madison, also involved in restoring a 29-acreWis., during the Natural Areas prairie and creating a 25-acre C. Colston Burrell, a landscapeConference. The symposium is co- woodland on his uncle’s farm. designer and former active MNPShosted by the Invasive Plants Dianne Plunkett Latham, a member member who moved to theAssociation of Wisconsin. of the League of Women Voters and Southeast, will speak at 9:30 a.m.Conference updates will be posted at the Edina Garden Club, is leading the May 2 on “Nature Meets buckthorn battle in Edina. Denial: a Tale of Two Gardens.” 3
  3. 3. Traffic, season of year affect impactsof harvesting in aspen forests Abstract of a talk by Alaina L. disturbance level plots (off skid pioneer species, typically grasses andBerger at the Feb. 6, 2003 meeting. trails), indicating that simple traffic sedges. Thus, landings and skid trailsShe is community forest ecologist, did not impact vegetation might facilitate establishment ofMinnesota Department of Natural composition as much as an invasive species that have theResources Metro Region. established skid trail. The impacts of potential to invade undisturbed We investigated the impacts of different disturbance levels resulted portions of the sites later.disturbance, as a primary factor in the same general pattern, Areas not in skid trails and landingsinfluencing tree regeneration, regardless of harvest timing. (most of the site) are less affected anddiversity and floristic composition of However, the sites with greater maintain a more stable vegetationunderstory vegetation, in clearcut species richness on low disturbance community. In the long term, assites within aspen-dominated cover plots (winter-harvested sites) were stands develop, this stability mighttypes in northern Minnesota. less altered (maintained greater allow for reintroduction of species on We explored disturbance effects for variability in composition) than the skid trails and landings that wereareas with high, intermediate, and sites with lower diversity (summer- displaced during harvesting.low disturbance levels (i.e., harvested sites), which is relevant Winter harvest sites more stableharvesting traffic), as represented by when we consider that the initial and The sites selected for wintersoil compaction and overstory remnant understory vegetation of harvest have intrinsically higherremoval. We also explored the effects harvested sites has a large role in the understory vegetation diversity thanof disturbance timing (summer or rate of recovery of the plant sites harvested in summer, likelywinter harvest) on the vegetation. We community. because of soil moisture conditions.characterized understory vegetation In addition, the disturbance relatedwithin sites using five 60-square- Spatial layout important to harvesting, as measured by soilmeter plots along the disturbance We hypothesize that the areas with compaction, is less on sites harvestedgradient: landings (high disturbance), least disturbance might act to in winter. Together, these factorsskid trails (intermediate disturbance), enhance the rate of recovery by result in a more stable vegetationand areas off the skid trails (low providing a source of interior forest community on sites harvested indisturbance). species to re-colonize the site. The winter. results suggest that it is important toWithin-site impacts mixed limit not only the amount and level There are a many questions we Results indicated that within-site of disturbance, but also to consider cannot address through such adisturbance patterns created by the spatial layout, thus maintaining retrospective study. We haveclearcut harvesting were quite a spatially connected network of initiated a second phase of the projectheterogeneous. Soil properties and remnant forest patches large enough set up as a case study in which theregeneration densities varied with to contain interior forest species. pre-harvest conditions, harvestinglevel and timing of disturbance. operations, and post-harvestUnderstory species composition and In summary — harvesting, even development are closely monitoredrichness also varied with level of clearcutting, is a complex using GPS to produce a map ofdisturbance. High disturbance levels disturbance, and generalizations harvesting impacts across the site.had high richness values, in part about the response of understory The goal of this phase is to be ablebecause of a high proportion of vegetation to clearcutting have to be to develop monitoring criteria basedruderal species. made very carefully. Clearcutting on how pre-harvest site conditions leads to a complex matrix of change over time and specifically In general, species composition disturbance levels. characterize the extent of the impactwithin the high and intermediatelevels of disturbance (landings and Landings, skid trails vulnerable based on these changes.skid trails) was similar. The Landings and skid trails are highly In summary, the results of thiscomposition of these two levels disturbed, thus understory vegetation project can be used to comparediffered from that of the low on these areas shifts toward invasive, silvicultural systems as the area4
  4. 4. impacted by harvesting and theamount of residual overstory variesby harvesting intensity. Anti-native seed bills Co-authors of this abstract areKlaus J. Puettmann, Forest Science considered by LegislatureDepartment, Oregon State Two bills that would forbid use of invasive plants could be planted onUniversity, Corvallis, Ore.; Melissa state funds for purchasing and Prairie Passage routes and adjacentArikian, Emmons and Oliver planting native seeds along highway to Scientific and Natural Areas.Resources, Inc., Lake Elmo, Minn.; rights of way have been introduced Roy Robison and Dianne PlunkettGeorge Host, Natural Resources in the Minnesota Legislature. Rep. Latham have been monitoringResearch Institute, University of Chris DeLaForest, chief author of the progress of these bills. When thisMinnesota, Duluth; and John first bill, H.F. 902, characterized it issue of the Minnesota Plant PressZasada, USDA Forest Service, North as a cost-saving measure. Sen. was printed, no further hearings hadCentral Forest Research Station, Julianne Ortman is chief author of the been scheduled. Rep. DeLaForestGrand Rapids, Minn. companion bill, S.F. 1250, which was could let the bill die, withdraw it, or introduced later. have it included in the largeID system for Minnesota Rep. DeLaForest tabled the House transportation finance bill.sedges is available bill after a March 26 hearing by the A Flora ID system for Minnesota Transportation Finance Committee Buckthorn look-alikesCyperaceae and Juncaceae (sedges) and then revised it. At the hearing, Continued from page 1is now available. This is the first former MNPS Board Member Deb tone. The bark becomes flaky as theportion of a comprehensive plant Anderson testified about water and plant gets older — compare it toidentification key for all plants ecological impacts it would have on black cherry, which also flakes. Theknown to be in the state. Bruce her county. Other members also slender gray twigs end in short (1/4-Barnes of Flora ID Northwest is attended the hearing. inch) sharp spines, but the plant hasworking in conjunction with XID The original bill stated: “A road no true thorns. The spines are mostExpert Systems on the project. He authority may not spend money from evident in the fall, but may be nearlyhas completed keys for northwestern the trunk highway fund, county state- absent in the spring. Hawthorn, inUnited States and British Columbia. aid highway fund, or municipal state- contrast, has very distinct, long (1- The keys identify native and aid street fund to purchase native to 4-inch) thorns along the sides ofintroduced species, including all grass seeds.” Opponents testified the branches.trees, flowering plants, grasses, that the prices quoted by proponents Glossy buckthorn has leavesgrass-like plants and spore-bearing were inaccurate, that federal permits similar to those of Europeanplants known to exist within the area. specify the (expensive) seeds that buckthorn, but it has smooth bark andInformation about the project is at: must be planted in wetland mitigation areas, and that costs of no spurs. The upper leaf surface wildflower seeds are the problem, not shiny; the lower surface can be hairy For Minnesota information, or smooth, and their margins arecontact Janet Elaine Ebaugh, grass seeds. entire, not toothed. The fruits are lessassociate director, Katharine Ordway The revised bill reads: “No state numerous than those of EuropeanNatural History Study Area, agency or soil and water buckthorn, but both produce blackMacalester College. Send an e-mail conservation district may require the berries in the her at or planting of native grass seeds orleave a message on 651-455-6204. native wildflowers as a condition for If you are still unsure of a shrub’s the issuance of a permit to any local identity, break a twig or nick the bark.Dolly is needed government unit. Paragraph A does Both common and glossy buckthorn The MNPS has an excellent not apply to grass or wildflowers have a distinctive yellow inner barkdisplay board, but it is not used as planted in replacement wetland and orange heartwood. Some helpfulmuch as it could be because it is acres.” photos are on the internet. Go toheavy and bulky. If you have a Although the bill now exempts dolly, or know where MNPS many of the affected wetlands, it franalnu.htmlcould pick up a secondhand one for would not require Yellow-Tag Once again, look before you cut!little or nothing, please contact Doug certified (native) seeds in prairie And seek help if you or yourMensing, 952-925-3359, or Dianne restoration projects along highways. buckthorn co-workers are unsure ofPlunkett Latham, 952-941-3542. Seeds of cultivars, non-native and shrub identification. 5
  5. 5. What is sustainable spiritual design? Douglas Owens-Pike, EnergyScapes, Inc., spoke on this topic at the June Sustainable designs usually include6, 2002 MNPS meeting. He wrote the following article, which was printed native plants. These plants thatin the April 2002 issue of the Minnesota Nursery and Landscape Association evolved in your region, the localNews. ecotype, will be best adapted to local As spring approaches, here is a fresh perspective on our design practice. climate conditions. These nativeFirst, sustainable, in this context, refers to landscapes that seek to conserve ecotypes have the best resistance toan ecological balance by avoiding depletion of natural resources. Second, our increasingly unpredictablespiritual refers to how individuals connect between our inner soul and our weather. Before selecting a speciesouter physical surroundings. For our clients who are seeking greater comfort list, take time to analyze soils.from their land, combining these two perspectives yields many benefits. Examine if the soil has been modified Sustainable designs require less intensive care and minimize use of by construction, farming, road saltsresources. This allows our gardening clients more time to relax and enjoy or other activities. If you find thesethe calming, renewing spaces we design for them. We can help clients identify problems, tilling composted organicspiritual components that they enjoy. Perhaps, by adding some of their matter into the surface, down at leastfavorite plants or other features that they identify as spiritual, we may six inches, will help recreate a living,encourage a deeper connection to healthy zone for root growth. All spiritual components in our designs plants require vigorous roots to thrivetheir land. This approach can balance will help our clients, our community, with the least care.healing inner emotions with and our planet.renewing the earth. This philosophy Unlike named horticulturaltakes a holistic and inclusive The best designs meet as many of varieties, native plants have not beenapproach to both people and nature. our clients’ needs as possible. We bred for sustained blooming, so it is seek to create gorgeous displays of essential to include a diversity of In addition to being sustainable, flowers throughout the growingthis approach must meet all the season. We must respond to existing species to offer color in all criteria for any successful architecture while proposing changes We are fortunate that there are nowlandscape. While meeting those that embrace all site constraints. several nurseries that provide us withcriteria, sustainable designs also Clients also want us to show them this native diversity. It is possible tominimize the need for irrigation, the latest popular trends. have native plants in bloom fromfertilizer and pesticides. Sustainable April to November in our region.designs also embrace diversity of How do we discover what clients Because they are not selected forspecies, local ecotypes, and allow for want? One way is to ask clients to showy flowers, some species requirereproduction. This approach benefits go within themselves, asking the a larger mass to stand out.people as well as our environment. question, “What landscapes make Native species are resistant toThe hectic pace of modern lives, their heart sing?” Describing this drought and pests, and don’t requiretogether with events that challenge internal image can be simplified if fertilizer. They produce nectar thatus emotionally, have increased they pull attractive photos from attracts gorgeous butterflies. Prior todemand for landscapes that include magazines or books. They may not know the names of plants, but photos settlement, oak savanna covered thea spiritual component. allow them to show what forms and largest portion of our Metro region. Each of us has a different list of colors they are drawn to or repelled Less than 0.1 percent of that plantwhat we consider sacred or spiritual. from. As designers, we can community exists today. Therefore,This is a result of our varied religious recommend the specific plants and every plant we add to gardens frombackgrounds and traditions. The materials that will work best, once this habitat provides an importantemphasis in a spiritual design is to we know their idealized landscape. refuge for butterflies and the web ofhelp our clients make this emotional The decision about the best plants life that depend on these plants.connection in their garden — a place combines these client preferencesthey can see or visit daily. Spiritual with our knowledge of site factors, Opening to the knowledge withindesigns encourage a slower pace. including sunlight, soils, available us is a key to successful spiritualThese gardens can be designed to moisture, and history of land design. As Julie Messervy says infocus more attention on sacred management. Respecting these Inward Garden, each of us has aaspects. These features can help criteria yields landscapes that persist garden within us, a personal placegarden visitors stay emotionally with the least care and delight the that is a blend of our imagination,balanced. Including sustainable client in all seasons. memory, character and dreams. We6
  6. 6. should know both our own and ourclients’ inner gardens. The goal is tocreate spaces where harmony flows system over 100 years ago. During this time of uncertainty and change, it is important that we apply these Plant Lore by Thor Kommedahleasily between the landscape and perspectives to our practice. We What is wild geranium?people who visit. This requires have the ability to change the earth, Wild geranium is Geraniumgetting to know your site, feeling it and how people relate to it, one maculatum, in the geranium familyintimately, perhaps through sitting or garden at a time, perhaps to create a and a frequently found species inwalking meditation. legacy as enduring as Olmsted or Minnesota. It is also known as Some designers feel that if we are Wirth. cranesbill, because geranium is theable to create a space that is set apart Greek work for crane used byfrom normal life it becomes sacred Buckthorn reduces Dioscorides; maculatum, of course,(Peg Streep, Spiritual Gardening.) forest leaf litter means spotted, because of light-This space would encourage moving green blotches seen on older leavesbeyond control we normally exert. It A recent study by DePaul Why is it called cranesbill?would allow visitors to see and University professor Liam Heneghan The shape of the fruit was thoughtrespond to the larger patterns and life and the Lake Forest Open Lands to resemble the bill of a crane.cycles. Spiritual gardens enable us Association reveales that buckthorn What is its relation to geraniumto more clearly see all the leaf litter has high nitrogen content grown as house plants?interconnections, not just the and decomposes more rapidly than The florist’s geranium is in thebeginning and the end. They engage the litter of most of Chicagoland’s same family but it is a differentall the senses as we help visitors dominant native species. genus, Pelargonium. Pelargoniumwelcome the complexity of life with Buckthorn chokes out healthy plant means stork, referring to the fruitpatience and humility. These are not communities by blocking sunlight. shaped like a stork’s headnew concepts. They are becoming But that’s only part of the story. What is the plant like?more popular. Although nitrogen is a critical soil In spring basal leaves emerge as a Buddhist philosophy teaches the nutrient, the excess nitrogen from rosette from somewhat woodyconcept of “Heaven on earth” is decomposing buckthorn leaves rhizomes. Lower leaves are long-possible by releasing control and causes a significant increase in the petioled, and upper leaves arefeeling the beauty in each moment. rate of decomposition. Heneghan opposite, but all are generally five-Feng Shui is an application of this found that, as buckthorn spreads and parted. A flower stalk appears with five pink to lavender petals.philosophy. It is an ancient design dominates a preserve, the rate ofpractice that seeks harmony with the decomposition of all forest floor Are the flowers unusual?divine. According to Minerva material increases dramatically, Well, yes, in the way seeds areNguyen, a teacher of Feng Shui adding large amounts of nitrogen to dispersed. When fruits are ripe, thegarden design, this practice the soil very quickly and modifying five parts of the fruit split and theencourages us to open our hearts, the soil composition. He concluded seeds, being under tension, are shotturn to the natural environment, and that this could have serious negative out several feet from the mericarps,connect more deeply with the land effects on the survival of many native sometimes all at once. If you are plants, even after the buckthorn is there at the right time, you can touchbeneath us. removed. them to release the tension and watch In the 19th century, Frederick Law seeds being dispersed.Olmsted expressed it this way, “The Heneghan found that forest leaf litter virtually disappears each year Where does it grow?enjoyment of scenery employs the It grows in several counties deepmind without fatigue and yet in the high nitrogen conditions found on both sides of the Mississippiexercises it; tranquilizes it and yet in dense buckthorn thickets. The River. It tolerates shade in openenlivens it; and thus, through the disappearance of the leaf litter may woods and blooms from Aprilinfluence of the mind over the body, cause local extinctions of several through the effect of refreshing rest and invertebrate animal species. “This Did American Indians value it?reinvigoration of the whole system.” loss may have implications Yes, roots and rhizomes, rich in elsewhere in the food chain, affecting Olmsted created an enduring the diversity of mammals and birds, tannins, were dried and ground to alegacy of public parks. He designed for instance,” he said. Heneghan powder that was used as an astringentCentral Park in New York City and and his research team conducted and styptic. Scully reports that a teatrained designers like Theodore research in Shaw Woods, a preserve made from cranesbill was probablyWirth. The City of Minneapolis of the Lake Forest Open Lands the most widely used medium forhired Wirth to develop our park Association. birth control. 7
  7. 7. Minnesota Native Plant Society NON-PROFIT ORG.University of Minnesota U.S. POSTAGE220 Biological Sciences Center PAIDSt. Paul, MN 55108 Minneapolis, MN Permit No. 2233Spring 2003 Issue