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Summer 2002 Minnesota Plant Press


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Summer 2002 Minnesota Plant Press

  1. 1. Minnesota Plant Press The Minnesota Native Plant Society NewsletterVolume 21 Number 4 Summer 2002 Monthly meetings Minnesota Valley National Wildlife Refuge Visitor Center, 3815 East 80th St. Botanical illustration Bloomington, MN 55425-1600 952-854-5900 melds science, art 6:30 p.m. — Building east door opens by Vera Ming Wong 6:30 p.m. — Refreshments, (Abstract of Dec. 6, 2001 talk) information, Room A 7 – 9 p.m. —Program, society business My mission, and that of my solo company, Arakunem Arts, is to 7:30 p.m. — Building door is locked educate and inspire people to help protect and restore nature in our 9:30 p.m. — Building closes environment. I work towards this mission as a natural science illustrator by creating visual artworks (and writings) that convey significant Programs information about natural subjects accurately, with some aesthetic The MNPS meets the first Thursday in grace, for nature conservation projects, organizations and agencies.October, November, December, February, Through my experiences splicing science and art, I’ve developed strongMarch, April, May and June. Check theWeb page for additional program personal biases. These may differ from those of other artists andinformation. illustrators of plants, who have their own perspectives, priorities and opinions.Oct. 3: “Buckthorn Busting,” by JanetLarson, MNPS board member and Labelinglandscape designer in Natives Division of “To illustrate” means to illuminate, clarify or elucidate, usuallySupreme Companies; Plant of the Month: through visual images, or to demonstrate or provide an example, eitherto be announced. in actuality or through visual images.Nov. 7: To be announced. A “botanical illustration,” therefore, is simply a visual image that conveys observations, concepts and information about plants or theirDec. 5: To be announced. processes, usually in collaboration with written text, preferably withPlant sale thanks some aesthetic grace. A picture may indeed be worth a thousand words, if it can show, quickly and concisely, images that would be difficult to Thank you, volunteers and plant donors. describe. Aesthetically engaging illustrations can also attract attention,Your efforts made the June 2002 plant sale enhance the visual appeal, or help visually oriented people learn faster.a success. There were many species, andplants were in excellent condition. We Botanical illustration is often equated with infinitesimal detail, buthope they are flourishing in your gardens. the level of detail rendered should be appropriate to the purpose, message and presentation format of the illustration. Proceeds totaled $454.75, comparedwith $360.50 in 2001 and $424 in 2000. Botanical illustration for research requires accuracy in depictingThe highest total was $593.35 in 1999. plants, to avoid misleading or misinforming viewers. AccuracyThe plant sale is the Minnesota Native involves showing the right number of parts, in the right places, atPlant Society’s primary money-making whatever level of detail is used. But “accuracy” is different fromproject. “precision” or “degree of detail.” Drawing tiny hairs on a leaf may add detail, but if the leaf is hairless, or if the hairs are the wrong shape,MNPS Web site those details are inaccurate and misleading. If the leaf edge is the critical characteristic to show, hair details may be distracting.e-mail: Continued on page 4
  2. 2. Sharing and Connecting MNPS Board ofby Joel Dunnette, MNPS Acting President Directors Our goal is conservation of native plants. But we often act singly,independently of others. To reach our goal, I feel strongly that we need to Acting President: Joel Dunnette,share and connect. This connection is needed not only with native plants 4526 Co. Rd. 3 S.W., Byron, MNthemselves, but also with other enthusiasts, and with the general public. 55920; 507-284-3914 (W); 507-365-Sharing can help us and those we share with — intellectually, emotionally, 8091 (H); dunnette.joel@mayo.eduand politically. Sharing is the way that we make the connections that are Vice-President: Harriet Mason,necessary for accomplishing great things. We need to share experiences — 905 5th St., St. Peter, MN 56082-each of us knows some things that nobody else knows! And we need to go 1417; 507-931-3253;beyond sharing with other enthusiasts, so that we connect with neighbors, cmason@gac.eduteachers, students, and the general public. Interim Secretary and People today have largely lost their connection with nature. This loss is Conservation Committee Co-especially noticeable at the local level; people say they care about nature Chair: Meredith Cornett, 1520 N.but express that caring only toward far away, special places. We need to 9th Ave . E., Duluth, MN 55805; 218-restore the personal connection with nature that people need to make good 728-6258; mwc@duluth.comdecisions about their local environment. How can we expect people toappreciate and use native plants if they have no concept of what “native Program Chair: Linda Huhn,plant” means? 2553 Dupont Ave. S., Minneapolis, MN 55405; 612-374-1435 Reach out to those around you and help them make the connection tonature that sustains each of us. There are many opportunities. These include Field Trip Chair: Jason Husveth,participating in work projects, helping with school projects, writing notes 1284 N. Avon St., St. Paul, MNfor others to read, helping staff information booths, and just sharing your 55117; 651-222-2009;enthusiasm and knowledge of native plants with friends and neighbors. I j.husveth@att.netlead field trips and give talks on native plants and the animals that rely on Janet Larson, 7811 W. 87th St.,them. Articles are always welcome. Neighbors and friends ask about my Bloomington, MN 55438; 952-941-“wild” plantings; some ask how they can have their own. 6876; Keep the “big vision,” but work locally. I am finding so much to do in Esther McLaughlin, Biologythe Rochester area, that I will be quite busy with local projects. Those of Dept., Augsburg College,you in the Twin Cities area may not see or hear much from me in the coming Minneapolis, MN 55454; 612-330-years, but know that I will be busy enhancing the knowledge, appreciation 1074; mclaugh@augsburg.eduand use of native plants. I hope you will too. Douglas Mensing, 5025 Russell Ave. S., Minneapolis, MN 55410; Minnesota Native Plant Society’s purpose 952-925-3359 (W), 612-926-8637 (Abbreviated from the bylaws) (H); This organization is exclusively organized and operated for educational Conservation Committee Co- and scientific purposes, including the following: Chair: Ethan Perry, , 1520 N. 9th Ave. E., Duluth, MN 55805; 218- 1. Conservation of all native plants. 728-6258; 2. Continuing education of all members in the plant sciences. 3. Education of the public regarding environmental protection of plant Treasurer: David Johnson, 6437 life. Baker Ave. N.E., Fridley, MN 55432; 4. Encouragement of research and publications on plants native to 763-571-6278; Minnesota. 5. Study of legislation on Minnesota flora, vegetation and ecosystems. 6. Preservation of special plants, plant communities and scientific and Listserve Coordinator: Charles natural areas. Umbanhowar, 7. Cooperation in programs concerned with the ecology of natural Minnesota Plant Press editor: resources and scenic features. Gerry Drewry, 24090 Northfield 8. Fellowship with all persons interested in native plants through Blvd., Hampton, MN 55031; phone, meetings, lectures, workshops and field trips. 651-463-8006; fax, 651-463-7086;
  3. 3. Doug Mensing joins‘Extinct’ rosinweed MNPS board by Meredith Cornettmoth is rediscovered The MNPS Board met at Deb Strohmeyer’s home on June 9 and by Mark J. Leoschke, botanist, as this particular species hadWildlife Bureau, Iowa Department of previously been known by only eight officially welcomed Doug Mensing,Natural Resources other specimens, and no larval one of our newest board members, I first heard this wonderful and information had been gathered since into the fold.inspiring tale at a prairie the species was first described from Doug is a certified Professionalinvertebrates meeting at Luther specimens collected from rosinweed Wetland Scientist and is a seniorCollege last October. It is a story of in northern Illinois in 1881! ecologist with Applied Ecologicalserendipity, discovery (literally in Formal publication of these Services, Inc. He has worked in thesomeone’s front yard prairie findings will be in the near future. ecological, conservation andplanting) and return from extinction. Meanwhile, this article and photosWe still have a lot to learn about our restoration fields, since1991. “I’m have been placed on the Web to excited to be on the board,” he said.own fauna. provide hobbyist and experts alike “I want to expand the outreach of the There is an Iowa connection here with information that will enable Native Plant Society.”too — at least one of the eight historic them to look for and identify thecollections came from Iowa earlier rosinweed moth on their own, either Many, many thanks to Joel for histhis century. It is quite possible that through feeding sign or by rearing two-term presidency, to Deb forthis moth is lurking out there in Iowa, out larvae to adults. This type of going the extra mile as secretary, tojust waiting to be discovered! work from volunteers will add Harriet for her service as vice greatly to our knowledge of the president, and to David Johnson for The article that follows is from the distribution range and life history of his extremely reliable andWisconsin Department of Natural this species. comforting guidance as treasurer.Resources Web site. The Webaddress is Typical feeding damage on Officers were to have been electede s / s c i e n c e / p r o j e c t / p r o j e c t s / rosinweed is caused by the larvae of from among the board members atros_moth.htm. Tabenna silphiella. The earliest sets the meeting. However, a few [Note by Charles Umbanhower: of leaves are most affected, during members were not present, and weThis story really does speak of what the months of May and June. The decided that all members should givewe are attempting to do with plant continues to grow through the it some serious thought over theprotecting and restoring native plant attack, producing new leaves. After summer so that we can make a quickcommunities. Rosinweed is not the larvae pupate, usually in mid decision at our September boardfound in Minnesota, but the more June, the plant will continue to grow meeting. New members are notgeneral lesson still applies.] and produce new leaves not affected expected to serve as officers during by the feeding. their first year. In 1998, DNR Researcher RichHenderson collected a few insect Note the window-pane feeding The slate of officers at this timelarvae that he noticed were causing pattern and the silken webbing that includes: president (open); viceheavy feeding damage on the prairie pulls the leaf edges together. Larvae president, Linda Huhn; secretary,wildflower rosinweed (Silphium live solely within this webbing as Meredith Cornett; treasurer, Davidintegrifolium). He reared these to individuals or in small colonies. stage, and they turned out to bea small moth. Rich passed the mothsalong to Les Ferge, an expert Monarch butterfly field trip is Aug. 18lepidopterist in Madison, Wis. Tag Monarch butterflies at Iron Horse Prairie Scientific and Natural Two years and a couple more Area on Aug. 18. This rich tallgrass prairie serves as a fueling stop forexperts later, the moths were thousands of Monarch butterflies on their journey southward. Catchingidentified as Tabenna silphiella, in and tagging will start at about 1:30 p.m. Greg Munson of Quarry Hill Naturethe moth family Choreutidae. Rich’s Center will lead the tagging, and Joel Dunnette will help inform folks aboutcollection and the identification the prairie. For more information about the field trip, call Joel at home,process were no small achievements, 507-365-809.
  4. 4. illustrators, graphic designers, and BuddingBotanical illustrations funders. The originator, or seed Combined with practicalContinued from page 1 (often author, editor or expert) considerations of availability and Botanical illustrations for research, generates the idea, then finds people costs, goals and objectives guidepublic education, interpretive signs, to fill other roles. One person often such choices as publication medium,advertising or other situations might wears many hats in the process. format, scope and deadlines, for bothbe simple or complex; rough or Occasionally, the illustrator text and images. Where and whatelegant; detailed, bold or loosely originates a project. kind of botanical illustrations wouldrendered, as long as they accomplish be most effective, and why?their purpose: to illuminate, clarify Sprouting Answers to these questions help setor elucidate, or demonstrate plants, The social, historical, academic many parameters for the illustrations,or concepts about plants. and personal environments are the such as subject(s), size, color or B/ substrate in which the originator’s W, and sometimes medium orBotanical art vs. botanical technique. Usually the illustratorillustration opinions, ideas, goals and objectives makes creative choices affecting the What distinguishes “botanical sprout, develop a particular message, visual image, loosely called the “Artillustrations” from “botanical art”? and find the audience to grow. of Illustration,” such as:The line between them is pretty fuzzy composition, media, technique, andand perforated, defined mostly by Branching style, which affect the impact,intent, purpose and presentation of Botanical illustrations serve botany attractiveness, attitude and clarity ofthe work. (or other plant-related fields) through the illustration. art. A non-illustrator artist may choose Fertilizingto portray a plant for personal The different branches of plant- An illustrator who understands thereasons, express subjective thoughts focused science have different subject, context, and audience of theor feelings about the plant, use the objectives and goals. Illustrations illustrations can make more choicesplant image as a metaphor for another must adjust accordingly. For that “speak” more effectively to theissue, and employ any preferred example: viewer. A botanical illustrator’sstyle. Plants depicted in the artwork primary sources of visualmay not be the actual message of the 1. Plant Taxonomy: show information are usually specimens ofartwork. diagnostic characteristics to the plant to be illustrated (alive or distinguish between taxonomic Botanical illustrators create groups. preserved), and secondarily, othercollaborative artworks to convey visual documentation (photos, otherparticular ideas, usually in 2. Developmental Plant Biology: drawings or diagrams).conjunction with text. Illustrations show growth stages, patterns, and Consultations with experts in theand text share mission and goals, but responses of plants to genetic and field provide additional information,play complementary roles. Botanical environmental conditions. background and context. Expectedillustrations focus on the plants users of the materials, or productionthemselves, or some aspect of the 3. Plant Ecology: emphasize experts, can provide additionalplants. As partner to science, they habitat, environmental needs, advice and direction.strive to present the plant objectively; associated species, predators, Integrityand minimize the illustrator ’s pollinators, symbionts, parasites, etc. Each of the collaborators may haveopinions, feelings or metaphorical 4. Horticulture, Silviculture: different priorities for the illustration.views. I like to think of it as trying to The illustrator must consider and trylook from the plant’s point of view. emphasize general appearance, form or use of plant; distinction between to accommodate these different Aesthetics and styles, in both “art” varieties; demonstrate how-to or priorities while supporting the goalsand “illustration,” are subjective and pathology. and objectives, and maintainingephemeral, therefore not a useful message and integrity of the artwork.distinction between the two. 5. Agriculture: demonstrate This is also part of the Art of planting, growing, harvesting, Illustration.The seed Creating a collaborative piece with storing; or parts of plant used/ eaten. Floweringtext and illustrations usually involves 6. Nutrition: show kinds of plants In creating a botanical drawing, anmany roles: experts in the field, to choose, or preparation or cooking artist/illustrator creates two-authors, publishers, editors, methods. dimensional visual images that
  5. 5. represent plants. My drawings start human?). An illustrator can combine Which are art, which areout as rough approximations of elements of several specimens to illustrations?general shapes that I see. Yours can create the perfect average. How do you categorize highlytoo. detailed, delicate watercolors of Under variable light conditions, an beautiful flowers, or intensely We start with the most basic, all- illustrator’s eyes adjust more easily detailed pen-and-ink drawings ofencompassing, simple shape that we and over a wider range than a camera. various parts of a particular plant,can find. Through a process of Wind, extreme temperatures and crammed onto a page?adding, subtracting and modifying biting insects can still be limitingthe basic shape with other smaller, factors. Distracting backgrounds are Botanical illustrations from otherrelatively simple shapes, we embark easily eliminated by simply not times and cultures may be presentedon a journey of revisions and drawing them. in different styles and media:refinements. Paying attention to the With very small subjects, the • Old European wood engravingsaccuracy of the shapes we’re using, camera’s depth of field is very of stylistically flattened herbs;both positive and negative, helps us limited. The illustrator’s eyes re- • Chinese paintings, in “splashedmaintain appropriate proportions. focus constantly, to draw the entire ink” (calligraphic) or “workingSensitive contour drawing takes care specimen in focus. Even with brush” (carefully rendered) styles,of complex edges and folds. advanced technology, there still of garden plants;Eventually, a line drawing of the seems to be a need for people who • Ancient Egyptian murals ofplant grows at the tips of our pencils. can draw plants well. papyrus and wheat; The lines and shapes themselves Sources: specimens or • Australian aboriginal paintings ofimply layers of objects in space, but photographs? important food plant add to the optical illusion of three Many people ask if I work from From my viewpoint as andimensions, we can add shading, or photographs, and if not, why not? illustrator, any of these could becolor. For dramatic, high-contrast Yes, I occasionally work from either art or illustration.effect, we can push all dark areas into photographs, but I prefer to drawblack, and all lighter areas into white. from live specimens, where I can see Restore native plantsSwitching tools, if we cut away the the gesture, growth form and habit to the North Shorelight areas from a linoleum or wood of the plant, how it responds to its Collect seeds from grasses, shrubs,block, we’ll print the dark areas. Or, environment, and better understand or trees to custom grow forwe can reverse our thinking, to draw the cause of individual variations. restoration and regeneration projectslight areas with white pencil on dark Drawing from live specimens helps in North Shore state parks, such aspaper. tremendously in getting the drawing Gooseberry River, Split Rock Whichever direction we choose, it to look three-dimensional and Lighthouse, and Tettegouche.all starts with a seed, an idea, a need “alive,” but also requires me to Under the direction of the Northto convey some specific information translate three dimensions into two. Shore parks resource specialist orabout this plant, or an idea related to A photograph does that for me, but park manager, volunteers will bethis plant, to fulfill a purpose or work doesn’t allow me to see the plant trained in how to collect and handletowards a mission. From this flower, from different angles or to look plants, seeds, or cones from specific closer. When I’m drawing from a plants in the park. Volunteers mustperhaps another seed will grow. photograph, I find myself looking be able to work outdoors in a variety behind the photo to try to see the of conditions, follow instructions,Addenda other side of the plant. and work safely. A time commitmentIllustrate with drawings or of one full day, or a couple of half When live specimens aren’tphotographs? available, I use herbarium days, during the week is preferred. People often ask why I bother specimens. Although the three-drawing plants and other natural The need for volunteers varies dimensionality of the plant is lost, thesubjects. Wouldn’t photography be each season. Collection generally growth form is retained, and thequicker? Perhaps, but they do diagnostic characteristics by which occurs in late summer or early fall.different jobs. Often, a perfect, or the plant is identified are mostly Contact Harley Hanson, North Shore“average” specimen needs to be available. Combining photographs Parks Resource Specialist, Twoillustrated, but may not actually exist with herbarium specimens is the best Harbors, at 218-226-6376 or(where is the perfectly average substitute for a live specimen.
  6. 6. Dakota Countybond issue would McKnight Foundation tosave natural areas Dakota County residents will vote launch public serviceNov. 5 on a referendum that wouldprotect high priority natural areas and campaign on open spacefarmland, rivers and drinking water by Meredith Cornettin the county. If the measure passes, In September, nearly two years of planning will culminate in a grassrootsthe county will issue $20 million in public service campaign aimed at protecting vital open space in the Twinbonds to fund the program. Cities region. The 12-month campaign will kick off in mid-September withMatching funds may increase the ads and a campaign Web to up to $40 million. Planned by an alliance of Twin Cities nonprofits, government agencies, Participation will be voluntary, and academic centers, and The McKnight Foundation, the campaign willprotected land can remain private. encourage metro area residents toThe funds will be used to purchaseperpetual conservation easements or MNPS Web site tells become involved in civic, municipal, and state decisions on how land isto purchase natural areas. Half of themoney is to be spent to protect how to help protect used.natural areas, and half to protect native plants The campaign Web site will containfarmland that adjoins natural areas or a wealth of information about openbodies of water. An implementation by Meredith Cornett space issues in the Twin Cities region,plan lists criteria and priorities. A MNPS members can find out how including examples of sites that arecitizens’ advisory committee will to get involved with native plant endangered. Visitors will also be ablereview applications and recommend conservation by visiting the to nominate favorite open spaces thatland to be protected. An annual audit they feel need protection. Conservation Committee Web site.will be conducted. Go to the society’s Web site and click Other Web site features will include: Hundreds of citizens and nine on “Conservation Committee,” or • A citizen tool kit;organizations were involved in four type in this address: • Information for landownersyears of planning and research that depts/biology/mnps/cc.html interested in alternatives toculminated with the Farmland and development; andNatural Areas Protection Plan. The Currently, information is availablecounty board adopted the plan Jan. on how to take action on the • Ways that citizens can get29, with a 5 to 2 vote. In April they following topics: involved with protection effortsvoted unanimously to hold the $20 already underway by organizationsmillion referendum. It will be • Help shape the future of such as Friends of the Mississippi“County Question 1” on the ballot. Minnesota’s national forests (over RIver, Great River Greening,The bond issue will cost the owner 4.5 million acres of native plant Minnesota Center for Environmentalof an average $160,000 house about habitat); Advocacy, Minnesota Land Trust,$18 annually for 10 years. • Advocate equal protection for 1000 Friends of Minnesota, Sierra Club, and Trust for Public Land. A citizens’ committee, “Vote Yes plants under the Federal Endangeredfor our Land and Water,” is Species Act through the Native Plant This is an important time for actionsupporting the referendum. Co- Conservation Campaign; — many critical land use decisionschairs are Bev Topp, chair of the lie ahead in 2003. Be sure to check • Spread the word about impactsEureka Twp. Board of Supervisors, out the new campaign Web site inand Rick Hansen, chair of the Dakota of non-native earthworm invasions mid-September. Then join inCounty Soil & Water Conservation on Minnesota’s northern hardwood speaking out to protect open spaces.District Board. Gerry Drewry, editor forests; The next generation will thank you.of the Minnesota Plant Press, is co- • Encourage the City of Duluth tochair of the outreach committee. Visit The McKnight Foundation conserve significant native plant online at, For additional information, go to communities at Spirit Mountain and keep an eye out for links to thethe Web site, Recreation Area and on Park Point. campaign Web site in September.
  7. 7. Ideas are shared at North Plant LoreAmerican Prairie Conference by Thor Kommedahl What is Grass of Parnassus?by Joel Dunnette It is a low-growing, bog plant Every other year folks interested in prairies gather for the North American called Parnassia palustris, and it isPrairie Conference. I have had the pleasure to attend a few, including this a member of the saxifrage family.year’s edition, which was held in Kirksville, Mo. As always, it was good This flowering plant is native toto be able to share information and enthusiasm for our prairie heritage. central and northern Minnesota.There were four to six concurrent sessions, so I only sampled the diverseinformation and discussion. Here are some ideas of note: How did it get its name? Dioscorides, a first century Greek • Many projects are on a much larger scale than 10 years ago. Projects physician and author of Materiaof 1,000+ acres are now common. Medica, named the plant “Agrostis • There is also more urban use of native plants. en parnasso,” the grass of Mount Parnassus — a place in Greece sacred • Several states have programs for local origin seed. Although differing, to Apollo and the Muses. The namethese states are working toward similar goals. Parnassia was selected either to • There was good discussion about the mechanics, economics, and honor the name used by Dioscoridessociology of production of native plants. Missouri’s “Grow Native” program or else to recognize this as an alpineis pushing native plants into the general horticultural marketplace. plant; it grows in northern latitudes around the world. “Palustris” means • Monitoring of plants varies widely. There are some reasons for boggy or marshy, to show it to be adifferences. But we need to do much more to be able to save, recall, share bog plant.and compare data. How can one recognize the plant? • Discoveries are still being made, especially about insects and It is a smooth perennial growinginteractions that plants have with insects, grazing animals, mychorhizae,haying or burning, as well as interactions between plants. in calcareous fens, has a bare stem arising from basal, heart-shaped • We know relatively little about prairie insects, or indeed, native insects leaves, and has prominent veins inin general. the five white petals. The “bare” stem does have a single, small leaf about • There is often great specialization of knowledge, and a need to sharenot only knowledge but also efforts. a third of the way up the stem. The fruit is an egg-shaped, four-parted • Methods for control of reed canary grass are emerging. Timing and capsule.choice of herbicide are important, as is rapid re-vegetation with desirablespecies. Is the plant useful economically? Not really. Some have transferred • There is some very interesting prairie in Missouri, often remaining due plants to their gardens. Dioscoridesto the widespread practice of haying mixed vegetation fields. wrote that juice from the roots, when • Missouri’s dedicated funding for conservation is having a wonderful mixed with wine, honey, someimpact. myrrh, pepper, and frankincense, is an “excellent medicine for the • There were not many folks from Minnesota. At each conference, there eyes”— maybe in his day!are many people from the host state; only after attending several prairieconferences do I get a good sense of the widespread interest in prairie across Environmental Web sitethe region. has local information • Several presentations pointed out the importance of persistence in ForMyWorld, an Environmentalpursuing goals. Defense and National Wildlife Federation Web site, has local The next North American Prairie Conference is set for Madison, Wis., in information by Zip codes. The2004. I plan to attend — how about you? address is
  8. 8. Minnesota Native Plant Society NON-PROFIT ORG.University of Minnesota U.S. POSTAGE220 Biological Sciences Center PAIDSt. Paul, MN 55108 Minneapolis, MN Permit No. 2233 Summer 2002 Issue