Summer 2003 Minnesota Plant Press


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Summer 2003 Minnesota Plant Press

  1. 1. Minnesota Plant Press The Minnesota Native Plant Society NewsletterVolume 22 Number 4 Summer 2003 Monthly meetings Minnesota Valley National Wildlife Refuge Member finds dwarf iris Visitor Center, 3815 East 80th St. Bloomington, MN 55425-1600 952-854-5900 new to Minnesota 6:30 p.m. — Building east door opens by Ron Huber, MNPS member and museum associate, Science Museum 6:30 p.m. — Refreshments, of Minnesota. information, Room A [Figures 1 and 2 are included as an insert in the mailed copies of this 7 – 9 p.m — Program, society business 7:30 p.m. — Building door is locked newsletter and as PDF files with the e-mail edition.] 9:30 p.m. — Building closes On May 30, 2002, while my wife, Cathy, and I were exploring various Programs portions of Minnesota Hill in northern Roseau County, we discovered The MNPS meets the first Thursday in a small patch of a beautiful little dwarf iris that we could not identify.October, November, December, February, Betsy Betros, our traveling companion from Kansas, took severalMarch, April, May and June. The next photographs of the overall patch, plus some individual plants, includingmeeting will be Thursday, Oct. 2. Check a few nice close-ups of the sepals. Most of the plants appeared to bethe Web site for more information on 10 – 12 inches tall, just barely above the grasstops.programs. Robert Dana of the Minnesota DNR Heritage Program examinedDues for individual the 35 mm slides and identified the iris as the Eurasian Iris pumila. Figure 1 is a group shot, while Figure 2 is a close-up of a single flower.members are changed Note the small patch of erect white “beard” in the center of each sepal At their June 22 meeting, MNPS board in Figure 2, a distinguishing feature of this species. Robert said thatmembers voted to raise individual dues the iris has been previously reported in Maine, Michigan, Wisconsin,from $12 to $15. No other categories were Illinois and Missouri. In Michigan, Voss (1972:431) records it fromchanged. Family memberships (two ormore related persons at the same address) two lower peninsula counties, noting, “apparently escapes fromremain $15. Dues for full-time students cultivation or perhaps only persisting where dumped.” The Roseauand seniors (62 or over or retired) are $8; County record appears to be the first known for Minnesota.institutions, $20; donors, $25. Minnesota Hill is a deep sandy ridge that runs northeast-southwest The membership year starts Oct. 1. A and is located roughly 10 miles north and four miles west of the citymember registration form is on page 7 of of Roseau. It is also about four miles east of the little community ofthis issue. Pinecreek. Minnesota Hill is apparently a three-mile-long remnant of one of the beach lines from glacial Lake Agassiz. It is a very interestingMNPS Web site area, with an amazing floral and faunal diversity. We seem to find something different on every visit. The Iris pumila was in the southeaste-mail: quarter, Section 30, Township 164 North, Range 40 West, less than half a mile south of the International Boundary obelisk.MNPS ListserveS end a message that includes the word The area immediately south of this boundary marker is being slowly“subscribe” or “unsubscribe” and your name excavated for sand, and what was once a level, sandy, conifer-studdedin the body of the message to: barren in the 1970s is now, unfortunately, a very large pit some 15 – Continued on page 3
  2. 2. Fall prairie field trip to be Sept. 6 Iris discovery Continued from page 1by Dan Mielke I will lead a field trip to Peik’s and Mielke’s prairies in McLeod County 20 feet deep and several hundredon Sept. 6. The first site is a dry prairie; the second site is a wet prairie. The yards across. We are attempting tofield trip will start at 9 a.m. The first site tour should last about two hours, find out who is doing this excavation,while the second site tour can last into the afternoon. Feel free to bring but it is probably for roadwater, snacks, or even a packed lunch. maintenance in the county. On the From the Twin Cities, go west on Hwy. 212. Approximately 4.5 miles county map, the site appears to bewest of Glencoe the four-lane road becomes two lanes. Continue westward part of the Lost River State Forest,on Hwy. 212 for approximately four more miles. Ahead and to the west, a and we will make an inquiry there aslong, low, big hill with three clumps of trees on top will be visible. This hill immediately south of Peik’s prairie. As you see this hill, Hwy. 212 will We thank Betsy Betros forbend towards the south and then come back to the west. At the bottom of permission to scan the slides, Robertthis curve is a gravel road named Nature Ave. Turn right (north), cross the Dana for the identification, forrailroad tracks and the country road intersection. The prairie is on the left. checking the literature and Web sitesPark on the right side of Nature Ave. This site is about 45 miles from Chaska. and for doing the scans, and DebDirections to the second prairie site will be given out at that location. Schoenholz, science publications Please feel free to bring a walking stick, as at this time of year there may specialist, Science Museum ofbe a few spiders in the grassland. Wood ticks will be non-existent. If we are Minnesota, for printing the two-sidedlucky, we may be in the middle of the monarch butterfly migration. One color inserts.year I saw as many as 250 butterflies clinging to an old willow tree on a References:windy day. Let’s all hope! Voss, E.G., 1972, “Michigan Flora, I will try to limit this tour to 20 participants. If you have any questions, Part 1, Gymnosperms andplease contact Dan at I am looking forward to monocots.” Cranbrook Institute ofthis tour. Science, Bloomfield Hills, Mich. USGS Plants Database: http://Friends of Springbrook rally to [IL, ME, MI, MO, WI]save the Fridley Nature Center Wisconsin: wisflora/hand/IRIPUM.gif Supporters of Springbrook Nature interpretive center with live animalCenter in Fridley are in the midst of displays, hiking trails, wetlands, The campaign to save the center isa campaign to save the 127-acre native prairie and oak forests. It being conducted by Friends ofnature center. On June 23, City attracts about 150,000 people each Springbrook. This organization wasManager William Burns year, according to Siah St. Clair, formed after Burns proposed therecommended closing facilities at the director of the center. budget cuts. About 300 peoplecenter and cutting its staff of three attended a one-hour rally in front offull-time employees and one part- In 2002 the center began a wetland Fridley City Hall July 10 to voicetime maintenance worker. This restoration process with the their support for saving the center.would save the city about $300,000. assistance of grants from the On July 14, about 250 peopleA second threat is coming from Minnesota Pollution Control Agency, attended a city council meeting. Thecouncil members who have proposed the Metro Council, the McKnight golf course proposal was on theturning the park into a golf course or Foundation and neighboring cities. agenda that night, but no decisionsa housing development. Springbrook Creek enters the were made. Mississippi just above the location Burns said that if the budget cuts Friends of Springbrook is selling T-are made, the center would remain a where Minneapolis and many of its suburbs take their water. As a result, shirts, accepting donations andpassive recreational area. There distributing lawn signs and bumperwould be no programs in the Springbrook Nature Center’s drainage and water quality problems stickers. Their mailing address isbuildings, but trails would be P.O. Box 32722, Fridley, MN 55432.maintained. affect residents of these municipalities. That restoration Information on the campaign is on Springbrook has hosted nature project is on hold until the fate of the the nature center’s Web site,programs since 1982. It has an center has been determined. 3
  3. 3. It’s no surprise that Gockman plansOrchid infatuation: to study botany in college. “My dream job would be to discover new orchids in the rain forests around theTeenager’s tiny hobby world,” he said. For now, the Como Park Highcreates a big impression School junior is working part time at Orchids Limited in Plymouth,by Lynn Underwood, Star Tribune “A white one that was so small and watering, repotting and helping in theStaff Writer different caught my eye,” he said. He lab. “I like being surrounded by[This article was printed in the June ordered the tiny Ornithocephalus orchids and I’m continuously18, 2003 issue of the Star Tribune. inflexus and it launched his exotic learning more about them,” he said.Otto Gockman is a member of the orchid collection.MNPS.] “Otto has a great enthusiasm for Miniature orchids thrive in the plants,” said owner Jerry Fischer. Otto Gockman uses typical teen mountain forests of South and “Sometimes he gets side-tracked andexpressions to describe his atypical Central America, and many grow on stops to admire their beauty andhobby — growing orchids. But the moss-covered trees. The diversity. Then it’s ‘where’s Otto?’”17-year-old isn’t cultivating the big- orchidarium built by his dad, Terry,bloomed phalaenopsis and cattleyas Gockman said it’s easy for him to re-creates the environment in his get carried away with orchids,that sit on many coffee tables. He’s basement with a mister, grow lightsenamored with pleurothallids, which especially the under-appreciated and and a humidifier. less-cultivated pleurothallids. “I’mare miniature – almost microscopic— orchids that he grows on cork or But Gockman’s orchid obsession doing my part in keeping thein tiny pots inside his basement started much closer to home. When underdog plant around,” he said.orchidarium. he was 13, he discovered native Copyright 2003 Star Tribune. orchids growing in Minnesota’s Republished with permission of Star “This one has hairs that dangle and woodlands and bogs. Hiking trips Tribune, Minneapolis-St. Paul. Noblow in the wind,” Gockman said, to photograph birds turned into further republication orgently touching the minute brown hiking trips to photograph wild redistribution is permitted withoutpetals of a Pleurothallis ornate. An orchids. Today, yellow lady’s the written consent of Star and yellow Lapanthes slipper, showy orchis and greenpecunialis resembles “a little jewel,” adder’s-mouth are among the nativehe said. The long Latin names of the orchids he grows in his back yard. Dakota County projecttiny orchids flow easily off his Gockman also rescues wild orchids receives awardtongue, like the lyrics to a favorite by moving them from areas where The successful Dakota Countypop song. new housing developments are being Farmland and Natural Areas Project “Every species of orchid is so built. received the 2003 Merit Award fromdifferent in some way,” Gockman the Minnesota Chapter of the Soil A mother knows and Water Conservation Society “forsaid. “It’s hard not to be intrigued His mother, Jeanne Schacht, knew partnerships formed to accomplishby them.” early on he was a budding naturalist. perpetual conservation easements on Like larger, more common orchids, He was bird-watching by the time he farmland and natural areas in Dakotathe pleurothallids boast long-lasting, was in kindergarten. And there were County.”vibrant colored blossoms in other- early symptoms of orchid fever As a result of this project, votersworldly shapes. But you may need during a 1999 trip to Canada. in November 2002 approved a $20a magnifying glass to see them; most “We were looking for elk in a bog,” million bond issue to preserve someare smaller than a thumb nail. she said. “All of a sudden Otto saw of the most significant areas in the Gockman credits a photo in an a tiny pink orchid and started county. Applications to preserveAmerican Orchid Society magazine crawling around on his hands and farmland are now being accepted.for igniting his passion for knees looking for more. We were Applications to preserve naturalpleurothallids. there for three hours.” areas will be received this fall.4
  4. 4. Field trips feature wide variety of flowersSpring Prairie tour Wildflower Weekend and Louisville Swamp Walkby Dan Mielke by Doug Mensing On June 29 I led a field trip to two Whitewater State Parkprairie sites in central Minnesota. One The weekend of May 9 through 11, the MNPS sponsored a springis a dry prairie owned by my uncle, wildflower weekend at Whitewater State Park in beautiful southeasternWalter Peik. It consists of a three- Minnesota. Jason Husveth did much of his graduate school research inacre sandy hilltop and 25-acre dry this part of the state, and he has explored some of the area’s less traveledprairie restoration. The second site is nooks and crannies in search of rare native plants. His knowledge of thea 20-acre wet prairie with ponds and park and the adjacent wildlife management area ensured that all whosedge and cattail marshes, with semi- attended were rewarded with a fun and informative (albeit damp) weekend.mesic wet areas next to a shallow mud A small clan of native plant enthusiasts gathered at the group campgroundbottom lake. I own this prairie. Friday evening. Immediately we were identifying orchids and other native At Peik’s prairie we saw meadow wildflowers. Some of us even stalked a secretive woodcock.garlic, ox-eyes and wild turnip in Saturday morning additional folks brought the group to about a dozenbloom. In the restoration area I have people. Our first outing was into the Beaver Creek ravine. Starting in itsbeen hand-broadcasting seed from headwaters, lush green spring vegetation blanketed most of the ravine slopessurrounding prairie remnants. Some, and bottomlands. Wood anemone, false rue anemone, spring beauty, Jacob’slike the wild garlic, blue bottle ladder, Dutchman’s breeches, trout lilies, squirrel corn, toothwort, bishop’sgentian, and fragrant giant hyssop, cap, bellwort, ferns, and sedges created carpets of color and texture,have taken hold readily. Others, such interspersed with gray limestone outcrops and bluffs. After returning toas the blazing star, side oats grama, our campsite and following a mild hailstorm, we braved a goat prairie.and wild onion, will be noticeable Layers of clouds were blowing three different directions as we hiked up alater in summer. There is a broken steep slope to find bird’s-foot violet, puccoon, and other bluff prairie species.tile area in which I have managed toput a few wetland plants. Great blue On Sunday we ventured into the lower reaches of Beaver Creek wherelobelia thrives here. I added plugs of we saw many of the same species we saw on Saturday, but were also treatedcord grass, which are now spreading to marsh marigold, sweet cicely, wild ginger, and large patches of wildout. But the overwhelming features leek. Some of the rare plants observed in this ravine included twinleaf,of this restoration are the stands of big false mermaid, squirrel corn, and a rare sedge (Carex careyana).bluestem and Indian grass, which had Louisville Swampcome into this area naturally. These On May 31, the MNPS sponsored a spring wildflower walk at Louisvillegrasses will be just grandiose in the Swamp, one of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s units in the Minnesotafall tour. There are also woody type River Valley. Jason Husveth and Doug Mensing led about 22 people on anplants. Wild prairie rose, false wild informative walk through restored prairie and savanna, floodplain forest,blue indigo, and lead plant are taking and native oak woodland-brushland.hold. Blooming species on the restored prairie and savanna included prairie We moved to the wet prairie site, violet, prairie plum, blue-eyed grass, and false Solomon’s seal. Onewhere we lost one person to participant identified a patch of kittentails, a state threatened plant. Commonbobolinks. Swamp milkweed, wild buckthorn had recently been removed from the woodland’s understory asfield mint (native), and many types part of the savanna restoration work. Buckthorn resprouts, Virginiaof sedges were in bloom. In somewhat waterleaf, and poison ivy were seen in much of the restoration area.drier areas were white camas, hedge The floodplain forest contained silver maple and cottonwood trees, withnettle, and false Solomon’s seal. a dense groundcover of wood nettle. Canada anemone and several sedgeWhite camas is a member of the lily species were near the edges of this forest. The native savanna and oakfamily, with the stalk rising one to two forest contained Pennsylvania sedge, black raspberries, wild geranium, andfeet above the ground, covered with woodland phlox. Several patches of kittentails (previously unknown to10 to 30 white blossoms. Hedge the Minnesota DNR and the Refuge) were also found in this area. A smallnettle has lavender colored flowers depression in this area contained yellow star grass and several sedge species.blooming at the top of the main stalk.We continued down to the edge of the Louisville Swamp is a fantastic place for the nature enthusiast, and if youlake. I am looking forward to fall, and were unable to attend the spring wildflower walk, we would highlyI hope you can join the Sept. 6 tour. recommend you visit during the late summer and fall months. 5
  5. 5. plants and provides cover for crimePlant Lore Why should perpetrators in parks. Homeowners who say they want buckthorn forby Thor KommedahlWhat is wild bergamot? we battle privacy should consider conifers, which offer much better privacy.Wild bergamot is Monarda fistulosa. buckthorn? • Buckthorn infestations reduceIt is also called bee balm and property values. Savvy buyers ask that by Dianne Plunkett Lathamhorsemint because of its similarity to Many of you may have participated buckthorn be removed before sale, orclosely related species. It is a member in your community’s buckthorn ask to lower the sale price by the costof the mint family. abatement program last fall. If so, you of buckthorn removal. realize that buckthorn has been Buckthorn stumps must be sprayedHow did it get its names? declared a noxious weed by the State with Roundup© (Glyphosate) at aMonarda is named after Nicholas of Minnesota. Many of your neighbors, minimum strength of 20 percent toMonardes, a 16th century Spanish however, may yet need to clear their keep the stumps from resprouting.physician and botanist. Fistulosa, property of this pest. If they maintain Spraying must be done ASAP aftermeaning hollow, refers to the tubular this noxious weed on their property, it cutting, and well before any rain. Thiscalyx. It is called wild bergamot will reinfest nearby property. Birds stump treatment, however, won’t workbecause the scent is like that of oil of carry buckthorn berries up to 1/3 mile. during bud break (late March to Junebergamot extracted from the Several of you have asked me what 1). Sap flows in a predominantly information they should give their upward direction in the spring, thusbergamot orange. Oil of bergamot neighbors to encourage them to there is little intake of used to flavor foods (Earl Grey tea, remove their buckthorn. The followingfor example). Bumblebees, is what I tell my neighbors. Please Ask your city to purchase Weed Wrench and Root Talon tools, whichbutterflies, and humming birds are spread the word! residents can borrow to uprootattracted to the flowers. buckthorn trees up to 2-1/2 inches in • Buckthorn berries, bark and roots are toxic. The berries cause severe diameter. These are only effectiveWhat is the plant like? cramping and diarrhea in humans. when the ground is not frozen.It is an aromatic, rhizomatose, native Keep small children out of areas where Buckthorn seeds are viable for up toperennial that grows in dry wood buckthorn berries fall, as the blue/black five years. Woodlands must beedges, thickets, and prairies berries may be mistaken for blueberries maintained annually for several yearsthroughout the state. The flowers are and accidentally eaten. after buckthorn removal. This can bein dense heads and bloom from May • Buckthorn is a starvation food for done by a combination of techniquesto September. The calyx is tubular birds. It causes diarrhea and weakens including replanting and mulching, orand bright (yet pale) lavendar. Leaves them. The blue stains on your house mowing/brush cutting. For small areas,are opposite on the square stems, and and sidewalk are the result of hand-pull seedlings. Large areas ofplants are 2 to 4 feet tall. droppings from birds eating the berries. buckthorn saplings up to three feet in Bird numbers decline in areas infested height can be sprayed with a maximumIs it poisonous or medicinal? by buckthorn, because food sources strength of 3 percent Roundup© in lateNot poisonous but it has a variety of and nesting sites are greatly reduced. October or early November. Wait tomedicinal uses. American Indians • Buckthorn has an allelopathic spray until after at least two hard frostsmade tea for treatment of colds, chemical in its roots that suppresses the (below 28˚ F), when everything else isfevers, and heart trouble, and growth of surrounding plants, much dormant, but buckthorn is still green.physicians used tea from leaves to like black walnuts do. Wildflowers and Professional buckthorn removal isexpel worms and gas. (The oil is high tree seedlings are greatly reduced. the least expensive during the winter,in carvacrol which expels worms.) • Buckthorn stays green 58 days when tree services may give steepBut it is not officially recommended longer than our native species, which discounts. The longer you wait, thetoday. Another species, M. didyma gives buckthorn a competitive edge. more buckthorn you will have, and the(Oswego tea), was used by the • Buckthorn, which has little fall more expensive removal will become.Shakers as a tea after the famous color, is replacing our forests. Dianne Plunkett Latham, a MNPSBoston Tea Party. Oswego tea has a Anything that is still green in October board member, is the Buckthorncitrus odor, while wild bergamot has and November is buckthorn. Abatement Steering Committee chaira spicy, minty odor. Oswego tea, also • Buckthorn eventually forms dense for the Edina Garden Council and thenative, grows in western Minnesota. thorny thickets. It shades out other League of Women Voters of Edina.6
  6. 6. Bell Museum has artwork sales will go to the Scientific Wildflowers and native and Natural Areas Program of theexhibit of nature art Minnesota Department of Natural grasses can still be More than 80 works of art inspired Resources. planted by highwaysby threatened land and water sites in Vera Ming Wong, a member of the Transportation departments mayMinnesota and Wisconsin are on MNPS, is founder of Project Art for continue to plant native grasses anddisplay at the Bell Museum of Nature. Inspired by a 1999 Bell wildflowers along MinnesotaNatural History at the University of Museum exhibit, 16 local artists highways. An effort to forbidMinnesota. Entitled “Project Art for banded together to formed PAN to planting these seeds was thwarted,Nature: Close to Home,” the exhibit promote stewardship of threatened and that amendment was removedopened June 21 and will continue natural areas in Minnesota anduntil Aug. 31. from the transportation bill in the Wisconsin closing hours of the 2003 session of The exhibit features the works of For additional information about the Minnesota Legislature.17 Minnesota and Wisconsin artists the exhibit, call the Bell Museumand includes prints, book arts, Several MNPS members talked Information Line at 612-624-7803 ortextiles, drawings, paintings and about the folly of this “money- visit www.bellmuseum.orgsculpture that depict areas of natural saving” measure at hearings at thebeauty and the threats they face. The museum is located on the Legislature and personally contactedParticipants include Vera Ming Minneapolis campus of the legislators. Roy Robinson monitoredWong, Barbara Harman, Mimi University of Minnesota at the progress of the measure. SpeakersHolmes and Wendy Lane. At least southwest corner of 17th Ave. at the hearings included Roy, Dianne20 percent of monies raised from (Church St.) and University Ave. S.E. Plunkett Latham and Deb Anderson. Minnesota Native Plant Society Member RegistrationName __________________________________________________________________________________Address _______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________City __________________________________________________ State ________ Zip ______________Phone (work) _________________________________ (home) __________________________________E-Mail ________________________________________________________________________________Membership category (New ______ Renewal _______)$15 Individual$15 Family (2 or more related persons at same address) $8 Student (full time) $8 Senior (62 or over or retired)$20 Institution$25 DonorPlease fill in the form above and check the appropriate membership category. Your check should be madepayable to the Minnesota Native Plant Society. Mail the completed form and your check to the MinnesotaNative Plant Society, University of Minnesota, 250 Biological Sciences Center, 1445 Gortner Ave., St. Paul,MN 55108. 7
  7. 7. Minnesota Native Plant SocietyUniversity of Minnesota250 Biological Sciences Center1445 Gortner Ave.St. Paul, MN 55108Summer 2003 Issue
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