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Winter 2003 Minnesota Plant Press


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Winter 2003 Minnesota Plant Press

  1. 1. Minnesota Plant Press The Minnesota Native Plant Society NewsletterVolume 22 Number 2 Winter 2003 Monthly meetings Minnesota Valley National Wildlife Refuge Visitor Center, 3815 East 80th St. Prairies provide a new Bloomington, MN 55425-1600 952-854-5900 stimulus in rural areas 6:30 p.m. — Building east door opens After a hundred years of being destroyed or ignored, Minnesota’s 6:30 p.m. — Refreshments, information, Room A prairies are becoming known for a new reason — for economic 7 – 9 p.m — Program, society business development. A new 32-page booklet by the state Department of 7:30 p.m. — Building door is locked Natural Resources, A Guide to Minnesota’s Prairie Passage Route 9:30 p.m. — Building closes and Sites, is one of the tools being used to increase awareness of these areas by tourists and businesses. Its excellent photos and maps show Programs the diverse plants and other attractions in 39 important prairie remnants. The MNPS meets the first Thursday inOctober, November, December, February, Prairie Passage began in 1993. That year the Federal HighwayMarch, April, May and June. Check the Administration gave funding to the departments of transportation inWeb page for more program information. Minnesota, Iowa, Missouri, Kansas, Oklahoma and Texas to form a partnership to protect and plant native grasses and wildflowers alongFeb. 6: “Harvesting impacts on roadside rights-of-way and to promote awareness of prairie-relatedunderstory plant composition in aspen natural and cultural resources.forests,” by Alaina Berger; Plant of themonth: Cardinal flower, by Steve Eggers. A Prairie Passage route was created to pass through prairie remnants from Minnesota to Texas. In Minnesota, Prairie Passage goes fromMarch 6: “Invasive species in the Wallace C. Dayton Conservation and Wildlife Area in the northwestMinnesota,” Plant of the month: Poison corner, south to Blue Mounds State Park, and east along I-90 to thesumac, both by Peter Djuik; Board Shooting Star Wildflower Route and Scenic Byway. From there itmember election. turns south into Iowa and generally follows I-35 to the Gulf of Mexico.April 3: McKnight Foundation’s “One goal of Prairie Passage is to development awareness of our“Empracing Open Space” program, by prairie heritage. It can be a community builder — ecologically andWhitney Clark; Plant of the month: socially,” said Kathy Bolin, who has had the primary responsibilityDwarf bilberry, by Robert Dana. for developing Minnesota’s Prairie Passage for MnDOT. “We hopeMay 1: “Native Rain Gardens,” by Fred communities will respond.” She would like to see Prairie PassageRozumalski; Plant of the Month: integrated into schools and other organizations. Prairie Passage fitsBloodroot, by Shirley Mah Kooyman. with the recent trend for vacationers to visit areas close to home, she said. As prairies grow in popularity, small businesses will start toJune 5: Plant sale; speaker to be sponsor prairie tours and other activities. There are many other prairieannounced. remnants near the route that could be included in planned tours.April 26: Symposium, Plymouth Creek MnDOT has installed Prairie Passage signs along the roads and atCenter, Plymouth sites. The next step is up to the communities, Kathy said. “There is a lot of interest in prairies. Communities along Hwy. 32, includingMNPS Web site Fertile, Gary, Twin Valley, and Hitterdal, are planning to promote Continued on page 5
  2. 2. Environmentalists Spring wildflowerwin two metro-area Symposium walk will be inelection victories to be April 26 Louisville Swamp Dakota and Hennepin county “Native Shrubs in your Saturday, May 31, enthusiasticenvironmentalists were victorious in Landscape” is the topic for this botanists and MNPS board membersin the Nov. 5 election. year’s MNPS symposium. It Jason Husveth and Douglas Mensing will be held Saturday, April 26, will lead a spring wildflower walkDakota County in conjunction with the City of from 9 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. in the In Dakota County, 57 percent of Plymouth’s Yard and Garden Louisville Swamp portion of thevoters approved a bond issue to Expo at the Plymouth Creek Minnesota Valley National Wildlifepreserve natural areas and farmland. Center, 14800 34th Ave. N., Refuge.This is the first Minnesota county- Plymouth.wide program of this type. The They will explore varied habitats,Dakota county board has started the Janet Larson, the society’s including a floodplain forest, maple-process of implementing the new buckthorn expert, is organizing basswood forest, wet meadows andprogram. A citizen committee will the symposium, which will dry prairies. Participants will seebe appointed to advise them. include a variety of information some of the lesser-known flora of the The county will sell $20 million in on native shrubs. One of the valley as well as more commonbonds that will be repaid over a 10- sessions will include spring wildflowers, shrubs and trees.year period. A typical homeowner landscaping after buckthorn has been removed. Information Attendees are encouraged to bringwill pay about $17 per year for 10 their own wildflower guides, handyears. Half of the funds are to be used on speakers and registration will be posted on the MNPS lenses, magnifying glasses, a sackto preserve natural areas, and half for lunch and water. The walk is co-agricultural land. Much of the Web site, and members will receive a brochure in the mail. sponsored by the society and themoney will be used to purchase refuge. There is no charge.development rights, but some naturalareas may be purchased outright. nine organizations and about 1,200 The tour will start promptly at 9 county residents. a.m. at the main Louisville Swamp Participation in the program is trailhead, which is about 4.5 milesvoluntary, and land offered must Hennepin County A proposal to terminate the south of Shakopee. Take Hwy. 169meet criteria that have been set by Hennepin Conservation District was and exit onto 145th St. W. Followthe county board. Natural areas must defeated with 74 percent voting “no.” the road past the main entrance to thehave one of the following: biologic When the district was founded in Renaissance Festival and over thesignificance, wildlife habitat, 1949, it had an agricultural focus. next set of railroad tracks. Theadjacency to a river/lake/stream, or Now it serves an urban community. Louisville parking lot is located onprovide environmental benefit such Its areas of expertise include the water quality protection or flood conducting natural resourcecontrol. inventories for use as planning tools, To register or for more information, Requirements for farmland to be advising and implementing contact Jason Husveth ataccepted into the program include restoration projects, and conducting or Doughigh fertility, already enrolled in the studies on water resources. Mensing, dougm@appliedeco.comag preserves, and located outside ofthe 2040 Metropolitan Urban Service Think Native administrator is neededArea (MUSA). In addition, the first The Think Native Program is solely sponsored by the MNPS. It assistsparcels of farmland that are accepted homeowners with starting native gardens via information packets and grantsmust be within 1/2 mile of a river or of plants. The Think Native Program is starting its third year, and it is timelake and adjacent to a natural area. to solicit individuals to apply for the program administrator position.After that land has been accepted,adjacent qualified farmland may be The program administrator assists grant applicants with starting a nativeincluded. The program is the result plant garden at their residences. Contact Deborah Strohmeyer for moreof a four-year project that involved details: or call 952-943-9743. 3
  3. 3. thousands of miles on foot throughDennis Hageman — a pastures, roadsides and railroad rights-of-way. Ever since the first day that he and Florence Roefer andprairie champion is lost I walked what is now Prairie Sky Scientific and Natural area near nearly crawling through the long Sanborn, Minn., Dennis has been aby Nancy Sather grasses, I realized he wasn’t a typicalvolunteer interpreter of prairies. He October 14, 2002. A cold autumn farmer out checking the hay. “What had a special fondness for the Jeffersday on Devils Lake. A strong wind. are you looking for?” I asked, and Petroglyphs Historical Site and ledA boat of duck hunters capsizes. was astounded at his reply. He was trips there as a volunteer naturalist. searching for prairie bush clover. Dennis is the one who first sat In this accident, prairie Trained as a botanist and working forconservation lost an ardent a state agency, I thought prairie bush around scores of kitchen tableschampion, Dennis Hageman of clover was a little-known plant—but explaining conservation easements toEstherville, Iowa. This gentle, soft here was a citizen looking for it! owners of retired pastures; who spentspoken prairie advocate is years bringing to a landowner in aresponsible for introducing dozens of As it developed, I was the one who nursing home wild flowers from herlocal landowners to the prairie jewels was a stranger in those parts, and prairie, always urging her to thinkin their native pastures. In spring he Dennis was on home ground. His about conservation as the best andwas out there leading them to pasque love of prairie was as native as the highest use for her land. He’s the oneflowers; in midsummer he was prairie itself. It’s a short way from who called The Nature Conservancy,showing off the differences between Comfrey, Minnesota, where he was the USFWS, or the DNR wheneverthe species of sunflowers; in late fall; raised, to the prairies he studied in prairie land was up for sale. He’s thewhen the landscape looked like an his latest years. Many of those one who bought 14 acres of his ownimpressionist painting in buff and prairies were the same ones where to do a personal prairie restoration.maroon; he led farm families to the he’d helped his father bale hay in his He encouraged young peoplesecret homes of blue gentians. youth. Every place I asked about on interested in prairie and networked the road between Springfield and with every regional group involved Dennis was not a trained botanist. Estherville, he already knew. He in prairie management andBut he had the essential eye—the eye knew where the dry prairies were and interpretation.that notices the difference between had a hunch where mesic prairiesthis plant and that plant. Nor was he might be. Dennis retired about a year ago andan ecologist; but this Dean of Social looked forward with zest to spendingSciences at Iowa Lakes Community In 1986, when I met him, he didn’t many years in prairie biology andCollege had a knack for walking know the scientific names of the advocacy. His untimely death leavesright to the gentle concavity on a hill plants he sought, and there were a huge vacuum in prairie energy inwhere a rare plant might grow, or many of those plants he couldn’t yet southwest Minnesota, but he was notspotting a fen at a distance of a recognize; but his insatiable curiosity alone. The region is alive with localquarter mile. His friends and drove him ever deeper into botanical prairie enthusiasts who understandneighbors in Estherville may know knowledge and prairie ecology. and appreciate this natural heritage,him for his famous ability to spot When the Minnesota County not only for its historical value butmorels in the forests; but the Biological Survey was hunting for a as an opportunity for a newMinnesota conservation community person to conduct surveys in the ecotourism industry of the future.knows him by another measure. southwestern part of the state, Dennis was one of the region’s Our greatest tribute to this modest I first met Dennis Hageman in leading amateur botanists. man will be to carry forth his vision1986 on Red Rock Ridge near Jeffers of a functioning prairie landscapePetroglyphs in Cottonwood County, During the past two decades, that extends unbroken from the IowaMinnesota. I was studying the life Dennis Hageman was responsible for border to Windom and beyond.history of prairie bush clover, a the documentation of 58 dry prairies,federally threatened plant. Dennis 65 mesic prairies, 63 locations of rare Memorial checks may be madewas exploring a little prairie across plants, and 29 populations of the out to the Minnesota Historicalthe road. As I watched that lanky, federally threatened prairie bush Society and sent to Jeffersblack haired stranger bend down over clover (45 percent of known Petroglyphs, 27160 Co. Rd. 2,plants in the middle of a hayfield, locations in the state). He logged Comfrey, MN 56019.4
  4. 4. Wildlife Interpretive Cedar Lake Park — restorationTraining Offeredby Judie Miller of an urban native landscapePublic Affairs Officer, Minnesota By Dr. Keith Prussing two Conservation Partners matchingValley National Wildlife Refuge (abstract of Nov. 7, 2002 talk) grants with the state for native plant Have you ever noticed that some Located less than two miles west restoration; the planting of thousandspeople just seem to be natural of downtown Minneapolis, with a of native trees, shrubs, forbs, fernsstorytellers? Others seem to have stunning view of the city and fungi; and the removal of exoticsways of handling people that make skyscape,Cedar Lake Park has such as buckthorn, honeysuckle,them comfortable. Still others are experienced native landscape wormwood, garlic mustard, and leafyable to explain just about anything restoration since the 70s, with a anybody in ways that make sense. major acceleration in the mid-90s to Cedar Lake Park is a work inAll of these abilities and much more the present. The park contains a progress. It is largely a volunteerare involved in the art of variety of ecosystems, including effort. We welcome your help.interpretation. Some people are just lake, emergent lakeshore, wet forest, Donations of time, monies, andnatural interpreters. The rest of us oak woodland, oak savannah, prairie, native plant materials arecan learn enough about interpretive maple-basswood, cattail marsh, appreciated. For more informationtechniques to improve the way we lawn, hardscrabble, streets and about the park, visit on the Internetcommunicate with others. backyards. There are foxes, minks, at, or call badgers, bobcats, muskrats, and a CLPA at 612-377-9522. Minnesota Valley National Wildlife myriad of birds.Refuge (Refuge) and the NationalAssociation for Interpretation (NAI) The curious thing is that most of Board members to this landscape was under water priorare sponsoring a 32-hour Certified to the coming of the railroads in the be elected in MarchInterpretive Guide Course March 20- The Minnesota Native Plant 1870s. James J. Hill pushed a rail23. We’ll introduce you to the basic causeway across the northern part of Society Nominations Committee hasprinciples of interpretation and coach the lake on his way to the great been identifying potential boardyou in the application of those Northwest, and rail operations, members. Outgoing members areprinciples. By the end of the course, including machine shops and Meredith Cornett, Ethan Perry, andyou’ll have a good understanding of switching yards, continued into the Esther McLaughlin. The boardwhat makes interpretation different mid-1980s. meets quarterly, and its membersfrom delivering a memorized speech serve three-year terms. Linda Huhnand why an interpretive approach The lake level is down 8 -11 feet is chair of the nominationsmay be more effective for from pre-settlement times, due to the committee, and interested memberscommunicating with your audiences. opening of the canal to Lake of the should contact her. The election will Isles in the early 1900s. In addition, be held at the March 6 meeting. You’ll have opportunities to enormous volumes of fill materialdemonstrate what you’ve learned as were deposited around the lake. This Prairie Passage guidethe session progresses. If those included a public works dump near Continued from page 1demonstrations meet certain criteria, the east shore from 1905 into the 60s, economic development andyour efforts will be recognized and which created 60-foot elevations. sustainability as a result of thisyou’ll become a NAI Certified Cedar Lake Park is the result of the program. A Prairie Passage prairieInterpretive Guide (CIG). work of a partnership among the City gives communities something to bragCertification, course materials, and of Minneapolis, Minneapolis Park about — being part of a nationala one-year membership in NAI cost and Recreation Board, Hennepin effort.”$145.00. This training opportunity County, state and federalis limited to 15 participants. governments, and the community as For additional information, call Kathy Bolin, Prairie Passage Financial assistance is available for represented by the Cedar Lake Parkstudents who demonstrate a one-year Association. These efforts have coordinator, at 651-284-3765, orcommitment to the Refuge. Call Ed resulted in the rescue of 47 acres of send an e-mail to her at:Moyer at 952-858-0710 for land from development; the creation Singleregistration materials or more of the national-award-winning Cedar or multiple copies of the booklet mayinformation. Lake Trail with prairie restoration; be obtained at no cost from the DNR. 5
  5. 5. picture. With too much shade aAmerican bladdernut is a concern of many gardeners, Staphylea could be used more.useful plant in shade and sun It prefers moist, well-drained soilsby Mike Zins reached a height of about 12 feet and but seems to get along fine on mostAbstract from Dec. 5, 2002, Plant flowered and fruited heavily for sites. A poorly drained, wet, clay-of the Month talk many years. based soil would not bode well, and Is it any wonder that the common American bladdernut has several I suspect that is what eventually laidname of Staphylea trifolia, American nice qualities that make it an low our specimen in the Arboretum’sbladdernut, challenges the gardening attractive plant for our landscapes. In small tree collection, where heavypublic’s perception of a very useful spring the oppositely arranged, clay soils abound. Soil pH does notplant for our landscape? In today’s nearly round buds open, giving rise seem to be a factor unless high pH issanitized world, bladdernut conjures to pinnately compound leaves, each encountered.up thoughts of medical problems and consisting of three leaflets. The dark American bladdernut will neveranatomical features we would rather green leaflets, with their trifoliolate become a standard household wordnot discuss, let alone be planting out arrangement, account for the species in the horticulture world of woodyin the yard. But beyond the shadow name trifolia. After the leaves have landscape design, but it is anof a common name that has as little expanded in early May, the plant interesting plant that can certainlymarketing appeal as plugged produces an abundance of perfect, help enhance many landscapes. Thefreeways to rush-hour commuters, is greenish white, half-inch-long, bell- outstanding visual aspects are thea native plant with many desirable shaped flowers borne on two-inch- dark green foliage and interestingfeatures. It just needs some good long panicles. bark patterns. The curious aspectpress and promotion. Heavy flowering provides a nice certainly would be the fruiting American bladdernut is as contrast of white on green. Soon capsules, or bladdernut fruitAmerican as apple pie. It occurs after, the flowers develop into the structures. The shade tolerance is anaturally from western Quebec to inflated capsules, or bladders, from definite asset to shady gardens.Ontario, western New England to which the name is derived. The Perhaps best of all to some people isMinnesota, and south to South three-lobed, greenish white capsules the fact that it is native. So beCarolina and Missouri. It usually are 1 – 1.5 inches long and remind patriotic, plant American —frequents moist, wooded areas and people of Chinese lanterns in bladdernut that is!ravines in the southern part of midsummer. By August the maturingMinnesota, as far north as Ramsey capsules start turning brown as the Searchers are neededCounty and westward to the New small, brown seeds also mature. The Volunteers are needed to help lookUlm area. The genus Staphylea has capsules often persist through the for Minnesota dwarf trout lilies theabout eight species found growing in winter, if squirrels and deer leave last week of April and the first weeknorth temperate areas, two of which them alone. At this point, they make of May, and for Western prairieare native to North America, the effective rattles. The bark on the fringed orchids in mid-July. ContactAmerican bladdernut, Staphylea older stems is attractive with its linear Nancy Sather at 651-297-4963, ortrifolia, being the most prominent. white fissures against a greenish gray background. Leave your e-mail address, phone Usually thought of as a shrub to 10feet tall, American bladdernut can be Culturally, Staphylea can be grown number and mailing address, and yougrown as a small tree attaining as a small tree — single or multiple will receive more information.heights of over 15 feet. The national stem — or as a large shrub. Thechampion is a Goliath standing 36 plants are capable of colonizing by Native seed quality workshop producing suckers, and one plant on The third annual Native Seedfeet tall, with an equal crown spread.Perhaps more surprising is the fact the University of Minnesota St. Paul Quality Workshop will be held Feb.that this champ is growing in campus has made a very nice mass 25 and 26 in Omaha, Neb. TopicsMacomb County, Maine. planting to fill in a corner area. Like include native seed testing, most plants, Staphylea does well in conditioning, production and The Arboretum had a nice tree full sunlight, but it is surprisingly research. Participants will tourspecimen growing in the small tree tolerant of shade as well. I have seen Stock Seed Farms, a producer ofcollection. It was moved to this it growing in very dense shade in the prairie grass seed. Contact Mid-Westcollection in 1965 and persisted until Vermillion River bottom in Hastings, Seed Services, Inc. at 605-692-7611;1990, cause of death unknown. It where it was too dark to take a or go to www.mwseed.com6
  6. 6. Plant Lore Winter botany walk combinesby Thor KommedahlWhat is red-osier dogwood? fun with tree, plant information by Doug Mensing MNPS board member, and others in Dogwood is the name for species On Nov. 9, MNPS sponsored a the group, helped to point outof Cornus, and red-osier dogwood is winter botany walk at the Refuge diagnostic tools useful in winterthe name for C. stolonifera, but headquarters. Approximately 12 identification of vegetation, such asrecent taxonomic works call it C. people showed for the outing. Janet bark, branching patterns, fungalsericea. Larson, a professional arborist/native infections, buds, seed heads, etc. We landscape designer and MNPS board identified bur oak (QuercusWhat do these names mean? member, provided an overview of the macrocarpa), northern pin oak Cornus is the Latin name for society and gave some general (Quercus ellipsoidalis), basswood“horn,” alluding to the hardness of information on winter plant (Tilia americana), hackberry (Celtisthe wood. Dogwood refers to identification. She then led the group occidentalis), cottonwood (Populus“dogs,” which is the name for outside to observe and discuss the deltoides), silver maple (Acerskewers made from the hardwood native and introduced vegetation as saccharinum), black ash (Fraxinusstems. And stolonifera, of course, we went. nigra), red-osier dogwood (Cornusmeans bearing stolons as a means of First stop was the restoration sericea), cherries (Prunus spp.), thereproduction. But sericea means project behind the Refuge building. invasive exotic shrub Tartariansilky-hairy (sometimes implying Janet has been working with the honeysuckle (Lonicera tatarica), and numerous wildflowers, grasses, andChinese) in reference to sparse, MNPS and the Refuge for many weeds. In the more degraded areasappressed hairs on lower leaf months on restoring and enhancing there was a conspicuous lack ofsurfaces and stems. the native vegetation found in this “bird feeding” area. We learned how native understory trees, shrubs, and to identify common buckthorn groundcover vegetation.Where does this dogwood grow? Red-osier dogwood is one of six (Rhamnus cathartica) in the winter We walked through the prairiespecies native to Minnesota and is and discussed the ecological impacts restoration just outside the Refuge of this invasive European shrub. building and were able to identifyfound in nearly every county in the Some of this area and other forested about half a dozen common prairiestate, frequently along stream banks, areas within the Refuge had recentlybogs, and in moist woods. It often been cleared of buckthorn, so it will species. Along the trailside bluffforms thickets. prairie we encountered several be exciting to follow the restoration butternut trees (Juglans cinerea), a efforts in the coming years. Minnesota species of “SpecialWhat does the plant look like? It is a shrub from 1 to 3 meters tall Our walk through the woods and Concern.” Most of these trees were along the paths led us to many native dead or dying due to butternutwith red stems, white flowers, canker, an exotic but now commonopposite leaves, and is the only and non-native trees, shrubs, fungal infection of these trees. Wedogwood in our area with white wildflowers, and grasses. Janet, with poked down into the wetter lowlandsberries and white pith. input from Doug Mensing, another and identified several wetland-edge Does red-osier dogwood have any species, as well as discussed theWhat is the reference to Chinese? economic value? phenomenon of invasive/aggressive Cornus is one of about 120 genera American Indians prepared strains of otherwise native species,that occur in eastern Asia and eastern “kinnikinnik” from wood scrapings such as giant reed grass (PhragmitesNorth America. Linnaeus noted this australis). Many questions were and smoked it, with or withoutsimilarity, and Asa Gray discussed answered regarding the vegetation tobacco. They also used the barkthis similarity with Charles Darwin communities of the river valley. infusions as an emetic. Sometimesin correspondence during the 1850s. Overall the walk was informative this species was used instead ofCurrent explanations refer to plate and fun, with many questions and flowering dogwood, the roots oftectonics and continental drift. Gray much enthusiasm from the group.demonstrated statistically that there which were once used as substitute The MNPS plans to host a springwas greater similarity in flora of New for quinine. Cultivars are used in botany walk at the Louisville SwampEngland with Asia than with Europe landscape plantings and can be unit of the Refuge on May 3. Weor even western USA. propagated by cuttings and grafting. hope to see you there! 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. 2233Winter 2003 Issue