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Winter 2005 Minnesota Plant Press

  1. 1. Minnesota Plant Press The Minnesota Native Plant Society NewsletterVolume 24 Number 2 Winter 2005 Monthly meetings Minnesota Valley National Wildlife Refuge Symposium on bogs Visitor Center, 3815 East 80th St. Bloomington, MN 55425-1600 and fens to be April 6 952-854-5900 by Karen Schik 6:30 p.m. — Building east door opens Registration will soon be open for the 2005 MNPS Symposium: 6:30 p.m. — Refreshments, Bogs And Fens — Minnesota’s Mysterious Mires. It will be held April information, Room A 6, 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m., at Warner Nature Center in Marine on St. Croix. 7 – 9 p.m — Program, society business 7:30 p.m. — Building door is locked The charming center, just 40 minutes northeast of St. Paul, is 9:00 p.m. — Building closes surrounded by woods and overlooks a bog – a perfect place for native plant enthusiasts! Programs Visit the new Web site ( for registration details and The MNPS meets the first Thursday in to download a registration form, which will be available soon.October, November, December, February, Registration brochures will also be mailed to MNPS members. PleaseMarch, April, May, and June. Check the note: space for the symposium is very limited, so register early forWeb site for more program information. this popular topic. A special attraction this year will be unscheduledFeb 3: “Botanical Survey of Lyle-Austin, time to visit the nature center’s real bog and indoor bog exhibit.Minn., Wildlife Management Area:Prairie Remnants of the Chicago Great Speakers and Topics:Western Railroad,” by Paul Bockenstedt, • Introduction to Bogs and Fens — Paul Glaser, senior researchrestoration ecologist, Bonestroo Natural associate, Limnological Research Center, University of Minnesota.Resources. Plant-of-the Month: Sweet • The Flora of Minnesota’s Last Frontier: Characteristic Vascularconeflower, by Bockenstedt. Plants of Fens and Bogs — Scott Zager, plant ecologist, WildlandsMarch 3: “Wetland Restoration at Ecological Services.Pioneer Park, Blaine, Anoka County,” • Hydrology of Bogs and Fens — Jeanette Leete, hydrogeologistby Jason Husveth, Critical ConnectionsEcological Services, Inc. Plant-of-the supervisor, DNR Waters.Month: Jason’s choice. • Patterned Peatlands — Paul Glaser.April 7: “Hardwood forest decline • Saving Savage Fen — Steve Eggers, senior ecologist, U.S. Armysyndrome: The synergistic impact of deer Corps of Engineers, St. Paul.and invasive earthworms,” by Lee Frelich,U of Minn.; Plant-of-Month: botrychium. • Large-Scale Bog Restoration In this issue for Wetland Mitigation —May 5: Native Grass Identification MNPS board, purpose.......... 2 Thomas Malterer, programWorkshop, by Anita Cholewa, Ph.D, Think Native seed grant....... 2 director, University of Minnesotacurator of temperate plants, J.F. Bell Outdoor opportunities........ 3Museum of Natural History. POM: TBD. Duluth Natural Resources Research Institute. Little bluestem research........4June 2: Program TBD. Annual Plant Sale Bird habitats, numbers..........5open to the public. • SNA Program: Successes and Garlic mustard control..........5 Opportunities — BobNew MNPS Web site Djupstrom, program supervisor, American lotus..................... DNR Scientific and Natural Lance-leaved violet.............. 7e-mail: Areas Program. New Jersey tea (Plant Lore) 7
  2. 2. Century College transfers to the University of MNPS Board of Minnesota, as well as occupationalaccepts Think certificates, diplomas, and an DirectorsNative seed grant associate of applied science. President: Jason Husveth,by Dianne Plunkett Latham, chair Century College connects students Critical Connections Ecologicalof the MNPS Think Native program with the community through service Services Inc., 14758 Ostlund Trail Horticulture Instructor Ginny learning projects. Last fall, students N., Marine on St. Croix, MN; 651-Coyle and 11 of her students in the in Coyle’s Biology of Horticultural 247-0474; jhusveth@ccesinc.comCentury College Horticulture Crops class collected seed from “Jim’s Prairie” for Ginny Gaynor, Vice-President: Scott Milburn,Program accepted the MNPS Think open spaces coordinator in 744 James Ave., St. Paul, MN 55102;Native seed grant at the Nov. 4 651-261-4381;MNPS meeting. The seeds will be Maplewood. Students in the Herbaceous Plants class this smilburn@ccesinc.comused to develop native plantings ontheir campus in White Bear Lake. semester sowed the seed and will Secretary: Karen Schik, 13860With the Century College return the plants they grew to the 236th St. N., Scandia, MN 55073;greenhouses, they are able to Maplewood Nature Center for prairie 651-433-5254 (h), 651-222-2193propagate plants from cuttings, restoration. Joy Cedarleaf, a biology (w); kschik@fmr.orgdivisions, or seeds to expand campus instructor, teaches field biology and Treasurer: David Johnson, 6437gardens or to share with other restoration ecology at the college. Baker Ave. N.E., Fridley, MN 55432;organizations. There are a wide Coyle will coordinate plantings with 763-571-6278; MNPS@HotPOP.comvariety of growing conditions on Cedarleaf ’s classes as well, tocampus, and many areas are visible involve as many students as possible. Ken Arndt, 2577 Co. Rd. F, Whiteto the public. Last summer a pest management Bear Twp., MN 55110; 651-426- class was also offered. Anyone 8174; For many years, the horticultureprogram at Century College was interested in the horticulture program Ron Huber, 2521 Jones Place W.,solely represented by satellite at Century College should contact Bloomington, MN 55431-2837; 952-programs at Stillwater and Lino Ginny Coyle at 651-773-1726, ext. 886-0783; huber033@umn.eduLakes Correctional Facilities. When 2, or Shirley Mah Kooyman, 4520the Department of Corrections Terraceview Lane N., Plymouth, MNcancelled its contract with the college MNPS Listserve 55446; 952-443-1419 (w), 763-559-to provide vocational horticulture Send a message that includes the 3114 (h);education in prisons, horticulture was word “subscribe” or “unsubscribe” shirley@arboretum.umn.edureopened on campus. Century and your name in the body of theCollege now offers a two-year message to: Dianne Plunkett Latham, 7013associate of science degree, which Comanche Court, Edina, MN 55439-1004; 952-941-3542; Minnesota Native Plant Society’s purpose Douglas Mensing, 5814 Grand (Abbreviated from the bylaws) Ave. S., Minneapolis, MN 55419; This organization is exclusively organized and operated for educational 612-926-8637 (H); and scientific purposes, including the following: 1. Conservation of all native plants. Program Chair: Linda Huhn, 2. Continuing education of all members in the plant sciences. 2553 Dupont Ave. S., Minneapolis, 3. Education of the public regarding environmental protection of plant MN 55405; 612-374-1435 life. 4. Encouragement of research and publications on plants native to Listserv Coordinator: Charles Minnesota. Umbanhowar, 5. Study of legislation on Minnesota flora, vegetation and ecosystems. Minnesota Plant Press editor: 6. Preservation of special plants, plant communities and scientific and Gerry Drewry, 24090 Northfield natural areas. Blvd., Hampton, MN 55031; phone, 7. Cooperation in programs concerned with the ecology of natural 651-463-8006; fax, 651-463-7086; resources and scenic features. 8. Fellowship with all persons interested in native plants through Technical or membership meetings, lectures, workshops and field trips. inquiries: MNPS@HotPOP.com2
  3. 3. MSHS plans Junewildflower, forest Volunteer Opportunitiesecology weekend at Grey Cloud Dunes SNAon North Shore by Karen Schik The Minnesota State Horticultural Funding for the DNR Scientific and Natural Areas Program was drasticallySociety is sponsoring a late spring reduced in recent years, so the DNR is more than ever in need of volunteerswildflower and forest ecology to help manage our highest quality natural areas. In response to that need,weekend in the Grand Marais area and as part of the core mission of theon Lake Superior’s North ShoreFriday, June 3, through Sunday, June Learn to identify society, the MNPS board voted in 2004 to “adopt” Grey Cloud Dunes5. They will have a series of winter woody plants SNA in Cottage Grove. We haveexploratory hikes to discover the at Falls Creek SNA committed to work with the DNRregion’s rich diversity of wildflowers and to assist with managementand forest ecology. by Doug Mensing activities at this spectacular dry On Saturday, March 12, MNPS prairie site along the Mississippi. We Naturalist Kent Jones will lead an Board Members Ken Arndt and Scott will post volunteer opportunities ininterpretive tour of some unique Milburn will lead a woody plant each newsletter, as well as on thehabitats that will feature the spring identification field trip to Falls Creekwildflowers of the boreal forest, MNPS website. Check back often! Scientific Natural Area. This is threenorthernmost maple-basswood miles north of Copas on State Burning Desireforest, northern wetlands and Highway 95 in Washington County Saturday, Feb. 19, 10 a.m. – 2 p.m.Superior shorelands. Hikes will also (between Stillwater and Taylor’s Come to Grey Cloud Dunes to burninclude participants’ interests in Falls).birds, butterflies, charismatic brush piles (already stacked). Bringmegafauna, geology, cultural history, We will meet at 9 a.m. at the something to roast for lunch!and general forest ecology. parking lot off of Hwy. 95, where we Brush cutting The program begins Friday with will enter the SNA and hike until Saturday March 26, 9 a.m. – 1 p.m.a 7 - 9 p.m. wine and snack social at noon. We will be learning how to Cut, treat and stack honeysuckle.a location to be announced. Saturday identify the trees, shrubs, and vines Training and tools provided.will include two or three hikes that comprise this type of northern(depending on the weather) and a hardwood and coniferous forest by Site Steward their buds, bark, and form. You will Any time, any day. In addition toprovided lunch. A Sunday morninghike will conclude the program. also learn about the history and group events, individual volunteers current management practices that are needed to be site stewards at Grey Kent Jones worked for over 20 the DNR has implemented for this Cloud Dunes. Site stewards typicallyyears in the metro area as an special SNA. make regular (e.g. monthly) siteinterpretive naturalist for a variety ofnature centers and the Three Rivers For more information about Falls visits and report their findings to thePark District. His love of the north Creek Scientific Natural Area and a DNR. They record things like newfinally got the best of him in 2001, map on how to get there, go to invasive species locations andwhen he moved to the Grand Marais w w w. d n r. s t a t e . m n . u s / s n a s / evidence of illegal activities, and doarea. He spends his spare time sna01057/index.html. simple activities like picking upcanoeing, kayaking, and hiking the The field trip is limited to 25 trash. Being a site steward is a goodnorth shore area in search of the best people. Steep slopes will be excuse to do what most of us want toblueberry patches, unusual encountered along the walk down to do anyway — get out to a beautifulwildflowers, and rare birds. the creek to the bottom of the ravine. natural area on a regular basis. And The cost is $125 per MSHS Look for more details in the near you’d be doing something valuablemember, $150 for non-members. future at in the process.This includes snacks and beverages information on lodging or to pre- To sign up for any activity, pleaseon Friday night, and deli style lunch register, contact Vicky Vogels, e-mail Karen Schik at:on Saturday. Participants must be community outreach coordinator, or call: 651-222-able to hike on uneven ground and MSHS, at 800-676-6747; 651-643- 2193, ext. 15 (w) or 651-433-5254be prepared for inclement weather. 3601, ext. 211; or at (h). More instructions and directionsTransportation is on your own. For will be provided. 3 3
  4. 4. percent. Little bluestem appears toResearch evaluates little be well adapted to diverse growing conditions and methods ofbluestem varieties for state propagation. Competition study withby Mary H. Meyer, associate identify grass species in the seedlingprofessor, Department of stage is necessary to determine if the MiscanthusHorticultural Science,University of planting has been successful. Little This study has not been finalizedMinnesota. This is an abstract of her bluestem was one of 15 native and for publication, but in an additivetalk at the May 6, 2004 meeting. introduced grasses that were competition study, little bluestem Schizachyrium scoparium, or little analyzed and described in a was not affected by addingbluestem, is native to most of the vegetative key to identify seedlings. Miscanthus, a non-native ornamentalUnited States, with the exception of Little bluestem seedlings have a flat grass that has been shown to bethe far western states and Florida. sheath, are folded in the bud, have invasive in Middle Atlantic States.Typically an upland grass, little no auricles, the culm base is often Little bluestem was not reduced inbluestem is known for its drought tinged pink or maroon, and the first root or shoot growth when growntolerance and ability to grow on tillers fan out in a plane. with one or two Miscanthus plantssandy and poor soils. It is a dominant in this 22-week greenhouse Minnesota population and new competition study. Thus littlegrass in tall- and short-grass prairies selectionsand is found throughout Minnesota. bluestem is a competitive, adaptable A spaced planting of 35 Minnesota The USDA has released several native grass. little bluestem populations wasvarieties of Schizachyrium established in 1996 and 1997.scoparium, beginning in the 1960s. Collections were made from parks, Study predicts‘Aldous,’ ‘Blaze,’ ‘Camper,’ nature preserves, railroad rights of broad changes from‘Cimarron,’ and ‘Pastura’ were the way, and other natural areas. Seedresult of breeding programs to was germinated, and plants were global warmingimprove grasses available for forage established in three replications of Global warming won’t affect just aand range use in the central United eight plants each on the St. Paul few species of plants and insects —States. In 1997, the USDA Plant campus. Plants continue to be it will challenge many interdependentMaterials Center in Bismarck, N.D., evaluated for variation in flower species, according to a report recentlyreleased ‘Badlands,’ an ecotype time, height, color, and lodging. In released by the Wildlife Society.selected from collections from North 2004, a selection from Benton Some results of early springs areand South Dakota. ‘Badlands’ is County that has been evaluated at already visible, such as the shrinkingadapted for range seeding, prairie several Research and Outreach Porcupine herd of caribou, whoserestoration and prairie landscaping. Centers was advanced to a new migration patterns have beenNone of these selections are from release, and a plant patent has been disrupted. Seasonal ponds in theMinnesota native little bluestem. applied for Schizachyrium Midwest are drying up earlier in the At the University of Minnesota, scoparium, ‘Blue Heaven.’TM This year, affecting ducks. Sugar mapleswe have conducted research on little selection is taller, with dark blue may disappear from this country asbluestem in five projects that are summer foliage color and bright blue their range moves northward.described below. All of these to pink fall color. Commercial Time factors, such as arrival ofprojects, except the competition growers interested in propagating predators and pollinators, will bestudy, have been published. this new release should contact the major concerns. The surgingSeeding date and establishment U of M for a nonexclusive license. population of timber-destroying In this research, the best planting Work will continue to identify other spruce budworms in Minnesota’sdates for little bluestem were May 1 new ornamental forms of little boreal forests has been attributed to athrough July 20. Dormant seedings bluestem. northward shift of warblers that oncewere not successful for the two years, Propagation time and aeration held the worms in check.1996 and1997, of the project. As porosity The study also shows that someexpected, rainfall influenced the Little bluestem plugs and field ecosystems will not move, but willsuccess of most seedings. divisions grew equally when vanish. For example, if rising seaField seedling identification propagated in the fall or spring in levels flood coastal zones, physical Identification of grasses without another study. Both over-wintered and man-made barriers will preventfloral parts can be a challenge. In well and grew adequately in all wetlands from re-creating themselvesprairie restoration, the ability to aeration porosities from 5-41 further inland.4
  5. 5. What is effect Winter is easiest time toof habitat on find and kill garlic mustardbird numbers? by Dianne Plunkett Latham food are the foliage, pollen, nectar, Garlic mustard, Alliaria petiolata, fruits and seeds of our native Tom Cooper, wildlife biologist, looks innocent on the forest floor of Garlic mustard has no known naturalMinnesota waterfowl Association. a local park, or at the edges of your enemies in North America, is self-This abstract of his talk at the Dec. property — but it is not innocent. fertile, and is difficult to eradicate2, 2004 meeting is based on research This rapidly spreading alien once established. Thus, the best andfor his South Dakota State University displaces native wildflowers and most effective control method is toPh.D. thesis, “Forest and grassland other flora in woodlands. Check your prevent its initial establishment.bird occurrence and habitat selection property — garlic mustard is easy to Garlic mustard is on the State ofin the prairie-forest transition zone spot now because it is one of the few Minnesota’s Prohibited Noxiousof Minnesota.” green plants on the forest floor from Weed list requiring its control or Some forest and grassland birds late fall until wildflowers break elimination (Rule 1505.0730).have experienced population dormancy in early April. To remove garlic mustard fromdeclines in the midwestern United In its first season, garlic mustard your property, you may either hand-States due to habitat loss and has rosettes of three or four rounded pull, spray with three percentfragmentation. Wildlife managers or kidney-shaped, dark green leaves RoundupÆ (glyphosate), or placeneed to understand habitat with scalloped edges two to six mulch over seedlings. If you hand-requirements at multiple spatial inches tall. In May and June during pull, remember that this biennial hasscales for these birds when planning its second year, the rosettes send up a taproot like a dandelion and willhabitat protection and restoration flower stalks, one to four feet tall, regenerate if any part of the rootefforts. with alternate, sharply toothed remains in the ground. Seedpods may Our objectives were to assess bird leaves. Clusters of small white ripen even after pulling, so if flowersuse of grassland/forest patches in the flowers top the stem. New leaves and seedpods are present, bag theprairie-forest transition zone of smell like garlic when crushed. The plants immediately and send them to fragrance fades by fall. The seed the landfill, not to the compost pile.Minnesota and to model species capsules are one to two inches long, If you choose to spray, the best timeoccurrence at multiple spatial scales. with 100 or more seeds per plantWe conducted more than 180 point to do it is when native plants are disseminated mid-July to August. dormant between mid September andcounts in 2003 and 2004 to determinebird species presence in each cover Because this biennial overwinters mid March. Glyphosate is a non-type. Local vegetation variables as a green plant, it gets a head start selective herbicide and will kill anywere measured on site, and landscape on native plants in the spring and plant that is photosynthetic (activelyvariables were determined with a aggressively monopolizes light, growing). Because garlic mustardgeographic information system. moisture, nutrients and soil. If not stays green all winter, you can spray controlled, it can carpet a woodland it whenever the temperature is above Models incorporating landscape floor. Garlic mustard threatens not 32 degrees.and local variables were developed only woodland plant diversity, butto predict the probability of Garlic mustard seeds remain viable also the wildlife whose sources of for five to seven years, continuing tooccurrence for bird species ofmanagement concern. Akaike’s sprout after removal of the colony. grasslands. Eastern wood-pewees As a consequence, it is critical thatInformation Criterion was used to (Contopus virens), red-eyed vireos the area be mulched with two to fourrank candidate models. We counted (Vireo olivaceus), and great crested inches of leaves or grass clippings.53 different bird species in grasslands flycatchers (Myiarchus crinitus) This should continue until the seedand 71 species in forests. Thirteen were the most common birds in bank is exhausted in five to sevenbird species were U.S. Fish and forests. Modeling indicated that years.Wildlife Service resource different species responded to habitatconservation priority species. Garlic mustard needs to be conditions on various spatial scales. controlled before buckthorn is Common yellowthroats Thus, scale needs to be considered removed in proximity to it. This will(Geothlypis trichas), bobolinks when planning habitat protection, prevent a burst of garlic mustard(Dolichonyx oryzivorus), and sedge management, and restoration germination upon opening the forestwrens (Cistothorus platensis) were projects to benefit grassland and floor to light, after removal of thethe most common birds in forest birds. buckthorn canopy. 5
  6. 6. Illinois, as well as entirely filling anAmerican lotus is state’s earthen pond on the grounds of the St. Louis Jewel Box Conservatory.largest wildflower Profuse is an understatement, as N. lutea was moving into the lawn along the earthen pond embankmentsby Dianne Plunkett Latham. This is however. Under the Conservation of where mowing appeared to be thean abstract of her Oct. 7, 2004 Plant- Certain Wildflowers (Minn. Statutes Jewel Box ground keeper’s onlyof-the-Month talk. 18H.18), “No person shall distribute defense! There are only two species in the ... lotus (Nelumbo lutea), which havelotus genus Nelumbonaceae — been collected in any manner from If planted in a favorable location,Nelumbo lutea (zone 4a) and any public or private property lotuses will quickly take over. WaterNelumbo nucifera (zone 5). The without the written permission of the gardeners should not plant lotuses inAmerican lotus, N. lutea, occurs in property owner and written private earthen ponds or in privateMinnesota along the Mississippi authorization from the natural areas they don’t want themRiver between St. Paul and Iowa. It commissioner.” to take over. Most lotus varieties areis also found in a few lakes in the at least marginally hardy in zone 4 Lotus plants require several weeks and would rapidly take over if notvicinity of the Twin Cities, where of sunny weather with temperatures killed by the pond going dry and thenNative Americans may have planted above 80 degrees F in order to the dry ground freezing solid duringit for food. It grows in quiet waters, bloom. N. lutea is suitable for zone a winter without snow cover.including ponds, lakes, and on the 4a and is not as sensitive to cooledges of slow moving streams and summer temperatures as is its zone Lotus seeds excavated fromrivers. 5 cousin, N. nucifera. Chinese tombs have been found It ranges from Iowa and Minnesota viable after 2,000 years! Lotus seeds Lotus can only be cultivated in would not remain viable that longto Ontario and New York, and south circular containers. If the growing tip when exposed to nature’s forces,to Oklahoma, eastern Texas and gets caught in a square corner, it will however.Florida. It also occurs in the West die. Great care must be exercised inIndies and Central America, and transplanting so as not injure the Pests and diseases that sometimessouth to Columbia. growing tip, or it will die. Lotuses trouble lotuses include leaf spots, The American lotus produces the grow rapidly and typically have to caterpillars, spider mites and whitelargest flower of any plant in North be subdivided at least every other flies.America, just edging out Magnolia year in containers. Because N. luteagrandiflora and Hibiscus is a large lotus, it requires a largegrandiflora. N. lutea’s stately pale container if you want to cultivate it. Would you like to helpyellow flowers measure 6-10 inches In August 2004, I visited the the MNPS as a boardin diameter. Leaf platters grow up Missouri Botanical Garden’s member or officer?to 20 inches in diameter, on stalks of Linnean House reflecting pools,up to six feet in height. The MNPS is actively looking for where their N. lutea is grown in 15- officers and board members to serve Lotus was an important food gallon concrete containers. With such terms beginning July 1, 2005. If yousource for Native Americans. The a large container, the Linnean House are willing to serve on the board ofrhizomes produce starchy tubers that N. lutea had not been subdivided for directors (three-year term), or ascan be baked like sweet potatoes and four years. There it overwinters treasurer, secretary, vice presidentare said to be delicious. The young outdoors in the Linnean House pool.leaves, before they unroll, can be St. Louis is in zone 5b, and their or president, contact Dianne Plunkettsteamed or boiled like spinach. pools do not freeze solid during the Latham, nominating committeeImmature seeds can be eaten raw. winter as do ours in zone 4. Lotus chair, at 952-941-3542 before Feb. 15. Mature seeds can be shelled and the cannot be grown in containers inkernels roasted and eaten like nuts zone 4 without winter protection. We are in particular need of aor ground into flour. Today, the On our mid-August 2004 trip I also treasurer. To find out more aboutinteresting seedpods are often used observed N. lutea profusely those duties, contact our currentin dried flower arrangements. Lotus flowering at peak bloom along the treasurer, David Johnson, at 763-spp. are protected in Minnesota, Mississippi River outside of Nauvoo, 571-6278.6
  7. 7. Winter botany field Lance-leaved violet Plant Loretrip was devoted to is rare in Minnesota by Thor Kommedahlplant identification by Scott A. Milburn, M.S., P.W.S, What is New Jersey tea?by Doug Mensing wetland ecologist/botanist, Critical New Jersey tea is a shrub in the On Nov. 13, the Minnesota Native Connections Ecological Services, buckthorn family. Its name is Inc. This is an abstract of his Plant- Ceanothus americanus.Plant Society sponsored a winter of-the-Month talk at the Dec. 2, 2004botany field trip at Tamarack Nature meeting. How did it get these names?Center in White Bear Township. Although native to Minnesota and Viola lanceolata, the lance-leavedAbout 15 native plant enthusiasts met many other states, Ceanothus species violet, is a member of the violetin one of the nature center ’s are distributed worldwide. family, having the characteristicclassrooms, where the society’s zygomorphic flowers, a five-parted Theophrastus used this name, whichpresident, Jason Husveth, began by corolla, and a spurred anterior petal. means thistle in Greek, probablyreviewing a variety of field guides The genus is represented by 17 native because of C. spinosus, which hasand other resources useful for winter species and two introduced species spiny stems. It was called Newplant identification. in this state. The species is one of Jersey tea because of its use during We then proceeded to walk outside several in the group of stemless or the American Revolution as ainto the chilly air and applied what acaulescent white flowered violets substitute for tea after the Boston Teawe had learned in a variety of natural present in Minnesota. The stem Party.and restored ecosystems, including appearance can be somewhat What does the plant look like?prairies, wetlands, and forests. Jason deceiving, with the stem actually It is a shrub up to three feet tall; itshowed the group persistent late fall below ground. Keys to aid in the has white five-petaled flowers inand winter characteristics, and identification of the species are the cluster, and its fruit is a three-lobed,explained how habitats and narrow, strap-like leaves, which are capsule-like drupe. It grows in dry, often three to six times longer than open areas, dry gravelly banks, andassociated plant species can assist wide. The species is known to flower in open woods in the state.with plant identification. Ken Arndt, in May and June, but it can continuea MNPS board member, led the flowering late into the year. Does it have any medicinal uses?forest portion of the walk, where we Tea made from its leaves is anfocused on woody species. This violet is a “state threatened” excellent beverage, and AmericanNumerous wildflowers, grasses, species that tends to inhabit saturated Indians made tea from leaves. Thesedges, shrubs, and trees were to wet habitats with sandy or organic Indians also made tea from roots as substrates, including lakeshores, a treatment for colds, stomachaches,identified by the group. sedge meadows, and open bogs. and lung ailments. An alkaloid in its Following the walk, participants These habitats typically experience roots has been used for loweringmet back inside the classroom to some sort of disturbance event, blood pressure.warm up with tea, coffee, and which benefits this species due to itsconversation. The MNPS would like inability to compete with larger Are there other economic uses?to thank Tamarack Nature Center for species. The roots harbor nitrogen-fixingtheir hospitality at the event, which actinomycetes, which are useful in Lance-leaved violet is a pioneeringwas thoroughly enjoyed by all. soil improvement. Horticulturally, species with a reproductive strategy other species have been grafted to In early March the society will that incorporates self-fertilization, roots of C. americanus to producesponsor another winter field trip, at cross-fertilization, and vegetative reproduction. As competition for garden hybrids.Falls Creek SNA. An article about light and nutrients increases within this species statewide being loss ofthat trip is on page 3. the community, the size of the habitat via development. The population decreases, and the species is further negatively affectedPrairie restoration handbook population waits for the nextis available online from DNR by fire suppression, altered disturbance event. The species is hydrology, and competition from Going Native: A Prairie adapted to follow a disturbance invasive species. Until recently,Restoration Handbook for event by quickly germinating from there was great concern regarding theMinnesota Landowners is available the seed bank or by colonizing an dwindling number of populations ofonline at and open area vegetatively. this species. However, due to recentat DNR offices. Ellen Fuge edited In Minnesota, this violet is intensive botanical work in thethe 63-page book, which was commonly found in the Anoka Anoka Sandplain, numerousillustrated by Rebecca Kilde. Sandplain, with the greatest threat to populations have been located. 7
  8. 8. Minnesota Native Plant SocietyUniversity of Minnesota250 Biological Sciences Center1445 Gortner Ave.St. Paul, MN 55108 Winter 2005