Here’s our informal report on spring flowering phenology in the Stevens Point area this year.
Through yesterday, we recorded 35 species of plants (both wild and cultivated) in flower through April 30th, versus 252 species in flower last year by that date.
On average, plants have flowered 5-5.5 weeks later than last year (mean, 35 days; median, 38 days).
Click here to view spreadsheet (look at Sheet 1 in particular) summarizing early flowering records in our area from 1973-2013. We make no claims to completeness for data coverage and survey effort for every year, but would say that the 2012 and 2013 surveys are quite comparable in terms of the survey efforts that we put in.
Judziewicz made most 2010, 2012, and 2013 observations, while Bob Freckmann made all 1973-2009 observations and many 2010-2013 observations. These folks also contributed observations: Seth Barthen, Mary Bartkowiak, Alvin Bogdansky, Aaron Fahlstrom, Tracy Feldman, Diane Lueck, Carol Kropidlowski, Angie and Rich Hauer, Rhiannon Kohlmoss, Steve Krause, Noel Martell-Segura, Jeff Morin, and Ron Tschida.
Emmet Judziewicz and Robert FreckmannRobert W. Freckmann Herbarium
Department of Biology and Museum of Natural History
University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point
In the graph below, the Y-axis represents numbers of
species, while the X axis represents number of days that species flowered
“late” this year (compared with the exceptionally early spring of 2012).
It’s time to think about attending BCW’s Botany Blitz on Saturday, June 22, 2013, 9:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. (or stay later if you want), at Straight Lake Tamarack Fen (SNA 593), within Straight Lake State Park, about 24 miles northeast of St. Croix Falls near Luck, WI, in Polk County.
All botanical club members and guests are encouraged to participate—professional or amateur naturalists and volunteers—no matter your level of expertise. RSVP appreciated, not required.
By Karl B McKnight, Joseph R. Rohrer, Kirsten McKnight Ward & Warren J. Perdrizet
Princeton University Press, 2013, $24.95
This is the first book to help amateur naturalists recognize 200 common mosses of the Northeast and the Appalachian Mountains. With just this field guide, a hand lens, and a spray bottle--no microscopes necessary--readers will be able to identify many of the common species of mosses growing in the region's backyards, parks, forests, wetlands, and mountains. The area covered includes the northeastern quarter of the country from Maine to Minnesota and down the Appalachian chain to North Carolina and Tennessee. At the heart of this guide is an innovative, color-tabbed system that helps readers pick out small groups of similar species. Illustrated identification keys, colorful habitat and leaf photos, more than 600 detailed line drawings, and written descriptions help differentiate the species.
The book is available from the publisher (http://press.princeton.edu/titles/9971.html), as well as many bookstores that carry field guides, and of course Amazon.com (http://www.amazon.com/Common-Mosses-Northeast-Appalachians-Princeton/dp/0691156964).
"Carex of the Illinois Beach State Park" was prepared for the Illinois Preserves Commission by Linda W, Curtis, author of Woodland Carex of the Upper Midwest. The "Carex of the Illinois Beach State Park" report was revised 2 March 2013.
Illinois Beach State Park is part of an eighteen mile-long corrugated sand plain along Lake Michigan that extends from Kenosha, Wisconsin to the Waukegan Harbor in Lake County, Illinois. Included in L. Curtis' report are the Carex at Chiwaukee Prarie in Kenosha County, WI.
To view/download this report in PDF, click here.
Hawaiian Rainforest Plants. Dr. Judziewicz's talk is scheduled for Tuesday, October 9 at 7:30pm in Room 170, Trainer Natural Resources Building.
University parking lots are open to the public at 7pm.
To view/download/print a display poster of Hawaiian Rainforest Plants, click here.
Six new species to the flora of Wisconsin, and where to find more
Emmet J. Judziewicz and John Zaborsky
Submitted 29 August 2012
With global warming really beginning to kick in, we can expect to see more heat-tolerant invasive plants to appear in Wisconsin. Such has been the case during the first ten years of the 21st century, and in particular during 2012. Here are some new records for our state, in chronological order. Click here for PDF that includes photographs.
Fairgrounds grass (Sclerochloa dura)
This Eurasian grass, tolerant or heat, salt, and trampling, was first collected in Wisconsin by University of Michigan Botanist Richard K. Rabeler in 2001, in Rock and Walworth Counties: It had been collected many times in the Chicago regions since 1992 and it was only a matter of time until it reached Wisconsin. As the common name indicates, it often appears first at county and state fairgrounds: http://wisplants.uwsp.edu/scripts/detail.asp?SpCode=SCLDUR
Plains bluegrass (Poa arida)
This is a salt- and drought-tolerant western U.S. species that was first collected in Wisconsin in heavily salted ditches along I-94 in Kenosha and Racine Counties by Illinois botanist Gerould Wilhelm in 2008. Wilhelm had previously detected it frequently, starting in 1991, along interstate highways in the Chicago Region. It is an early-flowering bluegrass (like Poa annua), but has a pale, ghostly color. Like Fairgounds grass, it will probably move north in Wisconsin in the coming years. http://wisplants.uwsp.edu/scripts/detail.asp?SpCode=POAARI
This Eurasian member of the sunflower or composite family (Asteraceae) was first collected along the active, north-south running railroad along the east bank of the Mississippi River a few miles south of Cassville, Grant County, by Neil Harriman and Tom Eddy. Neil identified it at the University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh herbarium. Small hawksbeard is present in Illinois and Indiana but is rare in both states. The Cassville railroad site produced two other state records in 2012
Windmill grass (Chloris verticillata)
Windmill grass (Chloris verticillata), a native of the southern U.S. that has recently become weedy in northern Illinois, was first collected as a weed at Muscoda, Grant County, on 15 August 2012 by Emmet Judziewicz, along a paved footpath in park on the banks of the Wisconsin River. It looks like a pale green, prickly crabgrass due to its finger-like spikes of awned spikelets.
Small white morning glory (Ipomaea lacunosa)
Small white morning glory (Ipomaea lacunosa), a southern U.S. species, was first collected at the “Cassville railroad site” in Grant County on 19 August 2012 by John Zaborsky and Emmet Judziewicz, and photographed (below) and identified by Zaborsky. It has heart-shaped leaves, and, as its common name suggests, small white flowers. This species is native in the northern ¾ of Illinois, the Wisconsin collection representing a northern range extension of about 100 miles. http://wisplants.uwsp.edu/scripts/detail.asp?SpCode=IPOLAC
Five-hook bassia (Bassia hyssopifolia)
On the same morning, John and I also found this Eurasian member of the amaranth family (Amaranth family, including the old Chenopodiaceae) in the same locality as small hawksbeard and small white morning-glory. It was locally common and almost formed a sterile 0.75 m “hedge” in the railroad ditch in places; the flower buds were just beginning to appear. The USDA web site has this Eurasian weed as rare in South Dakota, Iowa, and Kentucky in the Midwest, commoner as a weed in the western U.S.
Where we might expect to find additional new Wisconsin plant records
Clearly, more heat- and drought-tolerant Eurasian and southern and western North American species may be expected to be found in Wisconsin, especially in disturbed areas such as heavily salted highway margins and railroad rights-of-way in the far south near the Illinois border. A week spent carefully botanizing such habitats would be productive, especially later in the summer when these species tend to bloom. The Cassville railroad site had characteristics that proved conducive to these new invaders: heavy train traffic, on a south to north route, apparently non-herbicided margins in most places, and a ditch and small embankment on the outside of a curve, where gravity would be expected to dislodge hitchhiking seeds. Result: Three state records, and we did not survey it completely…
Spring 2012 Central Wisconsin Plant Flowering Dates (through April 30th): Averaged 14 Days Ahead of Pre-2010 Records
Associate Professor of Biology
Emeritus Professor of Biology
Through April 30th, Central Wisconsin (Marathon, Portage, and Woods Counties) native, weedy, and cultivated plant species have broken their record early flowering dates (most set in 2010) by an average of 8 days. In turn, 2010 records beat all 1973-2009 records 8 days. 2012 records have beaten all records previous to 2010 by an average of 14.2 days.
Over the 37 year period from 1973-2009, a total of 15 species had flowering records before April 1st in the Stevens Point area, and 86 species before May 1st.
In 2010 alone, 24 species flowered before April 1st, and 121 species before May 1st.
And in 2012, 84 species flowered before April 1st, and 252 species before May 1st.
A total of 263 species are on this list; 112 are native to Central Wisconsin, while 151 are weedy or cultivated.
An important caveat: We admit to a data collection bias this year – we really searched for early-flowering garden records all over town, much more so than in earlier years.
1973-2009 observations were made by Bob Freckmann. 2010 and 2012 observations were made by Judziewicz (about 60%), Freckmann (ca. 20%), with the rest kindly contributed by these colleagues and students: Seth Barthen, Mary Bartkowiak, Alvin Bogdansky, Tracy Feldman, Diane Lueck, Carol Kropidlowski, Angie and Rich Hauer, Rhiannon Kohlmoss, Steve Krause, Noel Martell-Segura, Jeff Morin, and Ron Tschida.
We'd welcome any of your observations for additional early flowering species we have missed (flowering cut-off date: April 30th).
Cassville BotanyBlitz Update, 9 April 2012
FROM: Emmet Judziewicz, UWSP ; firstname.lastname@example.org
I camped at Nelson Dewey State Park and scouted the Cassville Bluffs State Natural Area on March 18-19 and wanted to share info on logistics with you all in preparation for our Botany Blitzs on the weekends of May 11-13 and June 22-23.
Camping at Nelson Dewey State Park
I camped there on the night of Sunday, March 18th. It is a beautiful campground on a ridge top overlooking the Mississippi River. Pasque flower was in bloom on Dewey Heights prairie a few hundred yards away. It was so warm at night that I didn’t need a blanket, and I received some mosquito bites in the mor ning!
Click here for a PDF of a map of the Park with campsites numbered.
THIS CAMPGROUND IS LIKELY TO FILL UP ON JUNE 22-24 and possibly also the weekend of MAY 11-13. So, I’ve made online reservations at 1-800-372-3607, or online at this site: http://wisconsinstateparks.reserveamerica.com/welcome.do?topTabIndex=ReservationHome.
For weekend reservations, you must reserve 2 nights (Fri and Sat.), not just 1 night. The cost (including reservation fee) was $33.70 for each weekend (2 nights per weekend, at a site without an electric hookup).
On May 11-13 I will be camping at SITE 10 (little red car).
On June 22-24 I will be camping at SITE 11 (same car).
Getting to the Cassville Bluffs Parking lot
The public parking space is a tiny driveway on the left side of Sand Lane just PAST the last house. And I do mean JUST BARELY PAST THE HOUSE – by about 10 feet. Turn left and you will see a sign that says “Mississippi Valley Conservancy – Cassville Bluffs”. Park there. YES, just 10 feet past the house, they will not come out to defend their Castle with deadly force.
There is no need to go about the drama of getting access to the bluffs through private land on the bluff tops, etc.
From the parking lot, walk the trail past the gate, on a very convenient and easy to follow hiking / ATV trail that takes you to the top of the prime bluff in 20 minutes.
It took me just 1.5 hours hiking from car to the far end of the bluff at the far east end of the property, and back to the car. Do NOT take the RR tracks back, though, there are constant big, high speed trains and very little space to move off to the side.
LOTS was in flower there on March 19
including locally peak Dicentra cucullaria, also Sanguinaria, Claytonia
virginica, Arabis lyrata, Viola sororia and a few others. The fresh
Dicentra flowers had rosy pink flush on the legs of the "breeches" -
had never seen that before.
Bob Freckmann will lead a spring wildflower walk through Powers Bluff on Saturday May 12. Powers Bluff is a prominent high hill about two miles southwest of Arpin in Wood County. Part of the bluff is in a county park, and about 80 acres of the park have been designated as a State Natural Area. The Natural Area includes one of the best examples of a sugar maple woods free of alien invasive species left in Wisconsin. The understory flora in May is spectacular. It is an almost unbroken carpet of trilliums, spring beauty, trout lilies, bellworts, Dutchman's breeches, and many other species.
This trip is sponsored by the Central Wisconsin Aldo Leopold Audubon Society and is free and open to the public. To car pool from Stevens Point: meet in the public parking lot on the east side of the Wisconsin River north of the Clark Street bridge and the Chase Bank at 8:00 AM. The group will meet at the parking lot near the shelter building at Powers Bluff at about 8:45. Bluff Drive, the road to the Park, is one mile south of county highway N, and runs between county highways E and T. We expect to complete the field trip at Powers Bluff around noon.