Thursday, May 19, 2011

On a dolomite glade

It's too early to pull out the sampling tools--the 50m spool, the 1/4 m.2 quadrat tool with my initials on it so no one will jack it--but field season is coming close. In the meantime, recently burned dolomite glades and chert woodlands are the place to be for wildflower diversity this week. Sampling for birds doesn't start until next week, and vegetation monitoring shouldn't begin until the third week of June. After all, half of the conservative plants haven't even sprouted from the burned landscape yet.

But if you go out this week, you'll catch the little guys, the Scuttelaria parvula (look for the tractor seat seed on the stalk and blue flower), Arennaria patula, a neat little low growing plant with a diminuitive white flower, and Leavenworthia uniflora, a four petaled white flower that may be overlooked, but shouldn't be since it's a neat little plant. A strapping Houstonia is pictured, more robust than any specimen I've seen in years.

It's still too early for the charismatic, showy stars, the Echinacea paradoxa and Psoralea tenuifolia, but even today you can see the diversity in the matrix, the rich flora that is associated with well managed and intact soils, burned landscapes, ungrazed landscapes, these pristine places where you can hear field sparrows and prairie warblers, with the Northern parulas and red-eyed vireos in the distance calling from the surrounding high quality woodlands.


A.L. Gibson said...

The limestone/dolomite cedar glades and prairie openings of Adams County, Ohio is one of my favorite botanical areas to explore come spring and summer in my home state. They abound with rare and unusual species hardly seen anywhere else. Very cool to compare and contrast the species from the Ozarks and extreme southern Ohio. Have you even made it to the Central Tennessee Basin and seen their Cedar Glade endemics? That will throw you for a loop!

Judy Price said...

Can you identify this flower in your photo for me, please?

Allison Vaughn said...

Good evening, Judy, I'm not sure which one you need identified, but here they are in order:
Trelease's larkspur (Delphinium treleasii), bluets (I think this is Houstonia longipilum--it's a huge steroids version of regular Houstonia nigricans), Penstemon pallidus, Echinacea paradoxa not quite in bloom, Fimbristylis caroliniana (but I think it's been renamed), Missouri evening primrose (Oenothera missouriensis but has a new name, maybe macrocarpa), and pale purple coneflower, Echinacea pallida. If you're in eastern Missouri, there's a plant that looks like the last one but it's a different species, simulata. Does this help? I've never looked up the weird big bluets that I have only seen in the White River Hills region--huge leaves but similar flowers to the normal one that grows on every glade in the Ozarks.