Western Minnesota Scientific and Natural Areas

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Hoy's picture
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Joined: 2009-12-15
RickR wrote:

Hoary Vervain (Verbena stricta) and an excellent specimen of Wooly plantain (Plantago patagonica).  It seemed to like the relative lack of competition.  Now that you know what you are looking for, Trond, you can pick out a few leaves from this previous photo, too: http://nargs.org/smf/index.php?action=dlattach;topic=299.0;attach=34838;...

Thanks, Rick, I can see it! The woolly plantain is a striking plant even without blazing colours! You have shown a lot of interesting plants and landscape, Rick, thank you. Some of the plants are wellknown garden plants here and you can get them in every nursery.

However, my favorite would be the Prairie fameflower (Phemeranthus parviflora), totally unknown till now!

Trond Rogaland, Norway - with cool, often rainy summers  (29C max) and mild, often rainy winters (180 cm/year)!

Title: Moderator
Joined: 2009-09-21

A short stop in "wild" Minnesota: a rock ledge along a road just outside of Granite Falls in the western part of the state. 19 August

A view from the ledge, of the ledge

There has been a whole lot of extra rain this year, and I never realized how prolific Allium stellatum was until I saw them all blooming.


Artemisia frigida, and Plantago patagonica seed heads and a Panicum sp.


It was mostly and overcast day and late morning, so no Phemeranthus parviflorus were blooming. But they have never looked so fat and robust (again, with the abundance of rain).  And same with the lichens, this one, one of the leafy types.

And more miscellaneous pics of the natural rock garden, with P. parviflorus, Salaginella rupestris, Opuntia fragilis and Bouteloua gracilis.


I don't know what this little purple flowered plant is, but it is interesting.


Selaginella rupestris


And I always seem to find something new, no matter where I go or how often I go there: Euphorbia cyathophora.  It's also in the center of the last habitat photo.






Rick Rodich    zone 4a.    Annual precipitation ~24 inches near Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA

Title: Moderator
Joined: 2009-09-21

The same rock ledge, I returned Sept 7, hopefully for seed.  After reading up on Euphorbia cyathophora, and getting how "quickly" it produces seed, I may have missed some, but I can't be sure.  At any rate, the explosive cases weren't exploding now, as I firmly, but gently grasped the pods.  So no seed.

Oodles of Phemeranthus parviflorus capsules, but relatively few were ripe, and many already shattered.  I did get some seed, though.  Plants grew significantly larger than most years, with the excess rain this season.  Dried Plantago patagonica at the left in the first pic.  I wanted seed because the Minnesota ((or Minnesota region?) species type has larger and much more colorful flowers with 2-3 more and showier stamens than the ones from the (south)western USA.



Cymous inflorescence structure of Phemeranthus showing deciduous sepals.  Phemeranthus parviflorus seed. (1mm graph paper.)


The first time I've ever found Oxalis violacea in the wild.  It's not supposed to be a rare plant in Minnesota.  Never at the right place at the right time, I guess.  And this time, it was one of the not so common years that it rebloomed in the fall (and with no leaves).  Only one open (and damaged flower), but that made the colorfully tipped sepals more evident.


Allium stellatum continues to bloom, and Atemisia frigida (left) is beginning, with Artemisia campestris center stage.


Mirabilis nyctaginea with Phemeranthus parviflorus and Bouteloua gracilis in foreground.  And a couple views.


Rick Rodich    zone 4a.    Annual precipitation ~24 inches near Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA

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Joined: 2009-09-21

I stopped at a nearby area to view the opuntia there.  Most experts agree that this is Opuntia macrorhiza


It is certainly different from the Opuntia humifusa that grows only six miles away.


Rick Rodich    zone 4a.    Annual precipitation ~24 inches near Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA


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