Archive for March 2011

The Vasculum Blog

March 31, 2011

I ran across this botany-based blog recently looking for information on invasive species.  It contains interesting information about many aspects of botany with some nice photos and descriptions of plants that also occur in New York.  To see it CLICK HERE.

Check the NYFA Calendar. Many Events are Posted.

March 30, 2011

Lots of events are happening this spring so check the NYFA calendar for a walk or talk near you.  CLICK HERE to see the calendar. If you have an event you would like to post send them to

Join a walk to see our beautiful spring flora. Photo Steve Young.

Early Morning at the South Ferry Salt Marsh

March 28, 2011

by Steve Young – NY Natural Heritage Program

Last summer I had to leave early from Mashomack Preserve  on Shelter Island for a field trip to Long Island.  While I waited for the South Ferry I decided to explore the marsh to the west where a friend had told me there were some interesting plants. He was right.

The early morning sun comes up over the ferry.

Salt grass, Distichlis spicata, is lit up by the low sun angle.

The seaside plantain, Plantago maritima ssp. juncoides is our only plantain that grows in saltwater.

Two species of glasswort grow here. Sarcocornia pacifica, pictured here, has rhizomatous stems

Dwarf glasswort, Salicornia bigelovii, is a single-stemmed annual with thick stems and a leaf scale that has a mucronate (pointed) tip.

Here they are together. There is one other glasswort, Salicornia depressa, that is a single-stem annual but its scales are not mucronate and it has more narrow stems.

Slender saltmarsh aster, Symphyotrichum tenuifolium, added some white and yellow accents to the scene.

An osprey often keeps watch over the area.

Albany Pine Bush and Brookhaven National Lab Plants Lists Added to NYFA Plant List Map

March 24, 2011

The Google map of plant lists for New York is now accessible on the “Plant Lists” tab on our main website  Plant lists for the Albany Pine Bush and Brookhaven National Lab have just been added.

NYFA Fields Trips and Workshops for 2011

March 19, 2011

CLICK HERE to see the list of field trips and workshops scheduled for 2011.

We hope to see you at some of our outstanding workshops and field trips this year.

Help Record Plant Phenology in New York With Project Bud Break

March 15, 2011

Now that plants are starting to flower (I have gotten reports of skunk cabbage and pussy willow) you can help record this natural phenomenon by using the New York-based website Project Bud Break. According to the website it is associated with a national effort, a network of citizen scientists that is being established in New York to observe the timing of flowering, leaf development, fruiting, and leaf drop in populations of common native trees and herbaceous species. This site will help observers to enter their data on the timing of important plant events through the growing season. Through time they can see the effects of climate change by observing the fluctuations in phenology of our native plants. To register for the site CLICK HERE.

Help record the flowering and fruiting of trees like the silver maple pictured here.

Botany 2011 – July 9-13, St. Louis

March 14, 2011

This is one of the best botanical conferences in the world. For a list of session topics CLICK HERE.

A New Social Network Just for Botanists

March 14, 2011

This new website,,  was created by Richard Olmstead and funded by the National Science Foundation to foster communication among botanists working on specific groups of plants. Users can create their own ‘clade’, like New York mints for example, and invite others to join in the discussion to build a community of users with similar taxomomic interests.  The developers tout it as more than just another social networking site, also provides integrations and links into other sites, tools and repositories of information both within iPlant and across the community as a whole.

Butternut Valley Alliance Plans Wildflower Walk Sunday, June 5, 2011

March 11, 2011

The Butternut Valley Alliance in Otsego County has scheduled their second annual wildflower walk for Sunday June 5th, at 1:30 PM.

There are pictures of last year’s walk on the Butternut Valley Alliance website. View the pdf of the Flora Walk at the Stroh’s. This year they are hoping it won’t be so rainy.  They would appreciate all the botanical help they can get so they can assemble a good native and invasive plant list of the area.

A pot luck picnic is planned for 4 PM.

For more information contact Leslie Stroh at

CLICK HERE for more photos of the beautiful Butternut Valley.

Breaking news: Skunk Cabbage Seen Flowering in Dutchess County

March 10, 2011

NYFA board member Aissa Feldmann saw skunk cabbage blooming in a swamp at Stony Kill Farm near Beacon in Dutchess County on March 9th while performing surveys for New England cottontail. The snow was patchy (see photo) so she didn’t see the process of snow melting that characterizes these flowers. Spring is on the way!

skunk cabbage spathe and spadix later in the season


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