Japanese Knotweed Male and Female Plants

Posted September 9, 2013 by nyflora
Categories: Natural History, Plant Biology

by Steve Young

Today I accompanied Dr. Carl George from Union College into the field to look at the differences between male and female plants of Japanese knotweed, Fallopia japonica. Our first stop was an area in Glenville with multiple clones of the plants, one of them female and the others male.  What are the distinguishing characters?  Male plants have erect inflorescences with bright white flowers and bigger leaves. These characters can be seen driving by in a car. The female plants are usually smaller with erect and drooping flower branches which are not as bright, probably due to the winged tepals and darker ovaries not present in the male plants. The male plants have flowers with five white petals that are spreading outward. They have long white stamens that are longer than the petals and we did not see any pollen in the open anthers.  At the base of the flowers are tiny ovaries.  The female plants have large ovaries topped by a three-parted stigma and small staminodes at the base.  The five tepals are open when flowering starts and eventually three of them form large wings around the fruit.  The remaining two tepals remain small in size, become erect and, hidden by the wings, they enclose the fruit.  Today we saw four different populations of male plants, some of them large, but most of the plants we saw in the area were female.  This is a good time of year to distinguish the two sexes so take time to look at the clones in your area and see if you can distinguish them.

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Here you can see the male plants on the right and the female plants on the left of a clone of sumac.

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Notice the large size of the male clone with the erect bright white flowers.  Carl George examines the flowers.

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The male plants also had larger leaves than the female plants.

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Notice how the female inflorescences also have drooping branches.

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Here are young female flowers with five tepals about the same size and older flowers with three of the sepals developed into the wings that surround the fruit.

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Here are the upright male flowers with the long stamens sticking out.

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The hollow stems have a groove above the branches and they arise in a spiral fashion up the stem.

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A large male clone can be seen along a road in Pattersonville.  The erect inflorescences are easily recognized. Even though they are swarming with honey bees, Dr. George found there is no pollen reward and their pollen sacs are empty.

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Here is another male plant in downtown Albany not far from a stand of female plants.

Fallopia japonica Edwards east male (1)

The male plants are still easily distinguished in late September after the flowers fall because the upright branches remain while the female plants are still laden with white female flowers and fruits.

The NYFA Annual Meeting Was Fun For All

Posted June 27, 2013 by nyflora
Categories: Field Trips, Happenings, NY Flora Association

By Steve Young

On May fifth NYFA began their annual meeting and field trip with a visit to Nelson Swamp near Nelson, NY. We met on a beautiful sunny day just outside the village of Cazenovia and carpooled to a parking spot that provided easy access to the swamp.

Field trip participants walk into the swamp.

Field trip participants walk into the swamp.

The participants divided into two smaller groups so we would have less impact on sensitive areas. While some of us explored the mosaic of marsh and white cedar swamp to the west, the other group went into the swamp to take a look at spreading globeflower.

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In one area we came across a beautiful expanse of false hellebore (Veratrum viride) in its early stages of growth as well as some nice meadows of Carex bromoides (“the other hummock sedge” as David Werier describes it). At the appointed time we exchanged places with the other group and listened to Dr. Sara Scanga talk about her work with Spreading globeflower (Trollius laxus) before heading into the swamp to look at the plant for real.

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For some of the group it was the first time they had seen globeflower and Sara explained all of the interesting facets of its growth and ecology. You can learn more about her work HERE.

Group in Nelson

Fortunately the plants were in full flower and put on a real show for us.

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You can learn more about spreading globeflower in New York at the NY Natural Heritage Conservation Guide.

After the field trip we drove to board member Ed Frantz’s house near Cazenovia and enjoyed a delicious and bountiful lunch provided by Ed and his family. After lunch came a short business meeting with a board member vote followed by the first annual botanical quiz given by yours truly from an iPhone app called “Angiosperms.” Even though there were a lot of groans at the questions, I think everyone enjoyed participating, especially the two groups that tied for the win!

Board members Rich Ring and Andy Nelson with wife Mary Anne enjoying the lunch at Ed's house.

Board members Rich Ring and Andy Nelson with wife Mary Anne enjoying the botanical quiz.

We finished off the day’s activities by voting for the 2014 Wildflower of the Year, a tradition that we will have every year to honor and publicize a member of our flora for the next calendar year. This year’s win went to cardinal flower, one of our most spectacular and well-known wildflowers.

Cardinal flower at Indian Lake in the Adirondacks.

Cardinal flower at Indian Lake in the Adirondacks.

Many thanks go to the organizers of the field trip and luncheon and to the record number of participants we had for the meeting.  It was one to remember.

 

Plants Are Cool Too Episode 3 – Skunk Cabbage

Posted April 26, 2013 by nyflora
Categories: Education and Research

This episode takes place in our own backyard;  Plattsburgh!

 

NYFA Board Meeting in Oneonta and Cooperstown

Posted April 21, 2013 by nyflora
Categories: Bryophytes, Classes and Workshops, Field Trips, NY Flora Association

The NYFA Board met in Cooperstown on April 18 to discuss future projects, field trips, workshops and other issues.  Their annual members meeting will be on Sunday May 5th beginning with a tour of Nelson Swamp.  See our web page on field trips for more information. The day began with a field trip to Table Rocks at the campus of Hartwick College in Oneonta where we were joined by bryologist Dr. Sean Robinson from SUNY Oneonta who helped identify the mosses.  A great time was had by all.

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Table Rocks is located on the slopes above the Science Building but permission is needed to access the site.

IMGP2985Board members Connie Tedesco and David Werier examine the cliff face plants while Sean Robinson looks on.

IMGP2981The thin cross-layered siltstone and shale were amazing and covered with mosses.

IMGP2979Dr. Robinson was eager to show everyone the different species of moss.

IMGP2982David Werier, Dan Spada, and Sean Robinson examine the mosses.

IMGP2983Many of the outcrops had a large amount of rock tripe lichen covering them.

IMGP2988The view from table rocks looks out over the southwestern part of Oneonta and the wetlands on Lower River Street and Oneida Street.

IMGP2992Steve Daniel showed us an example of the green stain fungus in wood, Chlorociboria aeruginacens.

IMGP2993Connie Tedesco talked to us about the Hoysradt herbarium at Hartwick College that she curates. The college is in the process of deciding what to do with it.

IMGP2996Outside the science building we saw a naturalized population of Bellis perennis, English daisy, one of two flowering plants we saw that day.  The other was colt’s foot, another European import.  With the delayed flowering season we are having this spring it was great to see anything blooming!

iMapInvasives training sessions offered statewide this spring!

Posted March 13, 2013 by nyflora
Categories: Classes and Workshops

iMapInvasives is an online mapping tool that supports efforts to protect New York State from invasive species. All interested groups, from land managers to the general public, are encouraged to help keep the NYS map up-to-date and accurate by reporting invasive species locations. Volunteers, citizen scientists, and educational groups will find the simple reporting interface perfect for local projects. And conservation professionals can use the advanced interface to manage detailed information about infestations, surveys, and treatments in a standardized format.

Learn about the program and become trained to contribute data by attending an iMapInvasives training session! Training is required to enter data, and free sessions are being offered throughout the state this spring:  www.nyimapinvasives.org/Training/nyimapschdule (Click on the “2013 PRISM Spring Training” for details).

 

Spring iMapInvasives PRISM Trainings:

CRISP [April 3, Arkville, NY]           

APIPP [May 13, Warrensburg, NY]

SLELO [May 23, Watertown, NY]

Lower Hudson [May 29, Garrison, NY]

Western New York [May 31, Buffalo, NY]

Capital-Mohawk [June 3, Albany, NY]

Finger Lakes [June 5, Geneva, NY]

LIISMA [June 13, Shirley, NY]

NY Flora Association Announces Field Trips and Workshops for 2013

Posted February 16, 2013 by nyflora
Categories: Classes and Workshops

Click this link to see the lineup of fantastic field trips and workshops for 2013.

There will be workshops for identifying:

Amelanchier (Shadbush), Sedges, Grasses, and Trees using bark characters as well as a workshop on ethnobotanical topics.

Field Trips will explore:

Nelson Swamp (Madison Co.), Bonaparte Swamp and Fitzgerald Pond (Lewis Co.), Michigan Hollow Swamp (Tompkins Co.), Little Rock City (Cattaraugus Co.), Zoar Valley (Erie/Cattaraugus Cos.), Whiteface Mountain (Essex Co.), Edgewood Preserve (Suffolk Co.), and Joralemon Park (Albany Co.)

Most of these require registration so register soon before they fill up.

Happy students at the goldenrod and aster workshop at the Niagara Gorge last year.

Happy students at the goldenrod and aster workshop at the Niagara Gorge in 2011.

Jobs: SUNY Oneonta Needs an Assistant Professor of Aquatic Ecology

Posted December 10, 2012 by nyflora
Categories: Funding and Jobs

Assistant Professor in Aquatic Ecology to Support Master of Science in Lake Management Program

The Department of Biology at SUNY Oneonta invites applications for a tenure track position as an Assistant Professor of Aquatic Ecology beginning August 2013. The Biology Department offers five majors tracks, two graduate programs and excellent facilities including the College’s Biological Field Station (BFS) on Lake Otsego in nearby Cooperstown, NY. This position is three quarters time teaching with the remaining time devoted to furthering the research mission of the Biological Field Station.  An internship program and a new Master of Science program in Lake Management utilize BFS resources including permanent and temporary wetlands, uplands, forests, and streams on 2600 acres, and access to Lake Otsego.

 The full announcement and application information can be found at:

http://oneonta.interviewexchange.com/jobofferdetails.jsp?JOBID=35918

 


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