Archive for November 2011

It’s Not too Late in the Year for Botanical Discoveries

November 28, 2011

NYFA Board member Steven Daniel reported that he recently found a population of puttyroot, Aplectrum hyemale, in Monroe County. This is the second extant record for this orchid in New York, and the first verified report for Monroe County since 1895! Puttyroot is a curious orchid – like Calypso and Cranefly orchid (Tipularia) it puts out a single leaf in the fall. This leaf is able to photosynthesize (when it is not snow covered) when temperatures are above freezing. Come spring the leaf begins to wither, and is usually gone by the time the plant flowers, typically in late May or June.

This species can be easily overlooked. Look for puttyroot in rich beech-maple woods. Now is the best time to look for it. It will stand out in the mostly leaf covered forest floor, or with a fine dusting of snow. The leaves are distinctive with their pleating and white venation.

The pleated leaves of the new puttyroot orchid discovery. Photo Steven Daniel.

Money Avaliable for College Students Studying Aquatic Plant Management

November 28, 2011

The Northeast Aquatic Plant Management Society (NEAPMS) has graduate scholarships and undergraduate stipends available for students working on projects in the field of aquatic plant management.  Projects from students working within the Northeastern area of the United States are welcome, though projects from students outside of the region may be eligible if the project they are working on relates to an aquatic plant issue within this region.

More information on eligibility requirements, how to apply, and rating criteria can be found on the NEAPMS website at  Summaries of past projects are also highlighted on the site as well.

Try Out New England Wildflower Society’s Plant Identifier

November 25, 2011

The New England Wildflower Society is developing a new website called Go Botany which has interesting features about the botany of New England (and useful for New York too because our floras are similar).  The photo below shows the features it plans to include.

One of the features, Plant Identifier, is ready to use and provides a sequence of photos to help identify a plant.  The photo below shows part of the opening page for identification.

The key is a random access key using photos and sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn’t, depending on the characters used and the quality of the photo.  See what you think.  For access to the plant key CLICK HERE.

Botany Essays in Western New York by Gerry Rising

November 23, 2011

Gerry Rising, a professor emeritus from SUNY Buffalo, writes a weekly nature column for the Buffalo News in the Sunday Science section.  Many of those columns are about the plants of Western New York and fortunately they can be accessed on his Nature Watch web site. For a list of the botanical articles CLICK HERE.

Flora Novae Angliae – published!

November 8, 2011

Arthur Haines’s Flora Novae Angliae (A manual for the identification of native and naturalized tracheophytes of New England) has been published. This work is one of the most important floristic works covering New England to ever be published. Although not covering New York this book will be still prove extremely useful in New York due to the similarity of the flora between the two regions. It will provide New York botanists with a much needed modern treatment of tracheophytes of the region and is a must have publication. Thank you Arthur for all your hard work! For detail see this link.