Archive for January 2012

Virtual Guide to Native Ferns at the Mt. Cuba Center

January 28, 2012

This is one of a series of videos and information about the native plants at the Mt. Cuba Center in Delaware.  Of course many of the plants are native to New York as well. Watch out or you may be spending a lot of time delving into all of this great information!

2012 New York Flora Association Research Awards Available

January 28, 2012

Hey students and NYFA members: NYFA has money available to help you with your botanical research in New York. Applications due March 2, 2012.
For more information see: NYFA Research Awards.

Maybe you need funds to travel to the field. Photo: Steve Young

New York State Protected Plants of Forests Book

January 28, 2012

The Wetlands Trust and Upper Susquehanna Coalition announce the State Protected Plants of Forests in NYS book by Dudley Raynal and Don Leopold  is now for sale (for $7, includes shipping) on The Wetlands Trust website.

Aaarrrrrg, Learn About the Pirate Botanist.

January 27, 2012

Here is an interesting feature from NPR that shows how intrepid we botanists are. CLICK HERE to access the article.

Winter Botany Workshops Slated at Hawthorne Valley Farm in Columbia County

January 17, 2012
Saturday, February 4th 2012, 1-4pm, Hawthorne Valley Farm (Creekhouse)
Winter Botany Workshop, Part 1 (co-sponsored by the Columbia Land Conservancy)
Conrad and Claudia Vispo will help you learn to identify the most common woody plant species in the winter. We will start with a brief in-door preparatory session and then go outside for some practice in the field.The workshop is free, but space is limited, so please register with or (518) 672-7994.

Saturday, February 18th 2012, 1-4pm, Greenport Public Conservation Area in Hudson
Winter Botany Workshop, Part 2 (co-sponsored by the Columbia Land Conservancy)
Conrad and Claudia Vispo will help you learn to identify the most common woody plant species that can be observed at Greenport in the winter. The workshop is free, but space is limited, so please register with or (518) 672-7994.

If You Care About Chara, Read This Post

January 11, 2012

Chara is a genus of algae that occurs in waters of high pH and is also known by the common name stonewort. Perhaps you have seen this light tan, pondweed-like, branching algae clogging the waters of calcareous ponds, streams, and fens (see photo). It’s brittle texture results from a covering of calcium carbonate precipitate and calcium salts in the cell walls. See more about this interesting plant in the Wikipedia entry and the web page of Dr. Kenneth Karol at the New York Botanical Garden.

Chara filling the water of a marsh in Monroe County. Photo Kim Smith.

Dr. Karol has been working with Characeae for several years now. He uses the two volume 1964 monograph of Chara by Wood and Imahori for identifications. Dr. Karol states that this is an excellent monograph but the broad species concepts and numerous subspecific taxa make it difficult to work with. Given that this is the most recent comprehensive work on Characeae, he has a long-term goal of revising the monograph and updating the keys. If you would like to help him with his work, he needs specimens! If you come across this unique algae in the field, collect a specimen (with the permission of the landowner) and send it to him at the following address:

Kenneth G. Karol, Ph.D.
Assistant Curator
The Lewis B. and Dorothy Cullman Program for Molecular Systematics
2900 Southern Boulevard
The New York Botanical Garden
Bronx, NY 10458-5126 USA

Phone: 718-817-8615

New Book: Spring Wildflowers of the Northeast, A Natural History

January 10, 2012

Author Carol Gracie contacted us to let us know that her spring wildflower book is nearing publication. It’s now available for pre-publication ordering on where you can click  “Look Inside” to browse parts of it.  The forward is by NYFA board member Eric Lamont.  Carol co-authored Wildflowers of the Field and Forest with Steven Clemants.  This book will be an invaluable addition to the flora of the Northeast and to all who are curious about the natural history of our beautiful spring flora.


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