Archive for the ‘Plant Sightings’ category

New Dragon’s Mouth Orchid Population Found in the Adirondacks

June 17, 2011

A canoe trip to Franklin County by Wayne Jones resulted in the discovery of a new population of dragon’s mouth orchid, Arethusa bulbosa. It’s the tenth population known from the Adirondacks and the second one known from Franklin County. The other population in Franklin County (discovered in the 1990s) is the most northerly one in New York. Congratulations Wayne! Below are a couple of photos of the orchids, some of them were very pale in color.

Pixies: A Sure Sign of Spring on Long Island

April 16, 2011

Entry and photos by Steve Young.

Mid-April is the flowering time of the rare Pixiemoss, Pyxidanthera barbulata. In New York there are only two locations, on Long Island, but only one of them has a significant number of plants. This tiny plant grows in low clumps on the ground in open grassland areas of pitch pine-oak woods.  It is in the Diapensia family with a close relative, Diapensia lapponica var. lapponica, that grows in the alpine areas of the Adirondacks. Long Island is at the northern edge of the range of Pyxidanthera, a coastal plant ranging from Long Island south to South Carolina, except for Maryland and Delaware. The Adirondacks and White Mountains are at the southern range of the mostly Canadian plant Diapensia. Close cousins that will never meet!

Click on the photos below for a larger version.

In its habitat a clump of Pixies could be mistaken for an open area of white pebbles or even a small mound of snow.

Here is a closer view of a clump of the tightly-packed white flowers.

You can see how small the flowers are here but there are a lot of them.

Diapensia flowers are on flower stalks but Pixie flowers are sessile and close to the ground. Their flat anthers have two parallel anther sacs on top.

These plants are in bud and show the tiny moss-like leaves that are widest above the middle and have a sharp tip. Without flowers or fruits they could be mistaken for a clump of moss.

Wildflowers of Central New York Video

February 26, 2011

This is a simple slideshow of common wildflowers with birds singing in the background.  The photographer needs to work on his focus but it’s nice to see these in the winter and anticipate things to come.  Try to guess what they are as they come up (don’t look at the caption!).

Adirondack Flora and Fungi Video

February 22, 2011

How many of these plants, mosses, and fungi do you recognize?

New Rare Plant Finds in NY State Parks During 2010

January 8, 2011

From Kim Smith – NY Natural Heritage State Parks Botanist

This was an exciting year for botanical discoveries in New York state parks. Everyone heard about the federally-threatened Isotria medeoloides (small whorled pogonia) that turned up in Orange County in May. But there were eight more new state-rare plant populations documented in state parks this year.

Five of these species were found on Long Island, which was a focus area for the NYNHP state parks surveyed this year.  Three of the species found are listed as state-endangered; these are Juncus brachycarpus (short-fruit rush, S1) at Montauk Point State Park, Bartonia paniculata ssp. paniculata (twining screwstem, S1) at Connetquot River State Park, and Polygonum aviculare ssp. buxiforme (Small’s knotweed, S1) at Hither Hills State Park. The discovery of another population of short-fruit rush is particularly exciting, as there is only one other extant population known in the state. The other two species found on Long Island are Eupatorium torreyanum (Torrey’s thoroughwort, S2) and Desmodium ciliare (hairy small-leaved tick-trefoil, S2S3), both found at Shadmoor State Park and listed as state-threatened.

Back up north, during additional surveys for Isotria medeoloides, a new population of the state-endangered Endodeca serpentaria (Virginia snakeroot, S2) was discovered at Highland Lakes State Park. At Taconic State Park, Symphyotrichum boreale (boreal aster, S2, threatened) was discovered, and at Chenango Valley State Park, a new population of Botrychium oneidense (blunt-lobe grape-fern, S2S3, endangered) was found.

All of these discoveries point to the need for continued survey efforts for rare plants throughout New York. It’s a big state and we still have a lot to learn!

Boreal aster in Taconic State Park 2010

Smartphone App for Tracking Invasive Species

October 22, 2010

Learn about the new apps being developed to track invasive species. The New York iMap program is developing one for New York.


Northeastern Bulrush (Scirpus ancistrochaetus) Rediscovered in New York

August 21, 2010

From Steve Y0ung, NY Natural Heritage Program – This federally-threatened plant is known from Virginia north to Vermont. Learn more about it at the Center for Plant Conservation website HERE.  In New York, there was only one historical collection, from the Putnam Mountain area in Washington County in northeastern New York, from September 1900, and it was listed as extirpated from the state. The location for the historical record has been searched numerous times but no plants have been found again.  In recent years more populations of the bulrush were found in adjacent Vermont and in northern Pennsylvania in a county adjacent to New York. It was frustrating that we couldn’t find it in New York – it was so close by.

This year I received funds from the US Fish and Wildlife Service to look for it again in the Southern Tier of New York to see if there were populations extending north from Pennsylvania.  On the second day of searching small wetlands in Steuben County, south of Corning, I finally found it.  It was growing in a small (40 m diameter) vernal wetland at the top of a hill that I had identified as a place to search using topographic maps and Bing birds-eye-view aerial photos on the web. One month shy of the 110th anniversary of its last collection in New York, it was back in our flora. I spent two more days searching other wetlands in the county, and I have more days to search later in the month so I hope I can discover more populations.  Dr. Rob Naczi from the NY Botanical Garden will also be searching areas near Vermont. Let’s hope he will find some in that area as well.  Stay tuned to this blog . . .

Below are some of the photos from the population in Steuben County.

This is what the wetland looked like as I approached through the hemlock woods.

In the middle was a small open muddy area surrounded by Northeastern bulrush.

The species has rays that arch down from the top of the culm.

The culms usually lay down and root in the mud.

The peripheral open muddy areas had different plant species but the area covered by the bulrush was almost a monoculture.