Wisconsin Botany News and Events
August, 2012: A New Morning Glory and Four New Grasses for Wisconsin
Small white morning glory (Ipomaea lacunosa), a southern U.S. species, was first collected along a railroad near Cassville in Grant County on 19 August 2012 by John Zaborsky and Emmet Judziewicz.
In the process of researching a new “Field Guide to Wisconsin Grasses” (by Emmet Judziewicz, Bob Freckmann, Lynn Clark, and Merel Black), 4 new species of grasses were documented in Wisconsin.
Curly three-awned grass (Aristida desmantha) was collected once in the state at La Crosse in 1887 by L.H. Pammel, along a railroad. It is a native of the southern U.S.
Fairgrounds grass (Sclerochloa dura), a Eurasian weed, was first collected in 2001 in Rock and Walworth Counties by Richard K. Rabeler. Since then it has been collected in Brown County by Gary Fewless.
Plains bluegrass (Poa arida), a salt-tolerant western U.S. species, was first collected in Wisconsin along I-94 in Kenosha and Racine Counties by Gerould Wilhelm in 2008.
Windmill grass (Chloris verticillata), a southern U.S. species, was first collected as a weed at Muscoda, Grant County, on 15 August 2012 by Emmet Judziewicz.
May 1, 2012: Spring 2012 Central Wisconsin Plant Flowering Dates (through April 30th): Averaged 14 Days Ahead of Pre-2010 Records
Emmet Judziewicz, Associate, Professor of Biology and Robert Freckmann, Emeritus Professor of Biology
Through April 30th, Central Wisconsin (Marathon, Portage, and Woods Counties) native, weedy, and cultivated plant species have broken their record early flowering dates (most set in 2010) by an average of 8 days. In turn, 2010 records beat all 1973-2009 records 8 days. 2012 records have beaten all records previous to 2010 by an average of 14.2 days. (Spring 2012 Stevens Point phenology list (PDF)).
Over the 37 year period from 1973-2009, a total of 15 species had flowering records before April 1st in the Stevens Point area, and 86 species before May 1st.
In 2010 alone, 24 species flowered before April 1st, and 121 species before May 1st.
And in 2012, 84 species flowered before April 1st, and 252 species before May 1st.
A total of 263 species are on this list; 112 are native to Central Wisconsin, while 151 are weedy or cultivated.
An important caveat: We admit to a data collection bias this year – we really searched for early-flowering garden records all over town, much more so than in earlier years.
1973-2009 observations were made by Bob Freckmann. 2010 and 2012 observations were made by Judziewicz (about 60%), Freckmann (ca. 20%), with the rest kindly contributed by these colleagues and students: Seth Barthen, Mary Bartkowiak, Alvin Bogdansky, Tracy Feldman, Diane Lueck, Carol Kropidlowski, Angie and Rich Hauer, Rhiannon Kohlmoss, Steve Krause, Noel Martell-Segura, Jeff Morin, and Ron Tschida.
We'd welcome any of your observations for additional early flowering species we have missed (flowering cut-off date: April 30th).
APRIL 1, 2012: SPRING 2012 EARLY FLOWERING RECORDS
If 2010 was a 73 home run year with respect to record early flowering dates
in the Stevens Point area, then so far 2012 has been a 90 homer year.
So, 2012 records have beaten all records previous to 2010 by an average of 16 days. We don’t have enough Stevens Point area data on every species for each of the last 40 years to say how much earlier 2012 blooming dates are compared with the averages of the previous 40 years. But… based on my field experience (intuition if you wish) I believe that plants are flowering about one month earlier than the long term average. Look out the window; it’s more like a “typical” May 1st than an April 1st.
Another striking way to look at the data:
(pdf) includes native species that are cultivated in gardens. It
is not comprehensive; for example, we missed flowering dates for some common
plants like red maple and cottonwood including this year
Review by Ryan P. O'Connor, Botanist, Wisconsin Natural Heritage Inventory, Department of Natural Resources
Never before has such a comprehensive photographic field guide to aquatic plants been available: covering 131 species and containing over 350 high-quality pictures taken by the author, this book is the definitive photographic guide to the often daunting world of aquatic plants. Paul Skawinski's self-published Aquatic Plants of the Upper Midwest is an excellent resource for botanists, water resource managers, citizen scientists, and anyone with an interest in submerged and floating aquatic plants.
Although covering Minnesota, Wisconsin and Michigan, it will be applicable to a much wider audience including neighboring states and Canadian provinces. Notable is the inclusion of every species found in the region including very rare and recently discovered invasive species often left out of non-technical manuals.
Designed to be useful for experienced professionals and beginners alike, species are organized by leaf shape to facilitate identification of unknowns, then broken down by genus. Each species is covered by a clearly written description accompanied by a large full-color photograph with smaller insets of diagnostic characters, including close-ups of fruit, flowers, and leaves. Invasive species and listing status for rare species in each of the three states are also noted. Though distribution maps are not included, the range of each species is noted by broad geographic region.
Professionals will appreciate the technical dichotomous keys included in the appendices for four major genera including Myriophyllum, Sparganium, Utricularia, and Potamogeton (with close relatives Stuckenia and Zosterella). Also included are the Coefficient of Conservatism (C) values for each species by state, which indicate a species' affinity for high-quality undisturbed habitat.
Designed as a field manual with the user in mind, the book is spiral bound with water-resistant (though not water-proof) paper for functionality and durability. It should be a staple for anyone working with aquatic plants in the Upper Midwest, professional and casual user alike.
Paul Skawinski is the Regional Aquatic Invasive Species Education Specialist for Wood, Portage, Marathon, Waupaca, and Waushara Counties.
Available from the author
$32.00 + $4.00 S&H.
280 beautiful photographs showcase the incredible diversity of Wisconsin's aquatic flora. Easy to use and understand, this book is a must-have reference for fishermen, boaters, and biologists.
150 pages with 280 color photographs by the author.
Review by Emmet Judziewicz, UWSP
This book is an essential botanical reference for anyone interested in Midwestern plants; it is absolutely essential for anyone interested in the identification of aquatic macrophytes, far exceeding in clarity of presentation and photography any published North American aquatic plant guide.
The full color, high resolution photos by Paul are superb and show all of the diagnostic characters needed to name these difficult-to-identify plants, for example the pondweeds (pages 50-71 ) and bladderworts (pages 38-43).
I had the great good fortune to have Paul in my UWSP aquatic macrophytes class in 2009 and he was amazing. He was clearly more knowledgeable about these plants than his professor, but wore his learning lightly and functioned as a super-TA to my other students.
Paul tells me that 750 copies of this guide have been printed. I’ve picked up two and advice others to buy while they can. This book is an instant classic and will be quickly snapped up.
Paul Skawinski is the
Regional Aquatic Invasive Species Education Specialist and Aquatic Invasive
Species Coordinator for Wood, Portage, Waushara, Marathon Counties and is
employed by Golden Sands RC&D Council, Inc.
2010: EARLY SPRING IN CENTRAL WISCONSIN: Complete list of early blooming times by date from January 2010 - May 1, 2010
Bob Freckmann and Emmet Judziewicz
Sample records by number of days
EVENTS: (links open new window)
North Woods Native Plant Society
Woods Native Plant Society is a group of professional and
amateur botanists interested in learning about and protecting
the native plants and plant communities of the western U.P. and
northern WI. We schedule free botany hikes to special places
during the summer. To see the schedule and to sign up for email
reminders, visit our website at
Plants of Wisconsin
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