04-24-13 Field Note

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04-24-13 Field Note

April 24, 2013

Rebecca Durham's Field Note shows how stronger and longer hours of sunlight encourages magnificent vegetative growth.

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Weather conditions oscillate between winter and spring, but strengthening and lengthening sunlight still encourages vegetative growth. Rapidly dividing cells in the meristem give rise to new shoots, roots, and flowers. Root and shoot meristems contain cells that can divide indefinitely, exhibiting indeterminate growth. The floral meristem from which the flowers arise are determinate: genes specify the size and shape of reproductive structures.

Symmetrical phlox flowers perch atop needle-like leaves. (Phlox hoodii ssp. muscoides, Whaley). Bristly bracts of leafy bluebells mask burgeoning bouquets (Mertensia oblongifolia, Whaley).

Reddish bracts of cutleaf daisy curl over developing petals (Erigeron compositus, Whaley). Aspen fleabane’s specific epithet “speciosus” means beautiful in Latin. (Erigeron speciosus, North Ridge).

Kayenta Navajo used diminutive blue-eyed Mary to enhance their horses’ speed (Collinsia parviflora, Whaley). Fiery hues tinge the pubescent bracts of harsh Indian paintbrush (Castilleja hispida, Whaley).

The vibrant new growth of alumroot juxtaposed upon tattered leaves from seasons past (Heuchera cylindrica, North Ridge). Nuttall's rockcress exhibits the 4-merous flower arrangement characteristic of the mustard family (Arabis nuttallii, Corral).

 Leaves and flowers of chokecherry develop concurrently (Prunus virginiana, Whaley).

Prairie kittentails lack petals: pigmented stamens paint a swath of rich purple-blue (Besseya wyomingensis, Native). Globose flower heads of low pussytoes nestle among obovate leaves (Antennaria dimorpha, Native).

Rose-tipped stamens and a brush of gold, springbeauty erupts with magnificence untold (Claytonia lanceolata, Baldy).

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