05-04-13 Phenology Field Note

Block title

05-04-13 Phenology Field Note

May 4, 2013

Rebecca Durham's note showcases the rapid spring burst of plant life.

PDF icon Download (2.33 MB)

What drives the rapid spring burst of plant life? Temperature is an important factor in determining plant growth rates. Chemical reactions in plant tissue occur faster with higher temperatures. Photosynthesis and respiration rates increase during the balmy days of early spring, accelerating plant growth.

Salsify grows with a grass-like gestalt. Milky sap oozes from broken leaves, exposing its identity as a rayless member of the sunflower family (Tragopogon dubius, North Center Pivot).

The pungent nectar of wax currant attracts insect pollinators (Ribes cereum, Floodplain).

Many antelope bitterbrush shrubs surpass the human life-span, and some persist 130 years (Purshia tridentata, Floodplain).

Native Americans used larkspur flowers to dye quills (Delphinium bicolor, Corral).

Atop Mt. Baldy, darkthroat shootingstar nears efflorescence. Two shootingstar species grow at the ranch; leaf shape, capsule morphology, and habitat distinguish the two. Bonneville shootingstar (Dodecatheon conjugens) has rounder leaves and grows in lower/drier areas than darkthroat shootingstar (Dodecatheon pulchellum, Baldy). A robust nine-leaf biscuitroot blooms among native and non-native grasses (Lomatium triternatum, Floodplain).

The bulb-like corms of glacier lilies nourish people and bears (Erythronium grandiflorum, Baldy).

Previous Field Note

04-24-13 Field Note

Next Field Note

05-09-13 Field Note