05-17-15 Phenology Field Note

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05-17-15 Phenology Field Note

May 17, 2015

Prairie Woilfe's phenology field note details parnassian larva, pussytoe seeds, and flowering bulbous bluegrass.

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Phenology Field Note Parnassian larva, pussytoe seeds, and flowering bulbous bluegrass May 13, 2015 Prairie Wolfe

Phenology locations

Rocky Mountain parnassians rely on stonecrop species as a larval food source (Parnassius smintheus on Sedum lanceolatum).

Not always so rich in color, the pink phyllaries of rosy pussytoes help to key out this species (Antennaria rosesa).

Insect damage and browse have a negative effect on seed production for many species. Insects often target ripening seed for it’s high protein content, but in this instance some critter girdled these two specimens while still in flower.

Once flowers fade, individual plants may be difficult to see. I’ve added flags to smaller or more camouflaged species to aid in surveys. Flags attract curious ungulates who found, removed, and chewed on this flag shortly after being placed.

The small stature of Carex filifolia inflorescences permit them to hide among the delicate leaves.

Small beetles swarm by the thousands on several of our mid to high elevation points (Native, North Ridge, and Baldy). They take particular notice of arrowleaf balsamroot (Balsamorhiza sagittata).

sagittata). Burgeoning fruits push forth from the fading purple petals of larkspur (Delphinium bicolor).

Not restricted to one hue, bluebell flowers change from mauve to blue to purple during flowering (Mertensia oblongifolia). These color changes are common in flowering plants and are attributed to changes in pH and various flavonoids within the epidermal cells (Stewart et al. 1975).

Bulbous bluegrass (Poa bulbosa) tends to reproduce through pseudovivipary. Pseudovivipary is asexual reproduction that consists of small vegetative bulblets that can begin growing while still attached to the parent (Elmquist and Cox, 1996). I recently came across a small population exhibiting sexual outcrossing in a low elevation site (Restoration). Different day lengths and temperatures can sometimes trigger flowering and and subsequent seed production (Ofir and Kigel, 2014).

Works Cited