10-17-13 Field Note

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10-17-13 Field Note

October 17, 2013

Rebecca Durham's Phenology Field Note reveals facts about mock orange, gumweed, and poison ivy.

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Plant Field Note MPG Operations Rebecca Durham October 2013

Many plants rely on photoperiod cues for changes in development. Daylight length in October is nearly 5 hours shorter than June.

Fall rains usher in the graminoid green-up. Native and non-native grasses add fresh new leaf blades. This robust rough fescue will retain much of it nutritional value as it cures (Festuca campestris, Native).

Western poison ivy presents a crimson reminder of the adage, “leaves of three, let it be” (Toxicodendron rydbergii, Whaley).

Sagebrush displays its autumnal bloom (Artemisia tridentata, Corral).

Missouri goldenrod leaves parade fall colors. It bloomed at the end of July, and seeds only now near ripeness. Most other native forbs bloom for a much shorter period and set seed before goldenrod blooms (Solidago missouriensis, Corral).

Like goldenrod, gumweed is another native late bloomer. Its affinity for disturbed ground makes it an ideal restoration species (Grindelia squarrosa, North Ridge).

The quality of light changes in fall, adding vividness to a browning landscape.