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New Group Looking For Officers: Wildflower Field Managers


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I have formed a new group Wildflower Fields Managers. I'm looking for interested people to be officers.

 

This category is for locations where a large field of wildflowers can be viewed. Typically this would be an annual spring event. When in bloom these fields are a wonder to see. There are many well-publicized wildflower preserves and unknown out of the way fields. Both are welcome.

To qualify the field must:

· Be at least 1 acre (0.004 km2)

· Occur at least annually

· Be at least 1 mile (1.6 km) from another location

· Publicly accessable

· A natural field (no farms or nurseries)

 

The parameters for each entry would include

· Best viewing time (month start to month end)

· Parking location

· Terrain difficulty

· Recent picture of the field in bloom

· Predominant flower(s) [optional]

 

It would be requested that any entry fee be included in the description.

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I thought about this as a category as well, but then though about the risk that people would pick the wild flowers they found there. There needs to be a clear message sent that wildflowers should not be collected.

Quite true. I'll be sure to include that.

 

Does that mean you'll help out witht he group?

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I've e-mailed TerryDad2 already with some thoughts, but on the way in to the herbarium today a couple of others crossed my mind.

 

Predominant species. Things some people would consider weeds, may not be to others. I personally can not stand Rosa multiflora, a terrible envasive, some people think it is pretty.

 

Habitat type. Barrens, mesophytic forest, wetland, plains, etc. Will help others recognize what they will find in that location.

 

Native or disturbed. Meaning are these "wildflowers" that have repopulated an area without the aid of humans after humans have disrupted the area, or is it an undisturbed natural habitat.

 

Invasive/non-invasive. Could be, maybe not, species would allow that to be determined, but...

 

The big two are predominant species and habitat type.

 

There are a couple that were mentioned below that would be difficult. Best viewing time, for instance. Different species "flower" at different times. Solidago is late summer early fall, Echinaceae is all but gone by this time.

 

Thoughts?

 

rhn

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biosearch has some good parameters. I would be interested in this information.

 

I don't want to intimidate potential listings. Non-scientifc minded people may not know that information or be willing to look for it. However, people interested in listing typically will be quite up on the flowers so it would be a good idea to add them as optional fields. Then if that information is not included in the initial listing request the people who log fill in the missing information.

 

We also discussed the listing of cultivated fields. I am considering allowing planted fields so long as there is some flower planted every year. It would be too bad to miss the tulip field in the Netherlands. I just don't want a commercial field listed and find out the next year the owner planted corn. This would mean that the name should be changed to just Flower Fields and a parameter to include wild or cultivated.

 

As for the best time to view. Unfortunately we are stuck with a database form, so the listing will have to use one start and end date. Details regarding the different bloom times in the long description.

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Another interesting issue, and I might have mentioned it before, is the issue of what is considered to be a "wildflower". Technically speaking all monocots and dicots have flowers. So Poa (grasses), Cyperus (sedges, which I find beautiful), etc. Have flowers. Composites have heads, which contain many many flowers in one lcoations, dandelions (Taraxacum officinale G.H. Weber ex Wiggers) is an example, as are purple coneflower (Echinacea purpurea (L.) Moench) and blackeyed susan (Rudbeckia hirta L.). So what exactly is a "wildflower"? Is it something pretty that the general population would want to see or something that is native to the area?

 

Just random thoughts...

 

rhn

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Additional musings ... I have recently discovered that European ecology can differ quite dramatically from the North American experience. Because Europe has been inhabited for millenia, some wildflowers have benefited from their association with human activity. In the hills of southern Germany, there are many of what were once animal pastures. They are perfect habitat for many of the orchid species which grow in this part of the world. However, with the decline in agriculture, these pasture environments are threatened by natural revegetation and so they are mowed at least once a year by the agency which manages these "Naturschutzgebiete". The mowing keeps the forest from overruning the pastures.

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We run into the same situation here with sites that were once farmed/grazed which are no longer used and quickly invaded by exotics. Instead of mowing, although it is a widely practiced method of control, controlled burns are used in an attempt to reintroduce native species, especially those which require this to germinate. Much can be said for controlled burning, if it was practiced more widely the issues with large, out of control, unplanned fires would be far less.

 

Would be interesting to determine how many of the individuals who might be interested in this topic would be interested in that sort of information...

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I have updated the name of the group to the generic "Flower Field Managers" I also description to allow for cultivated fields. One of the parameters will be cultivated or "wild." We'll keep to the layperson definitionof wild even if the flower is exotic to the area.

 

I think we'll find the majority of the submittals will be the layperson idea of a flower, the pretty colored thing that bees go to. However, I wouldn't decline a submittal for the rest of the angiosperms. The supplied picture will let people figure out if that field interests them.

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You've listed a requirement that angiosperms (flowering plants) be present in the viewing area/preserve/field. Technically this can mean that Maples (Aceraceae), grases (Poaceae), sedges (cyperaceae), birch trees (Betulaaceae) etc. may be listed. While it might be rare, someone could list a field of grass (my front yard) and fit into the catagory. My front yard contains angiosperms, it is reoccuring and it is open to the public for viewing. Problem? Should this be narrowed? Personally I like cyperus, carex and cuscuta. However, these are species that most would consider wildflowers. For that matter, T

 

Additionally, there are some very beautiful gymnosperms (Ephedraceae sp., although I can't think of any other than woody plants besides this one) that would not be included.

 

Just a thought...

 

Perhaps angiosperms with showy reproductive structure (flower) or infloresence. Or lay terms to that effect.

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I agree that there is no need to have someone's front yard or golf course included. I would like to leave it open to allow for pleasing displays of any plant so "angiosperms (flowering plants)" won't work.

 

I think the "showy reproductive display" will do nicely.

 

I've dropped the "wild" part of the group name and category so that will allow the listing of orchards, and the gymnosperms.

 

That still leaves the possiblity of someone listing thier front yard. Could that be addressed by increasing the minimum area? Just simply state that personal property should not be listed? hmmm.... any other thoughts?

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Perhaps a caveat that restricts logs from property associated with the residence of any kind. This would keep individuals from driving by personal property and getting out to look at someones home. Would more than likely be perceived as an invasion of someones property. Or am I overthinking this?

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I have just read the logs and believe that I would enjoy being a member of this group. I have just put my name into the group. Most of the photos that I've taken have been for technical identification, with many closeups of stems, leaves, joints, anthers, etc.

I'm still trying to figure out how to get 2000 slides into a digital format without mortgaging my house.

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