Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Common Garden Update, July 2014

TJ and I were at our common gardens last week collecting data from 3 of our plant species.  We did some vegetative measures and started tracking the progression of flowering and seeding for each of those plants.  Thanks for all the help TJ, the gardens look good and most of our plants are thriving.

Pityopsis graminifolia

Solidago odora

Lespedeza capitata

And in honor of Dr. Seuss, here is our update:

Some are tall and some are short,
but we measure each one no matter what sort.

Measuring the height of a Pityopsis plant.

There are skinny and fat,
small plants and large, 
compact or bushy I don't know who's in charge.
Some have flowers and some do not.
We saw the whole range because we measured a lot.
Some are branchy and some are straight,
and some are all twisty, twiny like a braid.

Twisted stems at the base of a Solidago plant.

We want to track them, just how they grow,
the more data we collect, the more we can know.

Some of our Solidago plants are growing sideways most likely because they are top heavy along with the windy conditions at our garden.

Most are alive, but some are dead.
We can't let that get us down, we just keep going ahead.

Several rows of Pityopsis plants, there a dead individual next to a couple plants that seem to be dying back.

We make careful notes about each plant, their size, and stage of flowering.

Does the plant have buds?
Are there flowers open?
Have the flowers been pollinated?
These are just some of the things we are scopin'.

A flower bud on one of our Pityopsis plants.

A Pityopsis plant showing the full progression of flowering, from green buds to seed.

The top of a Lespedeza plant with green buds starting to show.

The top of a Solidago plant with newly formed buds.

A portion of a Solidago plant showing the full progression of flowering, from bud to seed.

That my friends is called tracking phenology,
we do that because we are crazy about biology!

We plan on measuring more plants in a hurry,
until all the flowers have bloomed and seed has dispersed in a flurry.