Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Tracking phenology in our common gardens

TJ and I were back at our common gardens this past week observing the progression of flowering in our native species.  Phenology is the study of cyclical biological events, such as flowering, in relation to climatic conditions.  We collected data for Pityopsis graminifolia, Solidago odora, and Lespedeza capitata at each of our gardens.  Enjoy these images of what we were observing without all the heat and humidity of summer field work in the South.

A Pityopsis graminfolia flower being pollinated by a visitor.

When buds initially form on Pityopsis graminfolia they are green, but they soon turn yellow as they mature and expand into a flower.

A seed head on Pityopsis graminifolia.

One of our Pityopsis graminifolia plants showing the full progression of development from green buds to yellow buds to flowers to senesced flowers to seed heads.

A Solidago odora plant with green buds.

Yellow buds on a Solidago odora plant starting to expand into flowers.

Open flowers on a Solidago plant being pollinated.

Green buds on Lespedeza capitata.

Flowers just starting to expand on one of our Lespedeza plants.

Clusters of open flowers on a Lespedeza plant. 

Clusters of senesced flowers on a Lespedeza plant. 

We also enjoyed a visit from Clemson University professor Dr. Saara DeWalt and her student Lucy at our Sandhill REC garden.  They came out to collect leaf samples of Tephrosia virginiana for a genetic study to be conducted this fall.  More details on that part of our project later.

Hand collecting leaf samples of Tephrosia virginiana