Some thoughts abouts plants in Pennsylvania and anywhere else we travel

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Muhlenberg Botanic Club of Lancaster, PA

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All photographs copyright by Mike Slater unless otherwise noted.

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Plants from the Mountains of Ecuador: April 21st, 2016, Presented by Dr. Susan Munch.

April 21016 Muhlenberg Botanic Club Meeting -7:00 pm at the North Museum in Lancaster

Many of the plants from the mountains and a high plateau that I visited in Ecuador are very tropical in appearance, but because of the altitude and  and cooler temperatures, others are more similar to members of the flora of western North America.  Especially among the herbaceous plants and smaller woody plants there are interesting similarities and differences when they are compared to our plants.  More info about the Trip Dr. Munch was on at the Ceiba Nature Tours Web Site.

Sunday, February 14, 2016

Next Meeting Thursday February 18th at 7 pm at the North Museum.

Hello Muhlenberg Botanical Society Members,

Club President Joan King hasn't up to planning Spring Muhlenberg Club programs and field trips due to health issues. Unfortunately the room at the museum hadn't yet been reserved for any meetings this spring. Tim Draude and I and both contacted the museum and Tim just got confirmation this past Friday that we can meet there next week. And on the other 3rd Thursdays this spring.

The meeting this Thursday (Feb 18) at 7 pm
The program will feature past-President Tim Draude explaining how and why plant seeds stay dormant and what triggers germination. Tim’s talk will be followed by a brief presentation by me of tips for successfully getting seedling from germination all the way to having them happily growing in your garden. We will have seeds of some native plants available to you to take how and raise yourselves.
We will be having a discussion about organization for the rest of the year, planning field trips and programs and getting out a newsletter, new officers. etc..
Any information about cancellation due to weather will be posted on our web sites.
I hope to see everyone on Thursday,
Mike Slater, Muhlenberg Botanic Society Vice-President

MEMBERSHIP DUES are due in January/February. They are $10.00 per household. Extra contributions are always welcome; if you include one, however, please designate it as such so our treasurer doesn’t think you are paying for two or three years at a time!
If you would like to be contacted by email for occasional spontaneous work days or field trips, plant rescues, or similar events, please include your email address. At the bottom of the form, please include comments or suggestions for field trips and meetings, or topics you might like to see added to the newsletters or the website. Bring dues with this form to the September meeting or mail them to:
Matt Dilley
20 Greythorne Rd.
Lancaster, Pa. 17603-7403
City, State, Zip:
We are strongly encouraging people to take the newsletter by email/web site link, but we will print a limited number of newsletters for mailing.
If you need an emailed newsletter please indicate that here [   ]

Friday, October 2, 2015

October 15th Meeting, "Pollination: a many faceted and variable relationship between plants and animals."

by Mike Slater (Muhlenberg Club V.P.) 

Mike will present a program about pollination. Using his own pictures and video clips to illustrate various aspects of the relationship between plants and animals focusing on some unusual and unexpected mechanisms.
Bombus pennsylvanicus (American Bumble bee) approaching an Indian Paintbrush (Castilleja indivisa) Grayson County Texas, October 2014
Bombus pennsylvanicus (American Bumble bee) approaching an Indian Paintbrush (Castilleja indivisa) Grayson County Texas, October 2014

Saturday, September 12, 2015

Muhlenberg Bulletin for September 2015 is online

The September 2015 Muhlenberg Bulletin is up online listing the upcoming meetings and There are no field trips scheduled for this Fall. If you have suggestions and/or would like to lead a field trip please contact Joan King or Mike Slater.

 The next meeting is

 Thursday, September 17: 

Member’s meeting and plant exchange.
Bring slides or other photos to share, as well as copies of old magazines, and, of course, plants to exchange. Although the focus is on native plants, others are also welcome. Take home more than you brought! New members are always encouraged to help themselves, whether or not they have brought any plants. Remember that we need to keep the Kinsey Room neat and tidy so we will be welcome in the future.

  • Note: Our Meetings are held at 7:00 on the third Thursday of the month in the Fred Kinsey Room, North Museum. Enter through the back door in the parking lot; knock loudly, or ring the bell if the door is locked. Meetings are open to the public, so feel free to invite guests!

Monday, February 2, 2015

The January 2015 Edition of the Muhlenberg Bulletin is up on line.
The program at the first Meeting of the year will be

Thursday, February 19
 “Succession vs. Invasion.” by Professor Kathryn Flinn,

Prof. Flinn is a visiting Assistant Professor of Biology at F&M. She will speak about the possibility that succession may reduce diversity more than invasion. She will concentrate on plant diversity and composition patterns in serpentine savannas and woodlands in the State Line serpentine barrens of southeast Pennsylvania. 
New Texas Serpentine Barrens, photo by Mike Slater

 Meetings are held at 7:00 on the third Thursday of the month
 in the Fred Kinsey Room, North Museum. 
Enter through the back door in the parking lot; 
knock loudly, or ring the bell if the door is locked.
 Meetings are open to the public, so feel free to invite guests!

Friday, September 19, 2014

Moss Walk at French Creek State Park - October 4th starting at 1 pm

Dr. Susan Munch lead a moss walk for the Muhlenberg Botanic Club and friends at Six Penny Trail
French Creek State Park on Oct. 4, 2014.

List of Bryophytes observed:


  1. Bazzania trilobata
  2. and most likely a Chiloscyphus sp. (with tiny 2 or 3 toothed leaves).  
  3. Jubula pennsylvanica (with tiny round leaves),
  4.  Pellia epiphylla


  1.  Sphagnum sp.
  2.  Atrichum undulatum (and most likely angustatum also)
  3. Aulocomium palustre
  4. Dicranum scoparium
  5. Dicranum sp.
  6. Entodon cladorrhizans
  7. Fissidens sp. 
  8. Fontinalis sp.
  9. Hedwigia ciliate
  10. Hypnum imponens
  11. Leucobryum sp.
  12. Mnium cuspidatum, 
  13. M. affine 
  14. M. punctatum
  15. Polytrichum commune 
  16. P. ohioense,
  17. Thuidium delicatulum

About French Creek State Park: 
Once an industrial complex for the fledgling United State of America, today French Creek State Park is an oasis for people and wildlife. Straddling the Schuylkill Highlands, the 7,730-acre park is the largest block of contiguous forest between Washington D.C. and New York City. The forests, lakes, wetlands and fields are a destination for the people of southeast Pennsylvania to hike, fish, camp and bike.

Directions from Lancaster:
1. Slight right to stay on PA-272 N, 0.5 mi
2. Take the ramp onto US-222 N/U.S. 30 E, 0.2 mi
3. Merge onto US-222 N/U.S. 30 E, 0.3 mi
4. Keep right to continue on US-222 N, 15.7 mi
5. Take the exit toward I-76/PA-272/Denver/Pennsylvania Turnpike, 0.2 mi
6. Turn right onto State Rte. 1040; Partial toll road, 0.7 mi
7. Keep right at the fork and merge onto I-76 E. Partial toll road, 12.0 mi
8. Take exit 298 to merge onto I-176 N toward PA-10/Morgantown/Reading. Toll road, 0.5 mi
9. Take exit 1A for PA-10 N toward Beckersville, Toll road.
11 Turn right onto PA-10 N/Morgantown Rd, 0.5 m
12. Take the 3rd right onto Joanna Rd, 0.9 mi
13. Turn right onto Elverson Rd, 0.5 mi
14. Take the 1st left onto Twin Valley Rd, 0.6 mi
15. Continue onto Hay Creek Rd, 2.3 mi
 10. Take Hay Creek Rd to Geigertown Rd in Union, 8.2 mi

11. Turn right onto Geigertown Rd. Proceed @ 2.3 miles. Parking area is on right. The parking area is about 0.10 mile from Rte. 345. It is within sight of the intersection of Geigerstown Rd. and Rte. 345.