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.

Monday, September 24, 2007

Most Elegant Plant Contest - Group 2

Calopogon tuberosus was the winner of the 1st Group!

Here is the 2nd group:
(The voting box is to the left)

Iris koreana

Opuntia cv. (red flowered), A red flowered prickly-pear

Argemone sp.
, Prickly Poppy

Spigelia marylandica
, green and red flowered form. Indian Pink

Lilium longiflorum, Easter Lily

Monday, September 10, 2007

Muhlenberg Botanic Club, New Web Pages

I have just published The New Muhlenberg Botanic Club web pages migrating most of the old Web site to the new one except for the pre 2006 Muhlenberg Meadow Pictures.

A beginning for a Native Plant Meadow in Union Twp., Berks County

Last year I began to work with Linda Ingram of the Union Township Recreation Board on the possibility of putting in native plants for wildlife on some of the property which the township owns near Birdsboro. (in the former desilting basin new where the new township building will be located ) So with the help of my wife Jan and a number of volunteers I began a program of native meadow/prairie plant seed collection (with permission) from a a number of public and private meadow areas. We were especially interested in seed sources of plants native to the mid-Atlantic area from nearby areas.

With an area which has been growing corn and soybeans for many years, we planned to start with an approx. 1/4 acre site we would be a demonstration area and seed increase plot. We planted the seed in one morning in late march, with the help of volunteers from the Union Township Rec. Board, Master Gardeners and a few other interested people. We mixed the relatively well purified seed of many different native wildflowers and grasses with damp builders sand in buckets and then the volunteers walked through the muddy ex cornfield to sow the seeds. Germination went well and many of the natives are growing and some are blooming. We did have a volunteer morning in June to pull ragweed, but we haven't done any other significant controlling of annual grasses or perennial. Maybe we should cut the annual foxtail, barnyard and panic grasses before they go to seed yet this month.

After we pulled the ragweed people helped plant about 150 native perennials th we had grown in 2 in. pots in the corner areas where we didn't plant seed because we weren't sure of how large an area we could plant at this time.

The accompanying pictures were taken from March 2007 through august 2007 at the meadow. All of the flower pictures of of plants which are blooming from the seed we sowed in March 2007. I will report on "weeds" and good volunteers in my next meadow reoprt

Bouteloua curtipendula
, Side-oats grama grass, is a rare grass in PA where it is fould mainly on Serpentine Barrens and Limestone barrens.

Helianthus giganteus
, Tall sunflower

Eupatorium coelistinum
, Wild ageratum, Blue-mist Flower

Cirsium discolor
, Field Thistle (a good native thistle!)

Helenium autumnale
, Sneezeweed

Boltonia asteroides
, this has no good common name as I disike names like "Aster-like Boltonia"

Verbena hastat
, Blue Vervain

Andropogon girardii
, Big Blue Stem

Sorgastrum nutans
, Indian Grass

Monarda fistulosa
, Lavender Beebalm seedling

Coreopsis tripteris
, Tall coreopsis

Rudbeckia sp.
, Brown-eyed Susan

Ruellia humlis
, Wild petunia, A plant native to dry areas in the Central Appalachians, but which can spread vigorously in gardens, so I thought I would put in some seed even though it will be likely crowded out by taller plants over time.

Pluchea odorata
, Marsh fleabane, is a plant which is no longer found naturally in PA, it used to be found along the lower Delaware River. Now it only shows up in nurseries where salt-marsh hay is used as a mulch. Whichc is where my seed came from. Since we had such a big wet spot i thought this annual might be a good temporary filler!

Soligago nemoralis
, Gray-stemmed goldenrod is one of my favorite goldenrods.

Heliopsis helianthoides
, Ox-eye

Mimulus ringens, Allegheny monkey flower, another nice native wetland plant

Vernonia noveborascensis
, New-york ironweed

Tuesday, September 4, 2007

Muhlenberg Botanic Club Newsletter 8/27/07

Muhlenberg Bulletin

Volume 27 8 /27 / 2007 Number 1


c/o The North Museum; 400 College Ave.; Lancaster, Pa. 17603

President: Mike Slater (6100775-3757)

Vice Pres: Joan King (717-284-5239)

Secretary and Newsletter Editor: Ruthann Richards (717-872-7574)

Treasurer: John Wolff (717-569-6955) Kathy Tyson

Board Members: Cathy Cholmeley-Jones, Matt Dilley, Tim Draude and Ray Uhlig


As a start to my tenure as President, I am taking over the e-mail and website duties that John Wolff has done so ably for so long. I have put the Muhlenberg Botanical Society Falmouth/Conoy Park Trip's plant list and some notes from last Sunday's Lancaster Meadow walk on my Blog, where I also put some pictures from the trips.

Even if a Muhlenberg posting isn't the latest posting you see on the Blog (short for Web Log), you can find Muhlenberg items via the link in the "Labels List" on the left-hand side. The "Blog Archives Postings List" link also has recent postings listed by title. I put on labels when a posting goes up; they are key words designed to help find posts by subject.

I will also be posting other information in the future like the meetings and trip schedules. Input by members is welcome, especially plant information and pictures (please don't e-mail me pictures bigger than 75K or so, as we are still on dial up!). You are welcome to add comments to postings via the link at the bottom. I would be happy to talk to anyone interested in starting his/her own Blog; it is easy and free.

Mike Slater


MEETINGS are held at 7:30 on the third Thursday of the month in the Fred Kinsey Room, North Museum (College and Buchanan Aves.). 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!

September 20: Annual Fall Plant Exchange: Bring plants and other plant-related materials to exchange, as well as slides to show. John Wolff has informed us that we now have a digital projector at our disposal for anyone who has digital pictures to show (native resolution: 1024 x 768).

October 18: Mike Slater, "Mountain Wildflowers of Utah." Mike, our new president, will show slides of alpine and sub-alpine wildflowers, ferns and beautiful mountain scenery in the Wasatch Mountains and the Uinta Mountains of Northern Utah. He and Jan spent time there in July, 1996, and July, 2006. He will also include slides of plants, flowers and rock formations in Southern Utah, where they visited Red Canyon, Zion National Park, and Bryce Canyon. (This talk was originally scheduled for last February, but cancelled due to inclement weather.)

November 15: Fred Habegger: "Meadow Wanderings." Fred will talk about his meanderings through the meadows of Lancaster Co. and show slides of the plants and animals found there (including butterflies!).


September 22, Saturday: Nottingham County Park, 150 Park Road, Nottingham, PA 19362 (610-932-2589); 10:00 a.m.

This 651-acre park sits atop an out-cropping of serpentine stone greater than one square mile, making it one of the largest serpentine barrens on the East Coast. The trip consists of a long walk in and out, so be prepared to carry your lunch to eat on the trail.

Directions:The park is located 4 miles south of Oxford off Rt. 1 bypass in southwestern Chester Co. Go into the park entrance, turn right, and meet at pavilion 6. Trail rating: moderate in difficulty. Leader: Tim Draude (717-393-7233).

October 7, Sunday: State Game Lands 156 and Penryn; 10:00 a.m.

We will examine this poor soil plant community, which will hopefully include fringed gentians. After lunch we will walk in the Penryn powercut, looking for asters and goldenrods. Trail rating for the power cut: moderate, about 1 mile in length.

Directions: At the intersection of Rts. 501 and 322, turn left (west) onto 322 and travel approximately 3 miles; meet at the parking lot on the left along Rt. 322. Be aware that the lower entrance to the lot is blocked off. Leader: TBA

MEMBERSHIP DUES are now payable. They are $10.00 per household. New members who paid within the last 6 months need not pay again until September, 2008. If you would like to be contacted by e-mail for occasional spontaneous work days, plant “rescues,” or similar events, please include your e-mail address. At the bottom of the form, please include comments or suggestions for field trips, meetings, or topics you might like to see added to the newsletters.

Bring this form to the September meeting or mail it with your dues to

John Wolff

2640 Breezewood Dr.

Lancaster, PA 17601-4804



City: State: Zip:

Phone: E-mail address:

Suggestions for speakers, meeting topics, trip destinations, etc.: