Field of Science

Berry-Go-Round #37 - February 2011

With no fanfare or trumpets, no banners or bugles, here’s February 2011’s Berry-Go-Round #37 , a blog carnival of the latest plant and plant-related blogs from here, there, and yon. The Phactor has always wanted to visit yon. Thanks to all the contributors; hopefully nothing got left out, and you discover some new things, some new blogs, some new bloggers.
Let us start with people who aren’t suffering from SAD, seasonal affective disorder, in February unless it’s their rainy season. What’s Mary’s line, er, vine, er, liana? We’re dying to find out, but it’s a serial blog to be continued. Go to The Accidental Botanist and enter your guess. Over at Beetles in the Bush, Ted got over the seasonal blues with bamboo orchids, and a reminder about conducting Google searches in the native tongue wherever you are.
That poi, poi boy Matt over at The Scientist Gardener blog provides information about that tropical starchy staple, taro, past and future.
Brushing aside any thought of the tropics, Seed Aside is still in full winter mode fixing seasonal soups here, here, and here, but with a catch, the botanical ingredients are only given by their Latin names! But to be consistent, perhaps it’ll need a pinch of sodium chloride. Eat hearty folks.
No one can resist the first flower of spring motif, but darned if this isn’t a bit pessimistic for an optimistic event. But the heart-warming aspect of this Slugyard blog is that skunk cabbage is a heat generating plant; good trick for early spring flowering even if they become First Flower for the Deer?. The Digital Botanical Garden featured that pre-eminent spring flower, the primrose, and how it's floral forms intrigued prominent Victorian botanists. Lastly in this mini-theme category, over at Anybody Seen My Focus? presents a somewhat under whelming spring flower, but it's Joan’s First Wildflower of 2011: Hairy Bittercress (Cardamine hirsuta). Hailing from that 3d world state of Wisconsin so oft in the news of late is Sonoran Trees VC spotted a parasite upon a parasite, and so on infinitum, one mistletoe species as an epiparasite upon another mistletoe (good eye there), so confirmed by my downstate colleague, Dr. Dan Nickrent, a renowned expert on parasitic plants. And still more Sonoran botany from Jade Blackwater at Brainripples, pinyon pine and junipers. That’s where all the little pinyon nuts come from, and you may be sad to learn that each one is a pregnant female!
Continuing on with edible plants John over at Fascinating Experiments provides a list of his top 10 foraging for food plants. A taxonomic note of caution for the would be wild foods enthusiast; be certain of your identifications because in some of these cases a mistake could be your last.
The Phytophactor’s haploid contribution to botanical blogging featured those under appreciated plants the bryophytes: liverworts, hornworts, moss, and sphagnum moss. In an unorchestrated demonstration of great minds thinking alike the very same week, Meristemi posted a blog about those conquistadores of land: mosses. Following along on this under appreciated plant mini-theme was Foothills Fancies' blog on lichens, those ancient little symbiotic organisms that seem to be able to grow anywhere, and may in fact have been among the earliest dwellers upon land.
This was far more fun, far more interesting, and far, far more informative than watching the Oscars. Now the Phactor would like to thank everyone, and, oh, my gosh this is too exciting, and of course thanks to my parents, my lovely wife, the creators of the WWW, Al Gore, and of course, those green stars of the show.

1 comment:

Jade L Blackwater said...

Yay skunkcabbage (& taro too)! Thanks for a great collection PP.