Field of Science

Taxonomy class field trip

A late spring always truncates TPP's plant taxonomy class, but what can you do?  Well, today TPP guided his class to a seep spring, a smallish marshy-boggy habitat where in this particular area is one of the few places where marsh marigold (Caltha palustris), which is not a marigold at all, but a rather spectacular member of the buttercup family, grows. This is also the only place to see a skunk cabbage (in flower no less!) within a day's driving range, and while it looks to be in the right place, TPP happens to know that it was planted in this location by a retired biologist!  The class also managed to identify spring beauty, a second species of Dicentra, D. canadensis, (got Dutchman's breeches last week), cutleaf toothwort (which used to be Dentaria, but now is a Cardamine), and a yellow violet (V. pubescens).  On the whole not a too bad field trip, and in particular most of this class is becoming quite good at using their field guide and identifying these spring flowers. Didn't have a camera, so this image is from the Wikimedia Creative Commons - thanks carol.

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