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Locating Research Populations

This is my first trip up to Minnesota this year. My goal is to locate populations of the species I want to work on this summer.

I spent yesterday afternoon and this morning at Glacial Lakes State Park in Pope County. There was quite a bit blooming along the trail. There was a fairly common Viola with deeply divided leaves, unfortunately not the one I want to work with. I saw at least three Astragalus species, two of which are past their prime and another low-growing species with white flowers. Only a few of the white-flowered plants were in bloom. Geum triflorum is already in fruit as well as Antennaria, and Zizia is just starting to flower. There were two Lithospermums throughout the park, both common. One had lemon yellow crenulate corollas and the other had dark yellow flowers and darker foliage. I saw two Carex, one really short one and a taller one, both in bloom. I believe neither are the species I’m looking for. There was a lot of a white flowered caryoph, which got me excited because I thought it might be Silene antirrhina, but it wasn’t. I’m not sure what species it is, let alone genus. I stayed at Baby Lake campground last night because there had been a collection of Lomatium orientale near Baby Lake, but I had no luck in locating any plants. There are some dry hills a little farther from the trail that I wish I could explore, because they seem like the kind of habitat in which I might find a Lomatium.

This morning and early afternoon I spent around the farm and at some roadside sites. I checked out a gravel mine for Lomatium, but I didn’t find any. There was very little vegetation at all there. I did have luck finding the spot at Loeffler’s corner where Stuart said there would be some Stipa comata, but the clumps haven’t started forming inflorescences yet. Hegg Lake has mostly been burned, so my visit there was short. I did find a small hill near the road that escaped the burn. Nothing up there interested me except some Stipa, which is probably S. spartea and not S. comata. Overall, it’s been a disappointing day, especially because I couldn’t get into landfill. Perhaps tomorrow will be more fruitful.

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