2023 Update: Echinacea hybrids (exPt 6,7,9) and Echinacea pallida flowering phenology

Harrison Aakre (RET 2023) decapitates E. Pallida with grim satisfaction

Echinacea pallida flowering: 

Location: Hegg Lake WMA. Start year: 2011. Echinacea pallida is a species of Echinacea that is not native to Minnesota. It was mistakenly introduced to our study area during a restoration of Hegg Lake WMA. Since 2011, Team Echinacea has visited the pallida restoration, taken flowering phenology, and collected demography on the non-native plant. We have decapitated all flowering E. pallida each year to avoid cross-pollination with the local Echinacea angustifolia. Each year, we record the number of heads on each plant and the number of rosettes, collect precise GPS points for each individual, and cut off all the heads before they produce fruits.

This year, we cut E. pallida heads on June 22nd. We installed pollinator exclusion bags on select heads of 10 plants rather than immediately cutting them as a part of our quantity and quality of Echinacea pollen and nectar experiment. Overall, we found and shot 73 flowering E. pallida plants, and 193 heads in total, averaging 2.6 heads per plant. These non-native plants were hearty with an average rosette count of 6 rosettes and an individual with a maximum of 20 rosettes! We only did surv on plants with new tags this year, a total of 4. We did not take phenology data on E. pallida this year.

You can find more information about E. pallida flowering phenology and previous flog posts on the background page for the experiment.


Location: near exPt8. Start year: Crossing in 2011, planting in 2012. Experimental plot 6 was the first E. angustifolia x E. pallida hybrid plot planted by Team Echinacea. A total of 66 Echinacea hybrids were originally planted. All individuals have E. angustifolia dams and E. pallida sires. In 2023, we visited 23 positions and found 17 living plants. This year, 3 plants flowered in this plot; this is the first year any plants have flowered in p6! These were allowed to reach day one or two of flowering in order to assess their pollen color before we decapitated them.

Flowering plant in exPt06! Note the paler pollen color compared to the typical E. Angustifolia

You can find more information about experimental plot 6 and previous flog posts about it on the background page for the experiment.


Location: Hegg Lake WMA. Start year: Crossing in 2012, planting in 2013. Experimental plot 7 is the second E. pallida E. angustifolia plot. It contains conspecific crosses of each species as well as reciprocal hybrids, totaling 294 individuals. This summer, we visited 150 positions, and of these plants, we found evidence of 121 living plants. We did not use pollinator exclusion bags in exPt07 this year. There were 19 flowering plants this year; from these we harvested 32 heads. We have not yet used the pedigree data to see what number of these plants are hybrids or not.

You can find more information about experimental plot 7 and previous flog posts about it on the background page for the experiment.


Location: Hegg Lake WMA. Start year: 2014. Experimental plot 9 is a hybrid plot, but, unlike the other two hybrid plots, we do not have a perfect pedigree of the plants. That is because the E. angustifolia and E. pallida maternal plants used to generate seedlings for exPt9 were open-pollinated. We need to do paternity analysis to find the true hybrid nature of these crosses (assuming there are any hybrids). We did not use pollinator exclusion bags in exPt09 this year. There were originally 745 seedlings planted in exPt9. We searched at 292 positions and found evidence of 238 living plants in 2023. Of these individuals, 30 were flowering. We harvested 39 heads from this plot!

You can find out more information about experimental plot 9 and flog posts mentioning the experiment on the background page for the experiment.

Overlaps with: demographic census in remnants

Data collected for exp679: For all three plots, we collected flowering status, rosette count, leaf length, head count and head height. All measuring data can be found in the cgdata repository (~/cgdata/summer2023/measureGood). Measuring data should be uploaded to SQL database eventually, but it is not currently there for 2023. For experimental plots 7 and 9, we also took phenology data starting on July 7th and ending on July 12th, which we scaled back from previous years. This data can be found in the cgdata repository (~cgdata/summer2023/p79phenology).

Data collected for E. pallida demography: Demography data, head counts, rosette counts, GPS points shot for each E. pallida with a new tag. Find demo and surv records as well as GPS points in demap.


Leave a Reply

You can use these HTML tags

<a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>