Studly Stipa and my first tagged Echinacea!

This morning started with Jared and I doing an inventory of the Hesperostipa spartea (porcupine grass) in experimental plot 1. We are interested in determining the fitness of each H. spartea. We went to each plant found during a systematic search. We determined how many seeds were present on each culm of each plant. We counted the number of full (having a viable seed), inviable (having a seed that would not reproduce), or unknown (a glume that was empty, or peduncle that had no glume) seeds for each plant and harvested ripe seeds for later plantings. We found one studly plant that had 14 culms and 58 seeds that were ready to harvest! After experimenting with several methods of tying the immature awns together (to make sure we could find the seeds once they are mature and drop), we determined the most effective way to retain the seeds is to tie the awns together with twist ties. We hope the twist tie method allows us to harvest seeds before they disperse. We tried several other methods for tying the awns together (tying the awns to the stem, tying the awns to a red flag, and tying the awns together) but twist ties appear to work the best. In the afternoon I tagged my first Echinacea (plant 1980)!

Stipa and the common garden

I’ve been working with the Stipa germination data we collected from the common garden over the summer for Stuart’s R class and, among other things, have come up with a little plot of the common garden. Filled-in blue circles are where we found Stipa alive, empty circles had no seedlings. A neat thing would be some kind of heat map for longest leaf or number of leaves, but I’ll try that later.

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