Thinking like an echinacea: a foolproof guide to finding seedlings

I spent the day searching for echinacea seedlings in our seed addition transects. With the help of Lindsey and advice from other seasoned experts, I have complied a list of tips and tricks that will lead to highly accurate data collection.


Upon arrival at a segment, announce yourself to the echinacea. Why have you come here and what are you doing?

Consider making an offering. Perhaps an invitation to collaborate in future studies, or the opportunity to review any relevant manuscripts.

Be gentle when combing through their home. Clumsy fingers lead to broken echinacea and broken hearts.

Of course, search actively! Change your angles and consider the topography. But also, let the echinacea find you.

Never stab your toothpick into an echinacea root. I think this needs no explanation.

Before your final sweep, verbally announce that you are done looking. This will most likely lead to the instant detection of one more plant. We can’t explain it, but it happens.

Say your goodbyes before heading off. Offer words of encouragement to the seedlings as they, too, have a long summer ahead.


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