Disturbance & Pioneer Plants

Look at the unmown bank above the parking lot. This is an example of a ruderal or disturbed site, a perfect location for what we call "weeds," some native, many foreign. Bring PEterson with you and answer the following.

Can you find examples of annuals [101-5]these? Can you find some that are blooming? Setting seed? Dying?

Dig up both the overwintering rosettes of next year's bloomers and this year's bloomers in several biennials [105-6]; is Peterson's description accurate? Guesstimate the number of seeds per head of Queen Anne's lace. Taste both the seeds and root; can you sense its civilized relative?

Use your lenses to determine if Peterson's description of composites [108-12]is accurate. Try counting the number of seeds in a dandelion, aster, thistle, or other composite's head -- and then multiply by however many flowers the plants averages. What do you think happens to many of the seeds?

Look up legumes [115-8]in a plant dictionary or guide. How many different kinds can you locate on Post? What do they have in common? In difference? Dig up some clovers and examine the nodules; what can you see?