After a cold, snowy, bona fide winter the start of a new field season was very welcome. I decided to officially kick it off in Staten Island in Blue Heron Park, one of the most botanically rich spots in NYC.
It isn’t easy being green in the Big Apple. By some counts, New York City has lost 75% of its native plant species. Most have been non-woody ground layer vegetation. These herbaceous plants, frequently the vast majority of plant species diversity, appear to be acutely susceptible to natural and anthropogenic disturbances. The latter is especially germane on an archipelago teeming with 8 million humans. Charting the health of this vegetation and threats to its continued survival is thus imperative.
Canada Mayflower (Maianthemum canadense) is a good plant to notice. Its presence an indicator of a thriving mesic hardwood forest.