Blue Heron Park

April 16th, 2010

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.

In NY Times today

April 3rd, 2010

Hello New York Times readers!  I think they did a great job framing the issues and not downplaying the issues around local native plant conservation in the urban context.  What do you think?

“Today, that shadbush and dozens of other flora native to the New York region face extinction, a result of urban development and the encroachment of invasive plants from foreign lands…”

In Bloom Now

September 21st, 2009

Wild bean (Apios americana). Herbaceous, perennial, twining vine in the pea family (Fabaceae) found occasionally in the city (so a NYC rarity).  This one was found in a canopy opening in a moist forest.  I wonder why this isn’t available horticulturally?  Pelham Bay Park, Bronx.