Sunday, August 10, 2008

Another unknown




















I encountered this species at Hoosier Prairie in Lake Co., IN a couple weeks ago. I noticed it as I was fleeing the site at dusk due to hordes of bloodthirsty, rhythmically humming mosquitoes. Can anybody help me out? I stayed long enough to snap a couple mediocre photos, then rushed to safety.

6 comments:

Justin said...

Call me crazy, but those pubescent phyllaries remind me of Prenanthes racemosa. That would be my guess.

Brad said...

That very well could be, Justin. Totally out of the context I'm used to seeing that plant in, and a different developmental stage too. But I think you're on to something after looking at a few pics.

Scott said...

Justin Thomas is crazy.

I agree it's a Prenanthes, and it may very well be P. racemosa. What about P. aspera? P. aspera has a pubescent midstem, while P. racemosa is glabrous on the midstems. It's difficult to tell how much of the plant is shown in the photo.

Justin said...

You may be right, Scott. I shouldn't have ruled out P. aspera. I guess I ignored it because neither USDA Plants nor Voss list it as occuring in Michigan. Perhaps it has since been found or this could be a new record? The stems do appear to have some pubescence, but P. racemosa is pubescent along the main axis of the inflorescence.

Scott said...

It looks like Brad found this plant in Lake County, Indiana. Both species are known from this county. I think P. aspera is more common in dry prairie, while P. racemosa is more frequent in wet prairie.

Brad said...

It could be P. aspera, too. That is what I was leaning towards initially, before giving up. I don't recall if the main stem had pubescence or not. The plants were growing in a wet-mesic oak barrens on lacustrine sands, with an unusual group of associates preferring a variety of moisture conditions. The Hoosier Prairie is insane, and I need to go back.