Wednesday, September 3, 2008

An Aster (or Canadanthus) New to Wisconsin?

Nicole Kalkbrenner and I are currently in Superior, Wisconsin doing some botanical inventory work at a boreal forest restoration. We have been working with local botanists Gary Walton and Paul Hlina. Today, we came across an Aster that I'd never seen.

In examining this plant, it appeared similar to Aster novae-angliae, but without the strongly auriculate-clasping leaves, and with stipitate glands only in the inflorescence.

Gary suggested that maybe this plant could be Aster modestus. Upon keying this plant several times, I am fairly convinced that it is indeed Aster modestus (now known as Canadanthus modestus). Below are additional photos of the stem and leaves.

Note that leaves are not strongly clasping.

Scabrous pubescence on top surface of leaves.

Soft pubescence on bottom surface of leaves.

We believe that this would be a new state record for Wisconsin. I made a collection and plan to submit it to the herbarium at Madison.

Do any of you have any experience with this plant? Any thoughts on this would be welcomed.



Brad said...

Looks like an exciting find, Scott! I have never encountered this species. In Michigan, it is restricted to the Keweenaw Peninsula in the western Upper Peninsula and Isle Royale in Lake Superior. Your find, if confirmed, will fill the distribution gap between Minnesota and Michigan. Isn't botany great?

Justin said...

Cool! That thing is so gladular it should be ashamed of itself. I've never seen it, but it seems to fit the description. Publish that honkie mofo!

Brad said...

Yeah, I may suggest the Michigan Botanist for a 1-2 page article. They really need material right now, and Wisconsin has been a big contributor over the past few years.

Scott said...

I talked to the others in our group about writing something up for submittal to Michigan Botanist. Do you have a similar paper that I could use as a guide so that I know what type of information to include?

Brad said...

I can make copies of similar papers from recent issues of the Michigan Botanist and bring it to Indiana in November if that works. Let me know.

Scott said...

Or, if you let me know what issues of Michigan Botanist they are in, I might have them. I saw in the most recent Michigan Botanist that there are two papers on "Noteworthy Collections." I could probably follow these as a guide.