utahfieldoffice Blog: Forensic Botany

Forensic Botany

Here's a photo of twinpod I promised you last week.  I love the stellate, or "star-shaped" hairs on the leaves.  There are quite a few mustards that have stellate hairs, not to mention many other plants.  Globemallow may be one of the more famous stellate-haired plants out there.

By the way, the Vernal Express had a nice article about the Uinta Basin rare plant forum about 2 weeks ago.  I meant to get it posted sooner, my apologies.  Here's a link to the article.

While we wait for things to bloom, it's still a prime time of year for forensic botany.  What I and other botanists like to call "forensic botany," is really just trying to ID plants from the dried up dead parts from last year.  Nothing to do with crime scenes.  Forensic botany is only possible if you are quite familiar with the local flora.  So for me, it's still a challenge here!  While out and about last week, we saw lots of nodding buckwheat (Eriogonum cernuum) "skeletons" left over from last season, forming a burnt-red overstory around ant mounds and across the saltbush flats.  This stuff is pretty common throughout the basin, but it's good to get refamiliarized with it this season. 

Keep your eyes open and let me know if you see anything amazing this week!


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