Posts Tagged ‘Scleranthus’

Monitoring an Invasive at Tire Mountain

The stretch of deltoid balsamroot (Balsamorhiza deltoidea) along the trail is always a favorite spot for photographs.

Emily looking at an almost solid spread of knawel that was yellowing as it died back.

Many years ago, I noticed a weed in the large meadow at Tire Mountain I call the dike meadow because of the prominent dike at the east end. It is called Scleranthus annuus and goes by the unusual name of annual knawel. Like some other members of Caryophyllaceae, the pink family or carnation family, it has inconspicuous, petalless flowers. It would be easy to miss if it didn’t spread so badly. I’d more or less forgotten about it and hadn’t realized how large the population had become, in spite of passing it numerous times over the years. Luckily, Bruce Newhouse had noticed and called attention to it to the botanists at the Middle Fork District of the Willamette National Forest. On June 20th, I accompanied Leela Hickman, the assistant botanist, along with seasonals Sol and Emily and a crew of four interns from the Student Conservation Association to take a look at the knawel. Of course, we looked at all the native wildflowers as well. Leela was the only one of them who’d been to Tire Mountain, and that was on the trip I led for the Native Plant Society of Oregon last year (see NPSO Annual Meeting Trip to Tire Mountain). So other than seeing how bad the knawel had spread, everyone enjoyed the beautiful display of wildflowers and the many interesting insects at one of the best wildflower trails in the district. Read the rest of this entry »

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