July 11, 2024

Plantago cordata - Heart Leaf Plantain

Plantago cordata - Heart Leaf Plantain

On June 28, 2024, while performing transects at Window Cliffs State Natural Area for my Master's degree research, I stumbled across a plant I had never witnessed before. At first thought, I thought it was a Parnassia spp., but the plants looked too large and robust. Questioning that ID, I posted photos on Weakly’s Flora of the Southeastern United States Facebook group. Several individuals confirmed that it is indeed Plantago cordata.

Plantago cordata, Putnam County, Tennessee

Now knowing what I had found, I started looking to see if it was rare or had any conservation statuses. To my surprise, Plantago cordata is listed as an S1 (Critical Imperiled) in Tennessee. In almost every state where this plant is found it has an endangered or threatened status. Little did I know I found something pretty rare.

Link to NatureServe to see statuses.

I reached out to Todd Crabtree, Tennessee State Botanist, he confirmed that indeed the plant I found was Plantago cordata. He told me this was a new endangered plant occurance for the state of Tennessee and a new county record. Plantago cordata has yet to be observed in Putnam County until now! Exciting to be the first individual to witness this species occuring in Putnam County.

I observed a total of 8 plants.

Plantago cordata, Putnam County, Tennessee

Plantago cordata, Putnam County, Tennessee

Plantago cordata, Putnam County, Tennessee

Now that this species has been known to occur in Putnam County, hopefully park rangers and botanists will manage this area to keep this species happy and sustaining.

Now, back to botanizing….


Posted on July 11, 2024 02:46 AM by harriseli195 harriseli195 | 0 comments | Leave a comment

June 05, 2024

Cypripedium reginae - Showy Lady's Slipper

Earlier this year, I packed up my camera gear to go observe and photograph the rare Cypripedium reginae.

Finding this species in the South would be anything but "exceptionally rare," as the range of the species is more widespread in the North. It turns out Tennessee is at the very southernmost tip of its range. Below is a range map of Cypripedium reginae by The Biota of North American Program (BONAP).

The habitats of Cypripedium reginae mostly include wetland areas such as boggy, calcareous slopes or seepage-type areas. This species tends to grow in and require acidic soils, which are found in these wetland areas. Overall, this species prefers constant moisture and variable heliophily, including sunny conditions to semi-shade.

Observing this orchid in person solidifies my love for orchids and their beauty and complexity. It reminds me of a Bible verse that I love: "He has made everything beautiful in its time. He has also set eternity in the human heart; yet no one can fathom what God has done from beginning to end" (Ecclesiastes 3:11).

Nature is perfect, without blemish or fault, created by God. Look to nature, and you can see evidence of God's existence.

Cypripedium reginae (Showy Lady Slippers), Tennessee

Cypripedium reginae (Showy Lady Slippers), Tennessee

Cypripedium reginae (Showy Lady Slippers), Tennessee

Posted on June 05, 2024 12:13 AM by harriseli195 harriseli195 | 2 observations | 0 comments | Leave a comment


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