We had another enormously successful seed collection and passive restoration workshop on August 20th, 2011. The workshop was sponsored by the Garber Park Stewards and their blog fills you in nicely to some of the fine details of the outing. Here’s a PDF of the handout we offered to participants.
Our concentration this time was collecting and sowing seed from restoration bed. The donor plants were merely in the soil for 7 months and here they are producing viable seed in order to expand the restoration efforts on site. That’s an exciting turn around and one reason why we champion grasses in our restoration work.
We also spent time wandering around the park and learning about seed collection of other plants including nightshade (Solanum americanum), fairy bells (Prosartes hookeri, formerly genus Disporum), and cow parsnip (Heracleum maximum).
One later find in the day that was exciting was observing that a local stand of the invasive Cape ivy (Senecio mikanioides) was notably showing signs of stress. Leaves were turning yellow, browning, and even showing a blackened “burned” morphology. We noticed that the nearby native blackberry (Rubus ursinus) was unaffected by this bio agent. We’ve contacted a few folks in the restoration community to see if they might have more information on this exciting observation.
After contacting a number of restoration professionals and biocontrol researchers, we would like to report that this pathogen may or may not be known from Northern California and more research and identification needs to be completed before any action is taken. We are sending samples to the USDA in Maryland for identification and analysis before we do anything more. We will keep you abreast of this story. Please don’t spread a potential pest – but do let us know if you see it and send a link to a map with the location. Thanks!