unusual plants – Lower Wisconsin Riverway

sandbars near Lone Rock

sandbars near Lone Rock

Over the last week, doing surveys along the river, enjoying some beautiful fall weather, saw some unusual and rare plants for Wisconsin – species that are restricted to this part of the state:

Panicum rigidulum (never seen it before) – growing in the water on sandy substrate – with a terminal, open panicle as well as some panicles hidden in leaf sheaths. This species is native to eastern North America, but not to the upper Mississippi River basin.  It is naturalized but appears at home in this habitat.  Has been collected along this stretch of river sparingly, first in 1948, but not since 1974: wisflora ref.

Boltonia asteroides – a showy, aster-like wildflower on moist sandy shore. Hadn’t seen this one in years.  A characteristic fall flower of the Lower Wisconsin.

Also, saw the more widespread but spectacular fall gentians:  fringed, bottle and stiff, all growing together on a shaded sandstone cliff.