Entries tagged with ‘Linnaeus’

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Perry is Popping

Perry the Corpse Flower (Amorphophallus titanum) is growing like Jack’s Beanstalk! The new shoot appeared about two weeks into September (see the photo from September 13, scaled to Tuan’s hand), and it was, as of Friday, October 4, approaching 20 inches / 50 centimeters in height! I won’t make a declaration as to the nature […]

Perry as Thanksgiving Guest?

Perry the Corpse Flower (Amorphophallus titanum) has surprised us mightily. A shoot has appeared and is growing rapidly. This follows the shortest dormant period so far – the last leaf died down this past summer, and we expected dormancy to last until spring or summer of 2014. It remains to be seen whether this shoot […]

Fall color forecast looks good… maybe.

A long autumn with sunny dry days and cool dry nights can make for a colorful fall. Autumn in Minnesota is a time of cruel ironies. Any Vikings fan can tell you that. One of autumn’s cruelest ironies is that the beauty of autumn is quickly replaced with the general crumminess of winter. And so, […]

Ragweed and the Afterlife

  Although I have no plans to end up there, I can’t help but imagine what sorts of things might be found in hell.  I am, of course, familiar with the traditional images of fire, ragged clothing, and stalagmites, but I believe that the more mundane forms of punishment would actually be the worst.  I […]

Butterfly populations at historic lows

Monarch Butterfly on goldenrod flower If you’ve seen a Monarch butterfly recently, (or any butterfly, for that matter) consider yourself lucky.  As gardeners, wildlife-watchers and insect-lovers can all attest, there has been a considerable shortage of the graceful creatures in our area so far this summer.  The common yellow sulfurs aren’t so common, and the […]

The Leaning Tower of Perry

After a long hiatus, we’re finally seeing some rapid change in Perry the Corpse Flower (Amorphophallus titanum). Almost exactly two years after beginning to grow, and reaching maturity about four months later, the titanic leaf is rapidly senescing. We’ve been watching what has appeared to be the onset of dormancy for many months, but just […]

Pasqueflowers in bloom (finally)

Pasqueflowers in bloom Prairie wildflower season has officially begun.  Pasqueflower (Anemone patens) is the earliest blooming flower on the prairie.  These were just photographed at Kasota Prairie today, and the pasqueflowers near the rock outcrop prairie overlook site in the Arboretum will soon be following suit.  The name means “Easter flower” and these plants usually […]

Make your own maple syrup — feel like a pioneer

  In an age of grocery stores, dancing celebrities and robotic floor sweepers, we can sometimes feel pretty far removed from our pioneer ancestors.  That’s when it’s nice to be able to do something as rugged and self-sufficient as turning tree sap into food.   Yes, you too can be like the native people and […]

Groundhogs Set to Prognosticate!

Groundhogs (or Woodchucks as they are often called) are a strictly North American species. Having entered the doldrums of winter, it is now, more than ever, that we need a holiday to bolster our spirits.  Thank goodness Groundhog’s Day is nearly here!  Unfortunately, Groundhog’s Day is not nearly as prominent of a holiday as one […]

Cicada-killer wasps

Most gardeners have had the occasional encounter with a wasp.  Whether it’s a confrontation with a paper wasp or an unfortunate misunderstanding with a hornet, most of us are personally familiar with the havoc and anxiety that a wasp can create. Then there are the cicada-killer wasps.  When it comes to panic-inducing capabilities, the cicada-killer […]