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Minutes from May 6, 2011

APCA group May 2011

Minutes from the APCA meeting May 6, 2011
Solon Dixon Forestry Education Center, Andalusia, AL
Minutes taken by Patrick Thompson

In attendance: Robert Boyd, Patrick Thompson, John Manion, Fred Spicer, Dana McReynolds, Dee Smith, Debbie Folkerts, Kyle Paris, Nathan Paris, Dr. Harry ‘Leafy ‘ Larsen, Fred Nation, Les Goertzen, Gina Todia, Jay Todia, Curtis Hansen, Al Schotz, Rebecca Godwin, Jan Midgley, Nick Bieser.

Dale Pancake welcomed us to the Solon Dixon Forestry Education Center. He told us that Curtis Hansen and Les Goertzen (Freeman Herbarium AU) had been working on the Flora of the Solon Dixon for over 2 years, and had identified over 700 species of plants on the property. That’s about 1/5 th of AL’s plants! The SDFEC serves as a classroom for Auburn University’s Forestry and Wildlife students.

John Manion gave a brief Birmingham Botanical Gardens Update:

A recent display in the BBG featured photographs and information about AL’s endemic plants.  The attractive graphics are being made available to members of the APCA for use.  

BBG is presenting a certificate in native plant studies.  Upon announcement their 30 person roster was filled! The plan is to continue and hopefully expand the program.

To become certified participants must attend full day workshops in each of the 5 core courses, as well as complete elective courses and do 40 hrs of volunteer work.

BBG graphic designers continue to help us generate a logo.  Look for that at the next meeting.

Facebook activity is recognized and encouraged as a way to show people that we are actively conserving plants.

Bob Boyd mentioned a few items:

1) Forever Wild Program (bill allowing a vote to reauthorize to happen this fall) was facing a filibuster at time of meeting.  It was noted that we should all stay vocal about the importance this program plays in conserving AL’s plants.

2) The APCA Webpage Is active at http://gump.auburn.edu/boyd/apca/welcome.html. Expect web updates on APCA projects.

Project reports……………………………………..

1) Xerophyllum asphodeloides

Dr. Pullman’s sulfuric acid treatment yielded first successful germination for us of this difficult species in tissue culture.

Now we also have germination(!) reported by Jan Midgley: 10% germination from the 2009 seed crop and now 27% of the 2010 crop.  This resulted from fresh fully ripe seeds planted with soil from the site.

Seeds seem to tolerate some dry cold storage.   

2) Asplenium tutwilerae

John Manion presented photos from a recent cleanup trip to Havana Glen.  An effort is being made to tread lightly while contacting the landowner.  The singular site for the species currently enjoys no protections.

Spore collecting trip planned for early summer: contact John if you want to join in.

3) Xyris species

X. tennesseensisMincy Moffett and Bob Boyd are working on publishing a paper based on the APCA/GPCA joint survey project conducted in 2009/2010. Generally, some populations are winking out and others growing or being discovered, leaving their numbers relatively stable.

X. spathifoliaPropagation efforts slowly continue. Committee Chair for this species (Boyd) plans to continue probing for permission to work on the site where this species was discovered and lost.

4) Matalea alabamensis 

Planning to go collect cuttings 2nd week of June. Hoping for seed set this year 

5) Sarracenia alabamensis

Trip to check the outplantings at Camp Tuckabatchee will take place on May 26th.  

6) Sarracenia oreophilla 

APCA members visited new population at Serenity campground in late winter and cleared some woody plants and grasses from around the 8 existing plants along a creek.  Several suitable places along the creek and seeps around the edge of a pond offer multiple sites for augmentation of the population with seedlings collected from the site in 2009. ABG has given 25 of these seedlings to the Davis Arboretum to grow them out for display/education and augmentation.    

7) Symphyotrichum georgiana

Jan Midgley gave a second hand report that the outplanting in Talladega National Forest was recently observed to be live and growing well. After the meeting, Ryan Shurette reported via email that the 2009 plantings are surviving well and flowering. But he reported that the original population was impacted by powerline ROW maintenance and he will monitor it this summer to see whether it rebounds.

8) Quercus boyntonii

In the fall, plants were observed to be producing acorns well at the Hind’s road population but not on Oak Mountain despite the large population there.  Several plants were located at Moss Rock preserve in Hoover, including a plant damaged in a fire break that was propagated by removing about a dozen rooted suckers.  2008 seedlings from Mt. Cuba Center were shipped to BBG and shared with Davis Arboretum at the meeting.

9) Lindera melissifolia

All of the cuttings collected in 2010 rooted and survived at the ABG, producing 8 plants; 4 from each side of the circular colony. 4 plants will be returned to Davis Arborteum on May 19th for safeguarding.

If anyone wants to volunteer to sample the other AL population in Covington county and take them to a grower or root some cuttings, that would be helpful! 

10) Helianthus verticillatus

About 200 seedlings grown from fall 2010 seed collection are thriving in the ground and in containers at Davis Arboretum. There was very successful germination with Jan Midgley, BBG, and Wayne Barger.  If any APCA garden, grower or member is interested in maintaining this germplasm contact Patrick Thompson.  There are plenty of plants to share.

The other AL population (believed to be extinct) may have been re-discovered by Wayne Barger. He will check that out soon and report back to us.

11)Haines Island Park 

12)Another invasive work day is proposed for June 24th.  Planned activities include continued building of the list of species as well as invasive plant management and fantastic botanizing.

New project suggestions / other topics………………………  

Jan is holding and propigating Lillium? ‘Red Hills’ that was collected originally by Fred Nation, and seen by Al Schotz.  Plant is most similar to Lillium superbum, but doesn’t key out right.  She’s looking for more gardens/individuals to grow this plant since the population was later nabbed by plant hunters. 

The “Alabama azalea for state flower” campaign is moving forward.  Mike Hubbard’s office has written the bill and is waiting for the appropriate time to bring it before the legislature.  Oneil Smitherman, who initiated the campaign and attended the Week’s bay APCA meeting, recently passed away, but a group of his former students is planning to send out information encouraging people to contact their representatives in support of the bill.  John Manion has heard buzzing about it in Birmingham and an effort will be made to develop the Facebook group and get Garden clubs on the contact list .

Gena Todia reports a new record for Epigea repens in Baldwin County (did I write that down correctly?)

Ruffner Mountain was agreed upon as a desirable location for the fall meeting. Nick Bieser will check on dates etc. (maybe early November?)

Nick Bieser is nearly finished with the pamphlet about non-native invasive plants for homeowners and businesses to help recognize individuals making best and worst choices when selecting landscape plant species.

The group then discussed APCA’s political effectiveness and angles of potential future efforts.

Statewide knowledge of the group is increasing, but everyone needs to encourage attendance at the next meeting (and bring a friend!).

Meeting was adjourned before 3 pm. Local botanizing then ensued until dinner, and for some continued the next day (led by Dale Pancake, Curtis Hansen, Les Goertzen, Fred Nation, Harry Larsen). Please see the photos posted on our Facebook page (an example of the group piling out of vehicles to see Cleistes orchids is shown below)!

group admiring Cleistes



Last Updated: 05/04/2016