Αρχεία Ημερολογίου για Σεπτέμβριος 2023

Σεπτέμβριος 08, 2023


I observed this plant today, September 7th, 2023, at approximately 2:30 in the afternoon in the Auke Bay/Valley area of Juneau, Alaska. After taking a stroll with my dog I decided to take some photos of this beautiful, small bush we’ve had in my backyard for years. I have always admired the resilient perennial and the delicate orange colors it presents in the early spring through mid-fall months. There are some similar shrubs throughout my neighborhood that are the same species but their blooms range from white, to yellow, and pink. In the pictures available you can see that I observed the bush’s state of being as alive but it has definitely begun to start the seasonal process of shedding its greenery and petals. You may also be able to tell by the zoomed-out image that it is yet another overcast day in the Southeast region but there was no rainfall. After doing extensive research I have concluded that this bush requires full sun exposure and only grows about two to four feet in height and diameter. Its scientific classification is as follows; it is in the Plantae kingdom, in the Tracheophyta phylum, and in the order of Rosales. Its family is that of the common rose, or Rosaceae, and the subfamily group it belongs to is called Rosoideae. It also resides in the genus of Potentilla which has over 300 distinct species within the category–this specific species, however, is known by a select few names such as Dasiphora fruticosa, Pentaphylloides floribunda, and Potentilla fruticosa.

The nicknames of this orange deciduous plant range drastically across the Northern Hemisphere where they thrive and include, but are not limited to, Mandarin Tango Potentilla, Marmalade Potentilla, Bush or Shrubby Cinquefoil, Orange Whisper Potentilla, Red Ace, Orange Lady, Sunset Potentilla, and Bella Sol Potentilla. Upon further research, I discovered that the Potentilla fruticosa has certain properties that make it inedible for fauna such as deer, porcupines, and rabbits–the United States Department of Agriculture states because members of the Potentilla genus are known to contain high levels of tannins which can be toxic to the kidneys and cause severe gastrointestinal upset if consumed in high quantities, their main job is not to provide a food source but a plentiful pollinator spot for the local ecosystem. However, I also read within the same article that some Indigenous peoples in the Lower 48, like the Okanagan-Colville tribe, used “an infusion of pounded roots as a [topical and oral] tonic for the blood, general aches and pains, diarrhea, gonorrhea, and for washing sores”. Through a more in-depth investigation, I found a book of statewide historical uses of the plant as well; according to the Alaska Center for Conservation Science, though there is no record of Tlingit clans using Potentilla fruticosa, there is evidence to support that both Alutiiq and Athabascan group, who called it the Tundra Rose, used the stems of the plant to make tea that would help alleviate cold/flu symptoms and menstrual-related or stomach pain.

Works Cited
“Potentilla Fruticosa.” Potentilla Fruticosa - Plant Finder, www.missouribotanicalgarden.org/PlantFinder/PlantFinderDetails.aspx?taxonid=286391#:~:text=Potentila%20fruticosa%2C%20commonly%20called%20shrubby,Canada%2C%20Europe%20and%20Northern%20Asia.
“Cinquefoil.” Encyclopædia Britannica, Encyclopædia Britannica, inc., www.britannica.com/plant/cinquefoil.
Garibaldi, Ann. “Medicinal Flora of the Alaska Natives: A Compilation of Knowledge from Literary Sources of Aleut, Alutiiq, Athabascan, Eyak, Haida, Inupiat, Tlingit, Tsimshian, and Yupik Traditional Healing Methods Using Plants.” Alaska Center for Conservation Science, 25 July 2006, accs.uaa.alaska.edu/wp-content/uploads/Medicinal_Flora_Alaska_Natives.pdf.
“Stories from the Wigwam.” Stories from the Wigwam: August 2020, 31 Aug. 2020, nativeamericanmuseum.blogspot.com/2020/08/.
“Natural Resources Conservation Service Plant Guide: SLENDER CINQUEFOIL.” Slender Cinquefoil, 8 Aug. 2022, www.nrcs.usda.gov/plantmaterials/wapmcpg14016.pdf.

Posted on Σεπτέμβριος 08, 2023 0521 ΠΜ by leximountcastle leximountcastle | 1 παρατήρηση | 2σχόλια | Αφήστε ένα σχόλιο

Σεπτέμβριος 09, 2023


I observed this wild plant today, September 8th, 2023, at approximately 12 in the afternoon in the Auke Bay/Valley area of Juneau, Alaska. Growing up in a state where these natural food sources are plentiful and readily available in backyards along the edge of the Tongass National Forest, off of trails, and more, I was able to observe and quickly identify this as a wild Alaskan blueberry bush. In the pictures available you can see that I observed the deciduous plant’s state of being as alive but it has definitely begun to start the seasonal process of shedding its leaves and the remaining fruit is either at its peak growth or becoming somewhat rotten. My research has concluded that its scientific classification is as follows; it is in the Plantae kingdom, in the Tracheophyta phylum (meaning it is a vascular plant), and its order is Ericales. Furthermore, its family is Ericaceae, in the Vaccinium genus, and its specific species name is Vaccinium ovalifolium but it is also known as Vaccinium alaskaense and Vaccinium uliginosum. Other common names of the plant include the early blueberry, the blue huckleberry, the alpine blueberry, and the oval-leaf blueberry. This plant is safe to forage for humans, as well as many other mammals, and plays a vital role in local ecosystems and cultures–for instance, various Alaska Native clans and Native American tribes from the contiguous United States have used wild blueberries as a fresh snack and as a fruit that can be dried/preserved to last through the winter. Specific groups such as the Alutiiq have historically and contemporarily eaten “[fresh blueberries] with meat and fish or added to Eskimo ice cream—akutaq—with a variety of other ingredients. Seal oil, lard, dried fish, fish eggs, sugar, and mashed potatoes” (Steffian 1). According to the US Forest Service, Alaska Native peoples also use the blueberry’s leaves and flowers for medicinal purposes because the naturally occurring rhizomes have anti-inflammatory properties.

Works Cited
Steffian, Amy. “Blueberry-Alutiiq Word of the Week.” Alaska Native News, 28 June 2020, alaska-native-news.com/blueberry-alutiiq-word-of-the-week-june-28/49735/.
Matthews, Robin. “SPECIES: Vaccinium Alaskaense.” Vaccinium Alaskaense, 1992, www.fs.usda.gov/database/feis/plants/shrub/vacala/all.html.

Posted on Σεπτέμβριος 09, 2023 1242 ΠΜ by leximountcastle leximountcastle | 0σχόλια | Αφήστε ένα σχόλιο

Σεπτέμβριος 14, 2023


Today, September 13th, 2023, around five in the afternoon, I observed this interesting-looking plant that was naturally occurring on a rock overgrown with moss. They stood out to me because, funnily enough, they look distinctly similar in color and shape to the animated character Shrek’s ears. However, upon further research, I think I can positively identify them as a fungus whose scientific name is Cladonia fimbriata but is also commonly called Trumpet Lichen or Cup Lichen. This particular species can quite literally be found almost everywhere since it is native to South Africa, Australia, New Zealand, Eastern and Westernmost areas of the United States, South/Southeast Alaska, and finally, they are spread out across the entire European continent stretching into Russian territory as well. After some more digging, I’ve found they belong to the Ascomycota phylum, the Lecanoromycetes class, the Lecanorales order, the Cladoniaceae family, and the Cladonia genus. Though I could not find any specific medicinal uses for this exact type of lichen, apparently many other species in the Cladonia category are a vital part of the ecosystem in Northern regions and also have other miscellaneous uses around the globe; according to the Alberta Mycological Society, members of the Cladonia family are vital to the grazing diet of the Candian reindeer population. Also, the same source states “the Aleuts of Alaska used infusions of lichen for chest pains…lichen was used in Russia in the form of powder on treating wounds…[and] In Finland, the lichen was traditionally boiled in water as a laxative, or boiled in milk for respiratory affections” (Rogers 1). This is the information I have gathered on the Cladonia fimbriata and the general Cladonia family but, please don’t hesitate to let me know if you have found anything else of note that I may have missed and/or if I’ve identified the plant incorrectly!

Works Cited
Rogers, Robert. “Medicinal Lichens.” Alberta Mycological Society, 2020, www.albertamushrooms.ca/wp-content/uploads/2020/02/Medicinal_lichens.pdf.
“Trumpet Lichen (Cladonia Fimbriata).” iNaturalist, 2023, www.inaturalist.org/taxa/179037-Cladonia-fimbriata.

Posted on Σεπτέμβριος 14, 2023 0648 ΠΜ by leximountcastle leximountcastle | 2σχόλια | Αφήστε ένα σχόλιο

Σεπτέμβριος 19, 2023


I observed this plant today, September 18th, 2023, at approximately 1:20 in the afternoon while on a walk in the Back Loop area. It has been extremely windy in the Juneau region so I also observed various natural debris from the surrounding forest around the foliage such as fallen bark and lots of pine needles and cones. I did see that its state of being was alive but the leaves are beginning to show signs of normal annual decay and will likely die following the first frost/snow. After doing some research to identify it I found the plant is definitely a Bunchberry, however, I came up with two possible conclusions on the specific species–the Cornus unalaschkensis or the Cornus canadensis. They look incredibly similar to one another in leaf color, shape, and design, along with cream-colored petals, and can only be distinguished by the color difference at the center of their flowers since they both grow native to the region as well; the Cornus unalaschkensis has a purple center of the blossom while the Cornus canadensis has an all-white blossom. I cannot properly identify it since the Bunchberry’s bloom season, which runs from July to mid-August, has ended. That being said, here is the general information I was able to find on the plant; it is also known as Alaska Bunchberry, Creeping Dogwood, and Western Cordilleran Bunchberry. Also, it is in the Anthophyta phylum, the class of Dicotyledoneae, the order of Corales, and the family of Cornaceae. Another fun fact is that the plant grows small non-poisonous red berries in the warmer months and the Indigenous peoples of Bella Coola, British Columbia, have historically eaten the fruit dried in the winter or mashed and served with oolichan (fish) grease as treat in the summer.

Stanley, Gerald B. “Cornus Unalaschkensis.” Washington Native Plant Society, 2018, www.wnps.org/native-plant-directory/97-cornus-unalaschkensis#:~:text=The%20 distinguishing%20 characteristics%20are%20that,(see%20annotated%20second%20photo)’.
Glase, Terry. “Plant Database.” Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center - The University of Texas at Austin, 1 Feb. 2023, www.wildflower.org/plants/result.php?id_plant=coca13.
Beckman, J., and L. Morse. “Cornus Unalaschkensis: Western Dwarf Dogwood.” NatureServe Explorer 2.0, 1 Sept. 2023, explorer.natureserve.org/Taxon/ELEMENT_GLOBAL.2.139123/Cornus_unalaschkensis.

Posted on Σεπτέμβριος 19, 2023 0614 ΠΜ by leximountcastle leximountcastle | 4σχόλια | Αφήστε ένα σχόλιο

Σεπτέμβριος 29, 2023


Earlier today at about 2 in the afternoon, I observed this singular flower peeking out from the ground around the Skaters Cabin area of Juneau. Its state of being was alive but, as you can see from the last photo, I was surprised to see any of the blossoms remaining from this patch because the rest have since died. After conducting some research, I was able to distinguish the plant to be an Orange Hawkweed which also goes by flameweed, red daisy, fox-and-cubs, devil’s paintbrush, and missionary weed. It can be characterized by its soft basal leaves at the base and a long leafless stem covered in small black hairs that leads to a single bloom which, hopefully, you can see a good example of in the first picture of the flower close-up. It is actually ecologically considered a noxious weed, meaning it is nonnative to the United States and poses a disruptive danger to the local ecosystems–the hawkweed is originally from Australia, New Zealand, and central Europe. Although I found some conflicting results that dispute when exactly the plant was brought to America sometime before 1818, according to the US Forest Service, “[Orange Hawkweed] was introduced in Vermont by 1875 as a garden ornamental” and it slowly became more invasive as it spread throughout the country, finally reaching the southeast Alaska region by the 1950s (Stone, 2010). The plant is also known to be prolific due to its reproduction process; it uses its anatomy to its advantage by using natural means of wind and water to scatter its seeds, stolons, and rhizomes across far distances. Its scientific identification is as follows; the Orange Hawkweed is in the Magnoliophyta phylum, the Magnoliopsida class, the Asterales order, the Asteraceae family, and the genus of Pillosella. Finally, the Orange Hawkweed’s scientific name is Pilosella aurantiaca and Hieracium aurantiacum (interchangeable). Furthermore, Glenlivit Wildlife says that hawkweed has been dried and ground into a powder or boiled to make a tea-like infusion as a means of traditional holistic medicine which was used to treat various ailments for centuries–the article states, “The root of hawkweed has long been known as an expectorant and diuretic, useful for treating chest congestion and urinary tract infections…In addition, the root has been used as an appetite stimulant and digestive aid, helping with bowel regularity and bloating issues” (Bryant 2023).

Works Cited

Stone, Katharine R. “Hieracium Aurantiacum.” US Forest Service, 2010, www.fs.usda.gov/database/feis/plants/forb/hieaur/all.html#:~:text=GENERAL%20DISTRIBUTION%3A,been%20planted%20many%20times%20subsequently.

Bryant, Sam. “Hawkweed (Hieracium).” Glenlivet Wildlife, 23 Apr. 2023, glenlivet-wildlife.co.uk/plants/hawkweed/#:~:text=The%20root%20of%20hawkweed%20has,infusion%20to%20treat%20those%20conditions.

Posted on Σεπτέμβριος 29, 2023 0640 ΠΜ by leximountcastle leximountcastle | 0σχόλια | Αφήστε ένα σχόλιο