Tom's Blog

Thursday, July 31, 2008

Culver's root at its peak

Culver's root (Veronicastrum virginianum) is a "strikingly handsome" plant that seems to have a wide range of habitats. At Pleasant Valley Conservancy we have it growing in wet mesic, mesic, and dry mesic prairies as well as oak savannas. Also, we had a native population along the cool, north-facing side of County Highway F. Most of our seed came from the County F site, although at this late date it is hard to tell whether the populations we have growing in the savannas arose spontaneously or came from seed we planted.

This year for the first time we have a large amount of Culver's root in the Valley Prairie. Since this prairie was planted in November 2002, it is now in its 6th growing season. We did have Culver's root in the Valley Prairie last year, but only scattered, so it does seem to take quite a bit of time to become established.

The seeds of this species are extremely fine, which means that in a seed mix they often settle to the bottom of the bucket. However, we take care to ensure that the seed are well mixed before planting. The fact that it is distributed widely across the Valley Prairie suggests that we did a fairly good job of mixing.


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