Tom's Blog

Monday, May 24, 2010

Veiny pea

A few years ago I found a single plant of veiny pea (Lathyrus venosus) in one of our bur oak savannas. I lost track of it for a while but now it is back in full, having formed about an 8 X 8 foot patch. Although it is not an especially rare plant (it is found in almost all Wisconsin counties), it does have a reasonable high C value (6), and is fairly showy.

Although Curtis (Vegetation of Wisconsin) found this species to achieve maximum presence in prairies, according to Cochrane and Iltis it has more affinity for savannas.

It is growing in a fairly shady part of Unit 11B, near a stand of fairly large bur oaks and shagbark hickories. From a distance, it doesn't look like much, but up close the flowers look quite nice.

We have another species, Lathyrus palustris (marsh pea), in the Crane Prairie at the edge of our wetland.

Both of these species arose spontaneously, or, as Kathie says, "are native to the site."


Blogger Emily said...

I've always liked the term "volunteers" to describe the appearance of unexpected but not unwanted species. Do people ever use the term for restoring of native plants, or is that only used in gardening of domesticated plants?

May 24, 2010 at 3:32 PM  

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