Spotlight on Christine McElroy

19 April 2019 Botany Bill Journal

As the lead of the refuge plant inventory project, I would like to formally acknowledge the important contribution that Christine McElroy has made and is making with restoring voucher specimens in the Patuxent Research Refuge Herbarium. The positive impact of her work cannot be overstated. Christine has faithfully come to the North Tract Visitors Contact […]

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2018 Plant Inventory Progress Report – A Banner Year

11 April 2019 Botany Bill Journal

2018 was a banner year for the Patuxent Research Refuge (PRR) Plant Inventory Project (PIP) Team. The biggest event was the digital-imaging of about 4600 Refuge herbarium voucher sheets by the team. The PIP team appreciates Professor Maile Neel, Director of the Norton-Brown Herbarium, University of Maryland for her guidance and assistance in providing the […]

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17 February 2019 – Palmettos in Myrtle Beach

17 February 2019 Botany Bill JournalNon-Refuge

Today, my wife Becky and I paid a short visit to Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. Visitors to Myrtle Beach can’t help but notice the Palmettos planted around the city and other cities in the area. Here are some photos of a few of these trees. As far as I can determine, their scientific name is […]

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16 February 2019 – My first encounter with Spanish Moss (Tillandsia usneoides)

16 February 2019 Botany Bill Journal

Today I had my first encounter with Spanish Moss (Tillandsia usneoides). We saw it growing on trees throughout Florence, South Carolina. Spanish moss frequently grows on trees in tropical and subtropical regions. Around Florence at least, they seem to be partial to the Southern Live Oak (Quercus virginiana). It is native to much of the […]

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8 October 2018 – Washington County Cactus Foray

10 October 2018 Botany Bill Journal

Today, Joe Metzger and I went on a foray to locate two populations of cactus in Washington County, Maryland.     The first one was a reported population of Opuntia cespitosa in Kemps Mills where Clyde Reed collected a voucher specimen in June 1952. We drove the entire length of Kemps Mill Road and did […]

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25 August 2018 – Finding Cactus at Weinberg Park

25 August 2018 Botany Bill JournalNon-Refuge

Had an awesome time with Rangers Matt Grey and Chris Winton of Anne Arundel County Park and Recreation this afternoon scouting out the cactus at Weinberg Park in Pasadena. The site was near an old homestead. We could see two stone columns which could have come from a gate entrance. I understand that there is […]

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22 August 2018 – Maryland Cactus Sites

22 August 2018 Botany Bill JournalNon-Refuge

This is a working draft list of locations where cactus has been found in Maryland, excluding the Eastern Shore. (Eastern Shore sites may be added later.) If you know of a location not listed here, let me know at botanybill (at) verizon.net and I will put it on the list. Also if you would like […]

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13 August 2018 – Queen Anne Canoe Launch

13 August 2018 Botany Bill Journal

Had an awesome time today with Michael Ellis, park ranger and invasive plant specialist for the Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission, Parks and Recreation. We visited two sites where prickly pear was growing.   FIRST SITE – The first site was an open meadow near the Queen Anne Canoe Launch Patuxent River Park. The […]

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11 August 2018 – Cactus in Elkridge

11 August 2018 Botany Bill Journal

On the way home from Glen Arm, Maryland this morning, I stopped off at a location here in Elkridge where someone planted some prickly pear cactus evidently many years ago next to a parking lot.  The plants key out to Opuntia humifusa sensu stricto.

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11 August 2018 – Cactus on Factory Road

11 August 2018 Botany Bill Journal

This morning I attempted re-visit a site where Clyde Reed collected some cactus in 1981 which has been determined by Opuntia expert Lucas Majure to be Opuntia cespitosa. The site was on Factory Road in Glen Arm, Maryland (Click here for Reed’s record.). The voucher label described the site as an stone outcrop. Although I […]

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7 August 2018 – Cactus Foraying near Merkle Wildlife Sanctuary

7 August 2018 Botany Bill Journal

After learning about some cacti located south of Merkle Wildlife Sanctuary, David Anderson, Matthew Beziat, and I went on a foray to see if we could locate them. We found the cactus on a south facing slope beside Nottingham Road adjacent to a farm.  The presence of spines and three or four areoles per diagonal […]

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3 August 2018 – Cactus Foraying at Wooton’s Landing

3 August 2018 Botany Bill Journal

This time Matt Beziat and I forayed the Wooton’s Landing Park to look for some cactus that Matt had spotted previously. We found it along the perimeter trail which parallels Sands Road. The small number of plants at this site were atypically elongated because they were growing in the shade. On the way out of […]

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28 July 2018 – Cactus at Jug Bay Wetland Sanctuary Parking Lot Meadow

28 July 2018 Botany Bill Journal

Today, Matt Beziat, Dave Anderson, and I paid a visit to the meadow next to the Jug Bay Wetland Sanctuary Center parking lot to look for the cactus reportedly there. The meadow was well maintained with plenty of native plants.  While walking around the meadow, we met up with Kerry Wixted who also happened to […]

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21 July 2018 – Foraying at Parris Glendening Nature Preserve, Jug Bay

21 July 2018 Botany Bill JournalNon-Refuge

Despite some rain, heavy at times, had a awesome time today meeting up with Joe Metzger and Karyn Molines to foray the Parris Glendening Nature Preserve, Jug Bay. We hiked about one mile to an area called the “Sand Barrens” to look for some prickly pear cactus. It was an open clearing with sandy soil […]

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14 July 2018 – Cactus at Milt’s Sand Pit

14 July 2018 Botany Bill Journal

Today Sam Droege showed me a location where some Opuntia was growing along the east side of the Patuxent River along Sands Road in Davidsonville, MD in Anne Arundel County. There were scattered patches of cactus growing along the access road at the site, but the bonanza was about ⅓ of a mile from where […]

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22 September 2017 – Hidden Bog – A New Discovery

22 September 2017 Botany Bill JournalRefuge BogsSites around refuge

  Dave Anderson and I spent some time this afternoon locating a previously undocumented Magnolia seepage bog that was recently discovered by the Patuxent Research Refuge supervisory wildlife biologist Sandy Spencer and biologist John Bourne on the Refuge’s North Tract. The area was very pristine with no noticeable infestation of exotic plant species. We estimated […]

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6 May 2017 – Newly Discovered Plant Species for Maryland

6 May 2017 Botany Bill Journal

Today, I went out to the southern border of the Refuge to checkout the area around the old USDA Beltsville Landing Strip. There were several species of weeds hanging around.  To my surprise, one of them ended up being a plant species that had not been documented for Maryland.  It is called Krigia cespitosa (Raf.) […]

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25 April 2017 – Forget-me-not or not – Part 2 – SUCCESS!

25 April 2017 Botany Bill JournalNon-Refuge

Last time we attempted to identify a Forget-Me-Not that was found growing in Oldtown Elkridge. (Click here to see the first part of the story.) After looking at the key, we narrowed the possibilities down to three species – Myosotis arvensis, Myosotis discolor, and Myosotis stricta, the last three species on the key. So today […]

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16 April 2017 – Mollusks Galore

16 April 2017 Botany Bill FaunaJournalNon-Refuge

This time we diverge from looking at plants. On our hike on the Butterfly Trail at Lock # 30, Erie Canal, Macedon, New York, we found at least four mollusks. In the first picture, you can see the “beach” where we found them. It was mostly made up of the remains of shells. We would […]

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14 April 2017 – Poet’s Daffodil – Narcissus poeticus L. –

15 April 2017 Botany Bill Journal

Today, I went on a botanical foray in Oldtown Elkridge concentrating on the area around the Thomas Viaduct and found several interesting exotics and even a few natives. Pictured here is the Poet’s Daffodil – Narcissus poeticus L.  It is native to south and central Europe and had become naturalized in other parts of the […]

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