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Page 159 ï~~2005 THE MICHIGAN BOTANIST 159 COREOPSIS TRIPTERIS L. (ASTERACEAE) IN WISCONSIN Thomas L. Eddy 426 Walker Avenue Green Lake, WI 54941 email@example.com The genus Coreopsis (Asteraceae) includes approximately 100 mainly New World species. Of these, four occur in Wisconsin, though for over a century a fifth (Coreopsis tripteris L.) has been ascribed to the state, without a supporting voucher. The claim that this species occurs in Wisconsin appears to have arisen in Gray (1884), wherein he included Wisconsin in his range statement; since then, the "report" has been faithfully copied. The species is reported for Mitchell Glen, a site in Green Lake County, Wisconsin, by Tracy (1889). Mrs. C. T. Tracy, Instructor in Botany at Ripon College, self-published a pamphlet on the flora of Ripon (Fond du Lac County, Wisconsin). The thing is notable for numerous misspellings and very unusual "records," such as Pinguicula vulgaris (Lentibulariaceae). Unfortunately, her herbarium is no longer extant at Ripon College; a goodly number of her duplicates somehow found their way to the Lawrence University herbarium, now incorporated into OSH, but there is no specimen of any Coreopsis included. The matter is treated further in Eddy (1999). The first voucher for C. tripteris from Wisconsin was collected by Patrick Robinson, Northeast Region Ecologist with the WDNR's Bureau of Endangered Resources, on 10 September 2004. Robinson discovered a small dry-mesic remnant prairie approximately 9 miles northwest of Oshkosh within the west rightof-way of U.S. highway 45 in Winneconne Township, SE Y NE Y NE Y section 2, T19N, R15E; the voucher is Robinson s.n., WIS. Robinson offered these observations of C. tripteris at the site: In a remnant dry-mesic prairie. The dry-mesic prairie is approximately two acres in total size with some areas showing evidence of significant disturbance. The surrounding land is being used for agriculture. Dominant associates included Aster oolentangiensis, Liatris aspera, and Aster ericoides. Additional associates included Euphorbia corollata, Melilotus alba, Melilotus officinalis, Helianthus occidentalis, Rhus glabra, Monarda fistulosa, Andropogon gerardii, Panicum virgatum, Vitis riparia, Daucus carota, Bromus inermis, Asclepias verticillata, Rosa blanda, Ratibida pinnata, and Cirsium vulgare (Wisflora, 2005). In addition to Robinson's list, these species were observed by T. L. Eddy, T. G. Lammers, and N. A. Harriman on two different visits to the site in late August and early September 2005: Schizachyrium scoparium, Bouteloua curtipendula, Dalea purpurea, Geum triflorum, Helianthus grosseserratus, Isanthus brachiatus, Ruellia humilis, Silphium integrifolium, S. laciniatum, S. terebinthinaceum, Solidago rigida, and Verbena simplex. It is worth noting that R. humilis is a Wisconsin endangered species and V simplex is listed as Special Concern. The small population of Silphium integrifolium occurs on the east side of the
Page 160 ï~~160 THE MICHIGAN BOTANIST Vol. 44 160 THE MICHIGAN BOTANIST Vol. 44 FIGURE 1. Flowering heads of Coreopsis tripteris, 13 September 2005, photograph by the author.
Page 161 ï~~2005 THE MICHIGAN BOTANIST 161 highway, but still within the right-of-way. The voucher for Coreopsis tripteris in 2005 is Harriman & Lammers s.n., 30 August 2005, OSH and WIS. Winnebago County, Wisconsin, has been very thoroughly botanized over the past four decades (see, for example, Rill 1983). Nonetheless, the site yielded four new county records: Coreopsis tripteris, Ruellia humilis, Verbena simplex, and Silphium integrifolium. (It should be noted that on maps more than a year old, the present U.S. 45 is labelled as state route 110; the original, older U.S. 45 is now state route 76.) Coreopsis tripteris is the tallest and latest flowering Coreopsis in Wisconsin, blooming from late August through early September (Figs. 1 & 2). It is an erect perennial forb arising from short, stout rhizomes that produce glabrous to glaucous stems 3-9 feet tall. The mainly cauline trifoliolate leaves are numerous with the leaflets lanceolate or narrowly elliptic, 5-10 cm wide by 6-25 cm long. The inflorescence is comprised of numerous heads with disks approximately 1 cm diameter that gradually change from yellow to purplish or dark red. Yellow ray flowers are 1-2.5 cm long (Figure 3). Achenes are obovate, 4-7 mm; each achene is accompanied by a pappus of a few minute erect bristles. (Gleason & Cronquist, 1991). The soil type of the C. tripteris site in Winnebago County is classified as RhC2-Ritchey silt loam, 6 to 12 percent slopes, eroded (United States Department of Agriculture 1980). According to the soil survey the "... soil is sloping and is on narrow ridgetops and side slopes in areas where dolomite is at a shallow depth." In fact, scattered flat outcrops of Prairie du Chien dolomite, Ordovician bedrock, in the highway right-of-way are partially covered with a "biological soil crust" (Neher et. al., 2003). Elsewhere a thin mantle of well-drained loam underlies dry-mesic prairie. The original land survey of interior section lines for T19N and R15E began on 30 March 30 1839 and was completed on 3 April 1839 (Wisconsin public land survey records: original field notes and plat maps, 1839). A summary from the township field notes prepared by surveyor D. Giddings provides a description of the landscape and vegetation cover that includes the dry-mesic prairie relict where C. tripteris occurs: The foregoing township is mostly oak openings well timbered with large Br. [bur] Oak. The land is high & dry, slightly rolling; soil is a warm yellow loam, a great part of it having the appearance of having been formerly planted by the Indians. The Prairie [Fig. 4] in sec 1 & 12 is dry and rich. Thus, in spite of its small area and past disturbance, this roadside relict is a native grassland "island" worthy of management and protection by local and state agencies. It is conceivable that Coreopsis tripteris in Winnebago County represents an overlooked disjunct population that is part of Wisconsin's original vegetation cover. Circumstantial evidence includes: 1) the plant is established on an original dry-mesic prairie remnant and is unlikely to have been deliberately planted there, within the right-of-way of a busy highway, and 2) in spite of past disturbance, a diverse flora that includes rare species and common associates is present at the site. Contrarily, the plant might be adventive from seed from local
Page 162 ï~~162 THE MICHIGAN BOTANIST Vol. 44 162 THE MICHIGAN BOTANIST Vol. 44 _<., FIGURE 2. Local population of Coreopsis tripteris. Winnebago County Deputy Sheriff Craig Cook, six feet tall, had stopped along the road shoulder to offer help and assistance, if needed, and kindly agreed to pose with the plants to provide scale; 13 September 2005, photograph by the author.
Page 163 ï~~2005 THE MICHIGAN BOTANIST 163 2005 THE MICHIGAN BOTANIST 163 FIGURE 3. Closeup of a flowering head of Coreopsis tripteris, 13 September 2005, photograph by the author.
Page 164 ï~~164 THE MICHIGAN BOTANIST Vol. 44 164 THE MICHIGAN BOTANIST Vol. 44 FIGURE 4. A page from the original land surveyor's notes, showing that the present site was a prairie in 1839. prairie restoration/horticultural plantings. For example, an Internet search for "Coreopsis tripteris seed+price" resulted in 306 links (0.27 seconds)-testimony to the ready availability of C. tripteris seed for sale commercially. Moreover, there is a specimen of this species in OSH from the donated private herbarium of Katherine Dorney Rill, dating from 1978, where the collector indicates the plant came up in her Oshkosh garden as a contaminant with some other seed she had planted. The possibility of "horticultural contamination" cannot be excluded. LITERATURE CITED Eddy, T. L. 1999. A history and vascular flora of Mitchell Glen, Green Lake County, Wisconsin. Transactions of the Wisconsin Academy of Sciences, Arts and Letters 87: 79-103. Field notes. 1834. Retrieved 13 August 2005, from Land Survey Records Web site: http://bcpl.state.wi.us/asx/Index.asp?target=SURVEY. Gleason, H. A. & A. Cronquist. 1991. Manual of Vascular Plants of Northeastern United States and Adjacent Canada. New York Botanical Garden, Bronx, NY. Gray, Asa. 1884. Synoptical Flora of North America. Vol. 1, part II, Caprifoliaceae-Compositae. (Coreopsis tripteris, p. 294.) Neher, D. A., T. L. Walters, E. Tramer, T. R. Weicht, R. M. Veluci, K. Saiya-Cork, S. Will-Wolf, J. Toppin, J. Traub & J. R. Johansen. 2003. Biological soil crust and vascular plant communities in a sand savanna of northwestern Ohio. Journal of the Torrey Botanical Society 130(4): 244-252. Rill, K. D. 1983. A vascular flora of Winnebago County, Wisconsin. Transactions of the Wisconsin Academy of Sciences, Arts and Letters 71: 155-180. Tracy, C. T. 1889. Catalogue of plants growing without cultivation in Ripon and the near vicinity.
Page 165 ï~~2005 THE MICHIGAN BOTANIST 165 Self-published pamphlet, an original copy in the holdings of the Wisconsin State Historical Society, a photocopy in OSH and elsewhere. United States Department of Agriculture. 1980. Soil Survey of Winnebago County, Wisconsin. Soil Conservation Service. Wisflora: Wisconsin vascular plant species. 2005. Retrieved 13 September 2005, from Wisflora: Wisconsin Vascular Plant Species Web site: http://www.botany.wisc.edu/wisflora/. Wisconsin public land survey records: original field notes and plat maps. 1839. Retrieved 17 September 2005, from http://digicoll.library.wisc.edu/cgi-bin/SurveyNotes/SurveyNotesidx?type=article&byte =5993853&twp=T019NR015E.