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Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Seeds and Seedheads

There hasn't been much progress on fixing the structure below the green roof, but we do know that there's a bunch of water sitting on the cement deck, and it can't stay there.  It's sounding pretty ominous, but I'll report the final decision when there is one.  The good news is nothing was damaged in the Vertebrate Collection!

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Two species in the Berry Prairie, the two earliest to bloom, are now going to seed!  Our little Draba (Draba oligosperma) began blooming in March, and has erect seedheads with each seed packet looking somewhat like the seeds on a silver dollar tree.  Each seed packet is smaller than a kernel of corn, and each seed just a dot almost not visible.  These seeds are wind dispersed, so the seed packet is light and shaped to catch the breeze.

Keep in mind that the entire plant is smaller than a credit card - so everything is on a miniature scale!

The second species, the Devil's Gate Twinpod (Physaria eburniflora) has a very different seed pod structure, which looks more like a halo of blisters extending from the base of the plant.  The seeds are inside these little pods, and each pod has a tiny hole from which the seeds are shaken out of when it gets caught up in the wind. 

Plants continue to flower on the green roof, though that has slowed down due to a very hot and dry spring and summer in Laramie, and no irrigation for risk of another leak.  The green roof is looking pretty dry and brown, more like an August prairie than a June one.  

Stay tuned for more updates on how we move forward to fix the fiasco!

Written by Brenna Wanous, Berry Center

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