Watching and Recording Plant Phases

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by Joene’s Garden

Spring is springing early in Connecticut and I have more than anecdotal observations to prove it. I have multiple years of plant phase data recorded by me and other citizen scientists on the Project Budburst website.

Project Budburst is a very cool project that asks plant watchers across the US to record first leaf, first flower, first ripe fruit, end of season leaf color changes, and other plant phenophases. Trained scientists then use these observations in their research.

by Joene’s Garden

 


 

Spring is springing early in Connecticut and I have more than anecdotal observations to prove it. I have multiple years of plant phase data recorded by me and other citizen scientists on the Project Budburst website. Project Budburst is a very cool project that asks plant watchers across the US to record first leaf, first flower, first ripe fruit, end of season leaf color changes, and other plant phenophases. Trained scientists then use these observations in their research.

The thought that I, a simple gardener, could help advance science enticed me to become a Project Budburst observer during late spring of 2009 when I recorded first flower of Tulip Poplar (Liriodendron tulipifera), Jack-in-the-Pulpit (Arisaema triphyllum), Red Columbine (Aquilegia canadensis) and common dandelion (Taraxacum officinale). The following spring I began my observations early and was able to record first leaf and first flower of common lilac (Syringa vulgaris) and  first flower of Spiderwort (Trandescantia ohiensis).

Now I can go back to these records to compare first leaf dates for my easiest to observe shrub, common lilac. This is what it looked like March 22, 2012, its first leaf phase. This same lilac shrub did not reach first leaf until March 29 in 2010 – nine days later than this year. Last spring, 2011, it reached first leaf the first week of April, about two weeks later than this year.

 

Continue reading at Joene’sGarden.com.

 

 

by & filed under Science News, Science, Earth & Stars.