The plants apparently grew from tubers taken by a Chipmunk from one of my garden containers and buried here. In total, I recovered nine little tubers.
By the middle of May the pot was full of growth. The leaves yellowed in June and began to
wither. By the end of July, no signs of
top growth remained in the pot. This is
normal behavior for the Potato Dandelion which is a cool weather species that
enters dormancy for the summer season.
All of these were produced by
those nine plants in just one growing season.
I decided to set these free and plant them back into the woods.
This may be because I’ve planted
them into sites where I thought they should do their best growing. The most vigorous plants develop in areas
with the most sunlight, but those are not the conditions at the original site
of the Blue Jay Barrens Potato Dandelions.
Those plants are growing in the woods in dry, ridge top soils very much
like this site located about a quarter of a mile west of the original.
Same type of soil, same mix of trees, and
same lack of heavy ground cover makes me think that this could be the place to
successfully introduce Potato Dandelions.
I drilled a small hole with my knife, dropped
in a tuber and covered it up.
I don’t bring in any plants or seeds from
outside Blue Jay Barrens, but I do work to increase the populations of plants
that are already found here. Especially
with the rare species, I would like to have several populations scattered about
the property just in case something horrible happens to one. It’s fortunate that the Potato Dandelion
produces so well when grown in a container.
I’ll always have plenty of tubers to experiment with.
Arizona: Army Ants
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