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Upcoming Events

Saturday, June 23, 10:45 AM (Note: Time Change!): Prairie Walk at Bobwhite State Park, Wayne County –Led by Wayne Co. Conservation Naturalist Hannah Wiltamuth. Walk the Prairie Trail at the state park and learn about prairie plants and birds and restoration work done in the area. Hosted by SIOSA and Wayne Co. Conservation.

Sunday, July 22, 10:30 AM – 12 noon at Slip Bluff County Park, Decatur County — Monarch and Milkweed Monitoring. Monitoring for Monarchs, milkweeds and nectar plants was done at Slip Bluff County Park at three areas of the park in 2016 and one area of the park in 2017. In 2018, monitoring using the Monarch Larval Monitoring Project protocol will continue with a field day for the public to learn about the monitoring and participate. Monarch density and milkweed density studies will be done on the east side of the lake and possibly in the East Oak Savanna area. A list of flowering plants will also be made. Educational materials will be provided. Drinks and snacks will be provided. Email if you plan to participate.

Next SIOSA board meeting

The next regular SIOSA meeting is Wednesday, April 4 at 1:00 pm.  We will be meeting at the Clarke County Conservation Board headquarters at East Lake Park.  The park is located just east of Osceola on Hwy 34.

Field Journal 2018:  April 1-8

Monday, April 9, 2018 @ 07:04 PM
posted by veronica

By Sibylla Brown, Timberhill Oak Savanna

Dumontinia tuberosa

I know it’s spring because the Nodding Trout Lily is in bloom, the Red-winged Blackbirds are nesting in the cattails at pond’s edge, male American Goldfinch wings are turning bright yellow breeding color, Wood Ducks are swimming in the pond and the calendar says so.  I know it’s spring until I look out my window and see that it’s snowing. 

So far this month we’ve had unseasonably cold weather.  Temperatures the first week of April were 20-30 degrees below normal.  On Monday, April 2 the morning low was 13’ F., on Wednesday, April 4 it was 14’ F.  (Average low temperatures for those dates in Decatur County are 37-38’ F.) So I was completely taken by surprise April 6 to see three large clumps of Anemone cup, Dumontinia tuberosa also known as Sclerotinia tuberosa fruiting on a south-facing hillside in the East Savanna. 

Anemone Cups, Dumontinia tuberosa, also known as Sclerotinia tuberosa

One expects to find Crimson Cup mushrooms early in the season but finding Anemone cups in such cold weather was a surprise.  Widely distributed but not common in eastern North America from New York to North Dakota and south to Tennessee this fungus fruits in early spring, March through May.  Ada Hayden Herbarium at Iowa State University lists collections from Winneshiek, Marshall, Boone, Johnson, Iowa, Decatur and Story counties. The underground portion consists of a long, slender stalk attached to a long, irregularly-shaped sclerotium, a compact mass of hardened mushroom tissue.  (Sclerotia of specimens I dug up were rooted in frozen soil.) Above ground, the stalk expands into a pale umber-brown cup, 1-3 cm. wide.  

Historically Dumontinia tuberosa has been regarded as a parasite of Anemone “but a more complex relationship may exist between the two organisms.” (Elliott et al)

In Europe it is known to parasitize the rhizomes of Anemone nemerosa.  Since it is parasitic on European species of Anemone it has always been assumed that must also be the case in North America.  But it is uncertain whether it is associated with any American species of Anemone. Mycologist Fred Seaver collected hundreds of specimens and “in no case has the fungus been associated with the rhizomes of any host. While there might be a mycelial connection, none was apparent.” (Seaver)  It may also be that the American form of this species differs from the European.  


(Note: This species is not edible)

Key words:  Timberhill Oak Savanna, Dumontinia tuberosa, Sclerotinia tuberosa

Todd F. Elliott, Steven L. Stephenson. Mushrooms of the Southeast. Portland: Timber Press, 2018: p. 54

Fred J. Seaver.  The North American Cup-fungi (Inoperculates). Lancaster: Lancaster Press, 1951:p. 76

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