Flowering in clearcuts (was Deer)

Jane McGary janemcgary@earthlink.net
Sat, 21 May 2005 11:01:37 PDT
Mary Sue observed, "The local timber company cleared a portion of land 
alongside the road and near their office a year or so ago. It looked 
terrible at the time and we wondered why as usually they do that kind of 
work where the public can't easily see it and leave buffers along the road. 
We speculated that they were creating a fire break. This year there are 
hundreds of Zigadenus growing in that spot surrounded by French broom. They 
must have been there all the time, but it just got too shady for them to 
bloom well."

This is a typical occurrence in the all-too-frequent clearcuts around where 
I live. Yes, the bulbs are there all the time, and so are a lot of sturdy 
seeds, such as those of whatever Pacific Coast iris is native to the site. 
I've seen wonderful bloom on Lilium columbianum in clearcuts about 5 years 
old. Iris tenuis (the only western American crested iris species) persists 
indefinitely in deep forest without flowering, but once it gets some sun, 
it flowers and sets a little seed; we always take people ot see it (it's a 
narrow local endemic) growing under a high-tension power line where the 
trees are regularly cut.

Jane McGary
Northwestern Oregon, USA

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