The Cyperaceae plant family includes sedges (Carex spp.), bulrushes (Schoenoplectus spp.), cottongrassses (Eriophorum spp.), spikerushes (Eleocharis spp.), and in Iowa, over 160 species of grass-like, tufted plants with reduced flowers, found primarily in wetlands, but also in prairies, savannas, and woodlands. While identification of these species can be difficult, knowledge of diversity within the Cyperaceae family is critical for assessing habitat floristic quality, collecting seeds for restoration projects, and documenting distributions of common and rare plants. Join amateur and professional botanists in learning how to use dichotomous keys in the lab and identify the Cyperaceae in the field! The two-day format of the workshop will provide ample time for interaction with instructors and exposure to many species in a variety of habitats in Central Iowa.
Joining us from near and far, four talented and experienced botanist-educators will be co-leading the Cyperaceae Workshop:
- Scott Zager, plant ecologist at Wildlands Ecological Services,
- Tom Rosburg, professor of biology at Drake University,
- William (Bill) Norris, professor of ecology and evolutionary biology at Western New Mexico University,
- Russ Kleinman, associate botanist at Dale A. Zimmerman Herbarium
The Cyperaceae Workshop will take place at the 365-acre Grinnell College Conard Environmental Research Area (CERA), near Kellogg, in Jasper County. Morning sessions will take place in the Environmental Education Center and focus on (1) learning and identifying characteristics on sample specimens and (2) using dichotomous keys. Afternoon sessions will involve field identification practice on two field trips: one to a privately owned sedge meadow in Mahaska County, and another to Engeldinger Marsh or Hartley Heritage Fen in Jasper County. Participants will be taught how to mount plant specimens to be preserved in the Grinnell College Herbarium and given time time to photograph collections and specimens.
See the Cyperaceae Workshop 2015 brochure (pdf) for more information and registration information.