Seed Collecting in the New Jersey Pine Barrens

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    • Claire Hansen, graphic designer, collecting Lachnanthes caroliniana (redroot). Photo by Anjali Satyu.Claire Hansen, graphic designer, collecting Lachnanthes caroliniana (redroot). Photo by Anjali Satyu.
    • Tamara Tripp, assistant director of the Centennial Campaign, collecting Lachnanthes caroliniana (redroot). Photo by Anjali Satyu.Tamara Tripp, assistant director of the Centennial Campaign, collecting Lachnanthes caroliniana (redroot). Photo by Anjali Satyu.
    • New Jersey Pine Barrens meadow, full of Lachnanthes caroliniana (redroot). Photo by Anjali Satyu.New Jersey Pine Barrens meadow, full of Lachnanthes caroliniana (redroot). Photo by Anjali Satyu.
    • Sonia Gonzalez, director of Membership & Individual Giving, collecting Lachnanthes caroliniana (redroot). Photo by Anjali Satyu.Sonia Gonzalez, director of Membership & Individual Giving, collecting Lachnanthes caroliniana (redroot). Photo by Anjali Satyu.
    • The fluffy seed head of cotton-grass (Eriophorum virginicum). Photo by Anjali Satyu.The fluffy seed head of cotton-grass (Eriophorum virginicum). Photo by Anjali Satyu.
    • Lachnanthes caroliniana (redroot). Photo by Anjali Satyu.Lachnanthes caroliniana (redroot). Photo by Anjali Satyu.
    • Director of Science Gerry Moore balancing precariously on a hummock—miniature bog island—a habitat for asters and sedges. Photo by Anjali Satyu.Director of Science Gerry Moore balancing precariously on a hummock—miniature bog island—a habitat for asters and sedges. Photo by Anjali Satyu.
    • Native Flora Garden curator Uli Lorimer exposing a single seed, or “fairy,” of broomsedge (Andropogon virginicus var. abbreviatus). Photo by Anjali Satyu.Native Flora Garden curator Uli Lorimer exposing a single seed, or “fairy,” of broomsedge (Andropogon virginicus var. abbreviatus). Photo by Anjali Satyu.
    • Drosera intermedia (spatulate-leafed sundew). Photo by Anjali Satyu.Drosera intermedia (spatulate-leafed sundew). Photo by Anjali Satyu.
    • Aster blooms provide late-season nectar for pollinators. Photo by Anjali Satyu.Aster blooms provide late-season nectar for pollinators. Photo by Anjali Satyu.
    • Native Flora Garden curator Uli Lorimer showing two of the many species of Sphagnum, or peat moss, native to the Pine Barrens. Photo by Anjali Satyu.Native Flora Garden curator Uli Lorimer showing two of the many species of Sphagnum, or peat moss, native to the Pine Barrens. Photo by Anjali Satyu.
    • Pitcher plants (Sarracenia purpurea). Photo by Anjali Satyu.Pitcher plants (Sarracenia purpurea). Photo by Anjali Satyu.
    • Drosera intermedia (spatulate-leafed sundew). Photo by Anjali Satyu.Drosera intermedia (spatulate-leafed sundew). Photo by Anjali Satyu.
    • Native Flora Garden curator Uli Lorimer demonstrating seed collecting to Julie Lang, managing director of the Centennial Campaign. Photo by Anjali Satyu.Native Flora Garden curator Uli Lorimer demonstrating seed collecting to Julie Lang, managing director of the Centennial Campaign. Photo by Anjali Satyu.
    • Native Flora Garden curator Uli Lorimer displaying a handful of Sphagnum moss. Photo by Anjali Satyu.Native Flora Garden curator Uli Lorimer displaying a handful of Sphagnum moss. Photo by Anjali Satyu.
    • Lauren Deutsch, Centennial Campaign associate, and Kathryn Littlefield, institutional funding manager, holding a species of aster. Photo by Anjali Satyu.Lauren Deutsch, Centennial Campaign associate, and Kathryn Littlefield, institutional funding manager, holding a species of aster. Photo by Anjali Satyu.
    • Collecting a Eupatorium species. Photo by Anjali Satyu.Collecting a Eupatorium species. Photo by Anjali Satyu.
    • The wet, boggy soils of parts of the Pine Barrens result in many less-than-vertical trees. Photo by Anjali Satyu.The wet, boggy soils of parts of the Pine Barrens result in many less-than-vertical trees. Photo by Anjali Satyu.
    • A section of pine forest that recently experienced a fire. Photo by Anjali Satyu.A section of pine forest that recently experienced a fire. Photo by Anjali Satyu.
    • Seed capsules of Drosera intermedia (spatulate-leafed sundew), ripe for collecting. Photo by Anjali Satyu.Seed capsules of Drosera intermedia (spatulate-leafed sundew), ripe for collecting. Photo by Anjali Satyu.
    • Transferring miniscule seeds into a manila envelope for safe transport back to BBG. Photo by Anjali Satyu.Transferring miniscule seeds into a manila envelope for safe transport back to BBG. Photo by Anjali Satyu.
    • Director of Science Gerry Moore’s botanical specimens, headed for the herbarium. Photo by Anjali Satyu.Director of Science Gerry Moore’s botanical specimens, headed for the herbarium. Photo by Anjali Satyu.
    • The team after a long day of collecting. A dragonfly tried to get in on our picture! Photo by Anjali Satyu.The team after a long day of collecting. A dragonfly tried to get in on our picture! Photo by Anjali Satyu.

    Last week a handful of BBG staff piled into a bus with Native Flora Garden curator Uli Lorimer and director of Science Gerry Moore for a day of collecting seeds in the New Jersey Pine Barrens. Though excited to leave our desks, there might have been a bit of trepidation on the bus. Our crew consisted mainly of folks from Development, and with a few exceptions, none of us had ever been out in the field.

    The bus made several stops. We tramped around a marshy meadow just off the highway, scrambled through a cranberry bog replete with 20 species of Sphagnum, and finally hiked into a miniature savannah peppered with carnivorous pitcher plants and waving cotton-grass. A favorite spot was Wharton State Forest, a stretch of protected land striking in its ecological diversity; tall pines reach high above a white sandy floor, but just a half a mile distant the sand gives way to a dark, tea-colored bog full of late-blooming grasses, sweetbay magnolia, and red maple.

    This was not just a learning expedition, however: After leaving Wharton State Park, our friends in Horticulture needed our help collecting the seeds of some common grassland species. Uli and Gerry patiently demonstrated which plants were needed and how to gather the ripe seeds without damaging the plant. These seeds will now undergo a multiyear process of germination and propagation and will be ready to plant in time for the expansion of the Native Flora Garden. It will be incredible to see the distinctive and beautiful vistas we witnessed in the Pine Barrens re-created at BBG!


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