Elizabeth Barrette (ysabetwordsmith) wrote,
Elizabeth Barrette

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The Most Endangered Plant in Each State

These are beautiful.

However, the Illinois one made me laugh my head off:

13. Illinois: Running Buffalo Clover
Horse hooves and livestock grazing may be bad news for a lot of plants, but the herds of bison that gave this plant its name were essential to its well-being. The clover flourished in the trampled earth left in the wake of the unwieldy animals – you could even track the paths of the bison by the clover they left behind. In fact, after the running buffalo disappeared and the clover was thought to be extinct, the plant was rediscovered in Jeep trails. Today, the bison are long gone, but conservationists continue to trample the plant in the hope of giving it a new lease of life.

It makes me wonder if the thing didn't evolve for mammoths first and just wound up with buffalo because that's what was left. And then switched to jeeps. You just never know what plants will latch onto. I confess that growing in trampled land is a very clever survival strategy since almost nothing does. Wouldn't that be splendid to sow on fairgrounds where everything gets trampled?

You never know when something amazing is going to pop out of the dust as conditions change. Life finds a way.
Tags: environment, gardening, nature, news, science
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