NB Spring Flowers Colouring Pages!

spring collage
SPRING WILDFLOWERS OF New Brunswick

Intrepid volunteer Elizabeth Mills has produced a series of colouring pages for our entertainment and education!  The first set are spring-flowering plants commonly found in New Brunswick. These lovely designs give the common names and Latin name of the species, where they might be found and some interesting facts about them.  With the help of our online specimen database, you might want to find some in your area to observe them in the wild!

Click on the image to get the full-sized pdf files for printing.

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UNB offering vascular plant course this summer!

UNB’s College of Extended Learning is offering Biol 1846, Introduction to the Vascular Plants of New Brunswick this summer (August 19-25).   It is an intensive course in identifying trees, ferns, grasses and  wildflowers  commonly found in New Brunswick and is led by botanist Gart Bishop.

Contact the College at 506-451-6824 or celcourseadm@unb.ca for more information.

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Winter botany

img_3488Can you even do botany in the winter?  There are no flowers or leaves to distinguish plants and most things are covered in snow!

This is true, but winter gives us a chance to look more closely at the foundations of plants and trees without the distractions of color or camouflage of green.     The bare branches of trees define their overall shape and stature clearly, and many may be known just by this.  Other shrubs and trees can be identified by their branching patterns, bud shapes and placement, stem colours etc., and even herbaceous plants have parts that show through the winter and help us figure out their names (e.g. seed pods, bracts, spines).

There are guidebooks and keys specifically for winter botany, and the internet hosts a lot of great sites describing the tricks and techniques for identifying plants in the winter, just search for “winter botany”.  Here are several books we have in the Herbarium, with a page from one that would help with the birches in the photo above!

 

Happy botanizing!

Herbarium specimens as art

As important as herbaria are to science, I think they are also important in a different kind of way.

At UNB, we have an entire room filled with cabinets which are stuffed with specimens.  Not all of them are as pretty as the rose specimen pictured below, but I find that each one is a little slice of beauty.  Whether it’s the arrangement of the parts on the sheet to show off all the parts of the plant, how carefully they have been labelled, the way the colours have or have not changed with drying, the age of the specimen; something almost always makes me stop to look.

Someone collected, pressed and dried this plant, looked carefully at it to identify it correctly, recorded details about the where and when and why it was collected, selected archival materials and arranged it aesthetically, and filed it in the herbarium to preserve it forever.

So, while we should be inviting students of botany, environmental studies or forestry to visit our collections, I think these treasuries would also be enjoyed by teachers, artists, writers, historians, etc.  I have also seen preserved plants, plant prints and scientific style specimens sold on Etsy and admired on social media sites like Pinterest, and hung in board rooms and hotel lobbies.

High resolution scans of many of our specimens are available to view on our website: www.unbherbarium.ca.

 

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UNB Herbarium specimen: Rosa palustris Marsh.

 

Belding’s Reef Nature Preserve

Botanizers at Belding's Reef
Gart Bishop, Susan Belfey, Liz Mills, Richard Tarn, Clay Merrithew, Carli Leroux, Bev Schneider

Chance Harbour, Saint John County.  For more information about this Nature Trust site, go to: Beldings Reef Nature Preserve.

Photos and Text by E. Mills and B. Schneider

Our group of botanists met in the parking lot of the Seaside Baptist Church in Chance Harbour around 10:00 am, got organized and ventured off down the trail to the Lighthouse. Carli Leroux works with the Nature Trust and was our guide for the outing, which was intended as an inventory of the plant species contained in the Preserve.  The plants collected have been properly catalogued and are housed in the Connell Memorial Herbarium at the University of New Brunswick.  They are referred to as the Belding’s Reef Nature Preserve collection.

We decided to move as a group with each person collecting a different group of plants: shrubs, grasses, sedges, trees, flowering vascular plants, and ferns.   The trail meanders through 4 different habitats : mixed forest, shrubby forest edge, coastal edge, and rocky seeps.   Our path was a circuitous route following the designated trail going to the lighthouse and then returning on a power line trail back to the starting point.

Belding's Reef Nature Preserve Map
Aerial view of Belding’s Reef Nature Preserve, showing trail followed by botany group.

We found there was not a lot of diversity in any of the designated plant collecting groups in these habitats.  However, one of the highlights was finding Sagina nodosa var. borealis.  This plant is not a plant common in New Brunswick and has been reported only from coastal habitats.

White flowers
Sagina nodosa var. borealis

Another remarkable find was the large patch of Myrica pensylvanica ( photo below) commonly known as bayberry. This not rare in New Brunswick but is found more often on the shores of Northumberland Strait. The patch we found was 1.5 meters in height and covered a large area on the top of the rocky ledges.

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Botany group behind large patch of Bayberry (Myrica pensylvanica).

The vistas from the trail were eye candy and could be called “sights for sore eyes”. We did enjoy the outing and got a good sample of what is common on the Fundy coast of New Brunswick.