Plants and Animals

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Species of Concern:Clustered Poppy Mallow

Common Name: Clustered Poppy Mallow

Scientific Name: Callirhoe triangulata

Range: Mississippi and Scott counties

Classification: Historical records only for Missouri

To learn more about endangered species: explore the links listed below

This perennial wildflower once grew in the sand prairies of southeastern Missouri but was last documented in Mississippi County (near Charleston) in 1933. Most of its habitat has been lost to development or agriculture, but botanists are hopeful that it might eventually be relocated in Missouri. Considered vulnerable throughout its range, it can still be found today in western Illinois and western Wisconsin. Stems grow 2 to 3 feet tall in sunny locations with sandy soil. It might be found in grassy areas, old cemeteries or rocky, open forests. Although its five-petaled, rose-purple flowers resemble other poppy mallows, this species is distinctive in having leaves that are triangular in shape and are generally not lobed. For more information, visit www.MissouriConservation.org, and search for “Missouri Plants of Conservation Concern.”

July is Blackberry Time

Savor the leaves and berries from this summer gem.

Independence Day is a landmark for pie eaters and tea drinkers as well as patriots. Glossy, luscious blackberries mature this month, and many people risk tick and chigger bites to get the makings of pies, cobblers and jam. Mowing around blackberry thickets makes picking easier, and DEET – or Permanone-based repellents help keep biters at bay. Many berry-lovers are unaware that fresh or dried blackberry leaves make an amber-colored tea that herbalists say is good for ills from sore throat and diarrhea to ulcers.

Turtle Nesting in Full Swing

Little turtles are growing underground.

Take a walk along a lake or river bank this month and you might see the tracks of female aquatic turtles hauling out to lay eggs. The action starts as early as March and continues into July, with courtship and mating occurring underwater in early spring. Alligator snappers don’t breed until they are 11 to 13 years old. Females of some species maintain viable sperm in their bodies for several years after a mating. Female common snapping turtles lay clutches of 20 to 100 eggs. Most bury their eggs in sandy, sunny sites. In some turtle species, sex is determined by how warm the nest is. Solar incubation can take six months, but slow-developing turtles have the option of hatching the next year.

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