The cup fungi are a wide-spread and variable group of cup-shaped mushrooms. The most conspicuous ones are often colourful. There are hundreds of species with many being hard to identify and requiring microscopic features to determine species. No guide book attempts to cover them all so be happy if you can arrive at a genus name. Spores are produced on the inner surface of the cup and are often released in a visible cloud-like puff. Many are found on burned ground and are called “pyrophilus” species.
Look around on road sides or bare disturbed ground and you are likely to see the small yellow flowers of Bur Buttercup (Ranunculus testiculatus). It is also known as Hornseed Buttercup or Horned-Head Buttercup. It is native to southeastern Europe (Balkan Peninsula). It was first recorded in North America from Utah in 1932. The first record for British Columbia, in southern regions, was in 1966 and it has spread widely since then.
Bur Buttercup is low-growing but the yellow flowers stand out in early spring. G Hunt photo
Leaves are small and highly dissected. minnesotawildflowers.com photo
Seed heads will easily cling to shoes and cloths. minnesotawildflowers.com photo
It is an annual that flowers early in spring. Although it does not compete well with healthy grass, it can quickly occupy disturbed areas, our native grasslands included. It is toxic to livestock, especially sheep. It thrives particularly well on bare soil in campgrounds and seeds are easily dispersed on camping gear and vehicles. Control is by mechanical removal or herbicides.
Bur Buttercup forms a carpet on this popular walking area at RL Clemitson school in Barnhartvale. G Hunt photo
Bur Buttercup is not listed on the regulated or unregulated invasive plants in BC. You can see a list of invasive BC plant species here.
Two more pictures taken by Rick Howie in 2017. This “stand” of Bur Buttercups is on East Shuswap Road.
An extensive growth of Bur Buttercup. Photo by Rick Howie
The flowering stalks look like a forest in a closeup. Photo by Rick Howie
Welcome to Mushroom Monday for April 16, 2018 Puffballs are a specialized group of mushrooms that produce spheroidal fruitbodies. They belong to a group called Gastromycetes meaning “stomach fungi.” In this group, spores are produced internally in sacs that are …Continue reading →
Hank and I went to the Dallas-Barnhartvale Nature Park today. In the restored wetland, this elderberry is unfurling. The delicate green ball, cradled by purple leaves, will later differentiate into hundreds of creamy-white flowers. And these flowers will eventually develop …Continue reading →
Hank & I have been getting to know the Barnes Lake Trails. Yesterday, we arrived during light showers, and as the sun came and went, I photographed sagebrush galls while Hank did whatever he likes to do. Near the lake, …Continue reading →
If you have walked around in the grasslands, you may have noticed strange growths on the sagebrush. These growths, called galls, form when some organism – usually an insect – develops within the plant’s tissues. …Continue reading →
Snowbank fungi are species that fruit adjacent to melting show. They are represented by a diverse array of species found in forested regions, primarily higher elevations, of western North America ranging from New Mexico to Canada. They may be saprophytic (decomposers), symbiotic (mycorrhizal) or even pathogenic.
Do you know what these little grassland babies will be when they grow up? Try your luck matching the germinants (1-4) to their grown-up form (A-D) below. Click on the images to enlarge them! …Continue reading →
And welcome also to the new website of the Kamloops Naturalist Club. I hope you return often to see the wide variety of nature-related activities our members are involved in.
There is a group of wildflowers that have learned how to cheat photosynthesis. This allows them to simplify physical structure and eliminate the work of making chlorophyll and their own food. It confers a significant survival advantage in low-light forest conditions.
The majority of spring mushrooms in our area are small. It is in fall that we get our display of the larger, more noticeable species. An exception to our diminutive spring species is Calocybe gambosa, known as the lightning mushroom. They are …Continue reading →