biodiversity homepage      

Observations by Gary Fewless for Green Bay WI (Lat.N 44.51° Long. W 88.02° ), except as noted. For flowers lacking conspicuous petals or sepals I define "anthesis" as release of pollen by mature anthers.

August 2008 Mouse-over the photo for the identities of the three subjectsblazing star, calico penant, evening primrose

Aug 31 Green Bay received a total of only 0.59 inches of rain for August. That is the driest August since 1899!! That includes the famous "dustbowl" years of the 1930"s.
Aug 25

I was on vacation today in northwestern Marinette County and we had a hard frost early this morning. On following days I also heard reports of frosts that morning, widely in northern Wisconsin and upper Michigan. This is a tough place to be a plant.

There are scattered instances of trees with some leaves turning color, but it appears to be the result of the prolonged drought, rather than the usual seasonal transition.

Aug 22

Quercus macrocarpa (bur oak) acorns are beginning to mature in Brown County.

The fruit of Cornus racemosa (gray dogwood) is also maturing, turning from green to white.

Aug 18

Green Bay has received only about 1/2 inch of rain in the first 17 days of August and less than 1/10 inch in the last 2 weeks. Many local plants are stressed and some lawns are turning brown.

The prairie on the UW-Green Bay Cofrin Arboretum is very striking this time of year with the large prairie grasses reaching their full height and many bright flowers, including this native sunflower Helianthus decapetalus (forest sunflower). There are many other bright yellow flowers at this time of year too. Silphium laciniatum (compass plant), S. terebinthinaceum (prairie dock), Silphium integrifolium (prairie rosinweed), Ratibida pinnata (yellow coneflower), Rudbeckia hirta (black-eyed susan) are among the most prominent.

Aug 16 Solidago rigida (stiff goldenrod) is beginning to flower on the UW-Green Bay campus. If it seems like there are a lot of goldenrods, you are correct. There are 24 species in Wisconsin, although fewer than half of that number are commonly encountered. For a discussion of the goldenrods and a list of names linked to photographs click here.
Aug 14 A few early individuals of Solidago canadensis (Canada goldenrod) are beginning to flower, Forest and Brown Counties and probably throughout northeastern Wisconsin. Time for my annual reminder that goldenrods are not the major cause of late summer hayfever. They have the misfortune of becoming conspicuous just at the time that the hayfever season hits high gear, but the source of the great majority of the offending pollen is Ambrosia artemisiifolia (common ragweed)--see notes for August 3.
Aug 10 There have been several cool days with a feel of Fall in the air in northeastern Wisconsin. In Rhinelander this morning the low temperature was 40° F.
Aug 09 The most conspicuous goldenrod in northern Marinette County now is Solidago juncea (early goldenrod) and its common companion on the sandy, low-productivity soils, Solidago nemoralis (gray goldenrod) has not yet begun to flower.
Aug 07 I saw two bears this afternoon, apparently a mother bear and a cub, Forest County (no photo--things happen quickly ;>0 ).
Aug 06 This is the first day I have seen Eurbia macrophylla (= Aster macrophylus; big-leaved aster) in flower, Forest and MarinetteCounties. It's also the first day I've seen open flowers for Arctium minus (burdock), but I may have missed the start on this species.
Aug 04 Emerald Ash Borer has been found in Wisconsin for the first time. It was reported in Ozaukee County, near the town of Newburg. This alien species has caused widespread mortality for ash trees and will undoubtedly exert a negative influence on Wisconsins forests and on the many ashes along streets and in yards.
Aug 03

I am seeing open flowers of Ambrosia artemisiifolia (common ragweed) in the Green Bay area now, so the late summer hayfever season has officially begun. This species is the biggest hayfever contributor in our area and its output of pollen will increase steadily until about the 3rd week of August and remain high through the first week or so of September. Be prepared for an increase of reports of "summer colds" that are actually allergic reactions to the ragweed. The following 2 paragraphs are repeated from last years phenology of Aug 3.

Every year I hear people talking about the "summer cold" they get every year in August. If you develop cold-like symptoms about mid-August, you might want to consider the possibility that you are allergic to ragweed pollen. Unlike true colds, hayfever is treatable and people can get very good relief with medication, and perhaps with an understanding of how to avoid the ragweed pollen.

Another species of ragweed, Ambrosia psilostachya (perennial ragweed) is roughly similar to A. artemisiifolia and begins to flower at about the same time, but its numbers are far fewer and its contribution to hayfever is probably very small.

Aug 02

Many new species are beginning to flower in the Green Bay area, including the very conspicuous Lobelia cardinalis (cardinal flower), Lobelia siphilitica (great blue lobelia), Eupatorium perfoliatum (boneset), Sium suave (water parsnip) and Doellingeria umbellata (=

Aster umbellatus; flat-topped aster). Although Urtica dioica (stinging nettles) has been conspicuous for a long time, the flowers are just now beginning to open fully in our area.

© 2001-2004 The Cofrin Center for Biodiversity and the University of Wisconsin Green Bay, All Rights Reserved
Last updated on July 18, 2014