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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.

July 2010prairie plants

Mouse-over the photo for the identity of the subject

July 31 The average temperature for the month of July was 72.6° F or 2.7° F above "normal". With 0.61 inches of rain today, total rainfall for the month was 9.51 inches, 6.07 inches, above "normal" or 276% of normal precipitation for July. The monthly total rainfall set a new record for July, breaking the old record of 7.46 inches by over 2 inches. There was measurable rain on 19 days in July.
July 27 Ambrosia artemisiifolia (common ragweed) has begun to flower (anthesis), City of Green Bay. That is about a week earlier than usual.
July 26

Of the plants flowering now in northerneastern Wisconsin, it is worth noting that all the following very conspicuous species are aliens: Leucanthemum vulgare (ox-eye daisy), Centaurea biebersteinii (spotted knapweed), Trifolium pratense (red clover), Trifolium repens (white clover), Trifolium hybridum (alsike clover), Trifolium aureum (yellow clover), Ranunculus acris (tall buttercup), Arctium minus (burdock). Why do we care that they are aliens? Because if the bulk of this vegetation is now comprised of aliens, our native species of prairies, savannas and other grass and shrub communities have been crowded out. And this loss of habitat is in addition to habitat lost to development of human agriculture, residential sites, highways, factories, parking lots, etc.

Native species now in flower include: Achillea millefolia (Yarrow), Anaphalis margaritacea (pearly everlasting), Aster umbellatus (flat-topped aster), Erigeron annuus (daisy fleabane), Rudbeckia hirta (black-eyed susan), Potentilla norvegica (rough cinquefoil), Prunella vulgaris (heal-all), Verbena urticifolia (nettle-leaved vervain), Euthamia graminea (=Solidago graminifolia; grass-leaf goldenrod), Liatris asperifolia (blazing star).

In forests of northeastern Wisconsin there are few species flowering at this time of year. One conspicuous exception is Aster macrophyllus (large-leafed aster). Other notes in the forests: Prunus virginaina (choke cherry) fruits are ripening (turning from green through red and ending up a very dark purple/blackish color).

In wett soils the native shrub Spiraea tomentosa (hard hack ) is in flower, and so is the very aggressive alien invasive shrub/tree Rhamnus frangula (glossy buckthorn)

July 22 Green Bay received 0.99 inches of rain today pushing the monthly total to 7.84 inches so far this month, and breaking the record total (7.46) for the entire month, set in 1912. Milwaukee officialyy received 5.61 inches today with some nearby areas reporting up to 7.5 inches in the last 24 hours. There are numerous reports of flooding in southeastern Wisconsin as well as in the Fox Valley.
July 20 Clematis virginiana (virgin's-bower) in flower.
July 19 Impatiens capensis (spotted touch-me-not; orange jewelweed) in flower. Rhus typhina (staghorn sumac) fruits are now maturing. Green Bay received another 0.79 inches of rain.
July 18 Green Bay received another 0.31 inches of rain since yesterday, bringing the total rain for the month so far to 6.03 inches, fully three times the "normal" total for the first 18 days of July. The temperature is averaging about 3.4 degrees (F) above "normal, making for a warm and humid July and no doubt contributing to the robust populations of mosquitos in our area. I think this is the most pesky the mosquitos have been in the Green Bay area in several years.
July 17 Helianthus decapetalus (forest sunflower) in flower.
July 16 Solidago juncea (early goldenrod) in flower.
July 15 Green Bay received 1.92 inches of rain since yesterday (July 14 and 15).
July 12 This appears to be a great year for Melilotus spp. (sweet clover) in Green Bay, as for M. alba (white sweet clover) here on the UWGB campus. Plants are robust and bushy and exceeding 6 feet in height. This species is an alien here and has notable highs and lows over the years. It can be a very difficult invasive species in grasslands.
July 11

Thousands of gypsy moths mating and laying egg masses on oak trees, Baird Place Park, Green Bay, July 11 and 12 (Mike Draney).

July 10 Some local planted prairies are in full flower now with Echinacea purpurea (Purple coneflower), E. pallida (pale purple coneflower), Monarda fistulosa (purple bergamot), Rudbeckia hirta (black-eyed susan) and Erigeron annuus (daisy fleabane) among the conspicuous species, as shown in the photo at the top of the page. Ratibida pinnata (yellow coneflower) is also beginning to flower in our area. The asters and goldenrods have not yet begun to flower in our area.
July 7 Another 1.69 inches of rain for Green Bay and there was flooding in some areas, especially Green Bay's west side where some roads were closed temporarily.
July 5 Green Bay received 1.36 inches of rain since yesterday.
July 3 If you think Wisconsin winters are long, check out this mountain scene of July 3rd from Roosevelt National Forest in Colorado's Rocky Mountains where the snow persists in numerous locations and the water in the stream in the foreground was snow an hour ago.
July 1

I'm out of town now and I'll try to catch up on Green Bay phenology when I return, In the meantime, I thought a few photos might be worthwhile. For those who find the summer rains in Wisconsin limiting, here's what happens when the balance between precipitation and evapotranspiration is much lower. In western Nebraska, human use of the land has been an important issue, but regardless of that drier conditions result in sparse and local forests and a greater presence of grasslands. An important species of the pre-European settlement short grass systems is Buchloe dactyloides (buffalo grass). It is small, often less than 5-6 inches tall (flowering stems to 8 inches), but it is very drought resistant and can be an important forage plant.

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Last updated on May 20, 2015