Botany Detectives: Exploring the Nantucket Flora in the Off-Season

January 5, 2016

Since arriving on Nantucket in January of 2008, I’ve found that the colder months offer some of the best opportunities to check out new places and get the lay of the land. With the summer tangle of scrub oak, grape and other greenery magically absent after leaf drop, you can see a lot more detail. You don’t have to…

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Late Fall Color: Fruit, not Foliage!

November 22, 2015

Recent rainy and windy weather may have finished off most of our autumn leaves, but there’s still plenty of color across the Nantucket landscape. The Science & Stewardship staff at NCF would like to wish you and your family a happy Thanksgiving, and encourage you to enjoy the natural beauty of the island around you. It’s deer hunting…

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What’s New In Nature: Flowering Goldenrods

September 23, 2015

Once the yellow of the goldenrod flowers begins popping up in Nantucket’s grasslands and through the road edges in the Middle Moors fall weather is not fall behind. Goldenrods are in the Asteraceae plant family – the largest plant family including sunflowers, daisies, thistles to name a few. On Nantucket, there are an estimated 20 different…

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What’s New In Nature: New England Blazing Star

September 2, 2015

New England Blazing Star (Liatris scariosa var. novae angliae) Flowering August-September Native to the northeastern United States, New England blazing star is a showy wildflower with star-like clusters of brilliant purple florets arranged on an upright stalk. Found only in Massachusetts, Connecticut, Maine, New Hampshire, New York, Pennsylvania and Rhode Island this globally rare plant is…

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What’s New in Nature: Queen Anne’s Lace

August 12, 2015

Queen Anne’s Lace (Daucus carota) Flowering July-August A colonist from Europe, Queen Anne’s Lace is a familiar sight in old fields and along roadsides and can be found throughout Nantucket.  Another name for this plant is “wild carrot”, because our garden carrots were bred from this species, which has tough white roots. The large flat…

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What’s New In Nature: Turk’s Cap Lily (Lilium superbum)

August 5, 2015

Turk’s Cap Lily (Lilium superbum) Flowering July-August Turk’s cap lily is a rare but spectacular sight in the Polpis area of Nantucket, where it grows in shrubby edge habitat. The ornate flowers are bright orange or red, tinged with yellow and spotted with dark speckles near the center, rising above the surrounding vegetation, which affords…

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What’s New In Nature: Orange Milkweed

July 22, 2015

Flowering now! Orange Milkweed (Asclepias tuberosa), also known as  “Butterfly Weed,” attracts a wide variety of butterfly species with its showy flowers and abundant nectar. This gorgeous and unique plant is fairly rare on Nantucket but is a very important component of Nantucket’s sandplain grasslands.   Orange Milkweed has great wildlife value; the leaves are a…

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Carnivorous, Insect Eating Plants – Right here on Nantucket

April 1, 2014

Plants are remarkable at adapting to their environments and finding a way to survive in a seemingly impossible place.  Carnivory in plants, the ability to consume insects and other organisms for necessary nutrients is one of those incredible adaptation.  Carnivorous plants can seem exotic but you might be surprised to find we have some of these plants…

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Exploring Squam Forest with UMass Boston "Nantucket Semester" students

March 3, 2014

This winter, Nantucket Conservation Foundation’s Science & Stewardship Research Technician/Field Supervisor Kelly Omand has been working with two students from the UMass Boston “Nantucket Semester” program that links in with our local UMass Boston Nantucket Field Station, on a focused research project in Squam. The students, Adrianna Plavetsky and Zannie Duffy, are part of a group living and…

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Searching for rare plants in 2014

February 10, 2014

In mid-January, Jen Karberg (NCF’s Research Supervisor) attended the annual New England Plant Conservation Program (NEPCoP) MA Task Force Meeting to discuss rare plants and the state of rare plant populations and management in Massachusetts. NEPCoP is a collection of professional botanists, conservation organizations, universities and state agencies organized in order to document New England’s rare plants…

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