Online Course: Spring Ephemeral Wildflowers with Grace Glynn
April 11 @ 7:00 AM - May 23 @ 7:00 PM$65
Spring Ephemeral Wildflowers
Instructed by Grace Glynn
$65 or $75 with live videoconference session access
April – May | Begins April 11 (first zoom session April 18)
Wild leeks, trillium, spring beauty: each spring brings an explosion of wildflowers to rich Northeastern forests. This course will equip you with tools to identify the plants in our spring flora and an ecological understanding of their place on the landscape. Topics will range from etymology of the spring flora to the potential effects of climate change on spring ephemerals and their pollinators.
Unit 1: Vernal Bloomers and Where to Find Them
Who are our spring ephemerals? And what shapes their distribution on the landscape? We’ll begin with an introduction to the spring flora through a big-picture lens, starting with bedrock and soils to explain patterns in the spring flora. This unit will equip you with the ecological tools (both computer- and field-based) to find the richest spring ephemeral spots around, with the goal of preparing you to observe and identify species in the field.
Unit 2: The Life-History of Spring Ephemerals
The fleeting, delicate appearance of spring ephemerals belies their rugged ability to withstand the harsh conditions of early spring. In this unit, we will take a look at the adaptations that allow spring ephemerals to complete most of their life cycle in the weeks following snowmelt. We’ll explore what spring ephemerals do during the three remaining seasons, and we’ll delve into their strategies for pollination and seed dispersal.
Unit 3: Unconventional Ephemerals and the Future of the Spring Flora
In this unit we’ll get to know some forgotten spring ephemerals of the Northeast, from rare swamp shrubs to a floodplain annual whose seeds germinate beneath the snow. We’ll then learn about some of the threats to vernal bloomers and take a look at Vermont conservation efforts to save the rich natural communities that our spring ephemerals call home.
About the Instructor