The Berry Prairie Blog

Native Biodiversity in a Rooftop Landscape


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Aug 30, 2011, 7:42 PM
If you haven't met Bonnie yet, you're in for a botanical treat. Bonnie Heidel is the Head Botanist at the Wyoming Natural Diversity Database (sound familiar? It should, that's also where Joy works!) - and also a very talented photographer. She wrote the piece below about Wyoming endemic plant species - and is open to your questions! Comment at the bottom of this article or email bheidel@uwyo.edu to learn more about Wyoming's native plants.
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Aug 26, 2011, 7:53 PM
You remember Joy, right? She's a botany pro at WYNDD with a love for sedges and grasses. She wrote the article about the Berry Prairie's token sedge species earlier this month.
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Aug 23, 2011, 8:21 PM
The buttercup family, Ranunculaceae, is very large, and not all members are butter-colored. In Wyoming, there are about 75 species in 12 genera. The largest genus is Ranunculus; it includes the yellow plants we picture when buttercups are mentioned.
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Aug 19, 2011, 8:43 PM
Plants can be like little kids, especially when you're trying to make them do something. Like grow on the green roof, for example. When you put them in, you envision them growing tall and strong, with blossoms and foliage a'plenty. Some of them, however, decide to dig their heels and refused to do anything seemingly productive. You can almost see them crossing their arms and sticking their tongues out.
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Aug 17, 2011, 9:13 PM
Yesterday afternoon, Dr. Karen Panter, the greenhouse guru who propagated and raised the commercially unattainable plants for the Berry Prairie at the UW Greenhouse, brought the last set of seedlings for installation this year. Already planted in the Berry Prairie were over 100 of Karen's seedlings, and with yesterday's batch, there are now an additional130 plants of various species.
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Aug 15, 2011, 9:25 PM
The California Academy of Sciences in San Francisco is home to an incredible green roof filled with 1.7 million native plants. Yep, million. That means that the 197,000 square foot roof (check out the shape of the roof below!) is covered with approximately 50,000 biodegradable trays containing all those plants. An amazing architectural and horticultural feat!
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Aug 12, 2011, 5:44 PM
Moss campion is familiar to anyone who has visited a North American alpine area in the summer. Its cushions of bright green leaves become covered with many pink, star-like flowers as soon as the temperatures warm, often flowering first on the warmest, south-facing side of the mat.
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Aug 10, 2011, 6:00 PM
This fall, the Berry Center is fortunate enough to hire a graduate student, Kyle Bolenbaugh. Kyle will begin working on his Masters of Science degree at the University of Wyoming in the Department of Botany, working with the Berry Center's Director Greg Brown, who also hails from the botany department as a professor and department head. Kyle will be monitoring and assessing multiple aspects of the Berry Center’s green roof, including species survivability, reproduction and seed set, adaptations, pollinators and more. He received his bachelors degree from the University of Wyoming in microbiology in 2009.
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Aug 8, 2011, 6:18 PM
The Berry Center is lucky to house a group of extremely talented and knowledgeable scientists all studying topics related to biodiversity. For the plant gurus out there, here’s a post for you. Joy Handley is a botanist for the Wyoming Natural Diversity Database, a UW group that researches rare and sensitive plants, animals and ecosystems in Wyoming. They work a lot with data collection and storage, as well as GIS and mapping of these species and ecosystems. Check out their website or stop in to the Berry Center’s third floor to learn more.
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Aug 5, 2011, 6:27 PM
Yesterday the Berry Prairie hosted eight visitors from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) in Denver, who have a great green building (check out their website!). Atop their great green building is a living roof that unfortunately isn't quite living anymore.

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