May 20, 2022

Invitation to the Biodiversity Challenge - June 9 - 12, 2022

This challenge is timed later in the spring to provide an opportunity for areas in the more northerly latitudes to show more of their biodiversity. It is currently is a more free-from event - the only structure is that the dates of the challenge are the same across the various groups participating and there is a boundary of some sort.

Historically the event known as BiodiverCity was organized by Alberta Biodiversity Monitoring Institute on the NatureLynx platform and was primarily focused in Alberta. They are withdrawing from organizing the event but encouraging the spirit of the event to continue in whatever way the community feels suitable. I was approached along with others across the prairies to join in on the fun this year.

I have spun up two projects - as it happens I will be in two locations during the event period - so one for each location. (If anyone else would also like a project located where they are during the count period, I would be happy to make one for you - or help you make your own)

Here's the links to the projects ...

Happy observing!
Mary Krieger

Posted on May 20, 2022 14:25 by marykrieger marykrieger | 1 comment | Leave a comment

April 20, 2022

Manitoba Botanists Big Year 2022 goes live

Inspired by the news story linked below, Diana Bizecki Robson challenged the Native Plants of Manitoba facebook group to do the 1,000 plant challenge.

Though iNaturalist is not mentioned by name in the article - I sure recognize all the people interviewed from their participation there - many of them have helped me out with confirming/correcting my identifications of plants observed here in Manitoba. The current Ontario big year project is here...

I have made a similar project for Manitoba. Join the project to have your plant kingdom observations added to the event. The event runs from Jan 1 to dec 31 so any observations you have previously made from earlier in the year will also count once you add them. We are now at 4 species. Ready, set, go!

Posted on April 20, 2022 17:36 by marykrieger marykrieger | 1 comment | Leave a comment

April 17, 2022

November 27, 2021

white water crowfoot identification in Manitoba

Thread-leaved crowfoot Ranunculus trichophyllus

a geographical nomenclature split.... Plants of the Wold Online the taxonomic authority for iNaturalist reserves R. aquatilis for the other hemisphere

this is also the current situation in VASCAN Ranunculus trichophyllus Ranunculus aquatilis

Plants in Manitoba were formerly known under the name Ranunculus aquatilis var capillaceus or var diffusus - these are now considered synonyms of R. trichophyllus :)

Posted on November 27, 2021 15:42 by marykrieger marykrieger | 0 comments | Leave a comment

September 18, 2021

September 12, 2021

Grass of Parnassus or Parnassia identification in Manitoba

occurring in Manitoba according to Vascan as of this date...

More frequently observed

Parnassia glauca - Fen Grass of Parnassus
few branches on the staminodia
stems leafless or with a leaf near the base
broadly ovate basal leaves

Parnassia palustris - Marsh Grass of Parnassus
many branches on the staminodia
some stems have leaf near middle
cordate basal leaves

Infrequently observed

Parnassia kotzebuei - Kotzebuei's Grass of Parnassus
sepals longer than petals, stems leafless or with a leaf near the base

Parnassia parviflora - Small flowered Grass of Parnassus
significantly smaller overall than palustris or glauca,

Posted on September 12, 2021 16:58 by marykrieger marykrieger | 0 comments | Leave a comment

August 30, 2021

the first group - Solidago Section Ptarmicoidei

Foolhardily sorting pieces into groups and having a go at the 'easy' ones

You will see my local observer bias in this page - this resource is oriented at someone who is learning the plants around them. They expect to encounter these plants again and again as they visit and revisit the places where they make observations. The first hurdle for this is to learn what is expected to be found based on past experience - yours and those who have come before - and then to be ready to recognize the exceptions - the unexpected.

In this way, observers are primed to document more thoroughly those individual plants that don't fit the expectations as well as being able to more efficiently document the commonly known things by showing in their images just what is needed to confirm the id.

Now back to the puzzle...

Section Ptarmicoidei

these are the plants that were once spun off into their own genus Oligoneuron and then got sucked back into Solidago. They all have their flower heads organized as corymbs which gives them a general wide at the top flattened profile

So the corollary is that flowerheads need to be present ( in bud, in flower, in seed) to separate these plants (until you become very familiar with your particular group of goldenrods and how they grow year round) and an image of the flowerhead from the side showing the corymb form should be included in the observation - if the flower is floppy or the wind is blowing, I have found you can stand close to the plant so the stem is braced against your pant leg and take the photo you need - if you have a better strategy, feel free to share below.

Remember it is possible to identify to Section without going all the way to species - so once you see that corymb on a solidago you can go ahead and id to that level - then in this section you only have 8 candidates to deal with in N. America ( and only 3 in our locality plus a hybrid - bonus!)

Here's the list... once you have the corymb documented, check that you have an image showing the distinct features (suggestions from other identifiers are welcome!) and either a description or a wide shot to give an idea of the habitat - your identifiers will be so relieved to stop muttering under their breath 'but where's the...'

Species Found locally Frequency locally habitat key features ( # observed in North America) Other places found in North America
Solidago rigida MB/SK/ND2, 3 commonly observed prairies, open woods1 - needs lots of sun, does not like taller neighbours, tolerates drought well felty surface, avoided by grazers, sturdy stems, stem leaves often pressed vertically against the stem (4,000+) AB, ON, AL, AR, CO, CT, DC, GA, IA, IL, IN, KS, KY, LA, MA, MD, MI, MN, MO, MS, MT, NC, NE, NJ, NM, NY, OH, OK, PA, RI, SC, SD, TN, TX, VA, WI, WV, WY3
Solidago ptarmicoides MB/SK/ND2, 3 frequently observed dry, sandy, usually calcareous soils, cracks in rocks, limestone pavements, rocky outcrops, grassy slopes, prairies1 low tufted plant, white flowers, looks almost like an aster (1000+) NB, ON, QC, AR, CO, CT, GA, IA, IL, IN, MA, MI, MN, MO, MT, NC, NH, NY, OH, OK, SC, SD, TN, VT, WI, WV, WY3
Solidago riddellii MB/ND2, 3 rarely observed wet prairies, oak savannahs and marshy ground1 leaves that are folded along the midrib1 (400+) ON, AR, GA, IA, IL, IN, KS, MI, MN, MO, OH, SD, WI3
Solidago maheuxii aka Solidago X maheuxii MB3 not yet Parents S. rigida × riddellii (1) VT3
Solidago houghtonii - absent wet depressions in sand dunes and limestone alvars1 (50+) ON, MI, NY3
Solidago nitida - absent prairies and open woods1 (50+) AR, LA, MS, OK, TX3
Solidago ohioensis - absent wet areas in sand dunes, marshes, riverbanks1 (450+) ON, IL, IN, MI, NY, OH, WI3
Solidago vossii - absent wet prairies1 (10+) Michigan endemic3
  1. J.C. Semple. Solidago
    check out the very lovely detailed range maps on this site as well as the lively descriptions

  3. Nature Serve
Posted on August 30, 2021 17:23 by marykrieger marykrieger | 1 comment | Leave a comment

Solidago - tipping the jigsaw out of the box

Here's the list of goldenrods that we would like to be able to identify that occur in Manitoba and/or Saskatchewan and/or North Dakota



  • Subsection Triplinerviae

    • Species Solidago gigantea (MB/SK/ND)
      -- Variety Solidago gigantea var. gigantea (MB)
      -- Variety Solidago gigantea var. shinnersii (MB/SK)

    • Species Solidago canadensis (MB/SK/ND)
      -- Variety Solidago canadensis var. canadensis (MB/SK)

    • Species Solidago altissima (MB/SK/ND)
      -- Variety Solidago altissima var. altissima (MB/SK)
      -- Variety Solidago altissima var. gilvocanescens (MB/SK)

    • Species Solidago lepida (MB/SK)
      -- Variety Solidago lepida var. salebrosa (MB/SK)
      -- Variety Solidago lepida var. lepida (MB/SK)

  • Subsection Glomeruliflorae

  • Subsection Squarrosae

  • Subsection Junceae

  • Subsection Solidago

  • Subsection Nemorales

    • Species Solidago nemoralis (MB/SK/ND)
      -- Subspecies Solidago nemoralis subsp. decemflora (MB/SK)
      -- Subspecies Solidago nemoralis subsp. nemoralis (MB)

    • Species Solidago mollis (MB/SK/ND)

  • Subsection Maritimae

  • Subsection Humiles

  • Section Ptarmicoidei

  • hybrids

    • Species Solidago ×lutescens (MB/SK) aka Oligoneuron x lutescens
    • Species Solidago ×bernardii (MB) aka Oligoneuron x bernardii

  • Posted on August 30, 2021 03:03 by marykrieger marykrieger | 9 comments | Leave a comment

    August 18, 2021

    iNaturalist in the classroom - an upcoming CWF webinar August 26, 2021

    from CWF

    You Are Invited!

    Please join us online on August 26, 2021 at 3:00-4:00 p.m. ET for a webinar using to engage people and collect data.

    Join Michael Leveille on Thursday, August 26, 2021 at 3:00 p.m. ET as he showcases how he has incorporated iNaturalist into the classroom. During COVID-19 he created an incredible series of 23 virtual field trips around the Ottawa Area for Grades 5 to 8. Come join our CWF webinar to discuss ways to incorporate outdoor learning and iNaturalist into the classroom.

    About Michael: Michael Leveille (Swampy on is a science educator and an artist of prehistoric life. Educated at the University of Ottawa, he has worked at the Canadian Museum of Nature and at St-Laurent Academy School in Ottawa.

    Mr. Leveille believes that experiential learning across multiple disciplines is a valuable education tool. His Macoun Marsh study site and outdoor classroom is used as a center for conservation, geological, and meteorological studies.

    Posted on August 18, 2021 15:56 by marykrieger marykrieger | 0 comments | Leave a comment

    August 16, 2021

    Lactuca in Manitoba - more puzzles :)



    Lactuca biennis (Moench) Fernald - Tall Blue Lettuce

    • (BC AB SK MB ON QC NB PE NS NL-N NL-L) Vascan
    • blue flowers, leaves irregularly pinnatifid, ; pappus brown, achenes nearly beakless2
    • biennial2
    • swampy or moist places; boreal forest 1

    Lactuca canadensis Linnaeus - Canada Wild Lettuce

    • (MB ON QC NB PE NS) Vascan
    • yellow flowers
    • rare, boreal forest 1

    Lactuca floridana (Linnaeus) Gaertner - Woodland Lettuce

    • (MB ON) Vascan
    • blue flowers
    • leaves petiolate, toothed and often also pinnatifid, pubescent on the underside of the main veins; pappus white 1
    • margins of woods, boreal forest1
    • rarely observed

    Lactuca ludoviciana (Nuttall) Riddell - Western Lettuce

    • (SK MB) Vascan
    • yellow or blue flowers, leaves mostly pinnatifid, spinulose margined and more or less prickly on the mid-rib beneath and strongly glaucous, pappus white, achenes distinct soft filiform beak, 2
    • along riverbanks, parklands1
    • rarely observed


    Lactuca serriola Linnaeus - Prickly Lettuce

    • Vascan
    • yellow flowers
    • leaves copiously spinulose-denticulate, spinulose bristly on mid rib underneath and tending to turn with one edge up2
    • very common; roadsides, slough margins, waste places, cultivated land; throughout Prairie provinces1
    • previously known as Lactuca scariola



    Mulgedium pulchellum (Pursh) G. Don - Blue Lettuce

    • (BC AB SK MB ON QC) Vascan
    • blue flowers
    • leaves entire, lower leaves may be more or less lobed; pappus white, achenes with short firm beak2
    • perennial2
    • common...cultivated lands and roadsides, throughout Prairie provinces1
    • previously known as Lactuca pulchella or Lactuca tatarica var pulchella

    What I am going to try out

    looks like habitat, flower color / number and leaves are the most helpful things - with a nod to the color of the pappus - that is the fluffy stuff attached to the seed to help it drift on the wind.

    the prickly ones...

    • if the plant is in proximity to human disturbance and the flower is yellow and the leaves are turned to be perpendicular to the ground- edge to the sky >>> Lactuca serriola
    • if the plant is along a river (or other damp to wet ground) and the flowers are yellow or blue >>> Lactuca ludoviciana (L ludoviciana tends to have more flowerheads (12-20) over L serriola (5-12))

    the non-prickly ones....

    • if the flowers are blue and the pappus is white and the upper leaves are entire and the plant is commonly seen >>> Mulgedium pulchellum / Lactuca pulchella (two names for the same plant)
    • if the flowers are blue and the pappus is brown and the leaves are pinnatifid and the plant is in a wet spot in the boreal>>> Lactuca biennis (especially if the plant is 2 meters or taller)
    • if the flowers are blue and the pappus is white and the leaves are pinnatifid and the plant is at a forest edge in the boreal>>> Lactuca floridana
    • if the flowers are yellow >>>Lactuca canadensis


    1. Budd, A.C.; Looman, J., Best, K.F., Budd's Flora of the Canadian Prairie Provinces, 1979 Ottawa
    2. Scoggan, H.J, Flora of Manitoba, 1957 Ottawa
    Posted on August 16, 2021 14:45 by marykrieger marykrieger | 0 comments | Leave a comment