Sunday, July 27, 2014
It's Official: Endangered Plant Thrives at Moreau Lake State Park
Whorled Mountain Mint (Pycnanthemum verticillatum var. verticillatum) is certainly not the showiest of New York's native flowers, with its tiny white purple-polka-dotted blooms set in rather scraggly heads atop spindly stalks. But it IS one of New York's most endangered plants, with only five other populations documented to exist in all of the state. But now we can officially count a sixth one, on the shore of the lake at Moreau Lake State Park. On Friday this past week, park manager Peter Iskenderian and I escorted New York Natural Heritage Program botanist Rich Ring to the site, where we documented the extent of the population, counting 273 individual thriving plants. A very healthy population indeed, possibly the largest and healthiest in the state!
Just one more reason to support this wonderful state park, with its nearly 5,000 acres of forest, mountains, lake, ponds, streams, waterfalls, marshes, islands, riverbanks, and a bog -- all providing protected habitat for an amazing variety of flora and fauna.