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Old 08-22-2013, 06:38 PM   #1
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Default NJ- Opinion: Native plants: The foundation of New Jersey's biodiversity

Opinion: Native plants: The foundation of New Jersey's biodiversity
The Warren Reporter
By Times of Trenton guest opinion column The Times, Trenton
on August 17, 2013 at 6:02 AM, updated August 17, 2013 at 6:09 AM

Opinion: Native plants: The foundation of New Jersey's biodiversity | NJ.com
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Quote:
New Jersey’s fourth-graders learn that our state tree is the Northern Red Oak. But did you know that there are 17 species of oak in New Jersey? Five are rare or endangered. The state wildflower, the Blue Woodland Violet or Viola sororia, is a beautiful harbinger of spring. But did you know that we have 30 native violets? Six of these unique violet species are rare or endangered, and the Cut-leaf Coast Violet no longer exists in the wild in New Jersey.

New Jersey is rapidly losing its native flora, and the situation is critical. One-third of our roughly 2,600 native plant species are designated as endangered or of special concern by the state’s Natural Heritage Program. All 822 rare plants are listed online at nj.gov/dep/parksandforests/natural/heritage/jan2010plantlist.pdf.

Some species are declining rapidly. The stunning Wild Blue Lupine, Lupinus perennis, was once common. Now, it remains in only four or five locations. Alien weed invasions and deer over-browsing are proving too much for the already declining plants. The Wild Blue Lupine, along with the declining Yellow Wild Indigo, are the only two plant species on which the female Frosted Elfin butterfly will deposit her eggs. Since her caterpillars eat only these two plants, is it any surprise that the Frosted Elfin butterfly is also critically endangered in our state...
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Old 08-22-2013, 07:40 PM   #2
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I like the link made between the state tree and state flower to the countless other natives that are (and should be) special to the state. I think people will remember learning their state flower and such and help them to appreciate thousands of other prized natives that make their home area look and feel like home. Getting the word out to the general public about the critical relationships some species have to host plants should help people realize everything is interconnected.

Well written. Good find, Staff. (From the other titles of new threads, it looks like you've found quite a few good articles.).
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