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NECPS Bog Trip - Cape Cod, MA - 2014

Today a few of the NECPS members took a trip to a few bogs on the Cape. We visited 3 different locations, all somewhat close to each other yet all ecologically different.

Site # 1

The entrance road and habitats where we found the plants . A fairly dry site, very unique among New England bog habitats as all 3 locations were.

Some sphagnum.

The one orchid we encountered on the trip, a C.tuberousus who's flower has just passed.

Some Lycopodium.

Need a positive ID on this one. This plant was found in all 3 locations only growing in the exact same habitat as the carnivores.

Drosera intermedia

Drosera filiformis var. filiformis - The northern most population of this species in the United States, 2nd most northern in the world.

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Site #2

This was a very small, wet patch of ground completely surrounded by scrub oak, jack pine, brambles and poison ivy. If you didn't know this habitat existed in this exact spot, you would walk right on by, completely unaware.

Drosera intermedia - There were many more flowering plants in this location.

Drosera intermedia growing side by side with Drosera filiformis.

Drosera filiformis var. filiformis

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I like how the Drosera intermedia are really red and form stems, like Drosera madagascariensis. The filiformis look beautiful too.
Are those cranberries growing next to the Drosera in some of the pictures?
Site #3.

We arrived at this site on a fluke. No real information, just a name and a town. Sure glad we decided to seek it out ! This habitat was the most unique and diverse of the 3 we visited. All the plants were growing right on the edge of a pond with houses all around it. This spot had the most dense populations of plants as well as the largest and most vigorous specimens, probably due to the abundance of water verses the other 2 locations.

Drosera intermedia - These plants were growing right from the shore up into the wood line. They also inhabited an area that was pure mud with large tussocks of grass or reeds, often growing on stalks right up through dense mats of vegetation.

Drosera filiformis var. filiformis

This was also the only site where we encountered any Utricularia.

I believe this species is either Utricularia striata, U.intermedia or U.ochroleuca. It was growing amongst sphagnum and very deep, slick mud.

Utricularia cornuta - Growing closer to the waters edge in pure sand.

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Emmi Kurosawa noticed the first Utricularia purpurea growing right at the waters edge.

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Yes, cranberry is one of the most common plants that inhabit we areas in eastern New England. When you find cranberry, it's often a sign that cp's may be close at hand.
So beautiful!
Indeed they were. 3 different and unique habitats, offering up some amazing plants. I hope to do more exploration down there next year and find a few more of the 13 native Utricularia species and hopefully some Cape Sarracenia purpurea purpurea. None of these 3 locations had conducive conditions for Sarracenia but they must surely exist in the area in some capacity.
  • #10
Nice Photos! Now I wish I got off my duff and went... (although the notice was a bit short)

A quick suggestion, to hit enter a few times in between pics so there's breaks to frame each picture. Otherwise they all kind of meld into one other...

The ID you were looking for is sabatia kennedyana, a rare plant.

Also it looks like Rhexia (Meadow Beauty's) and Pipeworts (the white pins) there too.

What time of day did you get the D. intermedia flowers? Usually I see em start to shrivel around 10am here on LI

The sites look very much like the sites on LI, which is to be expected as we are all part of the "Outer Lands"
Looks like dune swaths that dip down into the water table, the last site looks very much like the glacially formed ponds we have around here.

The Utric looks like it is U. gibba which is mat-forming and slender as opposed to the more robust and aquatic U. striata that tends to be an anchored aquatic with fox-tail like fronds that emerge from the pond floor. (although I have seen them survive a drought and appear terrestrial as well as U. purpurea)

Looks like a great day, I've been itching to get to the Cape's CP spots!
  • #11
thanks for sharing, I can only imagine how awesome it must be to be there. uhhhhhhhhhhhhh
  • #12
Thanks Matt, glad you enjoyed the pics ! This trip was fairly spur of the moment. We only decided on Wednesday to make it happen. We'll plan a more official bog tour of the Cape next July. I'd also love to come check out some of the Long Island sites sometime !

I got the ID on the gentian in another thread I posted. Thanks though, gorgeous plants. There is indeed both Eriocaulon and Rhexia growing at Site #3. We also found a few Rhexia at Site #2.

We found the flowering D.intermedia at Site #2 around 12:00, which surprised me. Other plants I've seen in the wild as well as my own plants are usually long closed by then.

At Site #1 the areas where the plants are growing actually appear to be completely man made, although long ago. The plants are growing in wet depressions adjacent to several derelict man made cranberry bogs where it's obvious that at some point large portions of soil had been moved around. It's very possibly an old sand pit. It's kind of hard to tell what's going on at Site #2. The site might also be man made as this one is also directly next to some abandoned cranberry bogs. It could also just be a small relict parcel of a vaster habitat that was once there before man intervened. At site #3, all the plants were growing on the margins of a sandy bottomed pond in the middle of what was once a heavily wooded area. There are now several houses on the west and south sides of the pond but, the entire north edge is conservation land.

That Utricularia could indeed be U.gibba although it was growing dryer than I've ever seen it. Terrestrially growing, there was no "foliage" to be seen, the plants were growing straight up out of sphagnum that was overlying a viscous mud.
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  • #13
Interesting stuff! & nice Rhexia
I've oft wondered if one were to bulldoze a sloping hole into the water table, what would develop.
Looks like that's what's going on there!

I'll look forward to the trip next year and I'll talk to you about LI at the upcoming RI show...
One of these days I have to get some LI pics up here at some point.
  • #14
You should definitely post some pics from LI ! See you in October !