Research is an important part of our mission here at CMBG. We’re excited to share an insider’s look into some of the research we have been doing this past year. During the 2020 growing season, CMBG Research Botanist, Melissa Cullina, and botanical research intern, Anna DeGloria, scoured the land and water of Lincoln and Sagadahoc Counties. They were researching the present-day biodiversity of our region’s wild vascular plants.
Part of the ongoing MidCoast Flora project, their work took them to all corners of the region in search of species new to the counties (updating “county records”) and those that have not been scientifically collected in 25 years or (in some cases many) more.
New discoveries in Sagadahoc County included three rare species: Nantucket shadbush (Amelanchier nantucketensis) in Georgetown, Vasey’s pondweed (Potamogeton vaseyi) in Woolwich, and the northern tubercled orchid (Platanthera flava var. herbiola), also in Woolwich. Another new discovery in Lincoln County was the rare wild leek (Allium tricoccum). This leek is a species which is vulnerable to over-collection by foragers because of its culinary use. In addition to these rare species, they documented another 24 new county records this season. They also confirmed the presence of another 118 species that had not been “vouchered” from the study area in the past 25 years. Vouchered means a plant has been verified by preparation of a botanical specimen and placed in a herbarium. These confirmations are critically important as CMBG seeks to understand how our local flora is changing over time.