Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Give us your common dandelion seeds!!!

Some of you remember our recent call for oak caterpillars.  We have another researcher who wants your unwanted critters...Dandelions!

John Cardina at The Ohio State University needs your dandelion (Taraxacum officinale) seeds.  He's looking at their genes to find out how much diversity is in the population and determine if they mainly with themselves or if they cross with other dandelions.  To do this, he needs dandelion seeds from all over the country AND he needs to know where the seeds came from!

 Here’s how to collect dandelion seeds:
  1. Select 4 healthy dandelion plants from different parts of your yard or field.  They could also be from different parts of your life – one on the way to work, one in the park, one in the flowerbed next to the grocery store, etc.  In other words, not four plants right together (but if that’s all you can get, that’s fine too).
  2. Pick one flower head (puff-ball) per plant.  He needs the seeds (achenes) – with or without fluff (pappus) - from one individual flower head per plant
  3. Pluck the seeds (the entire puff-ball), and put them into a coin envelope or folded paper. Please keep the four puff-balls separate (different envelopes or in separate folds of paper).
  4. Label each one with information on where and when you found each one.  GPS coordinates are preferred but zip code, street address, road intersection, or other reference will work.  The date is collected on is all we need for the when.
  5. Send the seeds to John at:
         John Cardina
         1680 Madison Ave.
         Wooster, OH  44691
As an added bonus, We'll be working with John to post the occurrence data into EDDMapS.  Right now our data on dandelion is pretty sparse.