August Phenology

by Carl Strang

As summer winds down there are fewer new flowers appearing, and usually there is a convergence in the phenological data among years. Despite the extremes of the spring and early summer in 2012, this August followed the usual pattern at Mayslake Forest Preserve.

Stiff goldenrod, one of the species characteristic of August.

Median first flower dates were only 3 days earlier than last year, 3.5 days earlier than in 2009, and there was no difference from 2010. Sample sizes were smaller, at 17, 14 and 11 species, respectively. These median differences of 0-0.5 week compare to July’s 1-2 weeks, June’s 1-3 weeks, May’s 1.5-2.5 weeks, April’s 2-4 weeks, and March’s 3-4.5 weeks. So despite the oddness of this year, it was not chaotic, and it produced an ordered pattern.

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