Intro: Dorothy Sherer

Hello! My name is Dorothy and I will be starting my third year at UAF studying wildlife biology this fall. I am originally from southern Indiana and am there this summer interning at a national wildlife refuge – I am overwhelmed with greenness, flowers, and fruit down here! I have been interested and have learned a lot about the trees, native plants, and crops of the midwest since childhood, but I will never forget the awe I felt when stepping onto the tundra for the first time and seeing all of the variety of life that can grow up there, as well. I’ve learned so much from friends about plants in Alaska since moving up here and I am excited to learn even more in this class. I have a vegetable garden and lots of landscaping (soooo much weeding to be done…) and love nothing more than berry stains on my fingers from collecting various Rubus around the woods edge. My favorite plant is the Ginkgo biloba. The maidenhair – there is something so magical about seeing its leaves twist in the wind and knowing it is such an ancient plant. I am excited to learn with you all this summer!

One comment

  1. Welcome Dorothy,
    have fun in Indiana for the summer, I just came back from the Botanical Society of America meeting in Grand Rapids Michigan. Under the heat dome it was pretty hot! Love your berry adventures and of course as somebody who loves gymnosperms, Gingko has a special spot in my heart. The leaves are magical, love the dichotomous venation. But the ‘fruits’ are a whole other dimension of magical. Ginkgo is widely planted as an ornamental. The unusual shape of the crown, natural resistance to disease, and yellow leaf color in fall make this a favorite street and park tree. Ovulate trees produce an abundance of seeds, which have a particularly obnoxious odor; the planting of ovulate ginkgoes is often discouraged for this reason. Seeds (canned with fleshy outer coat removed) are sold in ethnic markets as “silver almonds” or “white nuts,” the gametophyte and embryo being edible. When I was doing an apprenticeship in a tree nursery in Berlin, our Prof. there would talk of adventures collecting a large crop of the seeds with the fleshy outer coat and taking the subway home and wondering while after a while the whole compartment of the train was empty, because the odor was so strong.

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