Plants in the Ozone Gardens
Wild Perennial Plants
Common Milkweed (Asclepias syriaca)
Our common milkweed plants were grown from seeds collected by emeritus Penn State Professor John Skelly. Dr. Skelly collected these seeds from plants with ozone injury in the Shenandoah National Park in Virginia. Seeds were germinated the Missouri Botanical Garden greenhouses and transplanted outside at 8-12 weeks old.
Common milkweed plants in the ozone garden, 2012
Cutleaf Coneflower (Rudbeckia laciniata)
Our cutleaf coneflower plants were also grown from seeds collected by Dr. John Skelly from symptomatic plants in Shenandoah National Park. They were germinated and transplanted as the milkweed plants above.
Cutleaf coneflower in the Saint Louis Science Center Ozone Garden, 2013
Yellow Crownbeard (Verbesina occidentalis)
Yellow crownbeard was a new species in our gardens in 2013. Seeds were obtained from North Carolina through the Kew Botanical Gardens database, and were grown and transplanted as the milkweed and coneflower above. We were also given yellow crownbeard rhizomes from the ozone garden at the Appalachian Highlands Science Learning Center in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park.
Ozone damage on a yellow crownbeard leaf, NPS photo
Annual Crop Plants
Snap Beans (Phaseolus vulgaris)
Our ozone sensitive and ozone tolerant snap bean seeds were donated by Dr. Kent Burkey with the USDA-ARS and North Carolina State University. They come from his breeding and research program. Every year Dr. Burkey donates a number of ozone sensitive and tolerant snap bean seeds to research and educational projects around the world.
Ozone tolerant (closer row, bottom-right) and ozone sensitive snap beans in our garden; photo taken 10/11/12 of beans planted in mid-August
Soybeans (Glycine max)
Soybeans are an economically important crop in Missouri, Illinois, and much of the Midwestern United States. They were new in our gardens in 2013. Seeds from an ozone sensitive and an ozone tolerant variety were donated to us by Dr. Elizabeth Ainsworth with the USDA-ARS and the University of Illinois. Dr. Ainsworth's research group studies ozone sensitivity in soybeans and corn using data collected at the SoyFACE facility in Illinois.
Soybeans at the SWIC Ozone Garden, 2013; ozone sensitive variety A.K. Harrow is in "front" and the more tolerant Williams82 is in back
Potatoes (Solanum tuberosum)
Also new in our gardens this year were La Chipper potatoes. We were donated these ozone sensitive potatoes (along with some of our perennial plant seeds above) by Dr. John Skelly. A popular potato chip variety, La Chipper was once grown on many acres in the eastern part of the United States. Its sensitivity to ozone however causes it to now grow poorly in many locations due to today's air conditions.
Ozone induced stippling on La Chipper potato plants in the Saint Louis Science Center Ozone Garden, 2013