Photo Courtesy of Keweenaw County Historical Society,
Margaret Hoffenbecker Collection
In 2013, a botanical inventory survey at Gratiot Lake Conservancy’s Bammert Farm was completed by botanist Janet Marr. Over a two year span, Janet surveyed a variety of habitats throughout a 309-acre
conservation area within the 466 acre parcel that is located about 1 ½ miles as the crow flies west of Gratiot Lake. In the 1800’s Bammert Farm grew food and fodder to support the Central mine community.
The goal of the survey was to establish a baseline of the plant communities and species present and to identify rare species as well as invasive species of concern. This survey will help GLC in planning for the management of the area by locating special and unusual plant species, non-native /invasive plants, and sensitive habitats. Nine natural plant commuities including conifer and hardwood swamps, wet meadows, shrub thickets, and mesic forestland were explored.
Among the 204 species of plants documented, one of the highlights was the discovery of Black hawthorne, Crateagus douglasii, along the old Phoenix Farm Road which transverses the area. Black Hawthorne is designated a Michigan Special Concern plant. This spiny-stemmed native shrub is the only hawthorne in Michigan with black fruits. Three species new to Keweenaw records were recorded and another species found was only recorded on Isle Royal not on the mainland. Twenty species of sedge were located. A plant list will be posted on the GLC website.
The native orchids observed include
• Spotted Coral-root, Corallorhiza maculata
• Spotted coral-root flavida form, Corallorhiza maculata var occidentalis froma flavida
• Pink ladyslipper, Cypripedium acaule
• Rattlesnake plantains two varieties Goodyera oblongifolia and goodyera sp
• Broad-leaved orchid, Neottia convallarioides
• Northern green orchid, Plantanthera aquilonis
• Round leaved orchid, Plantanthera orbiculata
• Purple fringed orchid, Plantanthera psycodes
Ten percent of the species identified at the Bammert Farm conservation area are non-natives. Of that group most are not considered to be invasive. Removal of spotted knapweed, one of two knapweeds identified, is recommended. Removal of invasive marsh thistle, Cirsium palustre is also recommended. This thistle is not to be confused with a desirable native plant, swamp thistle, Cirsium muticum that is also present!