An open, pink flower of smooth wild rose.
Smooth Wild Rose on June 6, 2021, near Hamel, MN.

Phenology is the study of periodic or seasonal events in the life cycles of living things. For example, plant phenologists might record when growth resumes in spring, when the capsules of mosses release their spores, when flowering plants are in full bloom, and when those same plants develop fruits and seeds. 

Phenology is both fun and practical. The data phenologists gather can help predict when to plant crops, when allergy season begins, when to look for and treat invasive species and plant pests, and how living things are responding to climate change.  

With a little training, anyone can collect phenological data. A variety of community scientist projects are open to volunteers of all ages and walks of life. See the website for the USA National Phenology Network and choose any of the links to Nature's Notebook, the tool they use to collect data.

What is a rhizome?

Mayapple ( Podophyllum peltatum ) spreads by rhizomes. The two whitish nubs at the node in the middle are the beginning of shoots. Clusters ...