2022 Stan Hudson Research Grant Awardees

The Stan Hudson Research Grant is awarded annually to college or university students to assist them with funding for research projects involving Missouri native plants. The grant honors the late H. Stanton Hudson, a longtime member of the Missouri Native Plant Society, whose passion for the flora of Missouri inspired family and friends to establish a small grants program in his memory. This year, the MONPS Hudson Award Committee unanimously agreed to provide awards to two applicants:

Kate Tillotson is a master’s degree candidate at Southern Illinois University who requested $448 worth of support for her research on the pollination dynamics of Triodanis perfoliata (Venus’ looking glass). 
Alexis Reifsteck is a bachelor’s degree candidate at Missouri State University who requested $1000 worth of support for research on the functional role of Justicia americana (American water-willow) in streambank stabilization.

First Annual Missouri 2021 Botanists Big Year Winners

GRAND PRIZE – Most research grade species of plants-
1st place – (637) Rick Gray
2nd – (431) Joanna Reuter
3rd – (304) Kathy Bildner
4th – (293) Jared Gorrell
5th – (271) Pam Barnabee 

The Explorer – Most observations overall (1,090) – Joanna Reuter
The GrassMaster – Most research grade Poaceae (50) – Rick Gray
The FiddleHead – Most research grade Polypodiopsida (42) – Thomas Koffel
The Compositor – Most research grade Asteraceae (126) – Joanna Reuter
The SedgeHead – Most research grade Cyperaceae (86) – Rick Gray
The Traveller – Farthest spread across Missouri – James Faupel
The Northerner – Farthest spread across Northern Missouri – Joanna Reuter
The Southerner – Farthest spread across Southern Missouri – Nathan Aaron
Most observed flowering plant (42 specimens) – Viola pedata, bird’s foot violet
Most observed non-flowering plant (42 specimens) – Polystichum acrostichoides, Christmas fern

Top Identifiers of Plants in Need-
1st place – (1,749) Lee Elliott
2nd – (1,392) Cal Maginel
3rd – (1,061) Norman Murray
4th – (866) Claire Ciafre
5th – (394) Rick Gray

2021’s Missouri Botanist Big Year’s reach across the state

Missouri Botanists Big Year (MBBY) – 2022

Announcing Missouri Botanists Big Year 2022!

The Missouri Native Plant Society is extremely happy to host this second annual friendly competition on the online citizen science tool and website, iNaturalist. Our observations from this competition will help researchers track and better understand the flora of Missouri and how it changes over time, from native plants to exotic invasives. This data provided by our members will be publicly available, to help improve science communication.

Each year’s competition is a separate collection of data under the umbrella project “Missouri Botanists Big Year.” You must join each year’s project in order for your observations to be counted for that year’s event. You can sign up for the 2022 event by logging into your iNaturalist account (or creating an account at iNaturalist.org if you don’t yet have one), going to https://www.inaturalist.org/projects/missouri-botanists-big-year-2022, and tapping the JOIN button.

There are a few key rules:
• Observation must be a wild plant observed in Missouri in 2022.
• Observation must be research grade, so submit many descriptive photos.
• To be entered to win the grand prize, you must be a member of the Missouri Native Plant Society – join at the Membership link on the website.

For those of you new to iNaturalist or in need of a refresher, MBBY Project Leader James Faupel’s presentation to the St. Louis chapter last July, “Citizen Science with iNaturalist and the Missouri Botanists Big Year 2021 Project” was recorded and can be viewed on our website under the ‘MONPS Webinars’ link.

Additional Information

    If you are an expert in the field of botany in Missouri, please help us vet and identify the observations made. There are not nearly enough professionals helping identify the flora of Missouri on iNaturalist. Log onto iNaturalist and help here https://www.inaturalist.org/observations/identify?verifiable=true&page=1&spam=false&place_id=any&user_id=&project_id=missouri-botanists-big-year-2021

    Please mark the geoprivacy of any state-listed rare or endangered species as obscured.(If you do not, we will notify you.) Our partners at the Missouri Department of Conservation will greatly appreciate your assistance in helping protect our plants of conservation concern! See the list here – https://nature.mdc.mo.gov/sites/default/files/downloads/2021_SOCC.pdf

    This is a collection project for only the year 2021, within the umbrella project Missouri Botanists Big Year,that will collect the data of every year of the event going forward. You must join each years project to have your observations be included in each years event. Joining the umbrella project doesnt make your observations available to the 2021 project.

    To see all the vascular plants observed on iNat within the state of Missouri, visit our project the Flora of Missouri – https://www.inaturalist.org/projects/flora-of-missouri

    To see all the non-vascular plants (also known as bryophytes) observed within the state of Missouri on iNat, visit our project MOSSouri – https://www.inaturalist.org/projects/mossouri

    Need help identifying a plant? Check out the Missouri Plants website for detailed information on our flora – http://www.missouriplants.com/












Thanks for joining the project and good luck!

Nativar Position Statememt

The Missouri Native Plant Society was founded to promote the enjoyment, preservation, conservation, restoration, and study of the flora native to Missouri.

To uphold these values, we oppose the use of cultivars derived from native species, called “Nativars”. These horticultural derivatives are genetically detrimental to truly wild species because through cross pollination, subsequent generations may have incorrect bloom color, bloom time, and nutritional requirements for insects, birds, and mammals who rely on them to flourish.

Please obtain your native plants from growers that produce plants responsibly from local seed sources to avoid ecological decline.

MONPS Awards

1) Plant Stewardship: Jeff Cantrell

Jeff has been an advisor for the Missouri Master Naturalist (MMN) Chert Glades chapter since helping establish the group in 2005 and also assists with the Lake of the Ozarks chapter. He donates the majority of the MMN advisor workload as a volunteer, allowing him to devote his full work schedule to his conservation educator job. Advising these and other public groups, he directs several stewardship projects each year for Missouri State Parks, Corps of Engineer, and Mark Twain Forest public lands near Cassville and Shell Knob. Of particular significance is his work at Chute Ridge near Roaring River Conservation Area and Big Sugar Creek State Park.

Beyond those special projects, Jeff conducts garlic mustard pulls in Barry County and highlights star of Bethlehem as a problem exotic species at special event share tables at George Washington Carver National Monument and at the annual Dogwood Festival in Neosho, Missouri. For Naturescaping classes (pre-pandemic with live audiences), Jeff made freshly-cut displays of invasive burning bush, privet, bush honeysuckle, and other exotics local to the site where the classes were taught and offered native planting solutions to fit that landscaping niche. These are just a few of the examples of what Jeff tackles as a volunteer and the teamwork he puts together for our public contact areas and regional natural communities. He is a longstanding member of Arkansas and Missouri Native Plant Societies, the Missouri Prairie Foundation, and other nature place-based non-profit organizations. Our native plants and world benefit from his stewardship efforts.

2) Top Facebook Administrator Recognition

Awarded to seven individuals for their exceptional efforts in managing the MONPS Facebook page: Michelle Bowe, Andrew Braun, Brian Edmond, Susan Farrington, Jeff Nelson, John Oliver, and Deb Tyler. Thank you for your diligence!