|Whiteman Laboratory at the University of Arizona||
Parris Humphrey demonstrates how to separate rhizomes from the mud.
We gathered Cardamine cordifolia (Bittercress) from ice melt streams around Emerald Lake. Parris Humphrey showed us how to untangle the roots and get rhizomes of the Cardamine to plant. We had to collect 500 rhizomes, which took us several days.Cardamine cordifolia with white flowers blooming in the snow melt.
We found 3 separate populations of Cardamine. Because this plant grows predominantly by stretching and fragmenting its rhizomes, large clumps of Cardamine growing together are usually clones. All plants in that single area share the same genetic makeup. By collecting from 3 separate clumps, we can test the idea that some plants might have the genes to be more or less resistant than others (either to the bacteria or to the insects).We marked each rhizome in the common garden with and ID tag.
After a week of tilling and preparing the land, we planted close to 500 Cardamine rhizomes in our common garden. It will probably take 4 weeks for the plants to fully grow. Hopefully, with plenty water and care we will have a lot of plants to experiment on.