Today my family took our annual 4th of July weekend hike. We ended up on a fairly new trail through the Robe Canyon Historic Park. It was a gorgeous day and we saw all manner of plants and animals. The highlight of this trail is an old lime kiln; bricks and other remnants of early settlers are scattered around the area. The kiln closed in the 1930’s. (The hot link embedded in the park name leads to a 2004 article about the trail and the history of the site.)
Ever on the lookout for interesting plants or plant problems, I found many of our native species with definite signs of interveinal chlorosis. This is indicative of a foliar deficiency of iron or manganese. These forest soils are rarely deficient in either nutrient, and they also tend to be acidic (meaning that it’s easy to take up iron and managanese; alkaline soils inhibit uptake).
So why are these native plants, naturally growing on native soils, showing iron and/or manganese deficiency?Answer on Monday!