Welcome to the Michigan Botanical Club
2018 Spring Foray - May 25-27

The Spring Foray is open to current members of the Michigan Botanical Club. Complete Registration and Field Trip information is in the newsletter "Arisaema" which members receive through the mail or by email.

The MBC Spring Foray, hosted by the White Pine Chapter, welcomes you to Antrim County and adjacent Kalkaska and Charlevoix Counties. The Foray home base at Shanty Creek’s Lakeview Hotel overlooks Lake Bellaire, located in the middle of the Elk River Chain of Lakes watershed, covering over 500 square miles of land and 200 miles of shoreline.

Communities of northern mesic hardwood and conifer for- ests, rich conifer swamps, bogs, fens, coastal dunes, meadows, and more rest on bedrock of primarily Ellsworth shale. This corner of Michigan boasts three unique state symbols: the Petoskey stone, state wildflower, Iris lacustris, and state soil, Kalkaska sand.

Kalkaska sand, unique to Michigan, is ideal soil for the state tree, Pinus strobus (white pine) and also for red pine, jack pine, and oaks. Emmet till, a loamy sand of the area’s glacial moraines supports hardwood forests of maple, beech and basswood. Spring ephemerals such as Arisaema triphyllum (jack-in-the-pulpit), Cypripedium acaule (pink ladyslipper), and massive carpets of Trillium grandiflorum (common trillium) proliferate in these forests.

Lake Bellaire connects to fourteen lakes and five rivers. From it flows the Grass River which continues its journey to Clam Lake, Torch Lake, Torch River, Lake Skegemog, Elk Lake and finally, Lake Michigan. The Elk River Chain of Lakes filters the largest watershed emptying into Grand Traverse Bay. Wetlands in the 1492 acres of Grass River Natural Area include rich conifer swamp, sprucebog pockets, northern fen, marshes, and three trout streams—Finch Creek, Cold Creek, and Shanty Creek that feed into the Grass River. Michigan Natural Features Inventory (MNFI) rated the rich conifer swamp and the northern fen extremely high, a rating considered rare and significant. Grass River Natural Area has interesting habitat transitions featuring calcium-loving plants like bulblet fern and grass-of-Parnassus growing adjacent to acid-loving sphagnum moss plants like the pitcher plant and tall white bog orchid.

The Saturday evening presentation will address some of the issues of native orchid species of Michigan. MNFI lists Calypso bulbosa (calypso ladyslipper) and Cypripedium arietinum (ram’s head ladyslipper) in the rare species inventory for five counties in this region.

Speakers and Hikes

Evening Speakers: Friday “The Medicinal Facts and Fallacies of Michigan Native Plants,” Dr. Robert Krueger; Saturday “Native Orchids—Challenges and Opportunities,” Angie Lucas; Sunday, “Making Ecologically Sound Decisions— Exotics, Invasives, and Native Plants”, Sarah Pregitzer and Randy Butters.

Hikes led by expert botanists to Antrim Creek, Grass River, Jordan River Pathway, Skegemog, Glacial Hills, and others will cover a range of topics such as forbs, orchids, grasses, ferns, sedges, ecology, geology, bogs, invasives, lichens, trees, medicinal uses and more.

Indoor Class Options: photography, lichens lecture, planting natives and pollinators, textile dyeing with plants, lichens and fungi, dried flower art and watercolor.

What to Bring

This year’s Foray will take us through a variety of habitats and walking conditions. Be prepared for sun, wind, and rain while walking on dry trails or wetland areas. The average high temperature is 64° and lows could be near freezing. Check the weather forecast and pack accordingly.

It is recommended that you bring sturdy walking shoes, long pants, a windbreaker or rain jacket, swimsuit (for resort pool), sweater, umbrella, hat, sunscreen, insect repellent, medications, water bottle (to help reduce cost and waste), notebook, field guides, camera, hand lens, and daypack.

Local Information

There are a few restaurants in the area including Short’s Brewery in downtown Bellaire. In addition, there is a True Value Hardware and Family Fare Grocery in town. There are many small and unique shops and galleries to enjoy. You can visit the Bellaire Chamber website at www.bellairechamber. com for more local information.

Otsego Memorial Hospital is approximately 25 miles away in Gaylord.

Camping: Try Chain O’Lakes Campground or Craven Park.


A Great Lakes Wetland Flora. 3rd ed., by Steve Chadde (author and publisher), 2011.

Michigan Forest Communities: A Field Guide and Reference, by Donald Dickmann. MSU Extension, 2004.

Grass River Natural Area’s Field Guide to Northwest Michigan: Its Flora, Fauna, Geology, and History, by James Dake, Educational Director of Grass River, 2016. Available at Grass River Visitor Center, northern Michigan bookstores, or by mail order.



Orchids of the Western Great Lakes Region, revised ed., by Fred Case, 1987.

Downloadable field guide to the native orchids of Michigan by Al Menk:

(Some names are outdated (e.g., Galearis rotundifolia is listed by its synonym, Amerorchis rotundifolia.

Go Orchids (North American Orchid Center)


Cutlip, Kimbra. “Why the Conservation of Orchids Is No Simple Matter,” Smithsonian 28 Feb. 2018, https://www.smithsonianmag.com/smithsonian-institution/why-conservation-orchids-no-simple-matter-180968270/

Among Foray 2018 trip leaders’ many notable publications and projects:

Tony Reznicek is co-author, with the late Ed Voss, of the most recent Field Manual of Michigan Flora (University of Michigan Press, 2012) and, with Ed Voss and Bev Walters, is responsible for the Michigan Flora Online: www.michiganflora.net/

Brad Slaughter is co-author, with Joshua G. Cohen, Michael A. Kost, and Dennis A. Albert, of the Field Guide to the Natural Communities of Michigan. Michigan State University Press, 2014.

Garrett Crow is co-author (with C. Barre Hellquist) of Aquatic and Wetland Plants of Northeastern North America (2 vols., well-illustrated, with user-friendly keys, corrected paperback edition; University of Wisconsin Press, last revised 2006)

Hellquist, C. Eric and Garrett E. Crow.  1999.  The Distribution of Bryophyte and Vascular Plant Vegetation at Little Dollar Lake Peatland, Mackinac County, Michigan.  Rhodora 101:46-86.  [A good article for those interested in northern bogs.]

Derek Shiels recommends documenting observations using iNaturalist at www.iNaturalist.org

James Dake (see above).

Grand Traverse Regional Land Conservancy


Leelanau Conservancy


Little Traverse Conservancy


Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore


The Nature Conservancy at Point Betsie-Zetterberg Preserve