Additional invasive ornamental species that we run across while collecting reed canary grass include this gorgeous impatiens (Impatiens glandulifera). Sadly this has been used widely across the globe which has enhanced its spread. It grows right along with Phalaris arundinacea, Urtica (oh, those darn nettles!), and an occasional purple loosestrife (shown below; Lythrum salicaria).
Lythrum salicaria....while it doesn't like growing water this deep (the Luznice River was flooded!), it can survive it for a short time.
Isn't this picture from our collections along the Vltava River quite romantic? Here the drooping branches of weeping willow (Salix babylonica) reach downwards to the sward of reed canarygrass (Phalaris arundinacea). The fishing boats add an invitational to ride down the river!
Just down the river from here, we noticed a bridge foundation on the west side of the river...a very tall concrete foundation (meaning that it was most likely from the 1900s). However, there was not a corollary foundation for the bridge on the other side of the river. I wondered whether or not this bridge had never been completed. As we trudged down the river collecting Phalaris samples, we ran across two fisherman on the banks of the river. We asked them about this structure and learned that this had been built by Hitler's army after the invasion but that it had, indeed, been abandoned before it was ever finished. This gave us a moment's pause of reflection on the history surrounding this site which I will never forget.
At one site along the Luznice River, we ran across a small portion of the population that was susceptible to the fungus, powdery mildew (order Erysiphales; there are too many species to know which one this was without an experienced plant pathologist along). The older leaves of all the plants were completely white!
Here's how the collected leaf samples are processed once we get them into the lab. Each leaf is labelled with its sample number (population code, location code, replication number, etc.).
A matching set of a zip bag and eppendorf tube are encoded with the sample information. Then the leaf tip is removed and put into the tube for grinding and DNA extraction while the remnant leaf sample goes into the -18oC freezer as a backup.