August 01, 2012

Media Advisory -- Plant Workshop

A two-day workshop later this week at Southern Illinois University Carbondale will help participants identify sedges, which are grass-like plants prevalent throughout the state.

Reporters, photographers and camera crews are welcome to attend the workshop, which is 6-9 p.m., Friday, Aug. 3, and 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., Saturday, Aug. 4. Gordon C. Tucker, professor and Stover-Ebinger Herbarium curator in the biology department at Eastern Illinois University, will oversee the workshop and field exercises.

Tucker's presentation is from 6 to 9 p.m. Friday in Life Science II, room 423, on the SIU Carbondale campus. Workshop participants will meet at 9 a.m. Saturday and travel to area field sites to collect sedges before they return to the laboratory to practice sedge identification. The field sites include areas around campus lake, and possibly Giant City State Park.

More than 600 of the 3,300 plant species in Illinois belong to the sedge family. Several species look similar to one another, which makes them particularly hard to identify. The University's Department of Plant Biology hosted a similar workshop in June.

Organized by the southern chapter of the Illinois Native Plant Society, workshop sponsors are the Department of Plant Biology and Illinois Wildlife Preservation Fund. The goal is for workshop participants become more familiar with botanical terms associated with sedges, and gain experience in using identification keys to determine the various plant species.

For more information on the workshop or to arrange for interviews, contact Stephen Ebbs, associate professor and interim chair of the Department of Plant Biology at 618/453-3226 or; Karla Gage, an SIU Carbondale doctoral student in plant biology and research assistant at 618/453-3207 or; or Chris Benda, an adjunct instructor in plant biology and southern chapter president of the Illinois Native Plant Society at 217/417-4145 or at