Blossoming Swamp pink lilies is the proof of healthy ecosystem of New Jersey. In New Jersey, especially the southern counties, one of the evergreen lily known as swamp pink.
The plants produce a grapefruit sized cluster of tiny, bright pink flowers with blue anthers atop a long, slender stalk. They’re often found together with other sensitive species. That is including unusual orchids like the southern twayblade, and forest interior birds like Acadian flycatchers and prothonotary warblers.
Swamp pinks were once abundant. However, they have declined sharply due to impacts from humans and white tailed deer. The plant was endangered species in New Jersey.
The reason behind drying out swamp pink habitats is drilling too many wells, pave over aquifer recharge areas, and disturb land so that rainfall turns into sediment laden floodwater.
On the New Jersey coastal plain, humans chew through sandy uplands with bulldozers, destabilizing soil and causing headwater streams to become clogged with sand, burying the delicate swamp pink rosettes.
Swamp pinks that are facing problem because of human and also because of white tailed deer. Hungry deer eat the tender swamp pink flower buds shooting up in mid April.
On Mason’s Run in the Camden County borough of Pine Hill, wire cages placed around wild swamp pink plants proved that they can recover and flower when protected from deer. But swamp pinks just got some good news in the form of a $250,000 federal grant to the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection to help preserve their habitat.
Theo O’Farrell was born and raised in Summerside. As a journalist Theo has contributed to CBC News Blog, The Calgary Herald and Buzz Feed. In regards to academics, Theo earned his sociology degree from Queens. Theor covers local news and culture stories here at Island Daily Tribune.