Sam Kieschnick, a 2000 graduate of Aledo High School, will present a program about Comanche Peak Prairie Clover at the Cross Timbers Chapter of the Native Plant Society of Texas (NPSOT) meeting at 7 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 11 at the Harberger Hill Community Center, 701 Narrow Street in Weatherford.
Comanche Peak Prairie Clover is only found in Parker, Hood, and Wise counties and no other place on this planet. Julien Reverchon first collected this member of the pea family in 1882 from "the rocky top of Comanche Peak." Comanche Peak Prairie Clover is a low, spreading perennial, which appears as a dense, mat-forming rosette up to 16 inches in diameter with numerous thick, three-inch long spikes of rose-pink to magenta-purple flowers that bloom from May through June.
Kieschnick graduated from Tarleton State University with a masters degree in biology; he studied the population genetics of Baird’s pocket gophers (Geomysbreviceps) using the molecular technique of AFLP. He taught general biology, zoology, and botany at Weatherford College as an adjunct instructor. He is passionate about conservation, insect and plant interactions, phylogeny of living organisms, and all things biology.
In the summer of 2005, he volunteered at BRIT as a plant specimen filer to help with his memorization of plant families for a plant taxonomy course. Since then, he has been extremely interested in plant systematics (as well as the taxonomy of all living organisms). Kieschnick joined the BRIT staff on Jan. 1, 2010 as Herbarium Collections Assistant. He is now the Assistant Collections Manager and his main duties involve coordinating herbarium volunteer activities, dealing with specimen loans, and other curatorial duties. He hopes to work more with conservation in the future.
The Cross Timbers Chapter of NPSOT meets the second Thursday of the month (except July and December) at Harberger Hill Community Center, 701 Narrow Street in Weatherford. The chapter business meeting will begin at 6:30 p.m. followed by a social at 6:45 p.m. with the program starting at 7 p.m. The mission of NPSOT is to promote the conservation, research, and utilization of native plants and plant habitats in Texas through education, outreach, and example. For more information, call Eileen Porter 817-596-5567. The public is welcome.