The Rare Plant Rescue team coordinates with the MNDNR and local developers to salvage rare plants before construction begins. The most recent salvage was focused on the State Threatened species Black Huckleberry (Gaylussacia baccata) which was listed as a threatened species in 2013. After locating the plants, the top layer of leaves and sandy soil were carefully brushed away to expose the root systems. Staff dug by hand through the sandy soil, following the woody rhizome until it was connected to another black huckleberry plant. Whole sections of black huckleberry were unearthed, placed in water and transported to the MN Landscape Arboretum (MLA). Staff and volunteers potted the plants so they can grow in a controlled setting at the MLA throughout the summer. MLA staff also took stem and root cuttings to experiment with different propagation methods.
Plants that survive the salvage will be transplanted into a protected site in the fall. The study includes documenting the habitat type of the salvaged site, propagation methods, and rare plants previously planted at protected sites are monitored annually. Approximately 80 Black Huckleberry plants were transplanted during this recent rescue in Ham Lake.
For more information on the Rare Plant Rescue program contact Carrie Taylor at