By CAROL THOMPSON
After four decades of research, Robert Kowal has identified Packera insulae-regalis, a flower found only on Isle Royale in Lake Superior, as its very own species. “It’s like having a baby, except this will live for all time,” Kowal said. The professor of botany at the University of Wisconsin-Madison has studied the yellow flower since 1972 when a graduate student brought him a sample. He grew it in a test garden and collected data for the next 10 years, finding clues that the flowers are unlike other packera plants. “I had thought it was a widespread species of the Lake Superior area,” Kowal said.