For my botanical survey, I decided to chose the Olentangy Wetlands. This site is dear to me because I often walked it looking for, you guessed it, birds! But this time I had to ignore the 14 cardinals, 3 grey catbirds. 28 canada geese (or as I like to call them, chonkus honkus), 4 american robins, 6 mallards and 2 blue jays. Nope, didn’t pay attention to them at all… Anyways, this time I was hungry for some plants!
The site itself was really cool. The main path through the wetlands was quite dense with many wildflowers growing along the side of the road. However, for those who ventured into the shrubbery, it immediately opened up into a clearing with all sorts of moss, fungi, and of course, plants! The main thing I noticed about this site was the INSANE amount of pawpaw trees! Seriously, it was a pawpaw forest! I could have come home with a whole meal of pawpaw fruits if they had been ripe! The site had constant access to water (a wetland… had water?!? Shocker). In terms of wildlife I saw a rabbit, birds, and even 4 white-tailed deer! The site in total is 52 acres, so I had plenty to work with.
Chinese Elm- Ulmus parvifolia
Pacific Crab Apple- Malus fusca
Fun fact! The crab apple has been used as a traditional medicinal plant for stomach orders, skin, and eye infections.
American Pokeweed-Phytolacca americana
Fun fact! White-footed mice, red and grey squirrels, raccoons, possums and black bears enjoy chomping down on these berries, however the berries are toxic to humans, horses, cattle, sheep, and pigs.
Fly Honeysuckle-Lonicera xylosteum
Fun Fact! During the Victorian Era, people planted honeysuckle in front of their house to ward off evil spirits and witches.
People also used to put honeysuckle under their pillows to have sweet dreams.
Great Blue Lobelia- Lobelia siphilitica
Fun Fact! Great Blue Lobelia was used to treat the symptoms of syphilis because parts of the plant help with diarrhea and dysentery, however too much can be fatal.
White Snakeroot-Ageratina altissima
White Snakeroot is bitter and toxic, so mammals will typically avoid this plant. Cows will sometimes graze on this plant which can poison the milk and can cause the humans who drink it to become sick.
Poison Ivy… and other strange things.
Poison Ivy- Toxicodendron radicans
Identifing this little guy was fairly easy. He popped up in a little sprout with the classic three leaves. The rounded teeth helped to identify as well as the anti-paralleled veins of the leafs.
This very scary baby- Horrificus accidentalis