The site I surveyed is part of an ongoing restoration project by Ohio State’s chapter of the Society for Ecological Restoration (SER). The site is a strip of riparian forest along the Olentangy River. It is right next to the Fawcett Center, as shown on the map. The fact that this is a long narrow strip of riparian forest means there is a large amount of edge habitat. The mature trees grow near the river, but there is another strip of open space to the west of the tree line. Here, there are more sun-loving herbaceous plants, as well as some younger woody plants!
Late figwort flowers are full of nectar, and therefore attract many pollinators. Ruby throated hummingbirds, many types of bees, and several types of wasps like to visit this flower! Typically, herbivores won’t browse this plant due to the leaves containing bitter compounds. (https://www.illinoiswildflowers.info/woodland/plants/late_figwort.htm)
There were three brothers that Commelina is named after. Two were successful botonists, but the other died before he reached success. They say the petals of this flower are fitting, with the two pretty blue petals for the successful brothers, and the modified lower petal for the unsuccessful brother. Rude! This flower is a transient bloomer, of the plants flowers, only a few are in bloom at a time, and each bloom for one day only. Pretty! Neat! (http://www.bio.brandeis.edu/fieldbio/Wildflowers_Kimonis_Kramer/PAGES/ASIATICDAYFLOWER.html)
Elderberries can live 80-100 years in the wild! I hope I live that long… or do I? There are myths that elderberries ward off evil witches. But conflicting myths say witches gather under elderberries, especially when they’re fruiting. What’s true? Are witches real? One may never know… (http://tonsoffacts.com/24-fun-interesting-facts-elderberry/)
Black willow blooms early in the spring, providing important nectar resources for emerging bees. Once upon a time, it was also used for making artificial limbs because the wood was so light and flexible! (https://homeguides.sfgate.com/black-willow-tree-69410.html)
Poison ivy makes you itch!!!! If you’re allergic, anyway. Poison ivy has trifoliate leaves, meaning there are three leaflets on each leaf stalk. The leaves sometimes look a bit like mittens and sometimes the leaf stalks are red. Poison ivy and box elder maple seedlings can be difficult to differentiate. The best way to tell them apart is by looking at the leaf arrangement. Leaf stalks on poison ivy are alternately branching, while leaf stalks on box elder maple are oppositely branching (https://www.oardc.ohio-state.edu/weedguide/single_weed.php?id=11).
This is a small, green, foliose lichen. The margins of the leaf tend to turn up. It is quite common in Ohio. This mustard lichen was found on a rainy morning on a tree trunk! (Common Lichens of Ohio Field Guide)
Common Greenshield Lichen
This lichen is very common, it is foliose as the mustard lichen was, but Common Greenshield Lichen looks more gray than green and is also large. This particular individual was found on a hackberry. (Common Lichens of Ohio Field Guide)
Floristic Quality Assessment Index
FQAI Score: 17.0596
Sambuncus nigra; Common Elderberry. Native shrub. CC=3.
Toxicodendron radicans; Poison Ivy. Native vine. CC=1.
Apocynum cannabinum; Indian Hemp. Native forb. CC=1.
Indian Hemp has opposite leaves with smooth margins. In the spring, this plant has small, white, bell-shaped flowers. It uses a horizontal creeping root system to grow into large patches, as it exists at the Fawcett Center. Indian Hemp is named as such because Native Americans used the stems and roots for rope and clothing (https://www.oardc.ohio-state.edu/weedguide/single_weed.php?id=34).
Achillea millefolium; Yarrow. Native forb. CC=1.
Yarrow has alternate leaves that are very narrow and look feathery. Yarrow has been used medicinally for a long time. Legend has it that Achilles used it to treat his soldiers’ wounds when they attacked Troy (https://www.oardc.ohio-state.edu/weedguide/single_weed.php?id=34).
Actinomeris alternifolia; Wingstem. Native forb. CC=5.
Arctium lappa; Great Burdock. Introduced forb. CC=0.
Aster lateriflorus; Calico/Starved Aster. Native forb. CC=2.
Aster pilosus; Heath Aster. Native forb. CC=2.
Bidens bipinnata; Spanish Needles. Native forb. CC=2.
Cirsium arvense; Canada Thistle. Introduced forb. CC=0.
Conoclinium coelestinum; Blue Mistflower. Native forb. CC=3.
Erechitites heiracifolia; Pilewort. Native forb. CC=2.
Eupatorium rugosum; White snakeroot. Native forb. CC=6.
Eupatorium serotinum; Late-flowering Boneset. Native forb. CC=2.
Rudbeckia fulgida; Orange Coneflower. Native forb. CC=6.
Solidago canadensis; Canada Goldenrod. Native forb. CC=1.
Solidago gigantea; Late Goldenrod. Native forb. CC=3.
Solidago rugosa; Rough-stemmed Goldenrod. Native forb. CC=2.
Vernonia altissima; Tall Ironweed. Native forb. CC=2.
Hackelia virginiana; Virginia Stickseed. Native forb. CC=2.
Celtis occidentalis; Hackberry. Native tree. CC=4.
Lonicera Maackii; Amur Honeysuckle. Invasive shrub. CC=0.
Commelina communis; Asiatic Dayflower. Native forb. CC=0.
Cercis canadensis; Redbud. Small, native tree. CC=3.
Lotus corniculatus; Birdsfoot Trefoil. Introduced forb. CC=0.
Glechoma hederacea; Ground Ivy. Introduced forb. CC=0.
Liriodendron tulipifera; Tulip tree. Native tree. CC=6.
Phytolacca americana; American Pokeweed. Native forb. CC=1.
Plantago lanceolata; English Plantain. Introduced forb. CC=0.
Platanus occidentalis; Sycamore. Native tree. CC=7.
Sycamore leaves are 5 lobed with teeth, simple, and have an alternate arrangement. The most distinctive feature of a sycamore is its grayish bark that peels off to show the white underbark. Sycamores in the midwest region count as a FACW species in the Wetland classification system. This means the tree does better in slightly wetter sites, but can also live on dry sites (https://plants.sc.egov.usda.gov/core/profile?symbol=PLOC).
Pyrus calleryana; Callery pear. Invasive tree. CC=0.
Populus deltoides; Cottonwood. Native tree. CC= 3.
Salix nigra; Black willow. Native tree. CC=2.
Acer saccharinum; Silver maple. Native tree. CC=3.
Acer negundo; Box elder. Native tree. CC=3.
Aesculus glabra; Ohio buckeye. Native tree. CC=6.
Ohio buckeye has palmately compound leaves with slight serration. It is Ohio’s state tree and is called a buckeye because the fruit looks similar to a buck’s eye. Apparently someone thought deer had pale pupils (https://ohiohistorycentral.org/w/Ohio%27s_State_Tree_-_Buckeye).
Scrophularia marilandica; Maryland Figwort. Native forb. CC=4.
Verbena urticifolia; White Vervain. Native forb. CC=3.
Parthenocissus quinquefolia; Virginia Creeper. Native vine. CC=2.
Vitis riparia; Riverside Grape. Native vine. CC=3.