Overview

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!

 

PLANTS

 

Herbaceous

Late Figwort

Scrophularia marilandica

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)

 

Asiatic Dayflower

Commelina communis

 

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)

 

Shrubs/Vines

Common Elderberry

Sambucus nigra

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/)

 

Amur Honeysuckle

Lonicera maackii

 

Trees

Black Willow

Salix nigra

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)

 

Ohio Buckeye

Aesculus glabra

 

Poison Ivy

Toxicodendron radicans

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).

 

Lichens

Mustard Lichen

Pyxine sorediata

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

Flavoparmelia caperata

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

 

Flowering Plants

Adoxaceae

Sambuncus nigra; Common Elderberry.  Native shrub. CC=3.

Anacardiaceae

Toxicodendron radicans; Poison Ivy.  Native vine.  CC=1.

Apocynaceae

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).

Asteraceae

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.

Boraginaceae

Hackelia virginiana; Virginia Stickseed. Native forb. CC=2.

Cannabaceae

Celtis occidentalis; Hackberry. Native tree.  CC=4.

Caprifoliaceae

Lonicera Maackii; Amur Honeysuckle. Invasive shrub. CC=0.

Commelinaceae

Commelina communis; Asiatic Dayflower. Native forb.  CC=0.

Fabaceae

Cercis canadensis; Redbud.  Small, native tree.  CC=3.

Lotus corniculatus; Birdsfoot Trefoil. Introduced forb.  CC=0.

Lamiaceae

Glechoma hederacea; Ground Ivy. Introduced forb. CC=0.

Magnoliaceae

Liriodendron tulipifera; Tulip tree. Native tree.  CC=6.

Phytolaccaceae

Phytolacca americana; American Pokeweed. Native forb. CC=1.

Plantaginaceae

Plantago lanceolata; English Plantain. Introduced forb. CC=0.

Platanaceae

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).

Rosaceae

Pyrus calleryana; Callery pear.  Invasive tree. CC=0.

Salicaceae

Populus deltoides; Cottonwood. Native tree. CC= 3.

Salix nigra; Black willow. Native tree.  CC=2.

Sapindaceae

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). 

Scrophulariaceae

Scrophularia marilandica; Maryland Figwort. Native forb.  CC=4.

Verbenaceae

Verbena urticifolia; White Vervain. Native forb. CC=3.

Vitaceae

Parthenocissus quinquefolia; Virginia Creeper. Native vine. CC=2.

Vitis riparia; Riverside Grape.  Native vine.  CC=3.