Marsh, Prairie and Fen
The Darby Creek Drive marsh we visited in mid-September was full of life, most of it being herbaceous. It was full of invasive Narrow Leaved Cat-Tails, American Fireweed, and here and there Cottonwood trees.
Eastern Cottonwood (Populus deltoides)
When we visited The Battelle Darby Metro Park we mostly saw herbaceous plants except for the few trees lining the field. The herbaceous plants included Pasture Thistle, Turkey Foot, and the Saw Tooth Sunflower. The trees that lined the field were Bur Oak.
Turkey Foot (Andropogon gerardii)
Cedar Bog That Isn’t A Bog
We visited the Cedar Bog, or as it should be called the “Cedar Fen” in mid-September. As we learned, the Cedar Bog is poorly named because the definition of a “bog”. A bog is defined by Merriam Webster as being “poorly drained usually acid area rich in accumulated plant material, frequently surrounding a body of open water, and having a characteristic flora”, which is untrue to the location we visited. The location we visited did indeed have drainage due to the history of Ohio. Ohio was once glaciated making it have underlying fresh cold water that ties into the surface waters of the fen, continuously flushing the system. Bogs have only surface waters that mostly consist of rainwater because there is no drainage, this causes buildup of plant material.
To sum it up… Fens FLUSH and Bogs CLOG!
American Spice Bush (Lindera benzoin)
The American Spice Bush is a very recognizable plant with its bright red drupes that can be enjoyed by many animals among the woods or its bright yellow/green flowers in the spring.
Fact: American settlers used dried Spice Bush bark as a replacement for cinnamon. It is sometimes called “wild allspice” because of it’s similar taste but yet unique own flavor.
Shrubby Cinquefoil (Dasiphora fruticosa)
Shrubby Cinquefoil sits about 1 to 3 foot wide and tall. It has prominent yellow or white flowers and pinnately compound leaves, belonging to the Rosaceae family.
Fact: In reference to it’s most well known common name, Cinque = Five and Foil = Leaf, this plant is very well known for it having 5 petals. Another common name given to the shrub is Five Fingers.
Deep Woods Farm VS Cedar Bog, That Isn’t A Bog
The Deep Woods Farm in Hocking County differed from The Cedar Bog in many ways. The low PH of the soil at The Deep Woods Farm caused the flora to be an array of new species that the Cedar Bog did not offer because of it’s high PH. Owned by the Blyth family, this hilly location was protected from glaciers by the Teays River whereas The Cedar Bog that was once glaciated.
Common Script Lichen (Graphis scripta)
This small gray/white lichen is called Script Lichen. It was given this name for it’s small detailing that looks like handwriting or scribbles that are called lirella, which is a type of apothecia. It enjoys growing on hardwood trees and was found in a swamp lowland.
Dixie Reindeer Lichen (Cladonia rangiferina)
Dixie Reindeer Lichen has white/gray/green coloring and branching, it almost looks like ocean coral. It is soft to touch, almost cushion like. It was down growing in dead laves on the ground in the uplands of Hocking County.
Powdered Ruffle Lichen (Parmotrema hypotropum)
This is Powdered Ruffle Lichen, it is growing on a tree. It has large white, yellow, and green lobes making ti very distinctive. It was found in the upland of Hocking County.
Two members of the Fabaceae family
Trailing Bush Clover (Lespedeza procumbens)
Trailing Bush Clover can be found all over the eastern United States. It is easily recognizable by it’s showy banner, wings, and keels that range in shades of pink and purple. The stems on this flower are soft and hairy. It enjoys growing in the sandy soil. Bobwhite Quail enjoy munching on their seeds.
Wild Sensitive Plant (Chamaecrista fasciculata)
The Wild Sensitive Plant blooms in the summer and fall. It has small yellow flowers with leaves that are pinnate. It enjoys growing in sandy soils. Herbivores love to munch on this plant, some think this is why it has evolved to respond to touch by moving it’s leaves. It is native to Central and South America.
Exciting New Find
Sword Moss (Bryoxiphium norvegicum)
This moss was found dangling from sandstone rock in Hocking County.
Sword Moss has two rows of leaves in straight lines on each side of the stem. The stems are unbranched, making them resemble swords.