The site I chose for my botanical survey is the Blacklick Woods Metro Park. It has a golf course on the northern end, and to the south it has trails that wind through a seasonal swamp and forest comprised of red maple, hickories, dogwood, and oaks (source). It also has prairies that have a ton of goldenrods, tall sunflowers, turkey’s feet, and thistles.
I identified plants ranging from the start of the trail near the parking lot to the west, and along the trail all the way to the creek just as it goes under I-70.
A tree that I saw along the trail that is common for the park itself it the bitternut hickory (Carya cordiformis). There were nuts under the tree that parted in fours, and it had large leaves with mostly 9 leaflets. Below you can see the network of ridges in the bark. The wood from these trees is often used for smoking meats, but also for making furniture and paneling (source).
Another tree that I saw was a common catalpa (Catalpa bignonioides). It has large, heart-shaped leaves. Below you can see the large whorled leaf arrangement. This tree used to be used for fence posts because it grew quickly, but it is susceptible to insect and storm damage.
The trails were practically lined with swamp honeysuckle (Lonicera oblongifolia).
My favorite find of the day, I saw a crown vetch (Coronilla varia). It has a bunch of irregular flowers connected as an umbel. In the flower towards the top, you can easily identify as being a part of the legume family. These plants are toxic to horses, but not to cattle, goats, or sheep (source).
This is a super cool member of the Fabaceae family that I found along the prairie in the park. It has a red stem, and super long fruits.
On each of the plants there were a TON of these black and orange insects just hanging out.
Here is some poison-ivy that my boyfriend ran into the weekend we moved into our house. You can tell that it is poison-ivy because of its three glossy, smooth leaves.
The yellow colored lichen is Candelaria concolor, or lemon lichen. The blue-grey lichen is a common greenshield lichen, or Flavoparmelia caperata.
Species List and Coefficient of Conservatism
The following is a list of species of plants that I found at Blacklick Woods Metro Park, along with their corresponding coefficients of conservatism (CC):
Swamp Fly honeysuckle (Lonicera oblongifolia) CC: 9
Spicebush (Lindera benzoin) CC: 5
Buttonbush (Cephalanthus occidentalis) CC: 6
Frost Grape (Vitis vulpina) CC: 3
Prickly Dewberry (Rubus flagellaris) CC:
Tall Pawpaw (Asimina triloba) CC: 6
Tree-of-Heaven (Ailanthus altissima) CC: 0
Black Walnut (Juglans nigra) CC: 5
White Oak (Quercus alba) CC: 6
Red Oak (Quercus rubra) CC: 6
Bitternut Hickory (Carya cordiformis) CC: 5
Shagbark Hickory (Carya ovata) CC: 6
Beech (Fagus grandifolia) CC: 7
Red Maple (Acer rubrum) CC: 2
Common Catalpa (Catalpa bignonioides) CC: 0
Red Pine (Pinus resinosa) CC: 0
White Ash (Fraxinus Americana) CC: 6
Common Milkweed (Asclepias syriaca) CC: 1
Rough-leaved goldenrod (Solidago patula) CC: 8
Tall Sunflower (Helianthus giganteus) CC: 6
Pasture Thistle (Cirsium pumilum) CC: 4
Spotted Touch-Me-Not (Impatiens capensis) CC: 2
Crown Vetch (Coronilla varia) CC: 0
Teasel (Dipsacus sylvestris) CC: 0
Spreading Dogbane (Apocynum androsaemifolium) CC: 6
Big Bluestem (Andropogon gerardi) CC: 5
Moonseed (Menispermum canadense) CC: 5
Indian grass (Sorghastrum nutans) CC: 5
Switch grass (Panicum virgatum) CC: 4
Moss (Entodon seductrix) CC: –
Small White Aster (Aster vimineus) CC: 2
New England Aster (Aster novae-angliae) CC: 2
Gray-headed Coneflower (Ratibida pinnata) CC: 5
Thin-leaved Coneflower (Rudbeckia triloba) CC: 5
Red Clover (Trifolium pretense) CC: 0
Wild Carrot (Daucas carota) CC: 0
Yarrow (Achillea millefolium) CC: 1
Dense Blazing Star (Liatris spicata) CC: 7
Nodding Smartweed (Persicaria lapathifolium) CC: 1
Small-flowered Agrimony (Agrimonia parviflora) CC: 2
Of my species, two of the highest CC values are for the swamp fly honeysuckle (Lonicera oblongifolia) with a 9 (pictured earlier above), and the rough-leaved goldenrod (Solidago patula) with an 8. The swamp fly honeysuckle is a native plant that is often seen in south-central Canada, and is in the Lonicera genus, which is named after German botanist Adam Loncier (1528-1586) who was also a town physician (source). Rough-leaved goldenrod is also a native plant that can be found in the eastern United States and Ontario. The leaves of this goldenrod felt very rough (like a cat’s tongue). According to the Herb Society, this species of goldenrod is endangered (which makes me question this species identification slightly) (source).
Two species with the lowest CC values were the crown vetch (Coronilla varia), also pictured earlier above, and this red clover (Trifolium pretense) both having a CC of 0 making them very weedy plants. Crown vetch is originally native to Europe, but has been naturalized to the eastern US and has become invasive in the Midwest. It can be used as an insecticide, but it is most often used as ground cover (source). Dyes can be extracted from red clover, and it is also used to treat skin conditions or menopausal side effects (source).