The site that I chose to survey is the Indian Village camp. Despite the name, this site is neither a village nor a campground, but a very traditional park with the center of it being very cultivated, routinely mowed, and containing playground equipment and buildings. The surroundings are much wilder, there is a thin strip of woods surrounding the main park that eventually leads into a residential area on the west side and the Scioto River on the east side. There are some small creeks that flow through the wooded areas on the west side as well. The wooded area that I started in did not have a trail or clear path that people would take, so it likely is not very frequently disturbed, but given that I ran into a couple of people in that area it is certainly not untouched. The creek that ran through it gave plenty of water to the deciduous trees and many many flowering plants and shrubs. If the wooded area I started the survey in proves to be too small to get a good idea of the plant life in the area, I will move south to Indian Village Canyon which is much larger, but close enough to be part of the same survey.
First Visit (9/6/21):
Flowering plants found
Given how late into the season we are, I was happily surprised at how many flowering plants I was able to find almost immediately!
Great Blue Lobelia (Lobelia siphilitica)
Great Blue Lobelia is well adapted to encourage pollination by bees. The three petals on the bottom of the flower function as a landing pad for the bee. Once the bee lands and crawls in to get nectar, the stigma is bent so that it will brush up against the bee as it collects nectar. Via U.S. Forest Service
Lady’s thumb (Polygonum persicaria)
All of Lady’s thumb can be eaten. The leaves and flowers have antibacterial, anti-fungal, and anti-inflammatory properties. It has been used to treat poison ivy and can be made into a tea. Via New Life on a Homestead
New York Ironweed (Vernonia noveboracensis)
Sweet Goldenrod (Solidago odora)
Common Buckthorn (Rhamnus cathartica)
Common Hackberry (Celtis occidentalis)
The fruit from hackberries is sweet and nutritious, and the seed inside can be ground and mixed with water to make a milk substitute. The only issue is that the fruits are small and it is difficult to harvest enough to fill up or make something substantial. Via Eat the planet
Bitternut Hickory (Carya cordiformis)
Unsurprisingly, parts of bitternut hickory is not pleasant to eat because it’s.. bitter. Howerver, the wood is good for smoking meats because it gives them a nice flavor! Via wildflower.org
Shrubs and Woody Vines Found
Wild Grape (Vitis vulpina)
Late Honeysuckle (Lonicera maackii)
Poison Ivy (Toxicodendron radicans)
Getting poison ivy is a rough experience, so recognizing it is a really useful skill to know if one spends a lot of time outside. Knowing that the “leaves” of three are actually leaflets is a good first step, they should all be coming from the end and the leaflets should not be attached to a node (they would cease to be leaflets). The leaflets are lobed, with the lobes being shallow and primarily to the sides. The resulting shape reminds me of a hand, with one lobe looking like a thumb outline and the rest of the leaflet looking like a flat hand. The middle leaflet is longer and more symmetrical than the other two.