Plants of Overbrook Ravine Park pt. 2
Some of the species seen at Overbrook Ravine Park so far:
- Fraxinus americana, white ash, CC = 6
- F. quadrangulata, blue ash, CC = 7
- Asimina triloba, pawpaw, CC = 6
- Eupatorium rugosum, white snakeroot, CC = 3
- Ambrosia artemisiifolia, common ragweed, CC = 0
- Asarum canadense, wild ginger, CC = 6
- Impatiens capensis, common jewel weed, CC = 2
- Hackelia virginiana, Virginia stickseed, CC =2
- Fagus grandifolia, American beech, CC = 7
- Cercis candensis, redbud, CC = 3
- Liriodendron tulipifera, tulip tree, CC = 6
- Oxalis stricta, common yellow wood-sorrel, CC = 0
- Phytolacca americana, pokeweed, CC = 1
- Plantanus occidentalis, CC = 7
- Acer negundo, boxelder, CC = 3
- Parthenocissus quinquefolia, Virginia creeper, CC = 1
- Ulmus americana, American elm, CC = 2
- Toxicodendron radicans, poison ivy, CC = 1
- Verbesina alternifolia, wingstem, CC = 5
- Persicaria virginiana, jumpseed, CC = 3
Total FQAI = 11.09
4 High CC Value Species
Plantanus occidentalis, American sycamore CC = 7
American sycamore is identified by its massive trunk, maple-like leaves, and its puzzle like bark. Yellow-throated Warblers prefer to nest in American sycamores and have such a fidelity to using this tree as their nesting site that they were once called Sycamore Warblers.
Fraxinus quadrangulata, blue ash, CC = 7
Blue ash is easily identified as an ash by its opposite pinnate leaves, the square stem with sharp angles is unique to blue ash. Blue ash is a tree of western Ohio as it is a calciphile. The inner bark of blue ash contains a substance that was used to make blue dye, hence the name blue ash.
Fagus grandifolia, American beech, CC = 7
American beech is identified by alternate simple leaves that are sharply lobed with a long thin bud. American beech is being damaged by beech leaf disease which seems to be caused by a nematode worm.
(I don’t have a picture of one right now 🙁 but I should soon)
Asimina triloba, pawpaw, CC = 6
Pawpaw is identified by its massive lance obovate leaves. Pawpaw flowers smell like rotting meat in order to attract flies which pollinate the flowers.
4 Low CC Value Species
Oxalis stricta, common yellow wood-sorrel, CC = 0
Common yellow wood-sorrel is a small herbaceous plant with clover like leaves and small yellow flowers. The leaves, flowers, and unripe fruits are edible albeit with a tart lemony flavor hence some of its common names like sour grass or sour trefoil.
Ambrosia artemisiifolia, common ragweed, CC = 0
Ragweed has compound leaves and towards the top of the plant there are small bell/ball like flowers. The pollen of ragweed is responsible for a lot of spring allergies.
(I don’t have a picture of one right now 🙁 but I should soon)
Parthenocissus quinquefolia, Virginia creeper, CC = 1
Virginia creeper is a woody vine that is attached by little suction cups with palmate leaves. It’s easily separated from poison ivy by its palamte leaves, lack of a hairy vine that is instead attached by suction cups, and has dark fruit. Virginia creeper is rather drought tolerant, is not preferred by deer, and is not affected by the juglone that black walnut produces making it a common species.
Phytolacca americana, pokeweed, CC = 1
Pokeweed is readily identified by its herbaceous red stem and groups of dark purple fruits. Although pokeweed is poisonous to humans, it is readily eaten by many species of birds and some species of mammals.
4 Invasive Species 🙁
Elaeagnus umbellata, autumn olive
A shrub that seemingly glitters due to the pale silvery undersides of its leaves which have small silvery dots on them. The stems also have these unique silvery dots, as if you sprayed sunscreen over the plant. First introduced in the U.S. as a means to control erosion and provide wind breaks in the 1800s it has since spread from the east coast to Nebraska in disturbed areas. Autumn Olive (psu.edu)
Microstegium vimineum, Japanese stiltgrass
A prominent grass in the understory with long lance shaped leaves with a silvery line on the underside. Japanese stiltgrass is assumed to have arrived in the U.S. due to packing materials in shipping containers from China. Japanese Stiltgrass | National Invasive Species Information Center
Lonicera maackii, amur honeysuckle
Amur honeysuckle is an opposite leaved shrub with simple and entire leaves. Amur honeysuckle derives its name from the amur river between Russia and China. Lonicera maackii (archive.org)
Rosa mulitflora, multiflora rose
Multiflora rose has pinnate leaves that are alternately arranged and the leaves are slightly toothed; it also has noticeable feathery stipules! Multiflora rose was introduced to the U.S. as an ornamental plant and also as a living fence for cattle. Multiflora Rose (psu.edu)
4 Substrate Associated Species
Fraxinus quadrangulata, blue ash
Blue ash is readily identified as an ash by its opposite pinnate leaves and the square twigs make it easily noticeable as a blue ash. Blue ash has a material on the inside of its bark that was used to create blue dyes giving it its name blue ash. Blue ash is a calciphile that prefers western Ohio’s limestone bedrock.
Juniperus virginiana, Eastern red cedar
Eastern red cedar is a conifer that has leaves that are like scales and seem wrapped around the stem. Eastern red cedar is treated as an invasive plants in some areas as it was once controlled by earlier fire regimes and has now spread into areas it would not have otherwise threatening grasslands. It also prefers calcareous soils.
Ostrya virginiana, eastern hophornbeam
Eastern hophornbeam has alternate simple leaves that are serrated and nearly identical to American hornbeam. Yet, the vertical scaly bark helps to separate it from American hornbeam which has smooth, sinewy bark. The tree bears its name because of its fruits resemblance to hops. Eastern hophornbeam is also a calciphile preferring the limestone bedrock of western Ohio.
Rhus aromatica, fragrant sumac
Fragrant sumac looks like poison ivy in shrub form with red fruits and doesn’t climb. Rabbits during severe winters have been noticed to eat the bark to survive. Fragrant sumac is also a fan of limy substrates.
Some of the plants found at Overbrook Ravine Park grow solely in the soils of western Ohio due to its limestone bedrock. Yet, some are more generalists. However, there were no acidiphiles that I found at the site. This makes sense as Overbrook Ravine Park is found in the glaciated part of Ohio with limestone bedrock, making it a desirable home for many caliphile plants.