Introduction:

Sharon Woods Metro Parks: A 761 – acre preserve created in August of 1945. Located in Westerville , Ohio ; Sharon woods is home to a mixture of oak , hickory and beech trees along with an 11 acre lake that is home to bluegill, bass and catfish . The Edward Thomas state nature preserve within Sharon Woods has 8 species of oaks , and some are known to be more than 250 years old . Sharon Woods has numerous trails that people often go for walks on.

Map Overview:

 

Poison Ivy (Toxicodendron radicans)

Identifying Poison Ivy: When most people think about poison ivy and how to avoid it, they think of the phrase “three leaves let it be”.  The leaves are arranged in  a compound with 3 leaflets, with the middle leaf stem longer than the others. the two side leaves are in opposite arrangement.

Flowers and Inflorescences of Sharon Woods

  1. White Clover (Trifolium repens)

The White Clover has compound leaves that are made up of two or more leaflets. The arrangement of these leaves is alternate. The edge of the leaf blade has teeth. The flower of the White Clover is bilateral in symmetry. It has 4-5 sepals, petals. There are 10 stamens, and the fusion of the sepals and petals are fused into a cup or tube. It has dry legume fruits that do not split when ripe, the length of the fruits are 3-5mm. They are Perigynous, and zygomorphic. Inflorescence is a rounded cluster of 20-40 individual flowers, it is a umbel inflorescence. It is unicarpellate. This was observed at Sharon Woods Metro Park.

2. Red Clover (Trifolium pratense) 

The Red clover is a pink to red flower. The leaves are compound, made up of two or more discrete leaflets. They leaves are alternate in arrangement. it has an entire margin leaf. It’s bilateral in symmetry. The number of sepals, and petals are 4-5. The petals or sepals are fused into a cup or tube. There are 10 stamens. It produces dry legumes that do not split. It is perigynous. The inflorescence type is umbel. It is unicarpellate. This was observed at Sharon Woods Metro Park.

3. Wild Geranium (Geranium maculatum)

The flower petal color is blue to purple. The geranium of this species has a leaf type of simple , opposite arrangement. There are two leaves per node and the edge of the leaf has lobes. It has radical symmetry. There are 5 petals, sepals. The sepals and petals are separate and not fused. There are 10 stamens and the type is a crane-bill. It is Hypogynous, and a cyme inflorescence. It is a syncarpous. This was observed at Sharon Woods Metro Park.

 

4. Common Cinquefoil (Potentilla simplex)

The Common Cinquefoil is a yellow flower. The leaves are palmately compound, composed of 2 or more leaflets. The leaf arrangement is alternate and lobed margins. It has radical symmetry. There are 5 sepals and petals with both the petals and sepals separate and not fused. The number of Stamen can be 10 or more. The fruits are dry accessory fruits, however, they are inedible. They are referred to as the barren strawberry. The Common Cinquefoil grows in prairies, open woods, fields. It is perigynous and apocarpous. This was observed at Sharon Woods Metro Park.

Invasive Plants

Multiflora rose

Multiflora roses were introduced to the United States to be a rootstock for ornamental roses, they originated in Japan, Korea, and eastern China. The ecosystems where it is a problem includes, pastures, roadsides, open woodlands, forests. They grow aggressively and produce large numbers of rose hips, and can be detrimental to nesting of birds since they’re so densely grown. Control methods: applying herbicide to the cut stumps.

Japanese Honeysuckle

Photo Credit: Bill Johnson

https://www.invasive.org/alien/pubs/midatlantic/loja.htm

The Japanese Honeysuckle was first introduced to the United States in 1806, in Long Island New York. It originated from eastern Asia. It was intended to be  ornamental, and for erosion control. The ecosystems where it is a problem is in forests, where it competes with other vegetation for light. It will also form tangles that will smother vegetation and kill it. Control methods include, removal of the vines, herbicides are also used.

Amur Honeysuckle

One of the most common invasive bush honeysuckles. The origins of the Honeysuckle is Japan and Eastern China. It came to New York in the late 1800’s as ornamental plants. Later being used for erosion control. Its very resilient and can grow in a range of conditions, from sunny to dark to wet or dry. The ecosystems that it causes problems for are forests, woodland and many  areas of the Midwest. It competes with other pants for nutrients and often kills other plants. It is known to lower the biodiversity in an ecosystem. control methods include, removing the honeysuckle by hand before it gets to large, mowing it when it is. Or using herbicide, although this is also bad for other plants in the area. Lastly controlled burning has been used to control the spread of honeysuckle.

Garlic Mustard

The garlic mustard was introduced from Europe. It was first documented in Long Island New York in 1868. This plant is highly invasive and is recorded in nearly every county in Ohio. It was used for herbal and medicinal purposes, it is also used in a number of culinary dishes. It grows in shade, in uplands and floodplain forests. Also in Savannas, pastures, and many more areas, it is quite the adaptable plant. Ecosystems where this plant is especially problematic are forests and woodlands, this is because it reduces the growth of wildflowers in the early spring before canopy leaf out. It will produce an abundant amount of seeds that are viable for up to 10 years. These seeds are able to be dispersed through many vectors, humans, animals, water. Controlling the Garlic Mustard is accomplished by manually removing them in smaller infestations, Chemically killing the plant with herbicides. There is some biological control methods being researched, the weevil is thought to feed on the garlic mustard.

Woody Plant Fruits identification

Red Pine

Red Pine fruits are identifiable due to the fruit being scale like, and ovoid, it is 1 and 1/2 to 2 and 1/4  in long at maturity They are actually cones and unlike most other trees,

Bitternut hickory

 

Fruits of the hickory are identifiable because they have the following characteristics: they are 2 to 4 cm long, and  round. They are four-winged from the apex to the middle; the husk is usually thin and covered with small yellow scales. The nut is often broader than long, the shell is thin. They are nuts.

Scarlet oak

The fruit of the Scarlet Oak is identifiable because only mature oaks produce acorns, The acorn is a nut which you can identify as because it is scales shape and color. These are round acorns which belong to the scarlet oaks, there are also oblong acorns, but these are not oblong. Acorns also have a hat like woody cup.

Narrowleaf Willow

The fruits of the Narrowleaf Willow are capsules, Identifiable from the male catkins up to 10 cm (4 in) long, the female catkins up to 8 cm (3 in) long. The fruit is a cluster of capsules, each containing numerous minute seeds embedded in shiny white silk.

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Mosses and Lichens

 

Common Green-Shield Lichen

Hooded Sunburst Lichen

Plitts Rock Shield Lichen

Lemon Lichen