I did all of the plant finding right in my backyard. We own a few acres and in these acres is some open fields in front of our house and some forested area with a ravine in our backyard. There used to be a vary diverse selection, but more recently the honeysuckle and emerald ash borer have taken out a large chunk of the diversity unfortunately.

Low CC:

Pokeweed – 1

(Phytolaccaceae – Phytolacca decandra)

Additional distinctive features: Bright pink stem, berries dark purple when ripe and resemble small tomatoes when unripe.


Early goldenrod – 2

(Solidago juncea – Asteraceae)

Additional distinctive features: Was composed of spikes.  I was not sure about the specific species within goldenrod.  The basal leaves were withered and dead most likely due to the drought, but the leaves I was able to find lower on the stem had some toothing. Between the leaves and that I found it along the forest edge, I believe it to be an Early goldenrod.

 Spotted Touch-me-not – 2

(Impatiens capensis – Balsaminaceae)

Red maple – 2

 (Acer rubrum)


High CC:

Creeping wood sorrel – 9

(Oxalis corniculata – Oxalidaceae)

Additional distinctive features: This was found growing closely along the ground. None of the growths were very tall, but there were some pretty big bundles of it. When I pulled up some of it I actually got most of the roots along with it because the root systems were not very deep or extensive. It has clover-like leaves.

Red mulberry – 7

(Morus rubra)

White pine – 6

(Pinus strobus)

Black walnut – 5

(Juglans nigra)

(Side note: the photo of the leaves on the left also contain red maple leaves. The only leaves this particular tree had were very high up in the canopy. They are the pale yellow ones in the center.)



Amur honeysuckle

(Lonicera mackii)


(Elaeagnus umbellata)

This shrub is an invasive species. They were originally brought into the US both as an ornamental plant and to help with erosion problems around mining areas. The leaves are alternate and simple. The leaves are entire and have a silvery underside with small reddish dots. In the fall they have these small red berries that are delicious! They are rather tart though.



(Ailanthus altissima)

This species is an invasive in Ohio. It can also be called the Chinese sumac because of its origin and resemblance to native sumacs. This tree grows incredibly fast and is difficult to get rid of due to its hardiness. Herbicides can be used to kill them though. The smell a tree-of-heaven gives off is rather unpleasant. It resembles that of used gym socks or spoiled peanut butter.