Plants of A.W. Marion State Park – Hargus Lake

Introduction to the Site

Site Description

The site is A.W. Marion State Park along the Perimeter Trailhead from the entrance only in a quartermile to avoid disturbing too many other park guests and fishers. The site was divided into two parts the field entrance and the forest trail. The field entrance was a flat area with many ground cover and field plants. The forested path is dense woods on either side of the trail. There are developed layers in the forest having The upper canopy most consisting of Sugar Maple and under the canopy is the understory with the Amur Honeysuckle and Autumn Olive consisting the most of it. The undergrowth being abundantly made of Reed Canary Grass. The field area consisitng heavily of grasses like Red Fescue and clover namely Red and White Clover.

Poison Ivy (Toxicodendron radicans)

The number one most common feature most use is the three leaves with the phrase ‘Leaves of three leave it be’. Another identifier that asures the ID is correct is the air roots on the vines making them look like brown rope.

Flowers and Inflorescences

Philadelphia Fleabane (Erigeron philadelphicus)

This plant was found at the field entrance of my survey site. The flowers of this plant are inflorescence and specifically a capitulum with many flowers of two types. Either discoid (middle) that are radially symmetric where the ray flowers (look like petals) are bilaterally symmetric. This plant has both and the general floral formula for the flowers is KpappusC(5)A(5)/G(2). The flowers are epigynous and unicarpellate. It will produce achenes.

Multiflora Rose (Rosa multiflora)

This plant was along the forest path. It has the inflorescence type of corymb. It expresses radial symmetry. Its floral formula is K(5)C5A∞G(1-5). It is both perigynous and apocarpous. The fruit produced is achenes.

Common Dandelion (Taraxacum officinale)

Found this weedy plant in the field area of the site. The inflorescence type is a capitulum with many flowers of two types. Either discoid (middle) that are radially symmetric where the ray flowers (look like petals) are bilaterally symmetric. This plant however only has ray flowers making it ligulate.  The floral formula is KpappusC(5)A(5)/G(2). They are epigynous and unicarpellate. The fruits produced are achenes.

Red Clover (Trifolium pratense)

This plant found in the field entrance. The inflorescence type is solitary. The flower is bilaterally symmetric. Its floral formula is K(5)C1+2+(2)A(9)+1G1. The flower is also perigynous and unicarpellate. The fruit produced is legumes.

Invasive Plants

Autumn Olive (Elaeagnus umbellata)

This invader is native to China and Japan. They are largely invasive in poor soils due to their ability to perform nitrogen-fixing with root nodules. Control methods can be the removal of all plant material and herbicide applications.

Amur Honeysuckle (Lonicera maackii)

This shrubby invader hails from the Asian continent from Russia to China and Japan. It is invasive throughout much of Ohio being prolific in spreading via birds and outcompeting native plants for sunlight. Like the Autumn Olive it is also being controlled by removal and chemical applications to abate its spread.

Reed Canary Grass (Phalaris arundinacea)

This grassy menace has been invading since its introduction for soil control but, originates from Europe and Asia. It is a problem for most if not all of Ohio. It primarily is an issue in marshes and wetlands being able to quickly establish and recolonize after removal attempts. Current control is limited to removal and chemical methods however chemicals must be safe for the marshes and wetlands used inside of.

Multiflora Rose (Rosa multiflora)

Painful for diversity and the skin, this rose comes from China, the Korean Peninsula and Japan. Spread as a natural fence for livestock it is found all across Ohio and beyond. It is prevalent being both able to make bushes and climb up established trees and shrubs. Its seeds are long-lasting and readily eaten by birds. Control for this plant uses methods already discussed for the others but has some parasites and diseases to assist with wasps that infest seeds and a rose virus.

Fruit Identification

Honey Locust (Gleditsia triacanthos)

This tree produces a legume. It is very evident to be a honeylocust due to the length as well as color and irregular edge.

Eastern Red Cedar (Juniperus virginiana)

This is a small fleshy cone. It is identifiable due to both the fleshy nature of the ‘berry’ and its blue color. It also looks more like a berry than a cone compared to most gymnosperms.

American Sweetgum (Liquidambar styraciflua)

This tree produces spherical clusters of small capsules. The two easily definable features of this fruit giving the identification as Sweetgum is the spherical shape and the beak-like capsules that open along two seams.

Red Pine (Pinus resinosa)

This is a traditional cone of a gymnosperm. It is a pine family due to the thickness of the scales on the cone. It is also unarmed and the scales were smooth (no prickle).

Mosses and Lichen

Silvergreen Bryum Moss (Bryum argenteum)

Powder-Edged? Ruffle Lichen (Parmotrema stuppeum)

Schreber’s Big Red Stem Moss (Pleurozium schreberi)

Twisted Moss (Synthrichia ruralis)