Saturday, October 3rd Lichen Walk, Central Park, New York, NY
Trip leader Jessica Allen
A group of 18 met on a damp Saturday morning to look at lichens on the west side of Central Park between 77 and 81 Street.
Saturday, October 3rd Lichen Walk, Central Park, New York, NY
Trip leader Jessica Allen
A group of 18 met on a damp Saturday morning to look at lichens on the west side of Central Park between 77 and 81 Street.
Saturday, September 5th
With twenty species in the northeastern United States, the genus Persicaria (smartweeds) ranks among the largest genera of flowering plants in the region, just behind milkweeds and sunflowers. Many are native wetland species whose seeds are an important food source for waterfowl. Others such as the East Asian mile-a-minute vine can inflict great ecological and economic harm. On this field trip, Daniel Atha led the walk to point out the native and naturalized species growing on the Garden grounds, indicating unique characters for identification.
After a ten minute wait for late-comers, nine Smart Weed enthusiasts set out in search of Persicaria on the grounds of The New York Botanical Garden. The first species encountered was the ubiquitous Persicaria longiseta, common in rich, moist soil in most urban areas. The species is rarely found in natural habitats. The next species seen was Persicaria punctata, growing along the banks of the northwestern Twin Lake. The bravest in the group tasted the leaves, some declaring them very hot, others just mildly hot. After a brief walk to west bank of the Bronx River, about half the group decamped to the bridge, preferring the safety of pavement over walking through Nettle and Bur Cucumber (Sicyos angulata). There on the bank of the river, growing side by side as they often do, were Persicaria extremiorientalis and Persicaria lapathifolia. Even those on the bridge could see the pink and white spikes of the former and the pale, greenish white spikes of the latter. Even from a distance, the two species are unmistakable. Next seen was Persicaria pennsylvanica, growing along the bank of the River, just south of the Magnolia bridge. Growing with it was Persicaria hydropiper, another species with spicy leaves and fewer people willing to try a taste. The last species seen was Persicaria virginiana, growing abundantly along the split rail fence of the Thain Family Forest. Some in the group made videos of the elastically projected achenes, illustrating why the species is called jumpseed. The field trip concluded with a herbarium tour including specimens collected by Charles Darwin on the voyage of the Beagle, Joseph Banks on Captain Cook’s first circumnavigation and many others.
On Sunday September 13th a Torrey Botanical Society and Long Island Botanical Society joint walk entitled Flora neglecta was held in Queens. The trip leader was Michael Feder and there were 14 attendees. The focus of the walk was overlooked plants with a particular emphasis on learning to distinguish all of the common species in the genera Setaria, Galinsoga and Digitaria.
The walk started at the George Seuffert Bandshell parking lot in Forest Park. While waiting for any last minute attendees we walked over to some planted Viburnum opulus at the edge of the parking lot. Attendees were shown how to differentiate between the native and non-native subspecies of this shrub. Unfortunately the planted viburnums were the non-native subspecies opulus.
After this the group met at a picnic table and were introduced to some commonly overlooked plants and obscure weeds via specimens. Some of the specimens introduced were Coronopsis didyma, Mazus pumilus, Cyperus iria, Cyperus microiria, Carthamus tinctorius, Leptochloa fusca, Phalaris canariensis, Aristida oligantha and Ampelopsis cordata.
Remaining at the picnic table the group was then introduced to the genera Setaria, Galinsoga and Digitaria. The emphasis was how to identify these species in the field, however, commonly used couplets found in keys were also explained. For these 3 genera, fresh specimens were available for 12 different species to enable side by side comparisons.
We then visited a greenhouse to see some of the unusual weeds growing inside. We found Oxalis corniculata, Fatoua villosa, Parietaria floridana, Pteris multifida, Phyllanthus caroliniensis and a small mustard which we believe is Cardamine flexuosa, although the identity is uncertain.
Following the visit to the greenhouse, we took a walk around Strack pond. While there we encountered Chasmanthium latifolium, Persicaria longisetum, Clerodendrum trichotomum, Angelica atropurpurea, Corylus americana, Panicum amarum var. amarulum, Nymphoides peltata, Cyperus difformis, Helianthus giganteus, Spartina cynosuroides and Gamochaeta purpurea.
For our last stop we drove about 4 mile to a sandy area near the Cross Bay Blvd. Bridge. Some of the more interesting species we encountered there were Tribulis terrestris, Verbena bracteata, Kochia scoparia, Sporobolus crypandrus, Cyperus grayii, Cyperus Schweinitzii, Plantago psyllium, Euphorbia dentata and Chloris verticillata. Of course we couldn’t ignore Malva neglecta on this day of observing overlooked weeds.
Trip report for The Ramble and Lake, Central Park, New York City, June 6, 2015.
Trip leader: Regina Alvarez
The day began with a drizzle, but four people still showed for the walk. It remained overcast for much of the walk and the sun came out towards the end of our journey.
We entered the park at 79 street and Central Park West and headed for the Ramble. We took our time and explored much of the western half of this woodland. As former Woodland Manager for the Central Park Conservancy, I was able to describe the woodland restoration projects that have taken place over the years. We were able to see the many restoration species that are now flourishing, including some woodland wildflowers such as Jeffersonia diphylla, Asarum canadense, Zizia aurea and Aquilegia canadensis.
Following is a list of some of the species we saw and discussed.
|Aceraceae||Acer platanoides||Norway maple||Non-native invasive|
|Aceraceae||Acer rubrum||Red maple||Native|
|Anacardiaceae||Rhus aromatica||Fragrant sumac||Restoration species|
|Anacardiaceae||Rhus coppalinum||Shining sumac||Restoration species|
|Anacardiaceae||Rhus glabra||Smooth sumac||Restoration species|
|Anacardiaceae||Rhus typhina||Staghorn sumac||Restoration species|
|Anacardiaceae||Toxicodendron radicans||Poison ivy||Native|
|Apiaceae||Zizia aurea||Golden Alexanders||Restoration species|
|Aquifoliaceae||Ilex verticillata||Winterberry||Restoration species|
|Araceae||Symplocarpus foetidus||Skunk cabbage||Restoration species|
|Aristolochiaceae||Asarum canadense||American ginger||Restoration species|
|Asteraceae||Chrysogonum virginianum||Green-and-gold||Restoration species|
|Asteraceae||Eurybia divaricata||White wood aster||Native|
|Berberidaceae||Jeffersonia diphylla||Twin leaf||Restoration species|
|Caprifoliaceae||Lonicera japonica||Japanese honeysuckle||Non-native, invasive|
|Caprifoliaceae||Lonicera sempervirens||Trumpet honeysuckle||Restoration species|
|Dryopteridaceae||Dryopteris marginalis||Marginal fern||Restoration species|
|Dryopteridaceae||Polystichum acrostichoides||Christmas fern||Restoration species|
|Ericaceae||Kalmia latifolia||Mountain laurel||Restoration species|
|Fagaceae||Quercus rubra||Red oak||Native, seedlings present|
|Fagaceae||Quercus velutina||Black oak||Native|
|Geraniaceae||Geranium maculatun||Wild geranium||Restoration species|
|Gingkoaceae||Ginkgo biloba||Maidenhair tree||Non-native ornamental|
|Juglandaceae||Carya cordiformis||Bitternut hickory||Native|
|Lauraceae||Lindera benzoin||Spicebush||Restoration species|
|Moraceae||Morus alba||Mulberry||Non-native ornamental, seedlings present|
|Onocleaceae||Matteucia struthiopteris||Ostrich fern||Restoration species|
|Osmundaceae||Osmunda regalis||Royal fern||Restoration species|
|Paulowniaceae||Paulownia tomentosa||Princess tree||Non-native ornamental, seedlings present|
|Pincaceae||Pinus strobus||White pine||Restoration species|
|Poaceae||Elymus hystrix||Bottlebrush grass||Restoration species|
|Polygonaceae||Fallopia japonica||Japanese knotweed||Non-native invasive|
|Polygonaceae||Persicaria virginiana||Virginia knotweed||Native|
|Ranunculaceae||Aquilegia canadenis||Columbine||Restoration species|
|Ranunculaceae||Caltha palustris||Marsh marigold||Restoration species|
|Rosaceae||Amelanchier sp.||Shadbush||Restoration species|
|Rosaceae||Prunus serotina||Black cherry||Native|
|Rosaceae||Rosa virginiana||Virginia rose||Restoration species|
|Rosaceae||Rubus phoenicolasius||Wineberry||Non-native, spreading, invasive?|
|Sapindaceae||Koelrueteria paniculata||Goldenrain tree||Non-native ornamental, seedlings present|
|Violaceae||Viola canadensis||Canada violet||Restoration species|
Trip report for Weir Farm National Historic Site, Wilton, Connecticut. May 24, 2015
Trip leader: Carol Levine
Our field trip was held at the Nature Conservancy attached to the National Historic Site held in honor of the American Impressionist painter, Julian Alden Weir. The area is a beautiful combination of the open farm land where Weir and his artist friends used to paint and extensive woodlands that include large stands of Mountain Laurel (not in bloom at this time). The sun was out and the weather was beautiful. However attendance was all of two people – one from CBS and one from Torrey Botanical.
So the three of us went for a lovely walk ( which included an attack by a wild turkey in the woods who was protecting her precious brood and was very determined about it. ) Among the plants in bloom, we came across just one plant of Cypripedium acaule but a nice stand of Corydalis sp. Also blooming were Maianthemum canadense, Maianthemum racemosum, Geranium maculatum, Arisaema triphyllum, Lysimachia quadrifilia, Duchesnia indica and, of course Symplocarpus foetidus.
Next time we go to Weir Farm we should time it for the Mountain Laurel to be in bloom.
Trip Report for Torrey Walk, Corydalis incisa on the Bronx River, Saturday, May 30th. Bronx Park, Bronx, NY
Trip leader: Daniel Atha, 718-514-3922, firstname.lastname@example.org
Participant: Zihao Wang.
We found Corydalis incisa (Thunb.) Pers. growing in several areas between Mosholu Parkway and 207th St. The plants occur in distinct patches, sometimes very dense, other times scattered. Some areas seem to be free of the species. The species was past peak fruiting, most having dehisced already. Very few flowers were present. One large opening about 30 m in diameter and free of woody vegetation was nearly carpeted with the species.
Rorippa indica (L.) Hiern. was collected (Atha & Wang 15092) on Mosholu Parkway (40.869080N, 73.877610W, WGS 84, ±25m). This species has not been seen in New York State since 1949 and was thought to be nonextant.
We observed numerous individuals of Anthriscus sylvestris (L.) Hoffm. Many plants were a about a meter tall. It resembles Conium maculatum, but lacks stem spots and has longer fruit.
We observed a single population of Reynoutria sachalinensis (F. Schmidt) Nakai, between the Bronx Rive and the Bronx River Parkway and north of the Mosholu Bridge.
The invasive Epipactis helleborine (L.) Crantz was seen. Coronopus didymus (L.) Sm. was present, especially around paths and gardens and the species seemed to be more abundant in the Bronx this year than last.
On the bright side we found some healthy populations of Hydrophyllum virginianum and Viola pubescens, both natives. On one edge of the gap dominated by Corydalis there were several majestic Heracleum lanatum W. Bartram, standing about 2 m to the large, white umbels. Carex blanda Dewey and Maianthemum racemosum (L.) Link., showed up occasionally among the herbaceous groundcover. Opposite the Heracleum on the other side of the gap was a large stand of Rumex patientia L. Numerous large and small Fraxinus were observed, some of which were Fraxinus americana L., some possibly also Fraxinus michauxii (Fraxinus profunda).
Polygonatum commutatum (Schult. & Schult. f.) A. Dietr. was common along the trail.
A single Polystichum acrostichoides (Michx.) Schott was seen on a slope above the trail and floodplain terrace dominated by a very large Fagus grandifolia.
By Paul Harwood
Six participants of the Torrey Botanical Society and the Olive Natural Heritage Society met on Saturday, June 8, 2013 for a joint field trip into the Sundown Wild Forest. An interesting ecological feature called a bear wallow in a Catskill high elevation bog was our goal. A bear wallow is a depression in a wet area caused by bears, namely the American black bear (Ursus americanus), wallowing in the mud to keep cool on hot summer days. Over the years, the wallowing of the bears deepens and widens the depression, affecting the ecology of the area.
Buddy’s Bear Wallow, the target of our expedition has long been known and appears in an 1845 map by John B. Davis, a surveyor. The wallow is located in a sphagnum bog on a topographic saddle at ca. 2160 ft. at the base of Spencer’s Ledge in Denning Township
A slightly rough ride on a dirt road, where colonies of stump sprouting American chestnut (Castanea dentata) grew and a mile bushwack into the mixed northern hardwood forest (Tsuga canadensis, Acer saccharum, Acer rubrum, Fagus grandifolia, Quercus rubra, Fraxinus americana, Tilia americana ) were necessary to reach the bog where the wallow was situated. Along the way goldthread (Coptis trifolia), indian cucumber (Medeola virginiana) and skunk currant (Ribes glandulosum) were found in abundance.
Upon reaching the bog, we noted that Sphagnum moss (Sphagnum sps.) with stands of hemlock (Tsuga canadensis) interspersed with great laurel (Rhododendron maximum) and braces of cinnamon ferns (Osmunda cinnamomea) and sensitive ferns (Onoclea sensibilis) on hummocks dominated the landscape. Some early carices were also present (Carex crinita, C. gynadra, C. arctata, C. debilis) but it was still too early in the season to see many sedges fruiting in the bog. A small stand of marsh marigold (Caltha palustris) was also found along with large populations of marsh blue violets (Viola cucullata). Sam Adams and Steve Parisio of the ONHS had been here on an earlier field trip and noted the Sphagnum as being two feet thick. On this trip, Sam pushed a walking stick 5 feet in length fully into the moss, perhaps denoting a much deeper bog than was previously thought.
Unfortunately for us, we found that we had navigated across the bog without actually finding the wallow. So it was decided to visit a wet meadow, situated nearby that was also on our agenda and then find the wallow on our return out of the forest. Along the way we discovered some lady-slipper orchids (Cyprepedium acaule) and a rich area of lycopods (Lycopodium complanatum, L. digitatum, L. hickeyi, Huperzia lucidula). A very tough bramble of hemlock, mountain laurel (Kalmia latifolia) and white pine (Pinus strobus) had to be traversed to get to the meadow and there was some intense bushwacking before we broke through to the meadow.
Bright sunlight greeted us as we looked over the meadow over a late lunch. Bulrushes (Scirpus sps.) abounded but it was still too early in the season to identify the species. Tearthumb (Persicaria arifolia ) was sighted as well as ? Again, because of the unusually cool spring, much that we saw was in a sterile condition so ID’s were in short supply.
By this time the shadows were lengthening and the sun was close to setting behind Spencer Ledge. So it was decided that we should start heading back and forego the bear wallow till another time. Disappointed a little by our failure to see the wallow, we were nonetheless content to have seen some beautiful, pristine landscapes
|Buddy’s Bear Wallow Plant List|
|Acer pensylvanicum L. – striped maple|
|Acer rubrum L. – red maple|
|Acer saccharum Marshall – sugar maple|
|Amelanchier arborea (F. Michx.) Fernald – common serviceberry|
|Anemone quinquefolia L. – wood anemone|
|Aralia nudicaulis L. – wild sarsaparilla|
|Arisaema triphyllum(L.) Schott – Jack in the pulpitBetula alleghaniensis Britton – yellow birch|
|Brachyelytrum erectum (Schreb.) P. Beauv. – bearded shorthusk|
|Caltha palustris L. – yellow marsh marigold|
|Carex appalachica J.M. Webber & P.W. Ball – Appalachian sedge|
|Carex arctata Boott – drooping woodland sedge|
|Carex debilis Michx. – white edge sedge|
|Carex gynandra Schwein. – nodding sedge|
|Carex prasina Wahlenb. – drooping sedge|
|Carex scabrata Schwein. – eastern rough sedge|
|Carex stipata Muhl. ex Willd. – awlfruit sedge|
|Carex trisperma Dewey – threeseeded sedge|
|Castanea dentata (Marshall) Borkh. – American chestnut|
|Chelone glabra L. – white turtlehead|
|Chrysosplenium americanum Schwein. ex Hook. – American golden saxifrage|
|Clintonia borealis (Aiton) Raf. – bluebead|
|Coptis trifolia (L.) Salisb. – threeleaf goldthread|
|Cornus canadensis L. – bunchberry dogwood|
|Cypripedium acaule Aiton – moccasin flower|
|Dennstaedtia punctilobula (Michx.) T. Moore – eastern hayscented fern|
|Dryopteris carthusiana (Vill.) H.P. Fuchs – spinulose woodfern|
|Dryopteris intermedia (Muhl. ex Willd.) A. Gray – intermediate woodfern|
|Dryopteris marginalis (L.) A. Gray – marginal woodfern|
|Epifagus virginiana (L.) W.P.C. Barton – beechdrops|
|Eurybia divaricata (L.) G.L. Nesom – white wood aster|
|Fagus grandifolia Ehrh. – American beech|
|Fraxinus americana L. – white ash|
|Gaultheria procumbens L. – eastern teaberry|
|Hamamelis virginiana L. – American witchhazel|
|Huperzia lucidula (Michx.) Trevis. – shining clubmoss|
|Ilex montana Torr. & A. Gray – mountain holly|
|Impatiens capensis Meerb. – jewelweed|
|Kalmia latifolia L. – mountain laurel|
|Laportea canadensis (L.) Gaudich. – Laportea canadensis|
|lex verticillata (L.) A. Gray – common winterberry|
|Lonicera canadensis Bartram ex Marshall – American fly honeysuckle|
|Lycopodium complanatum L. – groundcedar|
|Lycopodium digitatum Dill. – fan clubmoss|
|Lycopodium hickeyi W.H. Wagner, Beitel & R.C. Moran – Pennsylvania clubmoss|
|Lycopus virginicus L. – Virginia water horehound|
|Maianthemum canadense Desf. – Canada mayflower|
|Maianthemum racemosum (L.) Link – feathery false lily of the valley|
|Medeola virginiana L. – Indian cucumber|
|Mitchella repens L. – partridgeberry|
|Mitella diphylla L. – twoleaf miterwort|
|Oclemena acuminata (Michx.) Greene – whorled wood aster|
|Onoclea sensibilis L. – sensitive fern|
|Osmunda cinnamomea L. – cinnamon fern|
|Oxalis montana Raf. – mountain woodsorrel|
|Panax trifolius L. – dwarf ginseng|
|Persicaria arifolia (L.) Haraldson – halberdleaf tearthumb|
|Pinus strobus L. – eastern white pine|
|Polygonatum pubescens (Willd.) Pursh – hairy Solomon’s seal|
|Polystichum acrostichoides (Michx.) Schott – Christmas fern|
|Potentilla simplex Michx. – common cinquefoil|
|Prunus serotinaEhrh. – black cherryQuercus rubra L. – northern red oak|
|Rhododendron maximum L. – great laurel|
|Ribes glandulosum Grauer – skunk currant|
|Rubus allegheniensis Porter – Allegheny blackberry|
|Rubus canadensis L. – smooth blackberry|
|Rubus hispidus L. – bristly dewberry|
|Rubus pubescens Raf. – dwarf red blackberry|
|Rubus strigosus Michx. – grayleaf red raspberry|
|Sambucus racemosa L. – red elderberry|
|Scutellaria lateriflora L. – blue skullcap|
|Sorbus americana Marshall – American mountain ash|
|Thalictrum pubescens Pursh – king of the meadow|
|Thelypteris noveboracensis (L.) Nieuwl. – New York fern|
|Thelypteris palustris (A. Gray) Schott – eastern marsh fern|
|Tiarella cordifolia L. – heartleaf foamflower|
|Tilia americana L. – American basswood|
|Trientalis borealis Raf. – starflower|
|Trillium erectum L. – red trillium|
|Trillium undulatum Willd. – painted trillium|
|Tsuga canadensis (L.) Carrière – eastern hemlock|
|Uvularia sessilifolia L. – sessileleaf bellwort|
|Vaccinium angustifolium Aiton – lowbush blueberry|
|Veratrum viride Aiton – green false hellebore|
|Viburnum lantanoides Michx. – hobblebush|
|Viburnum lentagoL. – nannyberryViburnum nudum var. cassinoides (L.) Torr. & A. Gray – withe-rod|
|Viola cucullata Aiton – marsh blue violet|
|Viola macloskeyi F.E. Lloyd – small white violet|
by Paul Harwood
The north facing sandstone talus slopes of Pakatakan Mountain in the Dry Brook Ridge Wild Forest of the Catskill Mountains was the venue for a joint field trip between the Olive Natural Heritage Society and the Torrey Botanical Society on May 12, 2012. Nine participants met at the parking lot in the town of Margaretville. The town is still recovering from the damage Hurricane Irene caused last year and the subsequent flooding after the East Branch of the Delaware breached its banks and inundated the downtown area.
Pakatakan Mountain was a good choice for the trip as Adoxa moshetallina or muskroot has been historically collected there and a small population has been monitored by the New York Natural Heritage Program. The last survey in 2008 found a few hundred plants. We found three closely located, but separate clumps but unfortunately did not have time to do an accurate plant count. The Catskills (specifically Delaware and Greene Counties) is the only site in the eastern US where A. moshetallina, a relict species of the ice age, occurs. The nearest population is over 800 miles away so it is a botanical anomaly. It is thought that it prefers the cool updrafts caused by ice in the crevices of the talus slopes, much like another relict species, Aconitum noveboracense. A. noveboracense or northern monkshood is another species that only occurs in the Catskills in NY State.
But Pakatakan’s slightly sweet soil of pH 5.0-5.6 (Brooks, 1960) is home to another rare species Uvularia grandiflora Sm., largeflower bellwort. It has been found on Pakatakan historically and only last year, Morton (Sam) Adams and Steve Parisio, members of the Olive Natural Heritage Society, had sighted it there. Unfortunately, the unusually temperate winter and spring this year precipitated an early bloom so we probably missed the flowering and therefore were unable to locate it. Asplenium rhizophyllum had also been sighted and collected here but we were also unable to locate it, perhaps because it usually leafs out later in the season.
Large stands of Caulophyllum giganteum, Sanguinaria canadensis and Hepatica nobilis var. acuta were very much in evidence. Violets, Viola labradorica, Viola pubescens, Viola rostrata, Viola macloskeyi, festooned the slopes with their colorful display and large populations of Mitella diphylla and Tiarella cordifolia were also a sight to behold. Other notable plants that were sighted were Botrychium virginianum, Asplenium trichomanes and Carex sprengelii.
A complete list of species sighted can be found here.
July 9, 2011, Wawayanda State Park, Hewitt, NJ.
Trip leaders: Uli Lorimer, Tim Chambers, and Heather Liljengren