Flora neglecta, Cross Bay and Woodhaven Blvds., Queens, NY – joint field trip with Long Island Botanical Society

Posted on Tuesday, October 6th, 2015

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.

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