Fernwood State Forest

I will be conducting a botanical survey of Fernwood State Forest, which is located in Jefferson County, Ohio. The 3,023 acre forest was purchased in 1961. The Appalachian Regional Development Act of 1965 funded reforestation and installation of recreational facilities on the former strip mining land in Jefferson County, Ohio.. Fernwood features a 3 mile long hiking trail(the dotted line seen in the first map below), several ponds scattered throughout the area, campsites, gun ranges, and a Land Lab to promote natural resources and environmental education.

image taken from https://birding-in-ohio.com/jefferson-county/fernwood-state-forest/

Location relative to the state.

Here are a few examples of the plants I’ve been finding in Fernwood.  These plants were found near the vistas and Little Round Top Picnic Area. The area I surveyed was mostly woodland with a few streams running through it. I walked through a couple hundred feet of the hiking trail  but turned back because I realized my shoes were unfit for the muddy foot path.

Red Clover

 

 

 

 

 

 

The first plant I photographed is red clover. The scientific name is Trifolium pratense. It’s an herbaceous species of flowering plant in the Fabaceae family, aka the bean family. The nectar and pollen of the flower attracts several types of bees, butterflies, skippers, and moths. The foliage, seeds, and plant juices are often fed on by caterpillars, beetles, stinkbugs, grasshoppers, and several insects. The leaves are oval shaped, alternate, and compound. The ,margins are smooth. The center of the leaf typically features a white or light green chevron feature. Each flower head has numerous flowers with 5 petals each, and are usually white, pink, or purplish.

Fun Fact: It has been proven that White-Tailed Deer can spread seeds of red clover to a new location through their droppings.

Information taken from https://www.illinoiswildflowers.info/weeds/plants/red_clover.htm

Ground Ivy

 

Ground ivy, also known as creeping charlie, is an evergreen creeper of the mint family Lamiaceae. The scientific name is Glechoma hederacea. The leaves are typically light green to purplish, round to kidney shaped with toothed margins, and  oppositely arranged. The flowers are violet with darker violet lines that act as nectar guides. Each flower has five petals, one pistil and four stamens. The nectar and pollen attracts several types of bees and butterflies. The caterpillars of polyphagous moth feed on the foliage. However, ground ivy is considered toxic to livestock like horses. Interestingly though, the European Wild Boar and Ruffed Grouse use the leaves as a food source.

information source: https://www.illinoiswildflowers.info/weeds/plants/ground_ivy.htm

 

Amur Honeysuckle

Amur honeysuckle is an invasive bush in the Caprifoliaceae family. The scientific name is Lonicera maackii. The leaflets are opposite, simple, and dark green with a lighter colored underside. The flowers have five very thin petals and are typically yellow or white.  The flower has five long stamens with yellow anthers. The pistil has a single style with a green stigma.

Fun Fact: The petals of amur honeysuckle can be used to create an ointment to remove freckles.

information from: https://www.oardc.ohio-state.edu/weedguide/single_weed.php?id=54

Eastern Redbud

The eastern redbud tree, or Cercis canadensis, is a member of the Fabaceae or pea family. The leaves are heartshaped, alternate, and simple. The flowers, not shown, are pink and develop before the leaves in spring. By midsummer, the flowers are replaced by legumes that persist through winter. Both the redbud flowers and legumes are edible.

source: https://bernheim.org/learn/trees-plants/bernheim-select-urban-trees/eastern-redbud/

American Elm

Ulmus americana, or the American elm, has oblong simple serrated leaflets. The leaves are arranged alternately. Its seeds and leaflets are used as food by birds and mammals such as deer. Elm bark beetles spread Dutch Elm Disease, which is a fungus that destroys many American Elm trees by vascular wilt.

source: https://www.apsnet.org/edcenter/disandpath/fungalasco/pdlessons/Pages/DutchElm.aspx

Common Crownvetch

Common crownvetch is a legume vine. The scientific name is Securigera varia. It is a member of the Fabaceae family. Securigera varia has alternate leaves with pinnately compound oblong leaflets.  “The foliage of Crown Vetch contains the toxic cardiac alkaloid, coronillin. As a result, it is potentially toxic to some mammals, including horses and humans.” https://www.illinoiswildflowers.info/weeds/plants/crown_vetch.htm

Poison Ivy

This poison ivy was found growing on a tree near the Little Round Top Picnic Area. The scientific name for poison ivy is Toxicodendron radicans. Poison ivy can be identified by compound leaves that have three leaflets (trifoliate). The middle leaflet typically has a longer stem. “Leaflets three, let it be” poison ivy contains a toxic oil called urushiol that causes skin irritation and itchiness. Smoke from burning the plant can be just as toxic.

Ongoing Plant List:

scientific name, common name, CC

Trifolium pratense ,Red Clover, 0

Glechoma hederacea,Ground Ivy, 0

Lonicera maackii, Amur Honeysuckle, 0

Cercis canadensis,Eastern Redbud, 3

Ulmus americana,American Elm, 2

Securigera varia, Common Cronvetch, ?

Toxicodendron radicans, Poison Ivy, 1

Rubus allegheniensis, Common Blackberry, 1

Cornus alterifolia, Pagoda Dogwood, 5

Conium maculatum,Poison Hemlock, 0

Eutrochium maculatum, Spotted Joe-pyweed, 6

Latuca biennia,Tall Blue Lettuce, ?

Tussilago farfara, Coltsfoot, 0

Sanicula odorata, Clustered Blacksnakeroot, 3

Erigeron annuus, Annual Fleabane, 0

Rosa multiflora, Multiflora Rose, 0

Rubus occidentalis, Black Raspberry, 1

Prunus virginiana, Common Chokecherry, 2

Parthenocissus quinquefolia, Virginia Creeper, 2

Menispermum canadense, Common Moonseed, 5

Hydrophyllum appendiculatum, Great Waterleaf, 5

Thuja occidentalis, Arborvitae, 9

Ulmus rubra, Slippery Elm, 3

Osmorhiza berteroi, Mountain Sweet Cicely, ?

Euonymus alatus, Burning Bush, 0

Cornus alternifolia, Pagoda Dogwood, 5

Liquidambar styraciflua, Sweetgum, 6

CC Values: Coefficients of Conservatism

Coefficients of conservatism represent how likely a plant is to be present in an area. The values range from zero to ten.An example of coefficients that are assigned to vascular plants is down below.

https://www.epa.ohio.gov/portals/35/wetlands/Ohio_FQAI.pdf

Here are some examples of the highest and lowest CC scores I’ve found so far. 

Thuja occidentalis, White Cedar, 9

White cedar is an evergreen in the cupressaceae family. The leaflets are scalelike, simple, and opposite. The mature tree is usually about 25-40 feet tall. The tree is known as the “tree of life” because it’s reportedly used for medicinal purposes. Thuja can be used to treat bacterial skin infections, bronchitis, cold sores, and osteoarthritis.

Source:http://hort.ufl.edu/trees/THUOCCA.pdf

Liquidambar styraciflua, Sweetgum, 6

The Sweetgum tree is a member of the Hamamelidaceae family, or witch hazel family. It is a deciduous tree that grows up to 148 feet tall. The leaflets are lobed, serrated, and alternate. The fruits are spiky capsules that contain up to 40 capsules. Sweetgum trees have a few medicinal uses. The fruit can be used to treat rheumatic pain. The bark can be used to treat dysentery and diarrhea. Gum resin from the trees has anti-inflammatory properties and has been used to treat bedsores, topical herpes and angina.

source: https://homeguides.sfgate.com/uses-sweet-gum-tree-44350.html

Rosa multiflora, Multiflora Rose, 0

Multiflora rose is a perennial shrub with clusters of small white flowers. The leaves are alternate and the leaflets are pinnately compound with serrated margins. Multiflora rose has high seed production and viability. The seeds are often spread by birds. Each flower has both male and female parts. Rosa multiflora is considered an invasive species. Multiflora rose readily invades forest edges, open woodlands and plantations especially where there has been land disturbance.This plant forms impenetrable, thorny thickets that make forestry work difficult and painful.In the 1930s, it was used as a fence for livestock. 

Source: http://www.nifatrees.org/Resources/Documents/Invasives/multiflora-rose.pdf

Trifolium pratense ,Red Clover, 0

The leaves are palmately trifoliate. The leaflets are oval shaped with a chevron mark. The plant can grow up to 80 centimeters tall.  Red clover can be used for the lymphatic system, immune support, healthy skin, and proper endocrine function. It is a member of the bean family Fabaceae. The red clover flower has many medicinal uses such as treatments for asthma, whopping cough, gout, and cancer.

Multiflora Rose

Sweetgum

 

 

 

White Cedar

 

Red Clover

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Floristic Quality Assessment Index

 

https://www.epa.ohio.gov/portals/35/wetlands/Ohio_FQAI.pdf

The floristic quality assessment index, FQAI, score was found using the equation pictured on the right. I’ , the modified FQAI score for this site is 11.3.

 

 

 

 

Interpretive Signs

https://interpretivedesign.com.au/portfolio/environmental/environmental-interpretive-signs/

 

Above is an interpretive sign that I found online. I couldn’t find any signs at Fernwood State Forest, so I decided to critique this one from the Seville Reserve. The sign does a good job of explaining the history of the site, as well as the underlying geology. The sign has an eye catching aesthetic that I’m sure has lured many hikers. It includes colorful pictures of a flower and animals. My only critique would be to include information on invasive species or plant life at the site. .

Since there were zero interpretive signs at Fernwood State Forest, I tried to include a bit of everything in mine. I realized quickly that my editing skills in powerpoint weren’t up to par, so I did my best. There are little to no resources about the history, geology, or wildlife at Fernwood so I used what I could find. It surprised me to find the same paragraph copied to each website I looked at.

I found inspiration in the colorful pictures on the example sign above. I included a picture of a moss, flowers, a fruit, and a plain sign found at the site. I attempted to describe the geology and history of the area like in the example sign. I also added a section about invasive species, which I think the example sign should include too.

Updated FULL Plant List

Plant List;

Sorted by: Major plant Group

Organized by: Family, Scientific Name and Author(3), Common Name, Coefficient of Conservation(4), growth form(6); nativity (5), commonness, habitat(6)

Note: ?=CC not found

 

Angiosperms

  • Altingiaceae, Liquidambar styraciflua , Sweetgum, 6, deciduous tree, native, Sweetgum is relatively common at this site. Sweetgum prefers moist to wet habitats, like woods, stream banks, clearings, and oil fields.

The strong root systems of Sweetgums can damage sidewalks and curbs. Some people use the resin from Sweetgum as chewing gum. Its resin can also be used for dental hygiene.

  • Anacardiaceae, Rhus glabra , smooth sumac, 2, deciduous & can be a large shrub or small tree, native, Very common in Ohio (invasive) and at Fernwood, habitat is disturbed sites – roadsides, open woodlands, prairies, thickets.

Smooth sumac has alternate, compound, pinnate leaves. The leaves of smooth sumac turn red in the fall. The name “sumac” comes from an old French word meaning “red”.  Smooth sumac has many uses. Carpenter bees construct nests in broken smooth sumac leaves by digging into the pith. The bark can be made into a powder used to treat ulcers. This sumac can be used to treat sore throats, burns, and skin eruptions.

  • Anacardiaceae,Toxicodendron radicans ,Poison Ivy, 1, presented as a cimbing vine, shrub, or trailing vine; native, Very common in Ohio and Fernwood State Forest; found along roads, fields, around trees, and in woodlands.

Poison ivy is just that, poisonous, at least to humans. Direct skin contact to poison ivy can cause an itchy rash. The rash is caused by urushiol, a compound in the plant’s sap. However, poison ivy has a few medicinal uses. The leaves can be used to treat pain, arthritis, swelling, and, ironically, itchy skin disorders.

  • Apiaceae, Cryptotaenia canadensis , Canadian Honewort, 3, herbaceous perennial, Native, fairly common in Ohio and Fernwood; habitat is moist to wet deciduous woodlands, shady areas.

 

Canadian honewort can be used in many ways. The stems, leaves, and flowers can be used in salads. Roots can be used as starch. The seeds can be used as a spice.

 

  • Apiaceae, Daucus carota , Wild carrot, 0, biennial herbaceous plant, introduced, very common in Ohio and Fernwood; found along roadsides, waste places, and fields.

 

Wild carrot originated in Europe. It is thought to have come to the United States as a contaminant of cultivated carrot seeds. Wild carrot is considered mildly toxic due to furocoumarins in the leaves. This toxin can cause allergic contact dermatitis.

 

  • Apiaceae, Osmorhiza berteroi ,Mountain Sweet Cicely, 4, perennial herb, Native, common in ohio and Fernwood; found in dry to moist areas, forest, thickets, fields.

Mountain Sweet Cicely was used as a food source for many groups of Native Americans. They cooked the roots into soups and teas. It is also used as a treatment for the common cold.

  • Apiaceae, Osmorhiza claytonii , Clayton’s sweetroot, 4, perennial herb, Native, common in Ohio and Fernwood; lives in moist woood habitats

 

Osmorhiza claytonii is often confused with Osmorhiza longistylis but can be distinguished by their flowers. Clayton’s sweetroot has 4-7 flowers per umbellet while Aniseroot has 7-15. Leaf and stem surfaces of Clayton’s sweetroot are hairy while Aniseroot are hairless. The root of Osmorhiza claytonii can be cooked and eaten as a vegetable, as well as the leaf stalks.

 

  • Apiaceae, Osmorhiza longistylis , aniseroot, 4, herbaceous perennial, Native, common in Ohio and Fernwood; prefers moderate shade and moist conditions

 

The pollen of aniseroot attracts bees, beetles, wasps, and flies. Caterpillars feed on the foliage. The bristly seeds attach to fur of animals and bird feathers to aid in dispersion. The roots of aniseroot can be used as a substitute for black licorice.

 

  • Apiaceae, Sanicula canadensis , Canadian Blacksnakeroot, 5, biennial or perennial herbaceous plant, Native, common in Ohio; Habitat includes mesic woodlands, woodland paths, fence rows, and shady garden areas.

 

The pollen of Canadian blacksnakeroot attracts bees and flies. Some aphids suck plant juices from the leaves, roots, and stem. Livestock and other animals aboid eating the foliage due to its bitter taste.

 

  • Apiaceae, Sanicula odorata Clustered Blacksnakeroot, 3, Herbaceous perennial, Native, common in Ohio; Habitat includes deciduous woodlands, thickets, fence rows, and shady areas.

 

Clustered blacksnakeroot has small prickly fruits that can cling to animals and birds, even sometimes clings to clothing of humans, and therefore distributes the seeds to new locations.

 

  • Apiaceae, Conium maculatum ,Poison Hemlock, 0, Biennial herbaceous plant, Introduced, common in Ohio; Habitats include wetlands, prairies, ditches, thickets, fence rows, and fields.

 

Conium maculatum is an invasive plant that appears all over the United States. Poison hemlock contains toxic alkaloids. The alkaloids affect nerve impulse transmission to muscles. Ingestion of any part of poison hemlock is fatal for people, livestock, and wildlife.

  • Asteraceae ,Lactuca biennis,Tall Blue Lettuce, 1, Biennial herb, Native, common in Ohio; habitat is mesic to dry prairies.

 

The root of tall blue lettuce can be used to create a decoction. This decoction can be used to treat hemorrhages, heart troubles, diarrhea, and vomiting.

  • Asteraceae, Achillea millefolium , Common Yarrow, 1, Perennial wildflower, Native, common in Ohio, habitat includes mesic to dry prairies, fields, hedges.

The pollen attracts bees, wasps, flies, beetles, butterflies, and moths. Grasshoppers feed on the foliage of Common Yarrow. Crickets and katydids feed on the flowers.

  • Asteraceae, Artemisia vulgaris f., common mugwort, 0, Herbaceous perennial, Native, not common in Ohio – only seen in about a dozen Ohio counties; Habitat includes edges of woods, prairie, and waste places.

 

The flowers are primarily wind pollinated, so they’re not adapted to attract many insects. The foliage of mugwort is bitter and toxic. It contains toxins called cinerole and thujone – which is a neurotoxin.

 

  • Asteraceae, Cirsium arvense , Creeping Thistle, 0, herbaceous perennial, Introduced, common in 58/88 Ohio counties; habitat includes croplands, fields, roadsides.

 

Creeping thistle is an invasive plant that originated in Eurasia. Farmers and gardeners fear creeping thistle because chooping the roots with a plow will just spread the thistle across a field.

 

  • Asteraceae, Erigeron annuus Var.,Annual Fleabane, 0, annual or biennial, Native, common in Ohio and Fernwood; typical habitats include waste areas, moist to dry prairies, fields, and roadsides.

Sheep and deer have been observed eating the foliage of annual fleabane. Pollen of the flowerheads attract many bees, wasps, flies, and beetles. The plant has diuretic and astringent properties that can treat diabetes, diarrhea, dysuria, and gravel.

  • Asteraceae, Lactuca serriola L., Prickly Lettuce, 0, annual or biennial flowering plant, Introduced, common in Ohio – present in about ¾ of Ohio’s counties; habitat includes fields, roadsides, fences, and waste areas.

Caterpillars of various moth species, deer, and cattle eat the foliage of Prickly Lettuce. The flowers attract many species of bees, beetles, and flies. This plant is sometimes called “wild opium” because it contains compounds that are mildly sedating and analgesic.

  • Asteraceae, Leucanthemum vulgare , Oxeye Daisy, 0, herbaceous perennial, Introduced, common in Ohio, habitats include pastures, waste places, roadsides, and mesic to dry prairies.

 

Oxeye daisy is an invasive plant that originated in Eurasia. The flowers attract bees, flies, beetles, butterflies, and skippers. The caterpillars of moths feed on the foliage. Livestock that eat the foliage can spread the seeds because they are still viable after passing through the digestive tract.

 

  • Asteraceae, Polymnia canadensis , Whiteflower leafcup, 5, herbaceous biennial or perennial, Native, Common in Ohio, habitat includes deciduous woods, shaded areas, ravines, and streambanks.

 

Flowers attract honeybees, bumblebees, and flies. Ants feed on the nectar but do not aid in cross pollination. The plant can be used as a hair tonic, laxative, and stimulant.

 

  • Asteraceae, Solidago canadensis , Canada Goldenrod, 1, herbaceous perennial, Native, common in Ohio, habitat includes floodplains, forests, moist to dry prairies, and along roadsides.

 

Canada goldenrod relies on cross pollination by bees, wasps, flies, beetles, and butterflies. The plant is eaten by prairie chicken, swamp sparrow, eastern goldfinch, deer, and rabbits. Goldenrod has been used to treat arthritis, asthma, internal bleeding, diabetes, and tuberculosis.

 

  • Asteraceae, Tussilago farfara Coltsfoot, 0, Perennial herbaceous plant, Invasive, common in Ohio, habitats include ditches, fields, streambanks, and moist woodlands.

Studies found that coltsfoot extract can cause cancer in rats. Coltsfoot leaves can be made into tea, candies, and tobacco. Interestingly, Coltsfoot flowers emerge before the leaves.

  • Ateraceae, Eutrochium maculatum ,Spotted Joe-pyweed, 6, herbaceous perennial, Introduced, not common in Ohio, habitats include sunny wet locations like prairies, springs, soggy thickets, and streambanks.

 

Flowerheads attract honeybees, bumblebees, flies, butterflies, skippers, and moths. Caterpillars, aphids, treehoppers, beetles and gnats feed on the foliage of spotted joe-pyeweed.

  • Berberidaceae, Berberis thunbergii , Japanese Barberry, 0, herbaceous perennial shrub, Introduced, common in Ohio, habitats include woodlands, thickets, fields, and roadsides.

 

Japanese barberry has toxic foliage that is avoided by deer and livestock, therefore the shrub increases in abundance due to the lack of predators. Flowers attract insects with pollen, which triggers the movement of stamens to coat the insect with pollen. This aids in cross pollination.

 

  • Berberidaceae, Podophyllum peltatum , Mayapple, 4, herbaceous perennial plant, Native, common in Ohio, habitats include areas of dappled sunlight to light shade, moist to slightly dry conditions, such as mesic deciduous woodlands, savannas, and hillsides.

 

Mayapples can be applied directly to skin to remove warts. IT can also treat pre-cancerous patches on the tongue and mouth. The foliage of mayapple is avoided b most mammalian herbivores because it is poisonous and bitter. However, the berries are edible if they are fully ripe.

 

  • Boraginaceae, Hydrophyllum appendiculatum , Great Waterleaf, 5, biennial flowering plant, Native, common in Ohio and Fernwood, prefers light dappled shade and moist to mesic conditions. Habitats include mesic deciduous woodlands, riverbanks, and fields.

 

Great waterleaf has edible leaves that can be added to salad. The roots can be made into a tea that is used to treat diarrhea and dysentery. Roots can be chewed to soothe sore mouths and cracked lips.

  • Brassicaceae, Lepidium campestre , field pepperweed, 0, annual or perennial winter herbaceous plant, Introduced, common in Ohio, prefers full sun and mesic to slightly dry conditions. Habitats include disturbed areas, cropland, fields, roadsides, and waste places

 

Leaves of field pepperweed can be eaten raw or boiled in salads. The leaves are a source of protein, vitamin, A, and vitamin C. The fruits and seeds can be used as a spice that tastes like a mix of black pepper and mustard.

 

  • Caprifoliaceae, Valerianella radiata, Beaked Cornsalad, 0, winter annual flowering plant, Native, common in Ohio, prefers full sun and moist conditions, habitats include disturbed areas like floodplain forests, fields, waste areas, and glades.

 

The leaves of beaked cornsalad can be eaten in salads. The flowers attract small bees, wasps, and flies. The foliage is non toxic and can be eaten by herbivores but the seeds are not viable after passing through digestive tracts.

 

  • Caprifoliaceae, Lonicera maackii ,Amur Honeysuckle, 0, perennial woody shrub, Introduced, common in Ohio, prefers full sun to light shade and moist to dry-mesic conditions. Habitats include deciduous woodlands, fields, fence rows, and waste areas.

Amur honeysuckle is one of Ohio’s most unwanted invasive species. Theeir dense growth crowds out native species. If they are ingested in large quantities, they can cause symptoms such as vomiting, diarrhea, sweats, dilated pupils, and increased heartbeat.

  • Celastraceae, Celastrus orbiculatus , Oriental bittersweet, 0, perennial deciduous woody vine, Introduced, not common in Ohio; prefers partial to full sun and mesic conditions, habitats include disturbed woodlands, roadsides, thickets, fence rows, and fields.

 

This plant is used for the treatment of paralysis, numbness, headaches, toothaches, and snake bites. The fuits are consumed by ruffed goose, pheasants, wild turkey, bluebirds, robins, cardinals, and starlings.

 

  • Celastraceae, Euonymus alatus , Burning Bush, 0, herbaceous evergreen perennial bush, introduced, not common in Ohio, prefers full sun to medium shade and moist to dry-mesic conditions, habitats include disturbed woodlands, thickets, fields, roadsides, and fence rows.

 

Flowers are cross pollinated by small bees and flies. The bush is a host of wood-boring larvae, bean aphis,  and caterpillars. Due to its dense branching structure, burning bush is a good home for nesting birds.

 

  • Cornaceae,Cornus alternifolia ,Pagoda Dogwood, 5, shrub or small tree, Native, common in Ohio, prefers partial sun and moist conditions, habitats include mesic deciduous woodlands, thickets, streambanks, and roadsides.

 

The pollen of flowers attract bees, wasps, flies, and butterflies. The berries are used as a food source for birds, mice, and chipmunks. Pagoda dogwood is used in traditional Chinese medicine as a tonic, analgesic, and diuretic.

  • Elaeagnaceae, Elaeagnus umbellate , autumn olive, 0, woody shrub, introduced, not common in Ohio, prefers full to partial sun and moist to dry conditions, Habitats include woodlands, fence rows, fields, and prairies.

 

Autumn olive is native to east Asia. It was intentionally introduced to the United States and Ohio to beautify highways and to function as a windbreak. The sweet fleshy fruits are a food source for many birds. The foliage is eaten by deer and other herbivores.

 

  • Fabaceae ,Trifolium pratense ,Red Clover, 0, herbaceous perennial plant, introduced, common in Ohio and Fernwood, prefers full sun and mesic conditions, habitats include fields, roadside, and prairies.

Many herbivores feed on the foliage of red clover such as deer, voles, groundhogs, rabbit, gophers, bears, horses, cattle, goats, and sheep. Red clover is used for cancer prevention, high cholesterol, asthma, and bronchitis.

 

  • Fabaceae, Medicago polymorpha , Bur Clover, 0, annual biennial plant, introduced, common in Ohio, prefers woodlands, streambanks, fields, and pastures.

 

Young leaves from this plant can be eaten raw or in salads. The leaves contain protein, fat, carbohydrates, and vitamins A, C, and E.  The plant can be used to make a green manure to renovate worn out soils.

 

  • Fabaceae, Melilotus albus , White Sweetclover, 0, annual or biennial plant, Introduced, common in Ohio, prefers full sun and moist to dry conditions, habitats include limestone glades, waste areas, fields, and roadsides.

 

White and yellow sweetclover are valuable honey plants. The leaves contain a compound called coumarin which can be used as an anticlotting agent for blood.

 

  • Fabaceae, Melilotus officinalis , Yellow sweet clover, 0, annual or biennial plant, Introduced, common in Ohio, prefers full or partial sun and moist to slightly dry conditions, habitats include fields, roadsides, prairies, and waste areas.

 

Yellow sweet clover was introduced to the United States from Eurasia. It was purposefully brought over to replenish oil fields and to be used as a forage crop and green manure.

 

  • Fabaceae, Robinia pseudoacacia , Black Locust, 0, deciduous tree, Native, common in Ohio, prefers full sun and mesic to dry conditions, habitats include upland woodlands, savannas, thickets, roadsides, and strip-mined areas.

Flowers attract bumblebees, hummingbirds, honeybees, butterflies, and moths. The foliage is a food source for caterpillars and treehoppers. Ground squirrels and pheasants eat the seeds. The foliage of black locust is toxic to horses, cattle, and sheep.

 

  • Fabaceae, Securigera varia ,Common Crownvetch, 0, herbaceous perennial vine, introduced, common in Ohio, prefers partial or full sun and moist to mesic conditions, habitats include prairies, riverbanks, ditches, roadsides, and waste places.

Common crownvetch is used for erosion control, soil rehabilitation, and roadside beautification. It is an invasive species that is toxic. The plant is safe to touch but the seeds and plant is poisonous to humans if consumed.

  • Fabaceae, Trifolium repens , White Clover, 0, herbaceous perennial, introduced, common in Ohio, prefers full or partial sun and mesic conditions, habitats include pastures, fields, lawns, roadsides, and woodlands.

 

White clover is used to cleanse and purify blood. A tea can be made from the petals to be used as an eyewash. The leaves can be used to make an ointment that treats gout.

 

  • Fabaceae,Cercis canadensis , Eastern Redbud, 3, woody shrub or small tree, native, common in Ohio, prefers partial sun and mesic to dry conditions, habitats include woodlands, riverbanks, valleys, and fence rows.

 

Bark from eastern redbuds is highly astringent. It can treat fevers, diarrhea, and dysentery. A mix of roots and bark can be used to treat whooping cough and chest congestion.

 

  • Fagaceae, Quercus alba Houba., white oak, 6, massive deciduous tree, native, common in Ohio, prefers full or partial sun and mesic to dry-mesic conditions, habitats include wooded slopes, savannas, limestone glades, riverbanks, and woodlands.

 

White oak has been used for its antiseptic and astringent properties. The wood from white oak has been used to make musical instruments such as banjos. White oak is water and rot resistant, so the timber was used to creat wine barrels and ships.

 

  • Fagaceae, Quercus rubra , northern red oak, 6, medium to large deciduous tree, native, common in Ohio, prefers full or partial sun and mesic to dry-mesic conditions, habitats include upland woodlands, floodplains, savannas, riverbanks, and glades.

 

Wood from red oak has several uses. It can be used to make fence posts, flooring, or furniture. Red oaks have been used to make medicines that treat digestive disorders, respiratory diseases, and skin infections.

 

  • Grossulariaceae, Ribes cynosbati , Prickly Gooseberry, 3, woody shrub, native, not common in Ohio, prefers partial sun and mesic to dry conditions, habitats include rocky woodlands, wooded slopes, and limestone bluffs.

 

Prickly gooseberry is commonly used to make jellies, pies, and preserves. The root bark can be used to treat uterine problems. An infusion made from the root can also be made into an eyewash.

 

  • Hypericaceae, Hypericum perforatum Pugsley, common St. John’s wort, 0, herbaceous perennial plant, introduced, not common in Ohio, prefers full sun and mesic to dry conditions, habitats include roadsides, pastures, fields, and waste areas.

 

John’s wort is known to have extracts with antidepressant properties that can treat depression, anxiety, and sleep disorders. It can be applied directly to skin to treat bruises, sprains, and wounds. It can also boost your immune system by taking it orally.

 

  • Iridaceae, Sisyrinchium angustifolium , narrow-leaf blue-eyed grass, 2, herbaceous perennial, native, common in Ohio, prefers full or partial sun and moist conditions, habitats include prairies, floodplains, savannas, riverbanks, and roadsides.

 

The root has astringent properties that can treat diarrhea. The leaves can be cooked and are used to regulate bowel movements. An infusion made from the plant can also treat stomach worms.

 

  • Juglandaceae, Carya ovata , Shagbark Hickory, 6, medium to large deciduous tree, native, common in Ohio, prefers full or partial sun and mesic conditions, habitats include limestone glades, floodplains, woodlands, and disturbed areas.

 

Shagbark hickory has been steamed and inhaled to treat headaches. The bark as been used to treat rheumatic joints. The wood has been used to aid in curing meat

 

  • Lamiaceae, Glechoma hederacea , Ground Ivy, 0, herbaceous perennial, introduced, common in Ohio, prefers partial sun and moist conditions, habitat includes floodplains, cemeteries, lawns, riverbanks, and waste areas.

 

Ground ivy has been used in traditional medicine of Europe to treat eye inflammation and tinnitus. Its also used as a diuretic, astringent, tonic, and stimulant. Crushed and dried leaves can be used to treat bronchitis and mild respiratory issues.

 

  • Malvaceae, Tilia Americana , American basswood, 6, medium to large deciduous tree, native, not common in Ohio, prefers full sun to light shade and mesic conditions, habitats include woodlands, riverbanks and slopes of wooded ravines.

 

Used to treat dysentery, heart burn, and weak stomach. The bark has diuretic properties. An infusion can be made to promote urination. A tea can be made from American basswood to soothe burns.

 

  • Menispermaceae, Menispermum canadense , Common Moonseed, 5, woody climbing vine, native, common in Ohio, prefers light shade to partial sun and moist conditions, habitats include deciduous woodlands, thickets, riverbanks, fence rows, and hedges.

Moonseed can be used as a laxative. It is also useful as a gynecological and venereal aid. The root is commonly used to treat skin diseases. It can also be made into a salve for sores.

  • Oleaceae, Ligustrum obtusifolium . Border Pivot, 0, multistemmed shrub, introduced, not common in Ohio, prefers full sun to light shade and moist conditions, habitats include woodlands, thickets, and roadsides.

 

Border pivot can be made into candles. It can also be used to polish earthenware pots and book edges. The flowers attract honeybees, butterflies, and flies. The foliage is eaten by caterpillars, aphids, and beetles.

 

  • Orchidaceae, Goodyera pubescens Br., downy rattlesnake plantain, 6, small perennial orchid, native, not common in Ohio, prefers medium shade and mesic conditions, habitats include woodlands, sandstone canyons, wooded slopes, and wooded ravines.

 

Downy rattlesnake plantain has a few medical uses. It can be used to treat snakebites, treat skin ulcers, relieve joint pain caused by rheumatism, and soothe burns.

 

  • Oxalidaceae, Oxalis corniculata , creeping woodsorrel, 0, herbaceous perennial, native, common in Ohio, prefers light shade to full sun and moist to dry conditions, habitats include deciduous woodlands, gardens, fields, fence rows, and waste areas.

 

Creeping woodsorrel is anthelmintic, antiphlogistic, astringent, depurative, diuretic, emmenagogue, and styptic. It can be used to treat influenza, fever, urinary tract infections, enteritis, diarrhea, sprains, and snake bites.

 

  • Plantaginaceae, Linaria vulgaris , Butter-and-eggs, 0, perennial plant, introduced, not common in Ohio, prefers full sun and dry conditions, habitats include roadsides, gardens, oil fields, and waste areas.

 

This plant is used as a laxative. It has diuretic properties. It can be used to treat edema, jaundice, liver diseases, gall bladder issues, and skin conditions. It can be applied externally to hemorrhoids, skin eruptions, sores, and ulcers.

 

  • Plantaginaceae, Plantago lanceolata L, Ribwort Plantain, 0, herbaceous perennial, introduced, common in Ohio, prefers full sunlight and mesic conditions, habitats include lawns, cracks in pavement, fields, and roadsides.

 

Ribwort plantain can be used to make a tea. The leaves can be eaten raw or cooked, as well as the seeds. The consumption of leaves is believed to treat cough, diarrhea, dysentery, and hematuria.

 

  • Plantaginaceae, Plantago rugelii , Blackseed plantain, 0, herbaceous perennial, native, common in Ohio, prefers full or partial sun and moist conditions, habitats include prairies, fields, lawns, streambanks, and roadsides.

 

Blackseed plantain can be used as an anti-inflammatory, analgesic, wound healer, antipyretic, antitussive, anti infection, anti hemorrhagic, laxative, and to reduce hemostatic activity.

 

  • Poaceae, Andropogon gerardii , Big bluestem, 5, perennial grass, native, common in Ohio, prefers full sun and moist soils, habitats include prairies, roadsides, fields, and limestone and sandstone glades.

Big bluestem is useful for erosion control, aesthetic gardens and roadsides, restoration projects, stormwater management, and borders. Big bluestem is a food source for cattle and livestock.

 

  • Poaceae, Bromus tectorum , Cheatgrass, 0, winter or spring annual grass, introduced, common in Ohio, prefers dry and sunny conditions, habitats include fields, pastures, landfills, roadsides, and waste areas.

 

Cheatgrass is a food source for grasshoppers, beetles, and fly larvae. Cheatgrass is an invasive species that’s considered as an exotic weed. Treatment options include herbicides and burning.

 

  • Poaceae, Dactylis glomerate , Orchard grass, 0, perennial grass, introduced, common in Ohio, prefers partial sun and mesic conditions, habitats include woodlands, savannas, fence rows, oil fields, and pastures.

 

Orchard grass has a history of being used for hay. Its eaten by grasshoppers, beetles, and aphids. It is also good cover for snakes, mice and other wildlife due to its height and colony coverage.

 

  • Poaceae, Elymus villosus Mey., hairy wild rye, 4, perennial grass, native, common in Ohio, prefers sun to light shade and moist conditions, habitats include thickets, meadows, savannas, slopes, and roadsides.

 

The flowers are primarily wind pollinated. So, the plant isn’t adapted to attract insects. Caterpillars and leafhoppers feed on hairy wild rye.

 

  • Poaceae, Microstegium vimineum , Japanese Stiltgrass, 0, summer annual grass, introduced, not common in Ohio, prefers partial sun and moist conditions, habitats include sandstone canyons, floodplains, riverbanks, and disturbed open woodlands.

 

Japanese stiltgrass is an invasive species that is native to Japan. This plant threatens native plants and natural habitats throughout the eastern United States.

 

  • Poaceae, Poa pratensis , Kentucky Bluegrass, 0, perennial grass, native, common in Ohio, prefers partial sun and mesic conditions, habitats include lawns, parks, pastures, roadsides, prairies, and open woodlands.

 

Kentucky bluegrass is a food source for grasshoppers, caterpillars, skippers, stinkbugs, and aphids. Goose also eat Kentucky bluegrass. Birds like wild turkey and pheasants eat the seeds.

 

  • Polygonaceae, Persicaria virginiana , Jumpseed, 3, perennial herbaceous plant, native, common in Ohio, prefers partial sun and moist soil, habitats include upland woodlands, and thickets.

 

The flowers attract honeybees, bumblebees, wasps, and ants. It is a food source for stinkbuds, leafhoppers, and deer.

 

  • Polygonaceae, Rumex crispus , Curly Dock, 0, herbaceous perennial, introduced, common in Ohio, prefers full sun and moist soil, habitats include seeps, glades, fields, and roadsides.

 

Curly dock are corss pollinated by the wind, therefore they don’t have many adaptations to attract insects. They’re a food source for weevils, beetles, flies, birds, and voles.

 

  • Primulaceae ,Lysimachia nummularia , Creeping Jenny, 0, perennial plant, introduced, common in Ohio, prefers full sun to light shade and moist conditions, habitats include seeps, ditches, woodlands, thickets, and cemeteries.

 

The flowers attract bees that collect pollen from anthers. Creeping jennies do not provide nectar, so no butterflies are attracted. They also rarely form seeds so birds avoid them too.

 

  • Rosaceae ,Rubus allegheniensis ,Common Blackberry, 1, woody shrub, native, common in Ohio, prefers light shade to full sun and mesic conditions, habitats include prairies, woodlands, thickets, savannas, and roadsides.

Common blackberries have medicinal uses. These include treatments for hemorrhoids, diarrhea, piles, coughs, colds, tuberculosis, and rheumatism. They also have delicious fruits.

  • Rosaceae, Agrimonia parviflora , harvestlice, 2, perennial wildflower, native, common in Ohio, prefers full sun to light shade and moist conditions, habitats include floodplains, woodlands, thickets, and roadsides.

 

Harvestlice can be used to treat diarrhea and fevers. The flowers of the plant attract bees and flies. Larvae of midges feed on the flower buds. Aphids suck juices from the flower’s stem.

 

  • Rosaceae, Geum canadense Jacq., White Avens, 2, herbaceous perennial, native, common in Ohio, prefers light shade to partial sun and moist conditions, habitats include fence rows, seeps, thickets, woodlands, and yard edges.

 

Boiled roots of white avens are edible as a chocolate substitute. The flowers attract bees, wasps, flies, and beetles, The hooked achenes are spread by clinging to animal fur and bird feathers.

 

  • Rosaceae, Geum macrophyllum , Large-leaved avens, ?, native perennial wildflower, introduced, not common in Ohio, prefers full sun and mesic to dry conditions, habitats include prairies and alvars.

 

Supposedly, large-leaved avens can be used to make a tea to avoid conception. It is a tradition to chew the leaves before visiting a dying person.

 

  • Rosaceae, Potentilla recta , Sulphur cinquefoil, 0, perennial, introduced, common in Ohio, prefers full sun and mesic to dry conditions, habitats include limestone glades, pastures, fields, roadsides, and waste areas.

 

It can be used as an antibacterial. It is also good for anti-inflammatory needs. It can be used as a tonic, too.

 

  • Rosaceae, Prunus virginiana , Common Chokecherry, 2, deciduous shrub or tree, native, common in Ohio, prefers full sun to light shade and moist soil, habitats include woodlands, yards, ravines, thickets, and fence posts.

The roots and bark can be used as an astringent, pectoral, sedative, blood tonic, and appetite stimulant. An infusion can be made to treat fevers, colds, and coughs. It can also be used to soothe burns, sores, and ulcers.

 

  • Rosaceae, Rosa multiflora Benth., Multiflora Rose, 0, perennial shrub or vine, introduced, common in Ohio, prefers partial sun and mesic conditions, habitats include woodlands, thickets, riverbanks, fence rows, and roadsides.

Multiflora rose is a very common invasive plant. It originated in Japan and was willingly brought to the United States. It was advertised as a “living fence” but quickly got out of hand.

  • Rosaceae, Rubus occidentalis Black Raspberry, 1, perennial shrub, native, common in Ohio, prefers partial sun and moist conditions, habitats include woodlands, fence rows, savannas, and thickets.

The fruit is commonly used for jams, pies, preserves, crumbles, and other baked goods. The plant provides cover for many animals. It is also a food source.

  • Rubiaceae, Galium aparine , Cleaver, 0, Winter or spring annual, Native, common in Ohio, prefers light shade and moist conditions, habitats include thickets, ditches, fence rows, and roadsides.

 

Cleaver can be used as a diuretic. It supports the lymphatic system and detoxifies the body. Cleaver can be used to treat swollen lymph nodes, tonsillitis, glandular fever, and throat infections.

 

  • Sapindaceae, Acer rubrum , red maple, 2, large deciduous tree, native, common in Ohio, prefers full sun to light shade and wet to dry conditions, habitats include floodplains, river valleys, woodlands, and forested bogs.

 

The fine grained wood of red maple is used for flooring, furniture, paneling, musical instruments, tool handles, cutting boards, and fire wood.

 

  • Scrophulariaceae, Verbascum Thapsus , Common Mullein, 0, biennial plant, introduced, common in Ohio, prefers full sun and mesic soil, habitats include clay banks, fields, roadsides, and limestone glades.

 

Birds use the foliage as a waterproof lining in their nests. The flowers are mostly pollinated by bumblebees.

 

  • Typhaceae, Typha latifolia Mey, Broadleaf cattail, 1, perennial, native, common in Ohio, prefers full sun and wet conditions, habitats include marshes, swamps, seeps, riverbanks, and ponds.

 

At one time, cattails were used for thatch in roofing. They could be woven into hats, chairs, or mats. They make good tinder for starting a fire, or they can be used as torches.

 

  • Ulmaceae, Ulmus americana L, American elm, 2, large deciduous tree, native, common in Ohio, prefers full sun to light shade and moist conditions, habitats include woodlands, savannas, riverbanks, roadsides, and swamps.

 

The bark from this tree can be used to treat a bleeding lung, coughs, colds, influenza, eye infections, and dysentery. The wood can be used for furniture and paper making.

 

  • Ulmaceae, Ulmus rubra , Slippery Elm, 3, deciduous tree, native, common in Ohio, prefers full sun to medium shade and moist conditions, habitats include mesic woodlands, floodplains, limestone glades, thickets, and roadways.

Slippery elm can be used to treat inflammatory bowel disease, cough and sore thoat, urinary tract infections, gastrointestinal disease, and heartburn.

  • Urticaceae, Boehmeria cylindrica , smallspike false nettle, 4, perennial plant, native , common in Ohio, prefers light shade and moist conditions, habitats include riverbanks, seeps, marshes, and floodplains.

 

Flowers are mainly wind pollinated, so insects are not attracted. Nets can be made out of plant fibers.

 

  • Urticaceae, Urtica dioica L, Stinging nettle, 1, perennial plant, native, common in Ohio, prefers partial sun and moist conditions, habitats include woodlands, floodplains, thickets, and fence rows.

 

Stinging nettle was used to treat joint pain and as a diuretic. Upon contact, the stinging nettle causes a stinging and burning sensation. It impales the skin with spicules.

 

  • Violaceae, Viola striata R. Willis, striped cream violet, 5, herbaceous perennial, native, common in Ohio, prefers light shade and moist soil, habitats include woodlands, hedges, and ditches.

 

Flies, butterflies, and skippers visit the flower for nectar. The pollen attracts bees. Flies, caterpillars, and aphids use the plant as a food source.

 

  • Vitaceae, Parthenocissus quinquefolia Planch., Virginia Creeper, 2, perennial woody vine, native, common to Ohio, prefers partial sun and moist conditions, habitats include seeps, woodlands, thickets, and walls of buildings.

 

Virginia creeper can be used to control soil erosion. The bark has been used as tonic. The berries can treat joint pain.

  • Vitaceae, Vitis riparia riparia, Riverbank grape, 3, woody perennial vine, native, common in Ohio, prefers full sun and moist conditions, habitats include woodlands, fence rows, fields, savannas, riverbanks, and ditches.

 

Riverbank grape is resistant to Phylloxera disease. This disease destroys many other grape vines. The fruit of riverbank grape is juicy and acidic.

 

Bryophytes

  • Hylocomiaceae, Pleurozium schreberi, Schreber’s big red stem moss, ?, pleurocarp, native, common in Ohio, prefers dry woodland habitats
  • Pottiaceae , Syntrichia papillosa, star moss, ?, acrocarp, native, common in Ohio, prefers dry woodlands, habitat includes bark of woodland trees
  • Thuidiaceae , Thuidium delicatulum, fern moss, ?, pleurocarp, common in Ohio, prefers moist shady habitats like rocks or stumps

Gymnosperms

  • Cupressaceae, Thuja occidentalis , Arborvitae, 9, evergreen coniferous tree, native, common in Ohio, prefers habitats like swamps and woodlands

 

Arborvitae is called the “tree of life” for many reasons, one of them being that the tree can live up to 800 years.

 

Pteridophytes(ferns)

  • Botrychioideae, Botrychium virginianum , rattlesnake fern, 4, a deciduous perennial fern, native, common in Ohio, prefers light shade and mesic conditions, habitats include woodlands and savannas.
  • Thelypteridaceae, Thelypteris noveboracensis fragrans, New York Fern, 4, perennial fern, native, common in Ohio, prefers dappled sunlight and moist soil, habitats include woodlands, cliffs, swamps, and hillsides.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Standard Reference List

  • The National Geologic Map Database – NGMDB – usgs.gov. (n.d.). Retrieved June 9, 2020, from https://www.usgs.gov/core-science-systems/national-cooperative-geologic-mapping-program/science/national-geologic-map?qt-science_center_objects=0
  • Fernwood State Forest, an Ohio State Forest located near … (n.d.). Retrieved June 9, 2020, from http://www.stateparks.com/fernwood_state_forest_in_ohio.html
  • International Plant Names Index. (n.d.). Retrieved June 9, 2020, from https://www.ipni.org/
  • Ecological Risk Assessment Products and Publications … (n.d.). Retrieved June 9, 2020, from https://cfpub.epa.gov/ncea/risk/era/advSearch.cfm
  • List of flora of Ohio. (n.d.). Retrieved June 9, 2020, from (5) https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_flora_of_Ohio
  • Illinois Wildflowers. (n.d.). Retrieved June 9, 2020, from http://illinoiswildflowers.info/