The Site

Hayden Falls Park is located on the West side of the Scioto RIver alongside Hayden Run Road. The GPS coordinates of the location are 40.0666N 83.113W, and a photo of the location on a map is provided below. The site is undeveloped other than a boardwalk and viewing platform that leads through the park to the waterfall it is named for. The falls are located in a gorge that is a unique natural habitat in the middle of a sprawling urban center.

Hayden Falls Park pictured along Hayden Run Rd

5 Plants

Basswood (Tilia americana) is a medium to large deciduous tree with gray to light brown bark. The leaves of Basswood are simple, entire, alternate, asymmetrical, and unequal at the base. The unequal base of the leaf makes Basswood an easy species to identify in the Northeastern United States. The wood of the tree is commonly used in the production of solid-body electric guitars because it is light, strong, and resonant (WIkipedia).

Basswood (Tilia americana)

Amur honeysuckle (Lonicera maackii) is a honeysuckle species that is native to Western Asia, but invasive in the eastern United States. Amur honeysuckle is a large deciduous shrub that has opposite leaves with an entire margin. The shrub has spread throughout the Eastern United States, and it is classified as an invasive species in Ohio. A study in St. Louis showed that Amur honeysuckle increases risk of tick borne disease such as Lyme in suburban natural areas (Allan, Brian F.; Dutra, Humberto P.; Goessling, et al. (26 October 2010). Invasive honeysuckle eradication reduces tick-borne disease risk by altering host dynamicsProceedings of the National Academy of Sciences107 (43): 18523–18527.).

Amur honeysuckle (Lonicera maackii)


Dame’s rocket (Hesperis matronalis) is an herbaceous plant species of the family Brassicaceae. The plant is normally a biennial, but some races of the plant are short-lived perennials. The plant has a showy bloom in early to mid spring. The leaves are alternately arranged on an upright stem  with toothed margins.  The flowers are presented in large racemes. Each flower is large with 4 petals with differences in color, but purple flowers are most common. The four petals are hairless, and the flowers contain 6 stamens. The flower has 4 sepals and stigmas with 2 lobes. In Europe this species is host to several butterfly and caterpillar species including the orange tip butterfly and some moths (Wikipedia).

Dame’s rocket  (Hesperis matronalis)

Ox-eye daisy (Chrysanthemum leucanthemum) is a plant of the family Asteraceae. This plant is a roadside and meadow weed native to Europe and Asia, but introduced to North America. The low part of the stem is hairy, but glabrous in the upper parts. The leaves are toothed or lobed on both edges, and they decrease in size as they go up the stem. The upper leaves lack a petiole ans are deeply toothed. Each capitulum has 15 to 40 white ray flowers surrounding yellow disc flowers.The unopened flower buds can be marinated and used like capers (Wikipedia).

Ox-eye daisy  (Chrysanthemum leucanthemum)


Poison Ivy

Poison ivy can be seen as a climbing vine, shrub, or trailing vine. The leaves are trifoliate with three leaves that are almond shaped. The leaves start out light green and get darker as the plant matures, with leaves turning red in the fall. Leaf clusters are alternate on the vine, and there are no thorns. The oil produced from the plant causes contact dermatitis in humans.

Moss and Lichen

One lichen seen at the Hayden Falls site was the Hammered Shield Lichen (Parmelia sulcata). This lichen was seen on a Sugar maple tree along the boarwalk of Hayden Falls park. The lichen can be identified due to its foliose nature, the narrow linear, forked lobes. The color is gray, and the undersurface of the lichen is black. The lichen is often used by the Ruby-throated Hummingbird to camouflage its nest (Common Lichens of Ohio Field Guide).

Hammered Shield Lichen (Parmelia sulcata)


A second lichen seen at Hayden Falls park growing among the ground level plants was the Many-forked Cladonia (Cladonia furcata). The color of the lichen is grey-green to green-brown. The podetia form tangled mats 2 to 3 inches thick. The individual podetia may be slender to stout and sometimes become irregularly twisted in the cross section. The species grows on soil, and it can be found in all of Ohio except for intensively farmed northwestern counties (Common Lichens of Ohio Field Guide).

Many-forked Cladonia (Cladonia furcata)


A moss seen at Hayden Falls Park was Leskea gracilescens. This moss was seen on a downed tree alongside the boardwalk of the park. (I may have left the boardwalk to snap a picture!) The moss was identified by the look of a mat of little green threads. The leaves are less than 1 mm long and are held close to the stem when dry but extend when wet. The leaves are ovate in shape with a single faint midrib. A series of tiny bumps can be seen along the back of the leaves. The capsules are not present on the specimen I saw, but they are cylindrical, 2-3 mm long, and fairly erect (

Leskea gracilescens

Flowers and Fruits

Sugar maple (Acer saccharum) is a tree native to Ohio and much of the Eastern United States and Canada. This tree with fruit was seen along the boardwalk of Hayden Falls. The leaves have 5 palmate lobes with the basal lobes being relatively small with the upper lobes being larger and deeply notched. The flowers are found in panicles of five to ten together and without petals. The fruit of the sugar maple is a pair of samaras (winged seeds). The tree is among the most shade tolerant large deciduous trees (Wikipedia). Pictured below is the pair of samaras borne by the sugar maple.

Sugar maple (Acer saccharum) fruit


A second fruit found at my site was the fruit of  the American sycamore (Platanus occidentalis). The fruit is a brown, solitary head that hangs on slender stems three to six inches long. The heads are composed of achenes about 2/3 inches in length. The leaves of the tree are alternate, palmately nerved, and broadly ovate. The flowers are monoecious and occur in dense heads with six petals.  The wood of the sycamore is commonly used for boxes, crates, and butchers’ blocks (Wikipedia).

Sycamore(Platanus occidentalis)  fruit

Corn salad (Valerianella locusta) is a small annual plant that is often eaten as a leaf vegetable. In Germany the greens are typically served as a salad with chopped hard-boiled eggs and crumbled bacon.  Cultivated corn salad greens have 3 times the Vitamin C as lettuce, which makes it an incredibly nutritious plant (Wikipedia). The leaves are opposite with no stipules. The flowers are actinomorphic, have a corolla of five fused petals and three stamens. The flowers have a syncarpous gynoecium and the relative insertion of flower parts is hypogenous. The inflorescence is a dense, umbellate, compound cyme. The fruit is a round, 3 grooved achene. This plant was seen growing among reed canary grass to the side of the boardwalk within the park.

Corn salad (Valerianella locusta)

Multiflora rose (Rosa multiflora) is a scrambling shrub invasive to Ohio and Eastern North America. The leaves are compound with 5-9 leaflets and feathered stipules. The flowers are radially symmetric, have 5 petals of equal size and 5 sepals. The flower has a superior ovary and is perigynous with an apocarpous gynoecium. The inflorescence is a corymb. The fruit is called a hip and is an aggregate fruit. This instance of the multiflora rose was seen along the boardwalk of the Hayden Falls park.

Multiflora rose (Rosa multiflora)