This is a large site to collect many different types of plant species commonly found here in Ohio. This area has wetlands located within it, and is located along the Olentangy River that runs through the west side of Columbus. Sadly due to the lack of rain this season, the areas, such as the wetlands and the areas by the river, were not as wet as they usually are. This made it difficult to find samples of forbs. This substrate in this location varied from slightly moist to very damp in other places. The damp areas allowed for plants such as cattails and sedges to grow, while the other areas showed a wide diversity of trees, shrubs, forbs, and other vining plants. Some areas had denser over story while others, such as the wetland areas with grasses and sedges were more open.








Pictured above is the Olentangy River Research Park. This shows all of the geographic features that were located within my sampling site area.


Common catalpa (Catalpa bignonioides)

The catalpa tree has very large leaves with the bottoms feeling slightly fuzzy and the tops feel smooth. This tree is highly productive of “catawba worms” that many fisherman love to use for bait. Since they are such rapid growers, they are known for insect, frost, and storm damage.

Source: A Field Guide to Trees and Shrubs by George A. Petrides

Pawpaw (Asimina triloba)

The pawpaw tree is the only tropical fruit producing tree that is found within Ohio! It produces fruits that somewhat resemble the taste of a banana and a mango. Their fruits have become very popular is the use of making desserts, but they can sometimes be hard to find since a wide variety of wildlife also like to snack on the fruit as well. They have became so popular that there is a Pawpaw Festival in Hocking Hills to celebrate the fruit!

Source: A Field Guide to Trees and Shrubs by George A. Petrides


Amur honeysuckle (Lonicera maackii)

The Amur honeysuckle shrub is a very invasive plant that you tend to see all over Ohio since their introduction. They produce very pretty red fruits. Many mammals and birds love to eat these fruits, which allows for a wide dispersal of the seeds.


Riverbank grape vine (Vitis riparia)

The riverbank grape is a woody vine that is commonly found climbing up trees and shrubs. They have small tendrils that wrap around other plants and hold then up. They produce clusters of blackish purple berries that a lot of wildlife eat. We can also eat these berries because they are nontoxic to humans.


Flowering Plants

Wild carrot (Daucus carota)

This flower belongs to the Apiaceae family. It has an umbel shape with many little flowers that look like larger flowers. It has been said that is dairy cattle have consumed a large amount of this plant that the milk will have a very undesirable flavor.


Black nightshade (Solanum nigrum)

The green berries on the black nightshade plant are not ripe and are toxic to some animals and to humans. When the berries are black and are ripe, they are not toxic. The foliage is also said to be toxic, and have a bitter taste so wildlife usually tend to stay away from eating it.


POISON IVY (Toxicodendron radicans)

I’m sure everyone has heard the phrase “leaves of three, let them be,” but there are many other plants that also have a grouping of three leaflets, so this is only a start of the identification of poison ivy. Their leaves can come in lots of variations of shapes. Sometimes the leaves look almost entire, but other times the leaves can look lobbed, almost like a mitten (as you can see above). They can also be located low to the ground like the one pictured above, or it can be vining  up trees with hairy roots that attach to the bark of the tree. It can also grow upwards and almost look like a small tree.



Common Fern Moss (Thuidium delicatulum)

Thuidium is one of the mosses that we learned in class. It looks very similar to the shape of a fern, which is why it got its common name of “fern moss”. It has unipapillose leaves and the leaves are tri-pinnate. To identify these to species, you should find that the leaves of this species has a costa that does not fully extend to the tip of the leaves, but only goes about 3/4 of the way up.


Seductive Entodon Moss (Entodon seductrix)









We did not see this moss in lecture, but I was easily able to confuse it with one that we did see: the Hypnum mosses. You cannot see it very well in the picture (because it was taken through a microscope) but the bottom of the leaf has cells that are more of a squarish shape, while the rest of the leave has cells that are slightly elongated. The leaf is also convex. It can be found growing on limestone rocks, but this particular one was found growing on the ground among a few other species of moss. As you can see, its leaves appear very shiny, and the stems appear to be “worm-like”.


Dixie Reindeer Lichen (Cladonia subtenuis)

This lichen was found growing along with three different species of moss on the ground along a tree line. The tips of the Dixie Reindeer Lichen is usually branches into a Y shape. These lichens are usually a light green to gray-green in color. It usually grows in the soil in full sunny areas to slightly shaded areas.

Source: Common Lichens of Ohio Field Guide by The Ohio Division of Wildlife

Lemon Lichen (Candelaria concolor) & Mealy Rosette Lichen (Physcian millegrana)


The Lemon Lichen, which is the yellow ones that you can see growing on the bark of this tree, has a bright yellow surface, but their subsurface is an off-white color. They are very small, and only grow to be about the size of a fingernail. They prefer to grow on trees that have softer bark in full sunlight. They are very common and can be found growing on trees throughout the whole US and some parts of Canada.

The Mealy Rosette Lichen has a gray color to its surface and a white under surface. They are found to grow on the bark of trees, rocks, and on cemetery headstones. It is said that this is the most common foliose lichen found in Ohio. They produce small cups on their surface, which is where the spore are produced. In our field experience class, we were able to see the many spores under a microscope.

Source: Common Lichens of Ohio Field Guide by The Ohio Division of Wildlife

Lists of Species Observed and Their Coefficient of Conservatism Scores


Low C 0f C’s


Common Cocklebur (Xanthium strumarium) CC = 0

The first true leaves on the cocklebur plant are opposite while the rest of the leave are alternate! The fruits that you can see in the picture is made up of burs that contain seeds. Each bur contains 2 seeds, and one will grow during year one while the second seed grows in year 2.


Chicory (Cichorium intybus) CC = 0

This herb’s leaves and roots have been used for thousands of years for medicinal purposes. The bruised leaves have ground up and used on swellings and the roots have been ground up and used to treat fevers and jaundice.


High C of C’s


Sycamore (Platanus occidentalis) CC = 7

The sycamore usually grows along streams and rivers, which is where I found this one. Its massive size and unique bark with white and brown shades of colors is what makes this tree so beautiful. It wood is sturdy, but also easy to work with, so wood workers enjoy using it for furniture.


Black Oak (Quercus velutina) CC = 7

Black oaks grow to be very large trees, but this sample was just a sapling. They grow up to 80 feet tall, and have very deep furrowed bark that is very dark in color, almost black. The wood is hard and coarse grained. Native Americans used to use many parts of the tree to treat a wide range of ailments.



Catalpa (Catalpa bignoniodes) 0

Black Locust (Robinia pseudoacacia) 0

Black Willow (Salix nigra) 2

Redbud (Cercis canadensis) 3

Slippery Elm (Ulmus rubra) 3

Black Walnut (Juglans nigra) 5

Sugar Maple (Acer saccharum) 5

Pawpaw (Asimina triloba) 6

Sycamore (Platanus occidentalis) 7

Black Oak (Quercus velutina) 7


*Amur Honeysuckle (Lonicera maackii) 0

Poison Ivy (Toxicodendron radicans) 1

Virginia Creeper (Parthenocissus quinquefolia) 2

Riverbank Grape (Vitis riparia) 3

Moonseed (Menispermum canadense) 5


*Narrow-Leaf Cattails (Typha angustifolia) 0

Carrot Weed (Daucus carota) 0

*English Ivy (Hedera helix) 0

*Chicory (Cichorium intybus) 0

Common Cocklebur (Xanthium strumarium) 0

*Lady’s Thumb (Persicaria maculosa) 0

*Brittlestem Hemp-Nettle (Galeopsis tetrahit) 0

*Johnson Grass (Sorghum halepense) 0

Black Nightshade (Solanum nigrum) 1

Brown-eyed Susan (Rudbeckia triloba) 1

Common Milkweed (Asclepias syriaca) 1

Canada Goldenrod (Solidago canadensis) 1

Tall Ironweed (Veronia gigantea) 2

White Heath Aster (Aster ericoides) 2

Scouring Rush (Equisetum hyemale) 2

Seductive Entodon Moss (Entodon seductrix) 2

Common Fern Moss (Thuidium delicatulum) 3

Ebony Speenwort (Asplenium platyneuron) 3

Blue Mistflower (Eupatorium coelestinum) 3

Panicled Tick-Trefoil (Desmodium paniculatum) 3

White Snakeroot (Euparorium rugosum) 3

Woodland Sunflower (Helianthus divaricatus) 4

Tall Elephant’s Foot (Elephantopus carolinianus) 4

Switchgrass (Panicum virgatum) 4

*Common Reed (Cinna arundinacea) 4

*Plant = Non-native to Ohio

I = (92) / (2.83) = 32.5