Whetstone Park Botanical Survey

Map from City of Columbus

Whetstone Park is a 136 acre park in Clintonville with a variety of habitats. The park was agricultural land during the 19th century, until the city bought the land and converted it into a park in 1944. 5.1 acres of the park have recently been converted to native Ohio prairie with vernal pools. The park also includes woodlands and the Park of Roses, which has a wide range of rose varieties. Given the  multiple ecosystem types within the park, there is a wide variety of plant species to be found. (Source: City of Columbus)

Trees

Red Maple (Acer rubrum)

American Elm (Ulmus americana)

Fun fact: American elm was commonly planted in parks and along streets in the 19th and early 20th century because of its tolerance of urban environments and quick growth rate.

Woody Vines and Shrubs

Japanese Honeysuckle (Lonicera japonica)

Red Elderberry (Sambucus racemosa)

Fun fact: Red elderberry can be distinguished from common elderberry by the pith color. Red elderberry has brown pith, while common elderberry has white pith.

Herbaceous Flowering Plants

Sweet Goldenrod (Solidago odora)

Fun fact: Sweet goldenrod leaves smell like anise when crushed or disturbed.

False Dragonhead (Physostegia virginiana)

Poison Ivy

Toxicodendron radicans

Useful ID features:

  • Creeping vines, climbing vines, or upright ¬†and shrubby
  • Trifoliate leaves; side leaflets are always directly across from each other
  • Opposite arrangement of leaves on stem
  • Deeply toothed (almost lobed) leaflets
    • Side leaflets often asymmetrical
    • One or multiple teeth/lobes on each side
  • Often red in the fall, when leaves are dying

Lichens

Rough Speckled Shield Lichen (Punctelia rudecta)

Zoned Dust Lichen (Lepraria neglecta)

Coefficients of Conservatism

Sweet Goldenrod (Solidago odora)

Description: Leaves narrow, pointed, and entire. Multiple racemes in a cluster at the top.

CC: 8

Fun fact: Sweet goldenrod leaves smell like anise when crushed or disturbed.

Red Elderberry (Sambucus racemosa)

Description: Shrub. Pinnately compound with 5-11 toothed, elliptic leaflets. Brown pith and large purplish buds. Fruits bright red in clusters.

CC: 7

Fun fact: Red elderberry can be distinguished from common elderberry by the pith color. Red elderberry has brown pith, while common elderberry has white pith.

Cup Plant (Silphium perfoliatum)

Description: 4′-8′ tall. Opposite egg-shaped leaves fused into cups. Yellow flower heads are 2″-3″ wide.

CC: 6

Fun Fact: Shallow rhizines allow cup plants to spread vegetatively, forming large colonies.

Purple Coneflower (Echinacea purpurea)

Description: Red-purple drooping ray flowers. Egg-shaped, long-stalked, toothed leaves

CC: 6

Fun Fact: Purple coneflowers are native to Ohio, but are also populated cultivated.

White Clover (Trifolium repens)

Description: White or pale pink flowers. Dense, round head.  Trifoliate leaves with rounded leaflets. Creeps along ground.

CC: 0

Fun Fact: White clovers are useful as a foraging crop, both for livestock and humans in survival settings.

Chicory (Cichorium intybus)

Description: Blue (occasionally white) rays that are toothed at the tip. Leaf edges variable. Leaves partly clasping.

CC: 0

Fun Fact: Chicory was historically used as a coffee adulterant.

Red Amaranth (Amaranthus cruentus)

Description: Dark pink racemes of flowers. Up to 2 meters tall. Leaves sharply pointed and toothed.

CC: 0

Fun Fact: A variant to the plant was once grown for Incan rituals.

Lady’s Thumb (Persicaria maculosa)

Description: Pink to purple flowers in spikes. Entire leaves with sharply pointed tips.

CC: 0

Fun Fact: Lady’s Thumbs are common weedy plants and leave dark smudges on their substrates.