The name, Cedar Bog, is misleading. This nature reserve in fact, isn’t actually a bog, but rather a fen. If it were a true bog, it would function more as a bathtub with a clogged drain. Such that the rainfall escapes as evaporation, dead plants decompose, and collect at the bottom to form peat – turning the water more acidic. Fens function more as a toilet that can flush. Fens do this through gathering water through springs and flush the system through streams. The groundwater contains dissolved limestone that turns the water alkaline to neutral and clear. Cedar bog came to be as glaciers traveled to the bedrock hills of Bellfountaine and folded around higher elevations in Ohio (around 14,000 to 24,000 years ago). The hills are primarily sand and limestone gravel that was left from glaciers; filling the valleys between them. Due to the nature of the rocks, water can readily flow throughout them and forming an aquifer that holds mass amounts of cold ground water. This water that is forced to the deeper areas in the valley is what allows Cedar Bog (fen) to inhabit just a fraction of the  plants documented below.

Monocots – 

Monocots are linear parallel-veined leaved plants that possess one cotyledon and plant parts are in threes. Here are two examples that we saw on our trip to Cedar Bog (that isn’t a bog):

Skunk Cabbage

Skunk cabbage (Symplocarpous foetidus) is a monocotyledon that can be identified by its large, egg-shaped leaves with a heart shaped base. The skunk cabbage fits its’ name as when the leaves are crushed, emits a foul odor. The flowers are clustered inside a purpley-brown hood. Due to the heat it produces during cellular respiration, it’s even been documented to melt the snow or ice surrounding it.

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Showy Lady’s Slippers

The Showy Lady’s Slippers is another monocot with a brightly colored orchid with two white petals sitting on top. The scientific name, Cypripedium reginae (specifically reginae), translates to “queen.” Thought to be one of the tallest orchids, it reaches one or two feet tall. While its’ presentation is beautiful, some people can get a rash from touching its’ leaves.

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Other photo-documented plants – 

All of the following information was found on various websites (linked below the plant description) and coefficient of conservation numbers were found on

Star-flowered Soloman’s Seal

The Star-flowered Soloman’s Seal (Smilacina stellata) is a wildflower found in many environments, such as sandy banks and dunes, moist meadows, and open shores. It can be recognized by its’ fruit that is striped with black, narrow leaves, 4+ leaves, and unbranched flower clusters. The coefficient of conservation for this plant is 7. Bears are particularly fond of the berries, livestock consume it during grazing, and First Nation tribes even burned the roots to calm crying babies.

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Leaves of Northern White Cedar

Northern White Cedar

The Northern White Cedar, also known as Arbor Vitae, has a scientific name of Thuja occidentalis. With a coefficient of conservation of 9, the Northern White Cedar is found throughout the New England region and into the southern parts of Canada which contradicts its’ name occindentalis – meaning western. The leaves are flat and scaly, and its’ bark is “fibrous”  and stringy. Other than ornamentally, the uses of this tree include wood for log cabins, shingles, and even in boat making.

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Lindera benzoin, spicebush, is a shrub that lives up to its’ name. Using a scratch and sniff method, the leaves have an unsurprisingly spicy scent. The coefficient of conservation for spicebush is 5 and can be identified by its’ elliptical, toothless, hairless leaves and red berries. The shrub even attracts butterflies, so much so, that a butterfly is even named the Spicebush Swallowtail.

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Round-leaved Sundew

Round-leaved Sundew (Drosera rotundifolia) is a carnivorous (insectivorous) plant with tiny red hair that inhabits bogs & wet sands. Its CC value is 7. It captures its prey by possessing a sticky substance that catches organisms small enough to stick. It doesn’t catch this food for energy per se, but for nutrients that allow it to survive in nutrient poor areas.

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