On this page, I will be describing the plants found at the preserved site called Indian Run. It is located in Dublin and is focused around a small tributary flowing into the Scioto River. This site has a waterfall nestled inside of a ravine, with many species dwelling near the bank of the creek. Unfortunately, this site is absolutely overrun with invasive honeysuckle as far as the eye can see. It seemed that much of the native understory shrubbery, trees, and flowering plants have been displaced by this rampant pest. I did my best in this botanical survey to try and showcase the fascinating native plants of the area, as well as identify them. In this map view we are able to see the creek flowing into the Scioto River.
This tree was spotted growing up on top of the ravine. Looking first at the leaves, they are opposite, simple, with uneven lobing at the base. There are visible teeth on the edges of their heart shapes. Using the bark to assist, we are able to deduce that this is likely an American basswood or Tilia americana. The field guide states that basswoods grow in moist forests, which aligns with our specimen and location. Basswood trees are very low maintenance and have few bothersome pests. They typically live to be around 150 years of age and grow to around 70 feet tall in proper conditions.
Another tree that was spotted at Indian Run was an easily identifiable one. This might be one of the few trees that, when searching in their habitable zones, can be solely identified by its bark. This is the notable American Hackberry or Celtis occindentalis. These trees can live to be 200 years old in most habitable zones!
This species was the only flowering species I could find blooming this late in the year, and apparently was the only flowering plant able to rival the invasive honeysuckle. These petals are very indicative, with their bilateral symmetry and fused shape. They were all found growing together in a moist environment within the ravine. I believe this species is the pale jewelweed, known as Impatiens pallida. They got their genus name from the way that the seeds rapidly expel themselves from the pods, in a nearly impatient manor.
All of the plants seen on the ground in this image are all pale jewelweed! Almost all of them had flowers!
The next species encountered was found in the fruiting phase. It has alternate simple leaf complexity as well as entire leaves. The small bunch of red fruits seen at the tip are classified as berries. My best guess at this species is Solomon’s plume, scientifically named Maianthemum racemoscum. The berries are indeed edible and can be found across the United States, Canada, and Mexico!
This shrubby specimen was found in the moist soil near the creek. It has five ornate leaflets which look pinnately lobed. I was stumped identifying this species using the traditional methods of keying, but using the power of the internet I was able to narrow it down. This looks to be a species of geranium, and the deeply lobed leaves of five leads me to believe that this is wild geranium, Geranium maculatum. This species is far from toxic. In fact, in 2006 wild geraniums were voted herb of the year!
This understory plant was also found in the moist soil near the water. The leaves were much larger than most surrounding ground-dwellers, which caught my eye. Judging by the hairy leaf stems, extreme heart shape, and leaf size, it looks to be a wild ginger of some sort. Again, iNaturalist was able to offer some assistance. This looks to be Canadian wild ginger, Asarum canadense. The roots of wild ginger have antibiotic properties which can be used to treat open wounds!
- Virginia Creeper – Parthenocissus quinquefolia – CC: 2
- Flowering Dogwood – Cornus florida – CC: 5
- Amur Honeysuckle – Lonicera maackii – CC: 0 –
- Riverbank Grape – Vitus riparia – CC: 3
- Pignut Hickory – Carya glabra – CC: 5
- Woodland Thimbleweed – Anemone virginiana – CC: 3
- Zigzag American Aster – Symphotrichum prenanthoides – CC: 4
- Roundleaf Ragwort – Packera obovata – CC: 4
- Basswood – Tilia americana – CC: 6
- Winged Wahoo – Euonymus alatus – CC: 0 –
- Red Oak – Quercus rubra – CC: 6
- Herb Robert – Geranium robertianum – CC: 4
- Wild Ginger – Asarum canadense – CC: 6
- Solomon’s Plume – Maianthemum racemosum – CC: 4
- Wood-Nettle – Laportea canadensis – CC: 5
- Common Pawpaw – Asimina triloba – CC: 6
- Thicket Creeper – Parthenocissus vitacea – CC: 1
- Sweet-Scented Bedstraw – Galium triflorum – CC: 4
- Wintercreeper – Euonymus fortunei – CC: 0 –
- Box Elder Maple – Acer negundo – CC: 3
- Garlic Mustard – Alliaria petiolata – CC: 0 –
- Bulblet Fern – Cystopteris bulbifera – CC: 7
- Canadian Clearweed – Pilea pumila – CC: 2
- Chinquapin Oak – Quercus muehlenbergii – CC: 7
- Pale Touch-Me-Not (Jewelweed) – Impatiens pallida – CC: 3
FQAI = 90/21 = 4.29
Four Highest CC Value Plants
Chinquapin Oak – Coefficient of Conservatism 7
This oak has more lobes than a most other oaks, and the lobing is very shallow almost like serration. This is one of the easier ways to tell them apart from the others. Chinquapin oaks only produce acorns every several years, usually 2-4 years between fruiting seasons. It is likely given a higher coefficient of conservatism due to the required pH of the soil. This oak prefers a high pH and would be limited to the non-glaciated areas of Ohio.
Bulblet Fern – Coefficient of Conservatism 7
Bulblet fern is a fragile fern with a lacy appearance and bipinnate-pinnatifid frond complexity. They also taper from the base towards the tip. They typically have reddish or maroon stems as young plants. These ferns fair best in shady, rocky, and moist areas.
Basswood – Coefficient of Conservatism 6
This tree has asymmetrical heart shapes leaves with fine teeth. Basswoods also have pale honey which attracts bees and makes a good home for their pollinators.
Red Oak – Coefficient of Conservatism 6
Four Lowest CC Value Plants
Thicket Creeper – Coefficient of Conservatism 1
This species has 5 palmately compound leaves with coarse toothing and smooth, reddish brown stems. The berries of this plant have been known to be poisonous to humans. They appear as small, blueish-black, globe-shaped berries.
Virginia Creeper – Coefficient of Conservatism 2
This plant is another 5-leaved, palmately compound creeper. Its leaves turn red in late fall and also produce berries that are toxic to humans. Some people who are especially sensitive could get a rash upon contact with this species, though it is not related to poison ivy. This species has a relatively low coefficient of conservatism due to its aggressive growth habits and drought resistance.
Woodland Thimbleweed – Coefficient of Conservatism 3
This plant has deep lobing on its triplet groups of leaves. The edges are also serrate and grows up to 2 feet tall. This plant has a distribution in nearly every part of North America.
Riverbank Grape – Coefficient of Conservatism 3
The leaves of this vine are very round with minimal lobing. Coarse toothing can be observed as well as hairy stalks. This vine can climb to be 75 feet and fruits July through September. The fruits of grape vines support many woodland species and are edible to nearly all species.
Invasive Species (could only find 3 introduced species)
One of the most notorious invasive species in the region. It can be identified by its multiple stems, with ovate leaves around 2-3 inches long and 1 inch wide. Red spherical berries developing in late summer can last all winter and twigs have a solid white pith. To completely remove a specimen, it typically requires the base of the plant to be severed and covered with an herbicide of some kind. They are very persistent and can take over a whole area (including Indian Run!).
The opposite, ovate leaves cover all twigs. It has inconspicuous green flowers and red-purple fruits. They turn a brilliant deep red in autumn. Despite its invasive nature, this plant has often been used for landscaping due to the deep red color it presents. Each plant disperses many, many seeds each season and often cover the ground around the parent.
This is an evergreen vine which typically has thick ground cover. Leaves are opposite, ovate, and leathery. Wintercreeper has a high tolerance for moisture, light level, and soil contents making it a great invader.
Chinquapin Oak (pictured above)
Limestone loving and limey substrate loving tree. The range of this tree is typically larger than this though. Description above.
Herb Robert (pictured above)
Limey loving herb typically seen growing on exposed limestone. Description above.
Limestone loving tree usually seen growing in higher sites. Distinct symmetrical heart-shaped leaves.
Limestone loving tree which also grows at higher altitudes, but can tolerate a degree of flooding. Asymmetrical, ovate, toothed leaves typically with a yellowish accent. Distinct warty and ridgy bark.
This site seemed to only contain the species mentioned to grow in limestone bedrock regions and concurrently, resides within the glaciated area. The redbud and hackberry were found up on top of the ravine, which aligned with the geobotany article.