High CC Plants

Wood Nettle (Laportea canadensis) CC-5

Wood nettle, also called Canadian Wood nettle can be identified by the hairy wrinkled appearance of its leaves, alongside the strange looking stalks at its top where its flowers once were. Wood nettle also has irritating stinging bristles. (illinoiswildflowers)

Water Horsetail (Equisetum fluviatile) CC-7

Horsetails are very distinctive looking, with a reed like appearance. They also spread via spores, produced in a small cone at the peak of the plant. Historically horsetails have been used for a wide array of medical purposes due to the wide variety of chemicals it naturally produces. (berry.edu)

 Black walnut (Juglans nigra) CC-5

It is often hard to get  good look at, or picture of walnut leaves due to the hight of the trees canopy, however while the pinnately complex leaves may not be immediately noticeable, The tree is made very easy to identify due to the walnuts, its fruit, scattered around it, and in it’s branches. Black walnut has an interesting capability in that is can produce a poison in its roots that are detrimental to other plants, and this can give it an advantage when competing with other trees for space. (mortonarb)

Tall Pawpaw (Asimina triloba) CC-6

This is a very young pawpaw tree as you can see, but the leaves are still very distinctively long, wide, and entire, which is the easiest way to identify it. When the tree is bigger it also bears fleshy fruits, which ae supposed to be very tasty, but I have never had one because the racoons always steal them off of the pawpaw tree in my grandmas back yard. They also produce the largest fruit native to north America.(nps.gov)

Low CC Plants

Pokeweed (Phytolacca americana) CC-1

Pokeweed is easily identifiable because of the distinctive purple color of its stem, along with the distinctive shape and color of its flowers and fruit. Pretty much the entire plant is poisonous and cannot be eaten by humans, the only exception being that you can eat the young leaves if you boil them enough, although I cannot imagine why it would be worth the trouble. Birds can eat the berries however. (plants.ces.ncsu.edu)

Grey goldenrod (Solidago nemoralis) CC-2

Goldenrods are usually easy to spot because they tend to have a relatively tall slim shape topped with yellow flowers, however there are a very wide variety of different species, most of which are differentiated by the size and shapes of their leaves. In certain scenarios goldenrod can be considered a weed, and it serves as a food source for aa wide variety of different insects. (plants.usda.gov)

Virginia creeper (Parthenocissus quinquefolia) CC-2

Virginia Creeper is a woody vine with palmately complex leaves containing 5 leaflets, somewhat similar to that of the buckeye trees, but with a slightly more round orientation. Virginia creeper can also be easily identified because it turns vibrant shades of red early in the fall, as you can see it starting to do in the picture. the vine can be used for ornamental reasons because the roots do not damage buildings, however the plants berries are poisonous, and the plant can give people rashes. (wildflower.org)

White snakeroot (Eupatorium rugosum)  CC-3

White snake root can be easily identified by its flowers, which are clustered and bright white, or by the arrangement of its leaves below its long petioles. white snakeroot produces a toxin called tremetol, which can cause animals that eat large amounts of snake root to develop a condition called “trembles” which can be fatal to the animal, also if that animal is lactating its milk can become poisonous and if consumed can cause “milk sickness” in humans. This is what killed Abraham Lincolns mother. (oardc.ohio-state.edu)

Invasive Plants

Japanese honeysuckle (Lonicera japonica)

     Most honey suckles look the same, identifiable by their distinctive opposite leaves and their flowers. Japanese honeysuckle can be distinctive because of its black berries. Japanese honeysuckle was first brought to the US from eastern Asia as an ornamental plant, but it quickly spread and began crowding out native species.(invasiveplantatlas.org)

Common buckthorn (Rhamnus catharticus)

Buckthorns are Identifiable by their leaves which have distinctive veins that bend and run down the length of the leaf, the leaf is also lightly toothed on its margin. Common buckthorn is native to Europe and western Asia, and was introduced to the US as an ornamental plant. It is allelopathic, similar to black walnut in how it releases chemicals to inhibit other plants around it. and its berries contain a chemical that works as a laxative. (mnfi.anr.msu.edu)

Japanese knotweed (Fallopia japonica)

Japanese knotweed is distinguished by their bamboo-like stem and their tendril like flower stocks, which can be seen bare in the picture above. the plant also has leaves that can look lopsided.  Japanese knotweed was brought to the US from eastern Asia to serve as both an ornamental plant, as well as to help prevent erosion along streams.  (mda.state.mn.us)

Amur honeysuckle, (Lonicera mackii)

Amur honeysuckle has the same general appearance as most other honeysuckles and can be distinguished from Japanese honeysuckle by its red berries. It was introduced to the US from eastern Asia as an ornamental and for soil erosion control, it now crowds out native species similar to Japanese honeysuckle, and its seeds are spread by birds. (invasive.org)

Substrate Associated Plants

Redbud (Cercis canadensis)

Redbuds, like the young one pictured above are identifiable by their entire, heart-shaped leaves, as well as by is flowers, which are bright pink and cover most of the trees branches. one interesting thing about it is that it is tolerant of the toxins released by black walnut trees.(mortonarb) According to Forsyth these trees grow in areas with lots of limestone, or high lime substrates.(Forsyth)

Common Greenbriar (Smilax rotundifolia)

Greenbriar can be identified by it’s fairly large leaves, with tiny teeth around the margin and veins running along the length of the leaf and meeting at the tip, the plant also has tendrils. Greenbriar has been planted to suppress other plants around powerlines. (gobotany.nativeplanttrust.org) Interestingly according to Forsyth Greenbriar is most often found in acidic sandstone environments, which does not match many of the other plants. (Forsyth)

Hackberry (Celtis occidentalis)

Hackberry is identifiable by its lopsided and deeply veined leaves, the tree is also well suited for birds to nest in(mortonarb). According to Forsyth hackberry is mostly limeted to areas of high lime and lime substrates.(Forsyth)

Sweet buckeye (Aesculus octandra)

     Sweet buckeye, or yellow buckeye, looks vary similar to Ohio buckeye, in that they both have palmately complex leaves of about the same shape, however you can tell the difference easily by looking at the fruit because, while Ohio buckeye has a spiky husk around the nut, the husk on yellow buckeyes are smooth, as can be seen in the picture. another element this tree shares with the Ohio buckeye is that the nuts are poisonous, however native Americans supposedly would eat them after roasting them and soaking them to remove the toxins.(plants.ces) Sweet buckeye is found mostly in south eastern Ohio and does not seem to grow well in high lime glacial till areas, so it is interesting that it is growing here. (Forsyth)

Literature Cited:

“Aesculus Flava.” Aesculus Flava (Big Buckeye, Sweet Buckeye, Yellow Buckeye) | North Carolina Extension Gardener Plant Toolbox, plants.ces.ncsu.edu/plants/aesculus-flava/.

Amur Honeysuckle (Lonicera Maackii), www.invasive.org/alien/pubs/midatlantic/loma.htm.

Biology Teaching Greenhouse, sites.berry.edu/cborer/inventory/horsetail/.

“Black Walnut.” Black Walnut | The Morton Arboretum, www.mortonarb.org/trees-plants/tree-plant-descriptions/black-walnut.

“Common Buckthorn.” Michigan Department of Natural Resources, mnfi.anr.msu.edu/invasive-species/CommonBuckthornBCP.pdf.

Forsyth, J. (1971). Linking Geology and Botany a new approach. Bowling Green State University

“Hackberry.” Hackberry | The Morton Arboretum, www.mortonarb.org/trees-plants/tree-plant-descriptions/hackberry.

Japanese Honeysuckle: Lonicera Japonica (Dipsacales: Caprifoliaceae): Invasive Plant Atlas of the United States, www.invasiveplantatlas.org/subject.html?sub=3039.

“Japanese Knotweed.” Minnesota Department of Agriculture, www.mda.state.mn.us/plants/pestmanagement/weedcontrol/noxiouslist/knotweed.

“Pawpaw: Small Tree, Big Impact (U.S. National Park Service).” National Parks Service, U.S. Department of the Interior, www.nps.gov/articles/pawpaw.htm.

“Phytolacca Americana.” Phytolacca Americana (American Pokeweed, Common Pokeweed, Garnet, Pidgeon Berry, Poke, Pokeberry, Pokeweed, Scoke) | North Carolina Extension Gardener Plant Toolbox, plants.ces.ncsu.edu/plants/phytolacca-americana/.

“Plant Database.” Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center – The University of Texas at Austin, www.wildflower.org/plants/result.php?id_plant=paqu2.

Plant Fact Sheet GRAY GOLDENROD. plants.usda.gov/factsheet/pdf/fs_sone.pdf.

“Redbud.” Redbud | The Morton Arboretum, www.mortonarb.org/trees-plants/tree-plant-descriptions/redbud.

“Smilax Rotundifolia L.” Smilax Rotundifolia (Carrion-Flower, Roundleaf Greenbrier): Go Botany, gobotany.nativeplanttrust.org/species/smilax/rotundifolia/.

“White Snakeroot (Ageratina Altissima).” OARDC Ohio Perennial and Biennial Weed Guide, CFAES, www.oardc.ohio-state.edu/weedguide/single_weed.php?id=91.

Wood Nettle (Laportea Canadensis), www.illinoiswildflowers.info/woodland/plants/wood_nettle.htm.