The four plants I’ve chosen to represent the acidic plants of eastern Ohio are:
- Chestnut Oak (Quercus montana) is a large species of tree which can grow to 60ft in height with the potential for an equally large canopy cover if grown with no other trees near. Its name comes from its leaves resemblance to American Chestnut.
- Eastern Hemlock (Tsuga canadensis) can live up to one-thousand years if kept healthy. They can be identified by their needle-like leaves.
- Sourwood (Oxydendrum arboreum) gets it name from the acidic sour taste of its leaves.
- Bristly Greenbriar (Smilax hispida) has a history of medicinal treatment and was made into a tear which could treat urinary infection.
Biotic Threats to Forest Health.
- Eastern Hemlock (Tsuga Canadensis) is a tree plagued by Hemlock Woolly Adelgid, an insect similar to aphids which sucks the sugar from the needles of the tree, killing it. Solutions presented include insecticide injected into the boles of the tree or spread around the soil.
- Butternut (Juglans cinerea) blight or butternut cankers are caused by the fungus Sirococcus clavigignenti-juglandacearum which infects the cankers of the tree and are then spread by a variety of ways including insects, rain. Solutions include cutting off infected parts of the tree and spreading fungicide.
- I don’t think I’d change much about how this plant is described in the American Botany article. It describes it in much detail while also keeping it interesting.
- This plant exists solely as a vegetatively reproducing gametophyte; a member of a group of three other ferns: Crepidomanes intricatum and Hymeniohyllum tayloriae in which mature sporophytes have never been observed. The Shoestring Fern produces asexually via gemmae: vegetative propagules which are produced along the margins of the gameotophyte. When mature they separate and are dispersed to grow into genetically identical, but independent individuals. As the gemmae are too large to be long distance wind dispersed, they instead rely on short distance wind, water, animal dispersion. Bryophyte gemmae have even been observed to be transported by slugs and ants. The lack of any real way to spread long distances has resulted in an absence of the species north of the last glacial maximum. It has been observed as being able to survive, but doesn’t get the chance in nature. It is theorized that the plant lost the ability to produce mature sporophyte during last ice age. The idea that a tropical plant was the cause for the wide distribution of Appalachian Gametophyte can be ignored based on past allozyme studies along with distribution in the southern part of New York along with the fact that their data indicates dispersal from the tropics occurred just one time. Instead the long range can be attributed to a ancestral, now extinct version of the sporophyte existed when conditions were more favorable in pre ice age North America.
Personal Assignment: 2 Plants with Thorns
- I believe these plants can be identified as follows: to the left Multiflora Rose (Rosa multiflora) due to the small serrated teeth present along with the almost hairlike appendages present on stems. To the right: Bristly Greenbrier due to the vertical vascularity of the leaves. (Smilax hispida)
Miscellaneous Other Observations.
- Pine sap (Monotropa hypopitys) hypo-pitys in latin refers to the location pine sap usually grows “under” and “pine”.
- Beech Drop (Epifagus virginiana) Beech drops are a parasitic plant which grows on the roots of American Beech trees.
- Haircap Moss (Polytrichum commune ) is one of the most common plants around the world.
- American Cancer Root (Conopholis americana) was historically used as a treatment for menopause by Native Americans