The Olentangy River Wetland or the ORW for short, site is a developed urban research center that is on the northern edge of Ohio State’s Campus. It contains two experimental wetland basins, an oxbow wetland, bottomland hardwood forest, a mesocosm compound, and a research classroom building that is used for teaching. It was created in order to study how artifical wetlands play in the larger scheme of restoration along with numerous other projects. It ranges in plant life from various native trees and herbs to invasive plants like Amur Honeysuckle.
Map of the site below
As many of you would have guessed Poison Ivy is a common plant that should be avoided or at least viewed from a distance at the ORW. Some key tips and tricks to identifying this plant are as follows
- Leaves three let it be (technically leaflets)
- Its a vine that attaches to the tree and is kind of hairy
- White drupes
White Clover (Trifolium repens)
There are four to five tepals per flower and 10 stamen. The petals and sepals are fused together in a cup like shape making this a perigynous plant. I saw the plant on the edge of the walking trails and and slightly into the forest edge. It has a head or capitulum type inflorescence. The fruit will be a legume.
Red Clover (Trifolium pratense)
There are four to five tepals per flower and 10 stamen. The petals and sepals are fused together in a cup like shape making this a perigynous plant as well as the white clover. I saw the plant on the edge of the walking trails closer to the mesocosm and the forest edge. It has a head or capitulum type inflorescence. The fruit will be a legum.
Yellow flag (Iris pseudacorus)
This flower has bilateral symmetry with 3 sepals, 3 large petals, 6 small petals. . I saw this plant located near the wetlands ponds in more moist soil further away from the walking path. The fruit is a capsule and the flower has a panicle as the inflorescences type.
Multiflora rose (Rosa multiflora)
There are too many stamen to count with a total of five sepals, and five pedals. It has radial symmetry and is hypogynous. I saw the plant on the edge of the wood line and grass closer to the research building and the walking paths. It has an achene as a fruit type.
Dame’s rocket (Hesperis matronalis)
It has radial symmetry and consisted of 4 pedals and 4 sepals which were free, with 4 long stamens and two short. It is a syncarpous plant with an epigynous insertion. I saw this plant located near the walkways as well more towards the open sections of the wetlands comparatively though. The fruit type is a silique
Posion Hemlock (Conium maculatum)
Originally native from Europe and Asia it was introduced in the 1800’s as a garden plant and was marketed as a “winter fern” despite it’s toxicity to humans and livestock. It quickly colonizes around disturbed sites along roadways, ditches, meadows and other low lying areas. Methods like mowing or tilling the land frequently can be used to combat this plants.
Garden yellow rocket (Barbarea vulgaris)
Originally from Europe and Asia it was brought to the U.S as a decorative plant and has quickly become a pest. It prefers distrubed areas such as roadsides, ditches, drainages, and other types of highly disturbed places. There are many herbicides that can be used in order to combat this weed.
Dame’s rocket (Hesperis matronalis)
Originally from europe it was brought over in the 1600’s as a decorative plant. It thrives in gardens, roadsides, and disturbed areas. Methods for controlling this plant are few and far between. It can however be controlled if the whole flower including the root is dug up and thrown away in plastic bags.
Amur honeysuckle (Lonicera maackii )
Originally from eastern Asia, it was brought to the U.S as a decorative plant and to provide cover for wildlife. Unfortunately, it took this job a bit too seriously and has spread to various regions of the United States. It is a growing concern because it quickly spreads and is a hardy plant. Hand removal of seedlings along with herbicides are a method of control but it doesn’t look like this invasive is slowing down anytime soon.
Corn Salad (Valerianella locusta)
Originally from Europe this plant was brought over to be cultivated but escaped from gardens and has slowly been increasing it’s range. It is most likely to be found in disturbed places. A method to control this would be herbicide use systematically.
Woody Plant Fruits
Sugar Maple (Acer saccharum)
Below is the fruit of a sugar maple. It is a samara that spreads by wind. It is the traditional doubly attached samara and is bigger than some of the other maple species fruits indicating that it is a sugar maple.
White mulberry (Morus alba)
The fruit below is an aggregate drupe commonly associated with that of the mulberry. This fruit in specific is the white mulberry tree. While I was certain that this was a mulberry tree I wasn’t positive if it was a red or a white. So a tip is to rub the edge of the leaflet, the red mulberry is kind of hairy. While, on the other hand the leaflet of the white mulberry is smooth.
Red Bud (Cersis canadensis)
This fruit is a legume that splits down the center with small black seeds. It’s easy to identify this plant because the pods were close by to the tree.
Black walnut (Juglans nigra)
The fruit of the Black Walnut is actually a drupe and not a nut at all. You are able to distinguish amongst species because of the defining characteristics of the leaves after identifying this was a walnut fruit.
White Ash ( Fraxinus americana )
This fruit is a samara where it uses the wind in order to disperse it’s seed from the tops of the tree. Unlike the maple the samara of the ash is more spiral with a seed in the middle of the plant and not the end.
Mosses and Lichens