Flora and fauna of the Athens County area, and occasionally habitats outside Ohio. Subject matter will consist of both interpretive material and taxonomic issues in plant and animal identification.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

While Walking Wakeena Wetlands, silly wabbit

You need to visit Wakeena Nature Preserve down here in the heart of the Hocking Hills. It is one of the last areas still being staffed by the Ohio Historical Society. The plant diversity is incredible. If you're a fern lover, there are nearly 30 species here.

It's late August, and I was curious to see what was blooming along the floating boardwalk.  Catching your eye immediately is the Fragrant or Sweet-scented Water-lily, and the Swamp Rose Mallow.

Both the orange and yellow Jewelweed (Touch-Me-Not) are common here.

Most people are familiar with the showy Flowering Dogwood tree.  But there are a half dozen other native dogwoods, all shrubs.  Other than subtle differences in the leaves and twigs, often fruit is needed to be sure of which you have.  This is Silky Dogwood (Cornus amomum).  A wetland species whose fruit turns from white to a shiny purple-blue.

A member of the evening primrose family, Seedbox, with it's 4 petals and unique seed case are distinct.

Two VERY showy species found in moist to wet soils are the Cardinal Flower and Great Lobelia

Speaking of which, I noticed this little guy which I thought was also a Lobelia at first. Laying prone on my stomach and holding on to the back of the boardwalk with my feet, I stretched over the pond to reach this guy. Hey it's only water, what can happen. Oh ya, there is the camera thing.  Turns out this is False Pimpernel.

Obiedient Plant is abundant here.  Named for the fact you can turn the flowers in any direction, and they stay where you point them. I tend to do this a lot since I'm mischievous anyway.

While maybe not as showy as others, the Arrow-leaved Tear-thumb is a common wetland inhabitant. Upon examination of the stem, you'll see where the name comes from.

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