Emily Traphagen Park

The location of this botanical survey is Emily Traphagen Park in Powell, Ohio. Emily Traphagen Park is a 72 acre preservation park of Delaware County. The park was started after Dr. Donald Traphagen decided to preserve the area in memory of his late wife. Preservation Parks is an organization dedicated to preserving and managing prairie and wetland restoration, reforestation and invasive species management. The goal of of this effort is to preserve wildlife habitat. This park is comprised of grasslands, forest, ponds, and wetlands, all with very different ecology.

Trees

  • White Ash: The tree pictured below is white ash or Fraxinus americana. In the past, white ash was used for many things including baseball bats. The leaves of white ash are a very important food resource for tadpoles of many frog species. Unfortunately, emerald ash borer is wrecking havoc on all ash species across North America. Emerald ash borer is an insect that infest ash trees and feeds on the wood in both adult and larval form. The insects, essentially, girlde the trees, cutting off the exchange of vital fluids from root to leaf.

  • Black Tupelo: Black tupelo, Nyssa sylvetica, or blackgum is a popular ornamental tree because of its fall foliage that also has some uses. This tree is am important food resource for bees in the spring that are attracted to their flowers. Black tupelo trees are also very desired because it is often used to make honey.

Shrubs

  • Moonseed: Menispermum canadense is a vine that has often been used for medicinal purposes by both Native Americans and European settlers. The berries were used as a laxative by Native Americans and the root was used for skin diseases. Moonseed moth is an insect that has a connection to this plant. They caterpillars sever the leaves of moonseed and eat them once they have dried.

  • Spicebush: This slightly out of focus shows the leaves and twig of Lindera benzoin. This shrub has aromatic leaves and twigs that have been used to make tea for many years. When found in the field, this plant often grows in colonies in areas with very rich soil. For this reason, spicebush was often used by land surveyors to find good agricultural land. Spicebush swallowtail larvae use the leaves of this plant as shelter. They use their silk to fold the leaf over and take refuge from predators.

Forbs

Purple coneflower: Echinacea purpurea

Hollow joe-pye weed: Eutrochium fistulosum

Poison ivy: Toxicodendron Radicans

Lichens

Gray reindeer lichen – Cladonia rangiferina

British soldiers – Cladonia cristatella

CC Values

Tall boneset Eupatorium perfoliatum. Native forb. CC=0. Common in open woods and prairies. A perennial forb that can grow up to five feet tall. In late summer, the plant produces a multitude of small white flowers that grow at the top of the plant.

Straw-colored flatsedge Cyperus strigosus. Native graminoid. CC=1. Common in wet areas of various habitats. The leaves of this sedge are long and slender, branching outwards from the stem. this sedge typically grows up to 2 foot but it can grow up to 3 foot. Many wetland birds, like teals and shovelers, consistently eat the seeds. 

White ash Fraxinus Americana. Native tree. CC=6. Somewhat common in moist soils by streams and in lowlands. White ash is a species in decline because of the infestation of emerald ash borer across the United States. Most trees have been killed and the ones that you do see are seedling or sapling that will soon be killed. The leaves of this tree are pinnately compound with five leaflets that are entire. Furrowed, light colored bark is also a distinct characteristic.

Water horsetail Equisetum fluviatile. Native nonvascular forb. CC=7. Only grows in higher quality wetlands. This vascular plant often grows in colonies of plants near water. Each of these plants usually reaches about 100 cm tall. The plant branches at each node. Horsetail reproduces via spores and also through its rhizome. This plant is used as a scouring tool, eaten, and used for medicine and has been for a long time.