Introduction to the Site
Kenney Park (also known as Delawanda Park) is a well-developed area of Columbus, OH that resides on the banks of the Olentangy River. Part of the land is a tee-ball field and part is used for children’s soccer fields. This constitutes a lawn area (high development, high disturbance) which is adjacent to a woody forest with trails and surely some city pollution (low development, medium disturbance) and a small grasslands area that is surely all affected by edge effects and likely isn’t native but is a result of the city not mowing an area that is too narrow to support normal woody forest development. The grasslands area would have high disturbance. It is very homogenous. The woody forest area reaches the Olentangy River, and there is a riparian zone with slightly different composition than the rest of the woody forest. This riparian zone receives human traffic and water pollution. It seems that the park is mostly empty exempting youth sports events, so it is not as heavily trafficked as some other parks. It is surrounded on one side by the river, on two other sides by residential developments, and on the fourth side by a parking lot and commercial center.
(Maps created with the help of Google Maps)
Some trees found at the site include silver maple and sycamore.
Many silver maple (Acer saccharinum) were found along the water’s edge in the riparian zone. It is distinguishable from other maples with opposite, simple, lobed leaves due to its deeply lobed leaves. silver maple has sap that is sweet but less sugary than that of sugar maple which is commonly used for maple syrup (Petrides, 1972).
Sycamore (Platanus occidentalis) was a dominant emergent layer tree in the park. Sycamore is easily recognizable by its peeling bark. Sycamores are widely considered to be the tallest tree in Eastern forests, and they seemed to be the tallest most prevalent tree at Kenney Park. Their wood can be used for furniture (Petrides, 1972).
Two extremely prevalent shrubs found at Kenney Park were swamp honeysuckle and European honeysuckle.
Swamp honeysuckle (Lonicera oblongifolia) was prevalent in the riparian zone. It has opposite simple leaves, solid pith, and distinctive flowers. It is a native species (Petrides, 1972).
European honeysuckle (Lonicera xylosteum) has a hollow pith compared to swamp honeysuckle, which indicates it is an invasive species (Petrides, 1972).
At Kenney Park, I saw a member of the Brassicaceae, garlic mustard, and a member of the Asteraceae, dandelions.
Garlic mustard (Alliaria officinalis) is an invasive species that was highly prevalent on the forest floor. It is in the mustard family and the leaves smell like garlic when crushed, even though it is not closely related to garlic (Newcomb, 1977).
Dandelions (Taraxacum officinale) are an extremely common weed whose leaves can be used in salads. They were prevalent in the lawn part of Kenney Park and near the parking lot (Newcomb, 1977).
Below is poison ivy (Rhus radicans). It has three entire leaflets (may have coarse teeth) and has small green flowers and gray or white fruit. It can either be erect and bushy or a vine. It was found in the woods of Kenney Park (Newcomb, 1977).
Flowers and Fruits!
This pineapple weed (Matricaria matricarioides) is part of the Asteraceae family. It has a head of actinomorphic, fused, 5-petaled yellow-green flowers. It has an inferior ovary (epigynous) and a unicarpellate gynoecium. It was very prevalent on the border of the lawn and parking lot. It has a pineapple odor when crushed (Newcomb, 1977).
This henbit (Lamium amplexicaule) is part of the Lamiaceae, or Mint family (Newcomb, 1977). It has a zygomorphic purple flower that has 5 fused petals and sepals. It is hypogenous with a syncarpous gynoecium. It is arranged in a verticillaster, common for the mint family (The Seed Site). It was found along the edge of the woods by the lawn.
This Crown Vetch (Coronilla varia) was extremely common in the grasslands region of Kenney Park. It is part of Fabaceae, or the Pea family. It has a zygomorphic pink flower with 5 fused sepals and 5 mostly separate petals. It has a unicarpellate gynoecium and is hypogynous. The flowers were arranged in an umbel (Newcomb, 1977).
This white clover (Trifolium repens) has started to make legumes of its flowers. It is in the Fabaceae family, as well, and has the same large floral characteristics that the crown vetch does. It was found along the lawn in Kenney Park (Newcomb, 1977).
This wood strawberry (Fragaria vesca) was the only one seen growing in Kenney Park in the woods. It is an accessory fruit in the Rosaceae family. It came from a flower that had an actinomorphic, apocarpous, perigynous, 5-sepaled, 5-petaled flower that had flowers in a small cluster (Newcomb, 1977).
Lastly, Red maple (Acer rubrum) produces samaras. It is in the Aceraceae, or the Maple family. It has 5 petals and 5 sepals on its flowers. It has a syncarpous gynoecium. Male flowers and female flowers start to grow in clusters along the previous year’s branches, but female flowers eventually form drooping umbels (Illinois Wildflowers).
Below is Anomodon minor, a pappilose pleurocarp. It is casually known as poodle moss. It was collected off a log in the woods of Kenney Park.
Below are two lichens on a tree in the woods in Kenney Park near the riparian zone. The white one is Wart Lichen (Pertussaria multipuncoides). It grows on bark generally. The green one is Common Greenshield Lichen (Flavoparmelia caperata). It only grows on trees and is one of the most common lichens in Ohio (Ohio Department of Natural Resources).
Illinois Wildflowers (n.d.) http://www.illinoiswildflowers.info/trees/plants/red_maple.html
Newcomb, Lawrence. 1977. Newcomb’s Wildflower Guide. New York, NY: Hachette Book Group.
Ohio Department of Natural Resources: Division of Wildlife. 2017. Common Lichens of Ohio Field Guide.
Petrides, George A. 1972. A Field Guide to Trees and Shrubs. New York, NY.: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.
The Seed Site. (n.d.) http://theseedsite.co.uk/inflorescences.html