Hi my name is Brandy, I am a senior majoring in biology. I enjoy taking nature walks with my children, and often end up with a handful of wildflowers my kids have picked for me along the way. I hope to be able to identify a few of these flowers and become more knowledgeable of poisonous plants for our walks.
I live in Mansfield OH, in a humble home surrounded in 13 acres of woods. For 11 years I have lived here with concerns surrounding which tree is Ash, and needs cut down for firewood, never really paying any attention to any other tree other than Ash. So, I took a walk in my woods determined to become more like Popkin, and “suddenly the largest, most conspicuous living beings in my environment.. to no longer be strangers!” (https://www.nytimes.com/2017/08/26/opinion/sunday/cure-yourself-of-tree-blindness.html). So my Journey began in the parameter of my wooded property, and led me to a nearby neighboring pond. Take a look a the species I became familiar with!
Cercis canadensis Common name- Redbud This species has a beautiful purple pink flower in the spring, with a heart shape formed by the petals. Because of this spring flowering this is a wild species that is commonly used for landscaping purposes. In the fall the green leaves change to yellow. These trees do not grow very large, and can be seen all over ohio, most noticeable in the spring. It requires full sunlight and can be found along the wood’s edge. ( this one is just along the wooded area on my property). This tree is not only pretty but also has medicinal uses, once used as a remedy for leukemia, but now used for whooping cough and congestion, along with other minor bodily ailments. Retrieved from: http://www.naturalmedicinalherbs.net/herbs/c/cercis-canadensis=redbud.php
Crataegus mollis Common name- Downy Hawthorn This tree has beautiful white flowers in spring, with five fragrant petals, and are in bunches. The leaves are ovoid, and leaf margin serrated. The branches have thorns that are very pointy and sharp. This tree, more shrub like was found bordering a wooded area, which is common for this species since it reques sun and partly shady.
Downy hawthorn- These flowers of this tree are beautiful, but beware the thorns! The dried leaves are beneficial in circulatory problems, when administered in capsules or teas. Retrieved from: https://www.wildflower.org/plants/result.php?id_plant=crmo2
Acer sacchrum Common name sugar maple Found in Mansfield alongside the edge of wooded area, this is identified by its leaves. They have margins that are smooth and u-shaped between points, and 5 lobes.
Sugar maple The leaves are little weighed down from the rain, from the rainy may season. Aside from its product of delicious maple syrup, its wood is also used for furniture and lumber. Retrieved from: http://www.museum.state.il.us/muslink/forest/htmls/trees/A-saccharum.html
Prunus virginiana Common name- choke cherry From the Rosaceae family. It is very similar to the black cherry. With oblong leaves and white racemes of flowers, it differs in the leaves are less glossy, and margins are serrated, and the aroma is not cherry like, it is not as pleasant. This tree is small in comparison to the black cherry, and this one was near a stream in Mansfield. When the berries are mature they can be made into jelly or preserves. retrieved from: https://www.wildflower.org/plants/result.php?id_plant=PRVI
Salix nigra Common name- Black willow Has simple alternate leaves, finely toothed margin, and narrow lancelet shaped. This tree was found on a nature trail nearby my house. Interesting fact, this was once used for artificial limbs because it is light weight and does not splinter easily. Retrieved from:https://www.fs.fed.us/database/feis/plants/tree/salnig/all.html
This species is Ulmus rubra, common name is slippery elm. The leaves are simple with serrate leaf margins. Also this tree had fruit on higher branches typical for this season. This tree is nearby a pond in a vast wooded area in Mansfield, Ohio. It is a source used for digestive issues and sore throats. Retrieved from:https://unitedplantsavers.org/slippery-elm-ulmus-rubra-2/
Fraxinus americana Common name- White ash This species can grow to an impressive 50-80 feet in height! It is also famous for its wood product, a baseball bat! Retrieved from:https://www.uky.edu/hort/White-Ash The leaves are opposite, and pinnately compound, with over 5 leaves that have smooth edges. This was found in the wooded area behind my house, quite a few of the ashes on my property have succumb to the dreaded Emerald ash borer beetle and have been cut down and used for firewood within my home… not transported!
Flowering Dogwood. This beautiful bloom tree is along the edge a wooded area of a nearby church that host summer camps relating to nature oriented themes. The wood of dogwood is shock resistant and used for mallet heads and jeweler boxes. Retrieved from: https://www.wildflower.org/plants/result.php?id_plant=cofl2
Cornus florida Common name-flowering dogwood
This species is known for its showy spring flowers, blossoming May-June. A cluster of 20-30 small yellow flowers are surrounded by four white notched bracts. Bracts color varies when cultivated, with pink or red bracts. In the fall this tree takes on a very different look, with red leaves. Although found in the wild, this species is a very popular choice to cultivate for use in landscaping,due to its beautiful spring flowering. This tree isgrowing in along side the edge of the 13 acres of woods my house is surrounded by.