Iuka Park is found near campus in Columbus Ohio and those attending school here are surely familiar with the area. The park stretches from 4th Street to Indianola Avenue, and follows the path of Iuka Avenue, the brick road which snakes through the entirety of the park. The park is in a valley and there are a large variety of trees and flowers of interest to a botanist throughout the steep sides of the park. Pictured below are a small collection of plants that I identified in the park earlier today.

Bitternut Hickory, Carya cordiformus

The fruit of the Bitternut Hickory is so bitter that squirrels and other foragers avoid eating them!

Sugar Maple, Acer saccharum

Sugar Maple trees can live a very long time (200-300 years). The oldest known Sugar Maple is believed to be approximately 500 years old.

Dog Rose, Rosa canina

Arrowwood Virburnum, Viburnum dentatum

Virburnum species have been used not only for medicinal purposes but for their beauty in gardens.

Garden Phlox, Phlox paniculata

The phlox flower blooms in a wide variety of colors, not just this particular shade of pink and white!

Virginia Iris, Iris virginica

The darker the color of the iris’ petals, the more intense its fragrance will be!

Watch out! Poison Ivy!

Poison Ivy, Toxicodendron radicans

Poison ivy can cause some seriously uncomfortable reactions for many people, so it is important to know what it looks like in the field. Some useful traits to identify poison ivy include the leaf structure and color of the stems. The three leaf structure of poison ivy, with the central leaf being larger than the adjacent leaves is indicative of poison ivy. In addition, the stem of the central leaf will be longer than the stems of the side leaves. The branches of the plant are green near the leaves and a reddish brown color throughout the rest of the plant. It grows all over Ohio so keep an eye out!