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O’Shaugnessy Nature Preserve is home to numerous sugar maple trees, asters, various lichens and mosses, and especially poison ivy! The Scioto River branches into the reserve and then further divides into Eversole Run. Within the park, there are few grass paths that run along the river and some that go into the forrest. Most of the herbaceous plants were found along these grass paths; whereas the moss was found inside the forest. Invasive species were found in both the forest and the grass plants. As for touring the park, it is a great place for fishing and walking your pets; however, it would be very difficult to have a picnic since all of the concrete tables have been eroded.

Two New Trees

Ashleaf maple (Acer negundo)

Osage-orange (Maclura pomifera)

Interesting fact of the Osage-orange: Osage-orange has a variety of uses: the wood was first used by the native Americans to make their bows, settlers used the wood to build fences around their farms, and currently researchers are determining the potential of its extracted oil as a potential biodiesel.


Two New Shrubs or Woody Vines

Running Strawberry Bush (euonymus obovatus)


Interesting fact of Running Strawberry Bush: The running strawberry bush is either considered a woody vine or a small shrub. This plant ought not to be planted near cattle farms, because it is well-known for killing livestock.

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Canada moonseed: (Menispermum canadense)



Two New Herbaceous or Fruiting Plants

Lady’s Thumb (Polygonum persicaria)

Interesting Fact of Lady’s Thumb: Native Americans used Lady’s thumb as remedy for stomach pains, relieving poison ivy rashes, and as an insect repellent on their horses

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Teasel (Dipsacus sylvestris)

Poison Ivy (Rhus radicans)

Key features of poison ivy: Leaflets of three; leaflets are entire, but sometimes have coarse teeth; fruit grow from leaf axils, and are grayish-white.

Two Types of Lichens

Hairless-spined Shield Lichen (Parmelinopsis minarum)

Description: I found this lichen growing on the side of a very tall tree. A key feature of this foliose lichen is that the uppersurface is coated with very small isidia.

Common Powderhorn (Cladonia coniocraea)

Description: I found this fruticose lichen growing on an old fence post. Those appendages are called podetia. The podetia are sterile.

Source for both lichens: (Common Lichens of Ohio field guide by Dr. Klips and Dr. Showman)

Two Types of Mosses

Ulota Crispa 

Anomodon attenuatus 



Sugar maple (Acer saccharum)

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Description: The sugar maple has opposite, simple leaves. As you can see from the photo, the buds are very sharp. The leaves are also green on both sides.

Natural History Facts: The sugar maple tree is used for making maple syrup. Interestingly, the Native Americans would take the sap of the tree and ferment it into beer or make it into sweets.


Woodland sunflower (Helianthus divaricatus)

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Description: This woodland sunflower has opposite, yellow leaves. Notice the prominent ray flowers. The woodland sunflower does not have basal leaves.

Natural History Facts: The woodland sunflower depends on honey bees for pollination, and is generally pest resistant.


Black Walnut (Juglans nigra)

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Description: The black walnut produces rounded fruits. The leaves of the black walnut tend to have absent terminal leaflets. The black walnut has alternate, pinnately compound leaves.

Natural History Facts: The black walnut tree was used for a variety of reasons by the Native Americans. For example, the Cherokee used the bark to make a tea to treat constipation. It is very important to note that the bark of the black walnut is poisonous!


Purple Coneflower (Echinacea purpurea)

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Description: The Purple coneflower has ray flowers with a reddish-purple tint. The petals are also known to droop around a very large flower head. The leaves of the flower are toothed and arranged alternately

Natural History Facts: The Purple coneflower is used by the Plains Indians as a painkiller, toothaches, sore throats, and even for snake bites!



Common Blackberry (Rubus allegheniensis)

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Description: The common blackberry has alternate compound leaves, with fan-compounded leaflets. These shrubs have thorny stems with leaflets of 3 to 7.

Natural History Facts: Not only are the fruits edible, but so are the stems. As for medicinal uses, the common blackberry can be used for stomach pains, piles, and tuberculosis. Although, I would strongly recommend seeking alternative treatment for TB.


Scouring-Rush (Equisetum hyemale)

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Description: Scouring-Rush is found near water. The stem is unbranched and cylindrical. The plant does not produce flowers or seeds. 

Source for description:

Natural History Facts: The scouring-rush is a great plant for ornamental reasons. When planted, it will exclude weeds by taking up all of the soils nutrients.

Source for facts:


Fall Dandelion (leontodon autumnalis)


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Description: Key features of the fall dandelion are: yellow petals with large, hairless, basal leaves.

Natural History Facts: The fall dandelion is known to grow in disturbed areas. The fall dandelion is also a food source for rabbits and insects.



Common Milkweed (Asclepias syriaca)

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Description: When present, the common milkweed has opposite, entire leaves. The fruits of the common milkweed are follicles. Surrounding the follicles is a pod. From the photo, you can see how the pod has a warty surface.

Natural History Facts: The common milkweed has been used for industrial purposes, such as making rope, and for consumption. The Native Americans would mix common milkweed, and virgin’s bower for back pain. It is also important to note that the common milkweed is toxic.