Sightings – Plants

Observer: Paul Lauenstein

Observation Date: 5/19/19

Observation Time: 3:10 p.m.

Observation Location: Billings Loop Botanical Trail

Common Name: American Beech Tree

Scientific Name: Fagus grandifolia

Comments: These specimens were observed in a shady, wooded area. The American Beech is a shade-tolerant species, favoring shade more than other trees, commonly found in forests in the final stage of succession. Ecological succession is essentially the process of forests changing their composition through time; it is a pattern of events often observed on disturbed sites. Although sometimes found in pure stands, it is more often associated with sugar maple (forming the beech-maple climax community), yellow birch, and eastern hemlock, typically on moist well-drained slopes and rich bottomlands.

More Information: Wikipedia

Observer: Paul Lauenstein

Observation Date: 5/22/18

Observation Time: 10:45 a.m.

Observation Location: Town-owned conservation land near Sandy Ridge Circle

Common Name: American Beech tree

Scientific Name: Fagus grandifolia

Comments: The American Beech is a shade-tolerant species, favoring shade more than other trees, commonly found in forests in the final stage of succession. Ecological succession is essentially the process of forests changing their composition through time; it is a pattern of events often observed on disturbed sites. Although sometimes found in pure stands, it is more often associated with sugar maple (forming the beech-maple climax community), yellow birch, and eastern hemlock, typically on moist well drained slopes and rich bottomlands.

More Information: Wikipedia

Observer: Paul Lauenstein

Observation Date: 4/19/15

Observation Time: 2:35 p.m.

Observation Location: Moose Hill Audubon Wildlife Sanctuary

Common Name: American Chestnut

Scientific Name: Castanea dentata

Comments: American chestnut was once very common in New England, but it has been practically wiped out by the chestnut blight, a pathogenic fungus. The fungus does not kill the roots, which continue to send up shoots for years. However, the fungus usually prevents the shoots from maturing into nut-bearing trees.

More Information: Wikipedia

This chestnut tree in the woods at Moose Hill has managed to survive despite being partially girdled by the blight. It has actually grown large enough to produce nuts.

Chestnuts on the ground:

This photo taken 8/6/10 shows what American Chestnut leaves look like:

Observer: Paul Lauenstein

Observation Date: 6/24/10

Observation Time: 3:45 p.m.

Observation Location: Beaver Brook near tennis courts

Common Name: American Chestnut Tree

Scientific Name: Castanea dentata

Comments: The term “dentata” in the scientific name refers to the “teeth” around the edges of the leaves. American chestnut trees were decimated by chestnut blight. Remnant root systems continue to send up shoots such as those shown in the photos, but the blight prevents most of these shoots from getting large enough to produce nuts.

More Information: Wikipedia

 

Observer: Paul Lauenstein

Observation Date: 6/23/19

Observation Time: 10:45 p.m.

Observation Location: Billings Loop Botanical Trail

Common Name: American Hornbeam

Scientific Name: Carpinus caroliniana

Comments: The common English name hornbeam derives from the hardness of the wood (likened to animal horn) and the Old English beam, meaning “tree” (cognate with German Baum). The American hornbeam is also occasionally known as blue-beech, ironwood, or musclewood, the first from the resemblance of the bark to that of the American beech Fagus grandifolia, the other two from the hardness of the wood and the muscular appearance of the trunk, respectively. Hornbeams are used as food plants by the larvae of some Lepidoptera species (i.e. butterflies and moths), including autumnal moth, common emerald, feathered thorn, walnut sphinx, Svensson’s copper underwing, and winter moth. 

More Information: Wikipedia

Observer: Paul Lauenstein

Observation Date: 6/4/11

Observation Time: 4:20 p.m.

Observation Location: Conservation land near Billings Street

Common Name: American Hornbeam

Scientific Name: Carpinus caroliniana

Comments: The common English name hornbeam derives from the hardness of the wood (likened to animal horn) and the Old English beam, meaning “tree” (cognate with German Baum). The American hornbeam is also occasionally known as blue-beech, ironwood, or musclewood, the first from the resemblance of the bark to that of the American beech Fagus grandifolia, the other two from the hardness of the wood and the muscular appearance of the trunk, respectively. Hornbeams are used as food plants by the larvae of some Lepidoptera species (i.e. butterflies and moths), including autumnal moth, common emerald, feathered thorn, walnut sphinx, Svensson’s copper underwing, and winter moth. 

More Information: Wikipedia

Observer: Paul Lauenstein

Observation Date: 5/22/18

Observation Time: 9:35 a.m.

Observation Location: banks of Beaver Brook (upstream of the tennis courts)

Common Name: Atlantic White Cedar tree

Scientific Name: Chamaecyparis thyoides

Comments: Atlantic White Cedars live almost exclusively in freshwater wetlands and are considered an obligate wetland species. They prefer habitats where the soil is saturated with water at least during the majority of the growing season. Though this tree species is not listed as threatened, Atlantic White Cedar wetlands are considered a globally threatened ecosystem, and often serve as carbon sinks because of their peat-building abilities. Caterpillars of the Hessel’s Hairstreak butterfly feed exclusively on C. thyoides, where its green color helps keep it camouflaged.

Sharon’s 250-acre Atlantic White Cedar swamp naturally purifies and stores the rainwater that recharges the springs that feed Lake Massapoag and the aquifers that provide Sharon residents with drinking water.

More Information: Wikipedia

The bark of Atlantic White Cedars has a spiral pattern up the tree trunk:

 

Observer: Paul Lauenstein

Observation Date: 11/6/06

Observation Time: 2:10 p.m.

Observation Location: Gavins Pond Road

Common Name: Autumn Olive

Scientific Name: Elaeagnus umbellata

Comments: Autumn-olive is a hardy, prolific shrub that thrives in a variety of conditions, in part because it is capable of fixing nitrogen. Some varieties can produce up to 80 pounds (37 kilos) of bright red edible berries in a season, which ripen in October and give the plant its common name. Introduced from Japan in 1830 and widely planted in the 1940s to revegetate disturbed habitats, it is now invasive in many parts of North America. Birds (especially starlings) and mammals relish its copious fruits and spread it far and wide.

Having a sweet and tart flavor when ripe, the berries can be eaten fresh or processed for jam, condiments, or fruit leather. When mature, the red berries contain carotenoids, including considerable amounts of lycopene, a substance also found in tomatoes, watermelon, pink grapefruit, pink guava, papaya, and rosehip.

More Information: Go Botany and Wikipedia

 

 

Observer: Paul Lauenstein

Observation Date: 5/23/18

Observation Time: 9:10 a.m.

Observation Location: Moose Hill Farm (TTOR)

Common Name: Autumn Olive

Scientific Name: Elaeagnus umbellata

Comments: Autumn-olive is a hardy, prolific shrub that thrives in a variety of conditions, in part because it is capable of fixing nitrogen. Some varieties can produce up to 80 pounds (37 kilos) of bright red edible berries in a season, which ripen in October and give the plant its common name. Introduced from Japan in 1830 and widely planted in the 1940s to revegetate disturbed habitats, it is now invasive in many parts of North America. Birds (especially starlings) and mammals relish its copious fruits and spread it far and wide.

Having a sweet and tart flavor when ripe, the berries can be eaten fresh or processed for jam, condiments, or fruit leather. When mature, the red berries contain carotenoids, including considerable amounts of lycopene, a substance also found in tomatoes, watermelon, pink grapefruit, pink guava, papaya, and rosehip.

More Information: Go Botany and Wikipedia

Observer: Paul Lauenstein

Observation Date: 5/26/19

Observation Time: 2:40 p.m.

Observation Location: Moose Hill Farm (TTOR)

Common Name: Autumn Olive

Scientific Name: Elaeagnus umbellata

Comments: Autumn-olive is a hardy, prolific shrub that thrives in a variety of conditions, in part because it is capable of fixing nitrogen. Some varieties can produce up to 80 pounds (37 kilos) of bright red edible berries in a season, which ripen in October and give the plant its common name. Introduced from Japan in 1830 and widely planted in the 1940s to revegetate disturbed habitats, it is now invasive in many parts of North America. Birds (especially starlings) and mammals relish its copious fruits and spread it far and wide.

The undersides of the leaves are silvery green – noticeably lighter than the top sides.

Having a sweet and tart flavor when ripe, the berries can be eaten fresh or processed for jam, condiments, or fruit leather. When mature, the red berries contain carotenoids, including considerable amounts of lycopene, a substance also found in tomatoes, watermelon, pink grapefruit, pink guava, papaya, and rosehip.

More Information: Go Botany and Wikipedia and Wintergreen Botanicals

Observer: Paul Lauenstein

Observation Date: 6/2/11

Observation Time: 1:00 p.m.

Observation Location: Gavins Pond Road near soccer field parking lot

Common Name: Beach Rose

Scientific Name: Rosa rugosa

More Information: University of Rhode Island

Beach Rose

 

Observer: Paul Lauenstein

Observation Date: 5/12/11

Observation Time: 8:15 a.m.

Observation Location: meadow near Gavins Pond dam

Common Name: Bird’s Foot Violet

Scientific Name: Viola pedata

Comments: The leaves of this pretty wildflower are reminiscent of bird’s feet. Not a common violet locally, only one site in Blue Hills. Likes dry sandy soils; has also been spotted in woods north of Knollwood Cemetery in Sharon.

More Information: US Wildflowers Database (USDA)

Bird's Foot Violet

Observer: Paul Lauenstein

Observation Date: 5/27/19

Observation Time: 4:40 p.m.

Observation Location: Power lines near Walpole St.

Common Name: Bird’s Foot Violet

Scientific Name: Viola pedata

Comments: Bird-foot violets are perennials with five-petaled flowers that bloom from March to June. The flowers are typically blue, but can range from white to purple. They spread by sending out rhizomes. The fan-shaped leaves have three lobes which are said to resemble a bird’s feet.

More Information: US Wildflowers Database (USDA)

Observer: Paul Lauenstein

Observation Date: 5/30/14

Observation Time: 12:05 p.m.

Observation Location: Power lines near Walpole St.

Common Name: Bird’s Foot Violet

Scientific Name: Viola pedata

Comments: Bird-foot violets are perennials with five-petaled flowers that bloom from March to June. The flowers are typically blue, but can range from white to purple. They spread by sending out rhizomes. The fan-shaped leaves have three lobes which are said to resemble bird feet.

More Information: US Wildflowers Database (USDA)

Bird's Foot Violet

Bird's Foot Violet

 

Observer: Paul Lauenstein

Observation Date: 6/6/11

Observation Time: 1:40 p.m.

Observation Location: Gavins Pond Road (bridge near soccer
fields)

Common Name: Bittersweet Nightshade

Scientific Name: Solanum dulcamara

More Information: King County, WA

Bittersweet Nightshade

Bittersweet Nightshade

Observer: Paul Lauenstein

Observation Date: 5/27/19

Observation Time: 4:20 p.m.

Observation Location: Beneath high tension wires near So. Walpole St.

Common Name: Black Huckleberry

Scientific Name: Gaylussacia baccata

Comments: These are the distinctive bright red unopened flower buds of black huckleberry, Gaylussacia baccata. They are typically no more than waist-high. They often form a near-continuous shrub layer in dryish oak woods. In moister soils they tend to be replaced by dangleberry, Gaylussacia frondosa. 

Blueberry bushes are similar, but have green rather than blackish second-year twigs. The berries of huckleberries are very similar to the berries of blueberries, except the latter usually contain more seeds (8-20) that are smaller in size. The foliage and woody stems of Black Huckleberry are quite similar to those of low-bush blueberries (particularly Vaccinium pallidum), except the leaf undersides of the former shrub are covered with resinous yellow dots, while the leaf undersides of blueberries lack such resinous dots.

More Information: Illinois Wildflowers

Observer: Paul Lauenstein

Observation Date: 5/30/15

Observation Time: 3:30 p.m.

Observation Location: near Gavins Pond

Common Name: Black Locust tree

Scientific Name: Robinia pseudocacia

Comments: The blossoms of black locust trees are good to eat, but beware of the thorns.

More Information: The Foraged Foodie 

Black locust blossoms

Black locust thorns

Observer: Paul Lauenstein

Observation Date: 7/23/09

Observation Time: 9:30 a.m.

Observation Location: Gavins Pond Road

Common Name: Black-eyed Susans

Scientific Name: Rudbeckia hirta

Comments: The genus name honors Olaus Rudbeck, who was a professor of botany at the University of Uppsala in Sweden and was one of Linnaeus’s teachers. The specific epithet “hirta” refers to the trichomes (hairs) occurring on leaves and stems.

More Information: USDA

Black-eyed Susans

 

Observer: Paul Lauenstein

Observation Date: 7/5/13

Observation Time: 6:15 p.m.

Observation Location: Gavins Pond area

Common Name: Black-eyed Susans

Scientific Name: Rudbeckia hirta

Comments: A type of daisy, these were growing wild in the field near Gavins Pond Dam.

More Information: USDA

Black-eyed Susans

 

Observer: Paul Lauenstein

Observation Date: 5/1/18

Observation Time: 10:30 a.m.

Observation Location: Moose Hill Audubon Wildlife Sanctuary

Common Name: Bloodroot

Scientific Name: Sanguinaria canadensis

Comments: Blood-root is an attractive spring ephemeral, traditionally used in cough remedies. However, it has been characterized as unsafe by the United States Food and Drug Administration because of the presence of the toxic alkaloid sanguinarine. This flower drops its petals within a day or two of blooming.

Please do not dig up wildflowers!

More Information: Go Botany

 

Observer: Paul Lauenstein

Observation Date: 5/31/11

Observation Time: 3:15 p.m.

Observation Location: Gavins Pond area

Common Name: Blue Flag Iris

Scientific Name: Iris versicolor

More Information: Wikipedia

Blue Flag Iris

Observer: Peter Higgins

Observation Date: 06/08/08

Observation Time: 6:55 a.m.

Observation Location: Moose Hill Audubon Wildlife Sanctuary

Common Name: Blue Flag Iris

Scientific Name: Iris versicolor

Comments: This beautiful group of wild blue flag iris was growing in the field near the boardwalk.

More Information: LakeForest.edu

Iris

Observer: Paul Lauenstein

Observation Date: 5/31/11

Observation Time: 4:05 p.m.

Observation Location: Gavins Pond area

Common Name: Blue Toadflax

Scientific Name: Nuttallanthus canadensis

More Information: Conn. Botanical Society

Blue Toadflax

 

Observer: Paul Lauenstein

Observation Date: 7/11/15

Observation Time: 3:15 p.m.

Observation Location: Gavins Pond area

Common Name: Blue Toadflax

Scientific Name: Nuttallanthus canadensis

Comments: Flowers from April to September.

More Information: Conn. Botanical Society

Observer: Paul Lauenstein

Observation Date: 5/14/11

Observation Time: 3:20 p.m.

Observation Location: meadow near Gavins Pond dam

Common Name: Blueberry

Scientific Name: Vaccinium corymbosum

Comments: Blueberries grow wild in the woods around Sharon, often near ponds and streams, where their roots can access moisture during dry weather. They flower in May and ripen in mid-summer.

More Information: Mother Earth News

Blueberry

Observer: Paul Lauenstein

Observation Date: 6/29/11

Observation Time: 11:35 a.m.

Observation Location: Gavins Pond

Common Name: Blueberry

Scientific Name: Vaccinium

Comments: These unripe blueberries were growing in sandy soil in the vicinity of Gavins Pond near a bluebird nesting box. The baby bluebirds will probably fledge around the time the berries ripen.

More Information: Mother Earth News

Blueberry

Observer: Kurt Buermann

Observation Date: 7/14/13

Observation Time: 11:00 a.m.

Observation Location: backyard

Common Name: Bondarzewia

Scientific Name: Bondarzewia berkeleyi

Comments: This was growing on an old oak stump. Very large, 2 ft long clusters. It grew very quickly, over a day or so. This is not chicken-of-the-woods, but is edible if gathered when very young.

More Information: MushroomExpert.com

Bondarzewia

 

Observer: Paul Lauenstein

Observation Date: 5/23/18

Observation Time: 9:45 a.m.

Observation Location: Moose Hill Farm (TTOR)

Common Name: Bracken Fern

Scientific Name: Pteridium aquilinum

Comments: Bracken fern often becomes dominant after disturbances such as fire, logging and grazing due to its deep rhizome. Humans have used bracken fern for thatch, livestock, bedding, and food, though it does contain some toxic compounds.

More Information: Go Botany

Observer: Paul Lauenstein

Observation Date: 12/4/09

Observation Time: 3:30 p.m.

Observation Location: Gavins Pond Road opposite soccer fields

Common Name: British Soldier Lichen

Scientific Name: Cladonia cristatella

More Information: Backyard Nature: Lichen

British Soldier Lichen

Compare the British soldier lichen to the pink earth lichen below. These photos were taken at about the same time, and in the same area.

British Soldier Lichen

 

Observer: Paul Lauenstein

Observation Date: 6/14/09

Observation Time: 11:30 a.m.

Observation Location: Moose Hill Farm, Trustees of Reservations land

Common Name: Bull Thistle

Scientific Name: Cirsium vulgare

More Information: UGA Center for Invasive Species and Ecosystem Health

Bull Thistle

 

Observer: Paul Lauenstein

Observation Date: 7/15/12

Observation Time: 5:00 p.m.

Observation Location: Gavins Pond Rd. soccer field parking lot

Common Name: Bull Thistle

Scientific Name: Cirsium vulgare

Comments: The beautiful blossom of the bull thistle comes with sharp thorns.

More Information: Wikipedia

Bull Thistle

 

Observer: Paul Lauenstein

Observation Date: 7/7/18

Observation Time: 3:15 p.m.

Observation Location: Moose Hill Farm (TTOR)

Common Name: Butternut (White Walnut)

Scientific Name: Juglans cinerea

Comments: Butternut is a deciduous tree growing to 20 m (66 ft) tall, rarely 40 m (130 ft). Butternut is a slow-growing species, and rarely lives longer than 75 years. It has a 40–80 cm (16–31 in) stem diameter, with light gray bark.

More Information: Wikipedia and Arbor Day Foundation

Observer: Paul Lauenstein

Observation Date: 5/17/14

Observation Time: 12:55 p.m.

Observation Location: Beaver Brook near tennis courts

Common Name: Canada Mayflower

Scientific Name: Maianthemum canadense

Comments: This common plant carpets the forest floor in many parts of Sharon.

More Information: Wikipedia

Canada Mayflower

 

Observer: Paul Lauenstein

Observation Date: 6/4/11

Observation Time: 2:40 p.m.

Observation Location: Conservation land near Billings Street

Common Name: Canada Mayflower

Scientific Name: Maianthemum canadense

Comments: Carpets the ground in many wooded areas of Sharon.

More Information: Wikipedia

Canada Mayflower

Observer: Paul Lauenstein

Observation Date: 5/22/18

Observation Time: 10:55 a.m.

Observation Location: Moose Hill Audubon Wildlife Sanctuary

Common Name: Carolina Silverbell tree

Scientific Name: Halesia carolina

Comments: Carolina silverbell is a vigorous, fast-growing deciduous shrub or tree growing to 8 m (26 ft) tall by 10 m (33 ft) broad, bearing masses of pendent, bell-shaped white flowers which appear in spring. The flowers are followed by green, four-winged fruit. The leaves turn yellow in autumn.

Carolina silverbell grows mostly in the Piedmont and mountains of the Carolinas, eastern Tennessee, Georgia, and Alabama. Its distribution extends beyond this central area, however, in small populations scattered over the southeastern Coastal Plain, western Virginia, West Virginia, southern Ohio, southern Indiana, southern Illinois, Kentucky, Tennessee, central Arkansas, and southeastern Oklahoma. The species has been successfully cultivated as far north as southern New England, in California, and in Europe .

More Information: Wikipedia

Observer: Paul Lauenstein

Observation Date: 6/25/16

Observation Time: 1:40 p.m.

Observation Location: Maskwonicut Street near Beaver Brook

Common name: Catalpa tree

Scientific Name: Catalpa speciosa

Comments: Large, bell-shaped 2″ white flowers are borne in 4″-8″ long panicles in late spring. The very large, 6″-12″ slightly heart-shaped, leaves turn yellow-greenish or brown in fall. Bean-like seed capsules, 8″-20″ long are green in color changing to brown and splitting open when ripe.

More Information: Arbor Day Foundation

Observer: Paul Lauenstein

Observation Date: 6/14/09

Observation Time: 11:30 a.m.

Observation Location: Moose Hill Farm, Trustees of Reservations land

Common Name: Celandine

Scientific Name: Chelidonium majus

More Information: Flora Health Herb Encyclopedia

Celandine

 

Observer: Paul Lauenstein

Observation Date: 6/27/15

Observation Time: 2:45 p.m.

Observation Location: Gavins Pond Road near soccer fields

Common Name: Chicory

Scientific Name: Cichorium intybus

Comments: A perennial herb with blue, lavender, or occasionally white flowers, chicory grows as a wild plant on roadsides in its native Europe, and in North America and Australia, where it has become naturalized. Common chicory is also known as blue sailors, succory, and coffeeweed.

More Information: Wikipedia

Observer: Paul Lauenstein

Observation Date: 7/7/10

Observation Time: 7:05 a.m.

Observation Location: Gavins Pond Road near soccer fields

Common Name: Chicory

Scientific Name: Cichorium intybus

Comments: A perennial herb with blue, lavender, or occasionally white flowers, chicory grows as a wild plant on roadsides in its native Europe, and in North America and Australia, where it has become naturalized. Common chicory is also known as blue sailors, succory, and coffeeweed.

More Information: Wikipedia

Chicory

Observer: Kathy Farrell

Observation Date: 10/31/18

Observation Location: Off Mountain Street, off Bay Rd.

Common Name: Evergreen Fern, or Christmas Fern

Scientific Name: Polystichum acrostichoides

Comments: One of the commonest ferns in eastern North America, being found in moist and shady habitats in woodlands, rocky slopes, and stream banks. The common name derives from the evergreen fronds which are often still green at Christmas in December.

More information: Wikipedia

Observer: Kurt Buermann

Observation Date: 7/30/2017

Observation Location: Rattlesnake Hill, Sharon

Common Name: Cinnabar Chantrelle

Scientific Name: Cantharellus cibarius

Comments: Sought after edible mushroom with slight peppery taste. Slight apricot aroma.

More Information: The Mushroom Forager

Observer: Paul Lauenstein

Observation Date: 5/22/18

Observation Time: 9:40 a.m.

Observation Location: Town conservation land near Beaver Brook

Common Name: Cinnamon Fern

Scientific Name: Osmundastrum cinnamomeum

Comments: The Osmundastrum cinnamomeum fern forms huge clonal colonies in swampy areas. These ferns form massive rootstocks with densely matted, wiry roots. This root mass is an excellent substrate for many epiphytal plants. They are often harvested as osmunda fiber and used horticulturally, especially in propagating and growing orchids. Cinnamon Ferns do not actually produce cinnamon; they are named for the color of the fertile fronds.

More Information: Wikipedia

Observer: Paul Lauenstein

Observation Date: 5/5/18

Observation Time: 8:00 a.m.

Observation Location: Moose Hill Audubon Wildlife Sanctuary

Common Name: Common Blue Violet

Scientific Name: Viola sororia

Comments: For information, see: http://thebotanicalhiker.blogspot.com/2015/04/eating-wild-identifying-wild-edible.html

Observer: Paul Lauenstein

Observation Date: 5/23/18

Observation Time: 8:55 a.m.

Observation Location: Moose Hill Farm (TTOR)

Common Name: Common Buttercup

Scientific Name: Ranunculus acris

Comments: The Common Buttercup (Ranunculus acris); also called Tall Buttercup, Meadow Buttercup and Blister Plant; is a perennial forb/herb in the Ranunculaceae family. The family and genus names come from the Latin for “little frog” because this family prefers wet areas. It’s also called Tall Crowfoot because of the irregular   shape of the leaves. The species name is from the Latin for “bad tasting,” that is, acrid. This plant has a very acrid fluid (glycoside ranunculin) that discourages foraging by animals.

More Information: French Hill Pond Field Plants and Go Botany

 

Observer: Paul Lauenstein

Observation Date: 7/17/10

Observation Time: 9:10 a.m.

Observation Location: near Gavins Pond

Common Name: Common Greenshield Lichen

Scientific Name: Flavoparmelia caperata

More Information: Wikipedia

Common Greenshield Lichen

Observer: Paul Lauenstein

Observation Date: 4/16/19

Observation Time: 2:00 p.m.

Observation Location: Moose Hill Audubon Wildlife Sanctuary

Common Name: Common Mullein

Scientific Name: Verbascum thapsus

Comments: Verbascum thapsus has a wide native range including Europe, northern Africa and Asia, from the Azores and Canary Islands east to western China, north to the British Isles, Scandinavia and Siberia, and south to the Himalayas. In the United States it was imported very early in the 18th century and cultivated for its medicinal and piscicide properties. By 1818, it had begun spreading so much that Amos Eaton thought it was a native plant. In 1839 it was already reported in Michigan and in 1876, in California. It is now found commonly in all the states.

More Information: Wikipedia

Observer: Paul Lauenstein

Observation Date: 7/11/10

Observation Time: 9:45 a.m.

Observation Location: Gavins Pond Road

Common Name: Common Mullein

Scientific Name: Verbascum thapsus

Comments: Mullein is widely used for herbal remedies, with well-established emollient and astringent properties. Mullein remedies are especially recommended for coughs and related problems, but also used in topical applications against a variety of skin problems. The plant has also been used to make dyes and torches.

More Information: Wikipedia

Common Mullein

 

Observer: Paul Lauenstein

Observation Date: 5/2/11

Observation Time: 4:45 p.m.

Observation Location: Gavins Pond

Common Name: Crab Apple

Scientific Name: Pyrus baccata

Comments: Red-tinged hairless leaves indicate this is may be a Siberian crab apple.

More Information: Wikipedia

Crab Apple

 

Observer: Paul Lauenstein

Observation Date: 5/21/19

Observation Time: 7:00 a.m.

Observation Location: Moose Hill Audubon Wildlife Sanctuary

Common Name: Creeping Myrtle

Scientific Name: Vinca minor

Comments: Also known as dwarf periwinkle, this non-native plant comes from Europe. It makes a good groundcover, and it produces lovely purple blossoms in spring and into summer, but once established it spreads and is hard to eradicate.

More Information: Wikipedia

Observer: Hana Jenner

Observation Date: 6/9/19

Observation Time: 2:20 p.m.

Observation Location: on a log beside a trail near Brook Road

Common Name: Crown-tipped Coral Fungus

Scientific Name: Artomyces pyxidatus

Comments: This is one of the few coral fungi found on decaying wood. The crown-like tips of the branches are unlike those of any of the other coral fungi, thus making this species relatively easy to identify.

More Information: University of Arkansas mushroom species list

Observer: Paul Lauenstein

Observation Date: 6/28/10

Observation Time: 1:55 p.m.

Observation Location: 147 Wolomolopoag St., Sharon

Common Name: Daisy Fleabane

Scientific Name: Erigeron annuus

Comments: Fleabanes get their common name from an old belief that they repelled fleas and other pestiferous insects. Early European settlers in North America stuffed mattresses with fleabane and hung clusters of plants in their cabins to drive out fleas. The custom persisted for generations, even though Daisy Fleabane appears to have no insect-repelling ability whatsoever. In fact, the plant ATTRACTS insects—not only pollinators but also tiny herbivores that nibble away the ray flowers and leave only the central disk.

More Information: Hilton Pond Center

Daisy Fleabane

Observer: Paul Lauenstein

Observation Date: 7/23/09

Observation Time: 9:45 a.m.

Observation Location: Gavins Pond Road

Common Name: Daisy Fleabane

Scientific Name: Erigeron annuus

Comments: Fleabanes get their common name from an old belief that they repelled fleas and other pestiferous insects. Early European settlers in North America stuffed mattresses with fleabane and hung clusters of plants in their cabins to drive out fleas. The custom persisted for generations, even though Daisy Fleabane appears to have no insect-repelling ability whatsoever. In fact, the plant ATTRACTS insects—not only pollinators but also tiny herbivores that nibble away the ray flowers and leave only the central disk.

Daisy Fleabane

 

Observer: Paul Lauenstein

Observation Date: 5/23/18

Observation Time: 9:30 a.m.

Observation Location: Moose Hill Audubon Wildlife Sanctuary

Common Name: Dandelion

Scientific Name: Taraxacum officinale

Comments:  Native to Europe, it has spread nearly worldwide. The young leaves can be eaten raw or cooked. The taproot can be boiled and eaten or dried and ground as a base for a hot drink.

More Information: Go Botany

Observer: Paul Lauenstein

Observation Date: 6/2/19

Observation Time: 3:15 p.m.

Observation Location: Along the dirt road under the power lines on the other side of South Main Street from Ward’s Berry Farm

Common Name: Deer-tongue Grass

Scientific Name: Dichanthelium clandestinum

Comments: Deer-tongue grass is a perennial cool-season grass native to eastern North America. It grows to 2′ to 4′ tall. It is tolerant of low pH soils, high concentrations of aluminum, drought conditions, and infertile soils. For these reasons, it is used in revegetating acid mine sites. Deer-tongue grass prefers moist to wet sites and does best in full sun. This grass produces two seed crops; a spring crop in an open panicle and a fall crop that remains mostly enclosed in the leaf sheath. Birds eat the seed and the plant lodges during the winter forming a dense cover for wildlife.

More Information: Roundstone Native Seed

Observer: Paul Lauenstein

Observation Date: 7/6/14

Observation Time: 12:45 p.m.

Observation Location: near Gavins Pond

Common Name: Deptford Pink

Scientific Name: Dianthus armeria

Comments:The Deptford pink is a European species, introduced and widespread in North America. Its name refers to the English town near London in which this species was formerly common.

More Information: Go Botany

Observer: Paul Lauenstein

Observation Date: 5/26/10

Observation Time: 5:25 p.m.

Observation Location: edge of woods by Gavins Pond near soccer fields

Common Name: Dewberry

Scientific Name: Rubus flagellaris

Comments: Dewberries are found in the eastern half of North America. Indians prepared a tea using northern dewberry roots to calm stomach irritation. The fruits are large and tasty. They can be eaten raw or used in jams, jellies, and sauces.

Dewberries start out green, then turn to orange, then red, and finally black when fully ripe.

More Information: Wikipedia

Dewberry blossom photographed on 5/26/10:

Northern Dewberry

Unripe dewberries photographed on 6/27/10:

Northern Dewberry

Ripening dewberries photographed on 6/28/10 at 147 Wolomolopoag St.

Northern Dewberry

Observer: Paul Lauenstein

Observation Date: 6/28/10

Observation Time: 2:00 p.m.

Observation Location: 154 Wolomolopoag St.

Common Name: Dewberry

Scientific Name: Rubrus species

Comments: Not sure if this is Rubrus flagellaris, the northern dewberry, or some other Rubrus species such as Rubrus hispidus, the swamp dewberry.

More Information: Dewberries and Brambles: University of Massachusetts

Observer: Rita Corey

Observation Date: 6/23/19

Observation Time: 2:15 p.m.

Observation Location: Rattlesnake Hill

Common Name: Downey Rattlesnake Plantain Orchid

Scientific Name: Goodyera pubescens

Comments: Please don’t dig up wildflowers.

More Information: USDA Plant Fact Sheet

Observer: Paul Lauenstein

Observation Date: 5/14/11

Observation Time: 2:10 p.m.

Observation Location: Moose Hill Audubon Wildlife Sanctuary

Common Name: Dwarf ginseng

Scientific Name: Panax trifolius

Comments: This diminutive variety of ginseng has no “medicinal” properties.
It blooms in spring and dies back in summer.

More Information: US Forest Service

Dwarf Ginseng

Observer: Paul Lauenstein

Observation Date: 6/23/19

Observation Time: noon

Observation Location: Billings Loop Botanical Trail

Common Name: Enchanter’s Nightshade

Scientific Name: Circaea quadrisulcata

Comments: Enchanter’s nightshade is a member of the primrose family.

More Information: UMass Amherst Weed Herbarium

Observer: Paul Lauenstein

Observation Date: 9/30/10

Observation Time: 6:10 p.m.

Observation Location: Gavins Pond Road

Common Name: Fly Agaric mushroom

Scientific Name: Amanita muscaria

Comments: Mushrooms of the genus Amanita account for most mushroom-related deaths. See: http://www.a1b2c3.com/drugs/var012.htm

Fly Agaric Mushroom

Observer: Paul Lauenstein

Observation Date: 6/4/11

Observation Time: 2:20 p.m.

Observation Location: conservation land near Billings Street

Common Name: Golden Ragwort

Scientific Name: Senecio aureus

Comments: Golden Ragwort is a biannual plant with a yellow flower that grows upto a height of 2 feet and belongs to Asteraceae family (i.e. asters).

More Information: HealthBenefitsTimes.com or Illinois Wildflowers

Golden Ragwort

Golden Ragwort

Golden Ragwort

Observer: Paul Lauenstein

Observation Date: 9/12/09

Observation Time: 11:25 a.m.

Observation Location: Gavins Pond

Common Name: Goldenrod

Scientific Name: Solidago sp.

Comments: Goldenrod gets a bad rap as a cause of autumn allergies. The real culprit is ragweed. In fact, goldenrod has medicinal properties.

More Information: Great Plains Nature Center

Goldenrod

Observer: Paul Lauenstein

Observation Date: 5/23/18

Observation Time: 8:40 a.m.

Observation Location: Moose Hill Farm (TTOR)

Common Name: Ground Ivy (a.k.a. “Gill-over-the-ground”)

Scientific Name: Glechoma hederacea

Comments: Commonly known as ground-ivy, gill-over-the-ground, creeping charlie, alehoof, tunhoof, catsfoot, field balm, and run-away-robin, it has numerous medicinal uses, and is used as a salad green in many countries. European settlers carried it around the world, and it has become a well-established introduced and naturalized plant in a wide variety of localities.

More Information: Go Botany and Wikipedia

Observer: Paul Lauenstein

Observation Date: 5/26/19

Observation Time: 8:40 a.m.

Observation Location: Moose Hill Farm (TTOR)

Common Name: Ground Ivy (a.k.a. “Gill-over-the-ground”)

Scientific Name: Glechoma hederacea

Comments: Commonly known as ground-ivy, gill-over-the-ground, creeping charlie, alehoof, tunhoof, catsfoot, field balm, and run-away-robin, it has numerous medicinal uses, and is used as a salad green in many countries. European settlers carried it around the world, and it has become a well-established introduced and naturalized plant in a wide variety of localities.

More Information: Go Botany and Wikipedia and Wildflowers of the United States

Observer: Kathy Farrell

Observation Date: 1/5/17

Observation Location: Path off Mountain Street, Sharon

Common Name: Ground Pine Club Moss (a.k.a. Princess Pine)

Scientific Name: Lycopodium obscurum

Comment: Also known as a “princess pine.” It looks like a baby pine tree, and stays green even in the winter.

More Information: Wikipedia

Observer: Paul Lauenstein

Observation Date: 7/11/15

Observation Time: 1:36 p.m.

Observation Location: near Gavins Pond

Common Name: Groundnut

Scientific Name: Apios americana

Comments: Apios americana is found in every state east of the Rocky Mountains. It is a perennial vine that grows to 10 feet long in wet areas – marshy meadows and thickets, stream and pond banks, and moist woodlands. Both the tuber and the seeds are edible. Apios americana was a noteworthy food of both native Americans as well as early colonists of New England. It is a good source of carbohydrates and protein.

More Information: Wildflowers of the United States

Observer: Paul Lauenstein

Observation Date: 5/12/11

Observation Time: 6:55 a.m.

Observation Location: Moose Hill Audubon Wildlife Sanctuary

Common Name: Hay-scented Fern

Scientific Name: Dennstaedtia punctilobula

Comments: Hay-scented fern is very common in Sharon. It is often found growing in large colonies, forming a green carpet on the forest floor. It can be identified by its lacy, light-green fronds. It can be confused with New York fern, but hay-scented fern has triangular fronds, whereas New York fern fronds taper to tiny leaflets at the bottom.

More Information: Connecticut Botanical Society

Hay-Scented Fern

Observer: Paul Lauenstein

Observation Date: 5/23/18

Observation Time: 6:55 a.m.

Observation Location: Moose Hill Audubon Wildlife Sanctuary (Billings loop)

Common Name: Hay-scented Fern

Scientific Name: Dennstaedtia punctilobula

Comments: Hay-scented fern is very common in Sharon. It is often found growing in large colonies, forming a green carpet on the forest floor. It can be identified by its lacy, light-green fronds. It can be confused with New York fern, but hay-scented fern has triangular fronds, whereas New York fern fronds taper to tiny leaflets at the bottom.

More Information: Go Botany

Observer: Paul Lauenstein

Observation Date: 5/30/10

Observation Time: 4:30 p.m.

Observation Location: Moose Hill Audubon Wildlife Sanctuary

Common Name: Highbush blueberry

Scientific Name: Vaccinium corymbosum

Comments: The northern highbush blueberry, is a North American species of blueberry which has become a food crop of significant economic importance. It is native to eastern Canada and the eastern and southern United States, from Ontario east to Nova Scotia and south as far as Florida and eastern Texas.

More Information: Highbush Blueberry

Highbush Blueberry

Observer: Paul Lauenstein

Observation Date: 9/26/12

Observation Time: 2:05 p.m.

Observation Location: Near the train station tennis courts by Beaver Brook

Common Name: Honey Mushroom

Scientific Name: Armillaria mellea

Comments: Honey mushrooms are a plant pathogen and cause Armillaria root rot in many plant species. They appear around the base of trees they have infected. The symptoms of infection appear in the crowns of infected trees as discolored foliage, reduced growth, dieback of the branches and death. The mushrooms are edible but some people may be intolerant to them. This species is capable of producing light via bioluminescence in its mycelium.

Armillaria mellea is widely distributed in temperate regions of the Northern Hemisphere. The fruit body or mushroom, commonly known as stump mushroom, stumpie, honey mushroom, pipinky or pinky, grows typically on hardwoods but may be found around and on other living and dead wood or in open areas.

More Information: Wikipedia

Honey Mushrooms

Honey Mushrooms

Honey Mushrooms

Observer: Paul Lauenstein

Observation Date: 5/22/18

Observation Time: 10:55 a.m.

Observation Location: Town-owned conservation land near Sandy Ridge Circle

Common Name: Honeysuckle

Scientific Name: Lonicera spp.

Comments: Bush honeysuckles are invasive deciduous shrubs that grow up to 20 feet tall. There are three species of bush honeysuckle common in the region including tartarian (Lonicera tatarica), Morrow’s (Lonicera morrowii), and Amur (Lonicera maackii). All species are similar in appearance, with simple, opposite, oval-shaped leaves. Honeysuckles bloom in May and June, producing fragrant white or pink flowers. Berries are round, fleshy and red. The center of twigs on invasive bush honeysuckles are hollow, a trait that distinguishes the invasive species from their native look-alikes.

More Information: Adirondack Park Invasive Plants

Observer: Paul Lauenstein

Observation Date: 6/14/09

Observation Time: 7:30 a.m.

Observation Location: Moose Hill Farm, Trustees of Reservations land

Common Name: Indian Pipe

Scientific Name: Monotropa uniflora

Comments: Indian pipe, also known as ghost plant (or ghost pipe) or corpse plant, is a herbaceous perennial plant native to temperate regions of European Russia, Asia, North America and northern South America, but with large gaps between areas. It is generally rare in occurrence.

Unlike most plants, it is white and does not contain chlorophyll. Instead of generating energy from sunlight, it is parasitic, more specifically a myco-heterotroph. Its hosts are certain fungi that are mycorrhizal with trees, meaning it ultimately gets its energy from photosynthetic trees. Since it is not dependent on sunlight to grow, it can grow in very dark environments as in the understory of dense forest. It is often associated with beech trees. The complex relationship that allows this plant to grow also makes propagation difficult.

More Information: Wikipedia

Indian Pipe

Observer: Paul Lauenstein

Observation Date: 6/23/19

Observation Time: 10:45 a.m.

Observation Location: Billings Loop Botanical Trail

Common Name: Indian Pipe

Scientific Name: Monotropa uniflora

Comments: Indian pipe, also known as ghost plant (or ghost pipe) or corpse plant, is a herbaceous perennial plant native to temperate regions of European Russia, Asia, North America and northern South America, but with large gaps between areas. It is generally rare in occurrence.

Unlike most plants, it is white and does not contain chlorophyll. Instead of generating energy from sunlight, it is parasitic, more specifically a myco-heterotroph. Its hosts are certain fungi that are mycorrhizal with trees, meaning it ultimately gets its energy from photosynthetic trees. Since it is not dependent on sunlight to grow, it can grow in very dark environments as in the understory of dense forest. It is often associated with beech trees. The complex relationship that allows this plant to grow also makes propagation difficult.

More Information: Wikipedia

Observer: Paul Lauenstein

Observation Date: 6/26/10

Observation Time: 3:20 p.m.

Observation Location: headwaters of Beaver Brook

Common Name: Indian Pipe

Scientific Name: Monotropa uniflora

Comments: Indian pipe, also known as ghost plant (or ghost pipe) or corpse plant, is a herbaceous perennial plant native to temperate regions of European Russia, Asia, North America and northern South America, but with large gaps between areas. It is generally rare in occurrence.

Unlike most plants, it is white and does not contain chlorophyll. Instead of generating energy from sunlight, it is parasitic, more specifically a myco-heterotroph. Its hosts are certain fungi that are mycorrhizal with trees, meaning it ultimately gets its energy from photosynthetic trees. Since it is not dependent on sunlight to grow, it can grow in very dark environments as in the understory of dense forest. It is often associated with beech trees. The complex relationship that allows this plant to grow also makes propagation difficult.

More Information: Wikipedia

Indian Pipe

 

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