Sightings – Plants

Observer: Paul Lauenstein

Observation Date: 9/9/12

Observation Time: 2:50 p.m.

Observation Location: Sandy Ridge Circle

Common Name: Pigskin Poison Puffball

Scientific Name: Scleroderma citrinum

Comments: Also known as “common earthball,” this yellow-white spherical fungus has no stem. It eventually bursts open to release spores.

More Information: Common Earthball

Pigskin Poison Puffball

Observer: Paul Lauenstein

Observation Date: 5/11/20

Observation Time: 9:40 a.m.

Observation Location: near Gavins Pond

Common Name: Pink earth lichen

Scientific Name: Dibaeis baeomyces

Comments: This lichen is found throughout eastern North America, from Alabama and Georgia in the south to the Arctic Circle in the north. While rare there, it does occur in both Alaska and the Northwest Territories. It prefers to grow directly on unstable soils such as loose sand or dry clay, and in full sun. It also prefers acid soils to neutral or alkaline. On disturbed ground, a preferred habitat type, it is able to spread quickly for a lichen.

More Information: Wikipedia

Observer: Paul Lauenstein

Observation Date: 9/12/09

Observation Time: 11:00 a.m.

Observation Location: near Gavins Pond

Common Name: Pink Earth lichen

Scientific Name: Dibaeis baeomyces

More Information: Lichens of North America

Pink Earth Lichen

Pink Earth Lichen

Observer: Paul Lauenstein

Observation Date: 5/27/20

Observation Time: 5:10 p.m.

Observation Location: in the woods near the footbridge over Beaver Brook

Common Name: Pink Lady’s Slipper orchid

Scientific Name: Cypripedium acaule

Comments: Pink lady’s slippers probably won’t survive if you try to transplant them, so please don’t dig them up.

More Information: Wikipedia

Observer: Paul Lauenstein

Observation Date: 5/22/18

Observation Time: 9:30 a.m.

Observation Location: Moose Hill Audubon Wildlife Sanctuary

Common Name: Pink Lady’s Slipper orchid

Scientific Name: Cypripedium acaule

Comments: Pink lady’s slippers probably won’t survive if you try to transplant them, so please don’t dig them up.

More Information: Wikipedia

Observer: Paul Lauenstein

Observation Date: 5/27/14

Observation Time: 9:05 p.m.

Observation Location: Moose Hill Audubon Wildlife Sanctuary

Common Name: Pink Lady’s Slipper orchid

Scientific Name: Cypripedium acaule

Comments: Pink lady’s slippers won’t survive if you try to transplant them, so please don’t dig them up.

More Information: Wikipedia

Pink Lady's Slipper Orchid

Pink Lady's Slipper Orchid

Pink Lady's Slipper Orchid

Observer: Josh Simons

Observation Date: 5/31/20

Observation Time: 10:30 a.m.

Observation Location: Moose Hill area

Common Name: Pink Lady’s Slipper orchid

Scientific Name: Cypripedium acaule

Comments: Pink lady’s slippers probably won’t survive if you try to transplant them, so please don’t dig them up.

More Information: Wikipedia

Observer: Paul Lauenstein

Observation Date: 6/13/20

Observation Time: 5:55 p.m.

Observation Location: Moose Hill Wildlife Sanctuary

Common Name: Platterful Mushroom

Scientific Name: Megacollybia rodmani

Comments: Platterful mushrooms appear after May and June rains. It had rained heavily two days earlier. This one was growing on a rotting log beside the trail.

More Information: Mushroomexpert.com

Top view:

Observer: Paul Lauenstein

Observation Date: 5/23/18

Observation Time: 9:35 a.m.

Observation Location: Moose Hill Farm (TTOR)

Common Name: Poison Ivy

Scientific Name: Toxicodendron radicans

Comments: Everyone should learn to identify poison ivy and avoid contact with its glossy, notched leaves. As both its common name and its scientific name suggest, the triplicate leaves of this plant can cause an intensely itchy rash that lasts for weeks. Jewelweed, which often grows near poison ivy, is also an antidote for poison ivy.

Poison ivy is often seen in disturbed areas along roads and paths, but it can also climb up trees as a thick vine. When ripe, the white fruits are a favorite food of many migrant and game birds, as well as white-tailed deer. The seeds are adapted for sprouting after digestion softens the seed coat.

More Information: Go Botany

Observer: Paul Lauenstein

Observation Date: 6/24/10

Observation Time: 3:40 p.m.

Observation Location: Beaver Brook near tennis courts

Common Name: Princess pine

Scientific Name: Dendrolycopodium obscurum

Comments: Despite its name and pine-like appearance, princess pine is not related to pine trees. It’s actually a type of clubmoss, an ancient group of plants that had its heyday long before there were pines, dinosaurs, or flowering plants. Also known as “ground cedar,” it is also called “fan clubmoss” because of its fan-like branches. It grows from a creeping stem at the soil surface.

More Information: Westborough Land Trust

Princess Pine

Observer: Paul Lauenstein

Observation Date: 9/20/15

Observation Time: 4:20 p.m.

Observation Location: Lake Massapoag (near boat ramp)

Common Name: Puffball mushroom

Scientific Name: Genus: Calvatia, Bovista and others

Comments: There are many kinds of puffballs. Some are edible and some are poisonous.

More Information: eattheplanet.org

Observer: Paul Lauenstein

Observation Date: 6/13/20

Observation Time: 5:15 p.m.

Observation Location: Moose Hill Audubon Wildlife Sanctuary

Common Name: Purple Foxglove

Scientific Name: Digitalis purpurea

Comments: Purple foxglove, Digitalis purpurea, is a biennial or short-lived herbaceous perennial from western Europe in the plantain family. It is sometimes called common foxglove, fairy gloves, fairy bells, or lady’s glove. Purple foxglove is naturally quite variable in size and flower color.

As its scientific name suggests, foxglove was the source of chemicals in the drug digitalis.

More Information: University of Wisconsin

Observer: Paul Lauenstein

Observation Date: 9/12/09

Observation Time: 11:20 a.m.

Observation Location: Gavins Pond

Common Name: Purple Loosestrife

Scientific Name: Lythrum salicaria L.

Comments: Sometimes called “purple plague,” purple loosestrife is an invasive species. Neponset River Watershed Association has a program to propagate and disperse galerucella beetles that eat nothing but purple loosestrife.

More Information: The Nature Conservancy

Purple Loosestrife

Observer: Paul Lauenstein

Observation Date: 5/29/14

Observation Time: 11:30 a.m.

Observation Location: Borderland State Park

Common Name: Purple pitcherplant

Scientific Name: Sarracenia purpurea

Comments: This carnivorous plant captures and digests hapless insects.

More Information: Harvard Forest

Purple Pitcherplant

Purple Pitcherplant

Purple Pitcherplant

Observer: Paul Lauenstein

Observation Date: 4/13/13

Observation Time: 5:50 p.m.

Observation Location: near Gavins Pond

Common Name: Pussy Willow

Scientific Name: Salix discolor

Comments: The fuzzy nubs that appear on pussy willows in early spring are actually flowers just before they fully bloom. The species most commonly called pussy willow in the Northeast, Salix discolor, is a small, shrubby species of willow that can be found dotting wetlands and moist woods throughout much of North America.

More Information: Brooklyn Botanic Garden

Observer: Paul Lauenstein

Observation Date: 7/22/15

Observation Time: 5:20 p.m.

Observation Location: Gavins Pond area

Common Name: Queen Anne’s Lace

Scientific Name: Daucus carota

Comments: Daucus carota, whose common names include wild carrot, bird’s nest, bishop’s lace, and Queen Anne’s lace (North America), is a white, flowering plant in the family Apiaceae, native to temperate regions of Europe and southwest Asia, and naturalized to North America and Australia.

Domesticated carrots are cultivars of a subspecies, Daucus carota subsp. sativus.

More Information: Wikipedia

Observer: Paul Lauenstein

Observation Date: 5/23/18

Observation Time: 8:10 a.m.

Observation Location: Moose Hill Audubon Wildlife Sanctuary

Common Name: Rattlesnake Root

Scientific Name: Prenanthes sp.

Comments: Roots look like the rattle of a rattlesnake.

More Information: Youtube

Observer: Paul Lauenstein

Observation Date: 6/9/20

Observation Time: 4:05 p.m.

Observation Location: trail near Brook Road

Common Name: Three-leaved Rattlesnake Root

Scientific Name: Nabalus trifoliolatus

Comments: Three-leaved rattlesnake-root is found throughout New England. It has a trumpet-shaped white flower that blooms in late summer.

More Information: GoBotany

Observer: Paul Lauenstein

Observation Date: 6/9/19

Observation Time: 4:05 p.m.

Observation Location: trail near Brook Road

Common Name: Three-leaved Rattlesnake Root

Scientific Name: Nabalus trifoliolatus

Comments: The leaves of this species of rattlesnake root look quite different from the arrowhead-shaped leaves of other kinds of rattlesnake root.

More Information: GoBotany

Observer: Lonnie Friedman

Observation Date: 7/11/20

Observation Time: 3:20 p.m.

Observation Location: Moose Hill Audubon Wildlife Sanctuary

Common Name: Red Chanterelle Mushroom

Scientific Name: Cantharellus cinnabarinus

Comments: Red chanterelles are fungi native to eastern North America. They are members of the genus Cantharellus along with other chanterelles. They are named after their red color, which is imparted by the carotenoid canthaxanthin. They are edible, fruiting in association with hardwood trees in the summer and fall.

It looks like something was chewing on the red chanterelles in these photos. It is a bad idea to ingest wild mushrooms unless you are absolutely certain you know what your are eating, because many mushrooms are poisonous.

More Information: iNaturalist

Observer: Kurt Buermann

Observation Date: 7/30/2017

Observation Time: N/A

Observation Location: Rattlesnake Hill, Sharon

Common Name: Red Chanterelle mushroom (a.k.a. Cinnabar Chanterelle mushroom)

Scientific Name: Cantharellus cinnabarinus

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

DON’T EAT WILD MUSHROOMS UNLESS YOU ARE ABSOLUTELY SURE THEY ARE NOT POISONOUS!

More Information: The Mushroom Forager

Observer: Paul Lauenstein

Observation Date: 5/31/20

Observation Time: 4:40 p.m.

Observation Location: Moose Hill Farm (TTOR)

Common Name: Red clover

Scientific Name: Trifolium pratense

Comments: Clover is widely grown as a fodder crop, valued for its nitrogen fixation, which increases soil fertility. For these reasons, it is used as a green manure crop.

This specimen had not yet produced its reddish flowers, but the two-tone pattern on its leaves is characteristic of red clover.

More Information: Wikipedia

I took this photo near the same location on 6/2/20:

Observer: Paul Lauenstein

Observation Date: 6/4/10

Observation Time: 12:10 p.m.

Observation Location: Gavins Pond Road soccer field parking lot

Common Name: Red clover

Scientific Name: Trifolium pratense

Comments: It is widely grown as a fodder crop, valued for its nitrogen fixation, which increases soil fertility. For these reasons, it is used as a green manure crop.

More Information: Wikipedia

Red Clover

Observer: Paul Lauenstein

Observation Date: 7/7/18

Observation Time: 12:50 p.m.

Observation Location: Moose Hill Farm (TTOR)

Common Name: Reed Canary Grass

Scientific Name: Phalaris arundinacea

Comments: Reed canary grass has become invasive or problematic in New England and across North America, and the invasive plants may be the Eurasian genotype.

More Information: GoBotany

Observer: Paul Lauenstein

Observation Date: 5/18/20

Observation Time: 10:20 a.m.

Observation Location: under high tension lines across the street from the Gavins Pond soccer fields

Common Name: Reindeer lichen

Scientific Name: Cladonia rangiferina

Comments: Reindeer lichen is a light-colored, fruticose lichen belonging to the family Cladoniaceae. It grows in both hot and cold climates in well-drained, open environments. As the common names suggest, reindeer lichen is an important food for reindeer (caribou) and has economic importance as a result. Reindeer lichen, like many lichens, is slow growing (3–11 mm per year) and may take decades to return once overgrazed, burned, trampled, or otherwise consumed.

More Information: Wilipedia

Observer: Josh Simons

Observation Date: 9/17/20

Observation Time: 3:00 p.m.

Observation Location: Moose Hill area

Common Name: Ringless Honey Mushroom

Scientific Name: Armillaria tabescens

Comments: These ringless mushrooms extended almost all the way around the tree.

WARNING: This is NOT a beginner’s mushroom. Never eat any wild plant unless you are 100% sure that you have identified an edible species.

More Information: The Foraged Foodie

Observer: Kathy Farrell

Observation Date: 10/30/2018

Observation Time: N/A

Observation Location: Mountain Street

Common Name: Rock Tripe lichen

Scientific Name: Umbilicaria mammulata

Comments: This lichen is edible (after boiling several times). It is considered to be “starvation food.” There are stories of George Washington’s troops eating it when they had nothing else. I found it in a rocky cliff area.

More Information: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=STxqLRmK03c and https://www.adirondackalmanack.com/2010/04/ruminations-on-rock-tripe.html

Observer: Paul Lauenstein

Observation Date: 4/16/19

Observation Time: 12:55 p.m.

Observation Location: Moose Hill Audubon Wildlife Sanctuary

Common Name: Rock-shield Lichen

Scientific Name: Xanthoparmelia sp.

Comments: A lichen is a composite organism that emerges from algae or cyanobacteria living among the filaments of the fungi in a symbiotic (mutually beneficial) relationship. The fungi benefit from the carbohydrates produced by the algae or cyanobacteria via photosynthesis. The algae or cyanobacteria benefit by being protected from the environment by the filaments of the fungi, which also gather moisture and nutrients from the environment, and (usually) provide an anchor to it.

More Information: Project Noah and Wikipedia

Observer: Paul Lauenstein

Observation Date: 6/14/20

Observation Time: 4:30 p.m.

Observation Location: Moose Hill Farm (TTOR)

Common Name: Rough-fruited Cinquefoil

Scientific Name: Potentilla recta

Comments: Also known as sulphur cinquefoil, this wildflower is native to Europe and Asia. Introduced and naturalized in North America. Found along roads and in disturbed sites. Thrives in full sun and tolerates dry conditions. Flowers from June to August. Blossoms have five heart-shaped petals.

More Information: MinnesotaSeasons.com

Observer: Paul Lauenstein

Observation Date: 6/20/11

Observation Time: 3:25 p.m.

Observation Location: Gavins Pond

Common Name: Rough-fruited cinquefoil

Scientific Name: Potentilla recta

Comments: Native to Europe and Asia. Introduced and naturalized in North America. Found along roads and in disturbed sites. Thrives in full sun and tolerates dry conditions. Flowers from June to August.

More Information: MinnesotaSeasons.com

Rough-Fruited Cinquefoil

Rough-Fruited Cinquefoil

Observer: Paul Lauenstein

Observation Date: 7/13/15

Observation Time: 4:10 p.m.

Observation Location: Gavins Pond

Common Name: Rough-fruited cinquefoil

Scientific Name: Potentilla recta

Comments: Also known as sulphur cinquefoil, this wildflower is native to Europe and Asia. Introduced and naturalized in North America. Found along roads and in disturbed sites. Thrives in full sun and tolerates dry conditions. Flowers from June to August. Blossoms have five heart-shaped petals.

More Information: MinnesotaSeasons.com

Observer: Paul Lauenstein

Observation Date: 6/9/19

Observation time: 2:50 p.m.

Observation Location: along trail near Brook Road

Common Name: Roundleaf Greenbriar

Scientific Name: Smilax rotundifolia

Comments: Greenbriar vines, often found near wetlands, have glossy, rounded leaves and large, sharp thorns. The tips of the vines are edible.

More information: Marblehead Conservancy

Observer: Paul Lauenstein

Observation Date: 5/12/11

Observation Time: 6:45 a.m.

Observation Location: Moose Hill Audubon Wildlife Sanctuary board walk

Common Name: Royal Fern

Scientific Name: Osmunda regalis

Comments: The royal fern belongs to the family Osmundaceae; fossils belonging to this family have been found in rocks of Permian age (230,000,000 years before present), a time when the continents were consolidated into the supercontinent Pangea.

More Information: Wikipedia

Royal Fern

Royal Fern

Observer: Paul Lauenstein

Observation Date: 6/13/20

Observation Time: 5:50 p.m.

Observation Location: Moose Hill Audubon Wildlife Sanctuary

Common Name: Royal Fern

Scientific Name: Osmunda regalis

Comments: The royal fern belongs to the family Osmundaceae; fossils belonging to this family have been found in rocks of Permian age (230,000,000 years before present), a time when the continents were consolidated into the supercontinent Pangea.

More Information: Wikipedia

Observer: Paul Lauenstein

Observation Date: 6/9/13

Observation Time: 4:00 p.m.

Observation Location: Gavins Pond area

Common Name: Rugosa Rose

Scientific Name: Rosa rugosa

Comments: In late summer, this beautiful flower, which comes from Asia, will become a reddish ball called a rose hip. Rose hips are used for tisanes, jam, jelly, syrup, soup, beverages, pies, bread, wine, and marmalade. They can also be eaten raw, like a berry, if care is used to avoid the hairs inside the fruit.

More Information: Wikipedia

Rugosa Rose

Observer: Paul Lauenstein

Observation Date: 9/9/12

Observation Time: 3:10 p.m.

Observation Location: Sandy Ridge Circle

Common Name: Russula mushroom

Scientific Name: Russula spp.

Comments: I don’t know which species of Russula this specimen happens to be.

More Information: Wikipedia

Russula Mushroom

Observer: Paul Lauenstein

Observation Date: 5/17/20

Observation Time: 10:10 a.m.

Observation Location: woods near Gavins Pond

Common Name: Sarsaparilla

Scientific Name: Aralia nudicaulis

Comments: On a whim, I decided to photograph a random plant along the trail in the woods. A friend helped me identify it, and it turned out to have a story!

Wild sarsaparilla is a 1-2 foot tall shrub common to the forest understories of southern New England. It produces tiny white flowers in spherical clusters beneath the compound leaves, which ripen into blue-black berries in mid-summer. The rhizome of wild sarsaparilla has a sweet, aromatic taste, and sometimes has substituted for sassafras in the making of home-made root beer.

More Information: Go Botany

Observer: Paul Lauenstein

Observation Date: 6/26/10

Observation Time: 3:25 p.m.

Observation Location: headwaters of Beaver Brook

Common Name: Sassafras

Scientific Name: Sassafras albidum

Comments: Sassafras albidum is a medium-sized deciduous tree growing to 15–20 m (49–66 ft) tall, with a canopy up to 12 m (39 ft) wide, with a trunk up to 60 cm (24 in) in diameter, and a crown with many slender sympodial branches. The bark on trunk of mature trees is thick, dark red-brown, and deeply furrowed.

More Information: Wikipedia

Sassafras

Observer: Paul Lauenstein

Observation Date: 5/23/18

Observation Time: 7:25 a.m.

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

Common Name: Sensitive Fern

Scientific Name: Onoclea sensibilis

Comments: The susceptibility to frost of the sterile fronds gives sensitive fern its name. It spreads rapidly and can form large colonies. The spores are not released until the spring following the season in which the fertile fronds are produced.

More Information: Go Botany

Observer: Paul Lauenstein

Observation Date: 6/21/20

Observation Time: 4:30 p.m.

Observation Location: Along Gavins Pond Road

Common Name: Sheep’s bit

Scientific Name: Jasione montana

Comments: Sheep’s bit is an annual or biennial, native to Europe and Russia and introduced to North America’s east and west coasts. It was introduced through being grown as a garden ornamental, and is spreading westward from sandy sites in southern New England.

More Information: Go Botany

Observer: Rita Corey and Larry Myatt

Observation Date: 7/9/20

Observation Time: 9:18 a.m.

Observation Location: Mountain Street, near entrance to Rattlesnake Hill

Common Name: Shinleaf (a.k.a. White Wintergreen)

Scientific Name: Pyrola elliptica

Comments: Its common name, shinleaf, comes from the medicinal use of the plant, which produces a drug similar to aspirin.  This drug has been reported to have analgesic properties and was used on bruised shins and other wounds. A plaster made from the leaves was called a shin plaster.  

More Information: NC State Extension

Observer: Paul Lauenstein

Observation Date: 6/4/20

Observation Time: 11:30 a.m.

Observation Location: Moose Hill Audubon Wildlife Sanctuary

Common Name: Siberian Iris

Scientific Name: Iris siberica

Comments: These gaudy flowers bloom in early June.

More Information: Commonweeder.com

Blue flag irises were growing nearby.

Observer: Paul Lauenstein

Observation Date: 5/1/18

Observation Time: 10:30 a.m.

Observation Location: Moose Hill Audubon Wildlife Sanctuary

Common Name: Siberian Squill

Scientific Name: Scilla Siberica

Comments: Siberian Squill was brought to this country as an ornamental and is still sold for that purpose, but it has also escaped into the wild and become invasive. It readily spreads itself and is difficult to get rid of, as broken roots often resprout. It is very hardy and cold tolerant, and is left untouched by critters from voles to deer.

More Information: Minnesota Wildflowers

Observer: Paul Lauenstein

Observation Date: 6/29/11

Observation Time: 11:30 a.m.

Observation Location: Gavins Pond Road near soccer field parking lot

Common Name: Silver Cinquefoil

Scientific Name: Potentilla argentea

Comments: Curiously, one of the yellow blossoms in the photo has six petals.

More Information: Minnesota Wild Flowers

Silver Cinquefoil

Observer: Paul Lauenstein

Observation Date: 4/16/19

Observation Time: 1:50 p.m.

Observation Location: Moose Hill Audubon Wildlife Sanctuary

Common Name: Skunk Cabbage

Scientific Name: Symplocarpus foetidus

Comments: Skunk cabbages are among the first plants to emerge in early spring. They can maintain an internal temperature significantly warmer than the surrounding air – as much as 15-35 degrees warmer – by consuming carbohydrates stored in their fleshy rhizomes. The warmth they generate helps in attracting cold-blooded, early-emerging pollinating insects in early spring when temperatures are typically quite chilly.

More Information: National Park Service

Observer: Paul Lauenstein

Observation Date: 6/24/10

Observation Time: 3:40 p.m.

Observation Location: Beaver Brook near tennis courts

Common Name: Skunk cabbage

Scientific Name: Symplocarpus foetidus

Comments: Tearing a leaf produces a pungent but not harmful odor, the source of the plant’s common name; it is also foul smelling when it blooms. The plant is not poisonous to the touch. The foul odor attracts pollinators, such as scavenging flies, stoneflies, and bees. The odor in the leaves may also serve to discourage large animals from disturbing or damaging this plant which grows in soft wetland soils.

Eastern skunk cabbage is notable for its ability to generate temperatures of up to 15–35 °C (27–63 °F) above air temperature by cyanide resistant cellular respiration in order to melt its way through frozen ground, placing it among a small group of thermogenic plants. Even though it flowers while there is still snow and ice on the ground, it is successfully pollinated by early insects that also emerge at this time. Carrion-feeding insects that are attracted by the scent may be doubly encouraged to enter the spathe because it is warmer than the surrounding air, fueling pollination.

Eastern skunk cabbage has contractile roots which contract after growing into the earth. This pulls the stem of the plant deeper into the mud, so that the plant in effect grows downward, not upward. Each year, the plant grows deeper into the earth, so that older plants are practically impossible to dig up. They reproduce by hard, pea-sized seeds which fall in the mud and are carried away by animals or by floods.

More Information: Wikipedia

Skunk Cabbage

Observer: Paul Lauenstein

Observation Date: 9/4/20

Observation Time: 2:10 p.m.

Observation Location: Moose Hill Farm (TTOR)

Common Name: Slender Bush-Clover

Scientific Name: Lespedeza virginica

Comments: Slender bush-clover is a member of the pea family. Like other bush-clovers, slender bush-clover is preferentially browsed by mammalian herbivores such as deer and rabbits, as well as quail and other ground birds.

Slender bush-clover is often found in man-made or disturbed habitats. This patch was observed along a dirt road underneath power lines that are periodically cleared so maintenance crews can access the power lines.

More Information: Illinois Wildflowers and Go Botany

Observer: Paul Lauenstein

Observation Date: 7/11/20

Observation Time: 3:10 p.m.

Observation Location: somewhere in Sharon. Please do not dig up wildflowers!

Common Name: Small Green Wood Orchid

Scientific Name: Platanthera clavellata

Comments: Platanthera is a large genus – about 200 species – in the large Orchidaceae (Orchid) Family. Over 30 of the Platanthera species are found in North America.

Platanthera clavellata is protected in at least four states due to its rarity in those jurisdictions. Please do not dig up wildflowers! They have a role to play in the ecosystem, and they typically do not survive transplantation.

More Information: Name That Plant

Platanthera clavellata usually has only one large leaf, located on the lower half of the stem, but may occasionally have two.

The flowers of Platanthera clavellata are pale green, greenish white, yellowish white, or dull white.

Observer: Paul Lauenstein

Observation Date: 6/21/20

Observation Time: 4:35 p.m.

Observation Location: Corner of Gavins Pond Rd. and Col. Gridley Rd.

Common Name: Small-leaved Linden Tree

Scientific Name: Tilia cordata

Comments: Tilia cordata, commonly called small-leaved linden or little-leaf linden, is native to Europe. It has been widely planted in the U.S. as an ornamental shade tree because of its (a) attractive foliage, (b) dense, low-branched, pyramidal to ovate form and (c) tolerance for urban conditions. Ornamental features include fragrant pale yellow flowers in late spring.

The edges of the leaf blades have small teeth. This specimen is about 25 feet tall.

More Information: Missouri Botanical Garden

Observer: Paul Lauenstein

Observation Date: 6/13/20

Observation Time: 5:00 p.m.

Observation Location: Moose Hill Audubon Wildlife Sanctuary

Common Name: Southern Arrowwood

Scientific Name: Viburnum dentatum

Comments: Native Americans reportedly used the straight stems of this species for arrow shafts, hence the common name. The scientific name “dentatum” refers to the toothed edges of its leaves.

More Information: Missouri Botanical Garden

Observer: Paul Lauenstein

Observation Date: 6/27/10

Observation Time: 8:15 p.m.

Observation Location: Gavins Pond Road-soccer parking area

Common Name: Spotted knapweed

Scientific Name: Centaurea maculosa

Comments: Knapweed is a pioneer species found in recently disturbed sites or openings. Once it has been established at a disturbed site, it continues to spread into the surrounding habitat. This species outcompetes natives through at least three methods:

  1. A tap root that sucks up water faster than the root systems of its neighbors,
  2. Quick spread through high seed production, and
  3. Low palatability, meaning it is less likely to be chosen as food by herbivores. It is also suspected to be allelopathic, releasing a toxin from its roots that stunts the growth of nearby plants of other species.

More Information: Wikipedia

Spotted Knapweed

Observer: Paul Lauenstein

Observation Date: 7/12/20

Observation Time: 7:00 p.m.

Observation Location: along Gavins Pond Road

Common Name: Spotted Knapweed

Scientific Name: Centaurea maculosa

Comments: Spotted knapweed is not native to North America (it came from Europe). It is poisonous to other plants, creating barren areas where only knapweed grows. It can be a skin irritant.

More Information: namethatplant.net

Observer: Paul Lauenstein

Observation Date: 7/22/15

Observation Time: 4:40 p.m.

Observation Location: Gavins Pond area

Common Name: Spotted Knapweed

Scientific Name: Centaurea maculosa

Comments: Spotted knapweed is poisonous to other plants, creating barren areas where only knapweed grows. It is a threat to pastures and dry ecosystems including prairies and dunes.  Can be a skin irritant.

More Information: Michigan Invasive Species

Observer: Paul Lauenstein

Observation Date: 6/25/15

Observation Time: 2:25 p.m.

Observation Location: Town-owned conservation land at Morse and Lakeview Streets

Common Name: Spotted St. John’s Wort

Scientific Name: Hypericum punctatum

Comments: Spotted St. John’s-wort can be most easily distinguished from the other St. John’s-worts by the dark dots and streaks on the upper surface of the yellow petals. In the other species these markings are absent or confined to near the petal margins.

More Information: Go Botany and Wikipedia

Observer: Paul Lauenstein

Observation Date: 6/4/11

Observation Time: 3:20 p.m.

Observation Location: conservation land near Billings Street

Common Name: Spotted Wintergreen

Scientific Name: Chimaphila maculata

Comments: Also called spotted wintergreen, it is endangered in Illinois and Maine. In New York it is considered “Exploitably Vulnerable.”

More Information: Wikipedia

Pipsissewa

Observer: Rita Corey

Observation Date: 8/13/20

Observation Time: 1:55 p.m.

Observation Location: Mountain St.

Common Name: Spotted Wintergreen

Scientific Name: Chimaphila maculata

Comments: Spotted wintergreen is a highly recognizable understory species having variegated leaves with pale green veins. It is endangered in Maine.

More Information: Go Botany

Observer: Paul Lauenstein

Observation Date: 6/13/20

Observation Time: 6:15 p.m.

Observation Location: Moose Hill Audubon Wildlife Sanctuary

Common Name: Spreading Dogbane

Scientific Name: Apocynum androsaemifolium

Comments: Spreading dogbane is a showy member of the dogbane family (Apocynaceae) that is found in nearly all of the 50 states except some in the southeast. The common name, dogbane, and the genus name, “Apocynum,” meaning “away from dog,” are testaments to the toxic nature of this plant, not only to dogs, but to humans, livestock, and other mammals as well. The plant is poisonous due to the cardiac glycosides it contains.

Spreading dogbane is common in North America, and is widespread across most of the United States and Canada, and in Alaska, California, and northeast Mexico.

More Information: U.S. Forest Service

Observer: Paul Lauenstein

Observation Date: 7/11/15

Observation Time: 3:15 p.m.

Observation Location: near Gavins Pond

Common Name: Spreading Dogbane

Scientific Name: Apocynum androsaemifolium

Comments: Spreading dogbane is common in North America, and is widespread across most of the United States and Canada, and in Alaska, California, and northeast Mexico. The plant is poisonous, due to the cardiac glycosides it contains.

Note the ants feeding on the nectar in the blossoms in the close-up photo below.

More Information: Wikipedia

 

Observer: Paul Lauenstein

Observation Date: 5/7/19

Observation Time: 7:00 a.m.

Observation Location: Moose Hill Audubon Wildlife Sanctuary

Common Name: Spring Beauty

Scientific Name: Claytonia virginica

Comments: Its scientific name honors Colonial Virginia botanist John Clayton (1694–1773). Please do not dig up any wildflowers you may find in Sharon. Leave them for everyone to enjoy!

More Information: Wikipedia

Observer: Paul Lauenstein

Observation Date: 7/25/10

Observation Time: 11:10 a.m.

Observation Location: Gavins Pond Road

Common Name: Staghorn Sumac

Scientific Name: Rhus typhina

Comments: Staghorn sumac grows in gardens, lawns, the edges of forests, and wasteland. It can grow under a wide array of conditions, but is most often found in dry and poor soil on which other plants cannot survive. Some landscapers remove all but the top branches to create a “crown” effect in order to resemble a small palm tree.

More Information: Wikipedia

Staghorn Sumac

Observer: Paul Lauenstein

Observation Date: 5/31/20

Observation Time: 5:00 p.m.

Observation Location: Trustees of Reservations’ Moose Hill Farm

Common Name: Star of Bethlehem

Scientific Name: Ornithogalum umbellatum

Comments: The Star of Bethlehem is a genus (Ornithogalum) of perennial plants native to southern Europe belonging to the family Hyacinthaceae. Growing from a bulb, it has grass-like basal leaves and a slender stalk, up to 30 cm tall, bearing clusters of star-shaped white flowers striped with green.

More Information: Illinois Wildflowers

Observer: Paul Lauenstein

Observation Date: 6/2/11

Observation Time: 1:05 p.m.

Observation Location: Gavins Pond Road near soccer field parking lot

Common Name: Star of Bethlehem

Scientific Name: Ornithogalum umbellatum

Comments: The Star of Bethlehem is a genus (Ornithogalum) of perennial plants native to southern Europe belonging to the family Hyacinthaceae. Growing from a bulb, it has grass-like basal leaves and a slender stalk, up to 30 cm tall, bearing clusters of star-shaped white flowers striped with green.

More Information: Illinois Wildflowers

Star of Bethlehem

Observer: Paul Lauenstein

Observation Date: 5/14/11

Observation Time: 2:05 p.m.

Observation Location: Town conservation land near Beaver Brook

Common Name: Starflower

Scientific Name: Trientalis borealis

Comments: This member of the primrose family likes moist woods. It blooms in May. Please do not dig up native wildflowers. They typically do not survive transplantation.

More Information: U.S. Dept. of Agriculture

Starflower

Observer: Paul Lauenstein

Observation Date: 5/19/19

Observation Time: 2:35 p.m.

Observation Location: Billings Loop Botanical Trail

Common Name: Starflower

Scientific Name: Lysimachia borealis

Comments: Formerly known as Trientalis borealis, it has been shuffled around to new species name Lysimachia borealis (same genus as the yellow Loosestrifes) and moved to the Myrsinaceae (Myrsine) family. This member of the primrose family likes moist woods. It blooms in May. Please do not dig up native wildflowers. They typically do not survive transplantation.

More Information: Minnesota Wildflowers

Observer: Paul Lauenstein

Observation Date: 5/22/18

Observation Time: 9:35 a.m.

Observation Location: Town conservation land near Beaver Brook

Common Name: Starflower

Scientific Name: Trientalis borealis

Comments: This member of the primrose family likes moist woods. It blooms in May. Please do not dig up native wildflowers. They typically do not survive transplantation.

More Information: U.S. Dept. of Agriculture

Observer: Paul Lauenstein

Observation Date: 5/27/20

Observation Time: 5:10 p.m.

Observation Location: near footbridge over Beaver Brook

Common Name: Starflower

Scientific Name: Lysimachia borealis

Comments: Formerly known as Trientalis borealis, it has been shuffled around to new species name Lysimachia borealis (same genus as the yellow Loosestrifes) and moved to the Myrsinaceae (Myrsine) family. This member of the primrose family likes moist woods. It blooms in May.

Please do not dig up native wildflowers. They typically do not survive transplantation.

More Information: Minnesota Wildflowers

Observer: Deborah Radovsky

Observation Date: 5/11/17

Observation Time: early morning

Observation Location: Moose Hill, Billings Loop

Common Name: Sugar Maple Tree

Scientific Name: Acer saccharum

Comments: The two huge sugar maples near the barn on the Billings Loop are called George and Martha because they began life at around the same time as George Washington and his wife Martha. The Moose Hill Audubon Wildlife Sanctuary taps many of the sugar maples on its 2,000-acre property in late winter and makes maple syrup.

More Information: Arbor Day Foundation

Observer: Paul Lauenstein

Observation Date: 9/22/13

Observation Time: 2:20 p.m.

Observation Location: King Phillip’s Rock area

Common Name: Sulphur Shelf Mushroom

Scientific Name: Laetiporus sulphureus

Comments: Sulphur shelf mushrooms are reportedly edible, but never eat a mushroom you find in the woods unless you are absolutely sure it is not poisonous. More pictures of sulphur shelf mushrooms can be seen at: http://hicksroad.com/html/stumpfun.htm.

More Information: Wikipedia

Sulphur Shelf Mushroom

Observer: Paul Lauenstein

Observation Date: 7/12/20

Observation Time: 7:15 p.m.

Observation Location: along Gavins Pond Road

Common Name: Summer Grape

Scientific Name: Vitis aestivalis

Comments: Vitis aestivalis, the summer grape, or pigeon grape, is a species of grape native to eastern North America from southern Ontario east to Maine, west to Oklahoma, and south to Florida and Texas. It is a vigorous vine, growing to 10 m or more high in trees.

Unlike most other species in genus Vitis, V. aestivalis does not propagate well through dormant cuttings. This has been a limiting factor for its use in commercial viticulture despite the species’ promising oenological characteristics.

More Information: Wikipedia

Observer: Paul Lauenstein

Observation Date: 6/24/10

Observation Time: 3:25 p.m.

Observation Location: Beaver Brook near tennis courts

Common Name: Swamp azalea

Scientific Name: Rhododendron viscosum

Comments: This typical wetland shrub is sometimes called the Clammy Azalea because of its very sticky corolla. The species name means sticky in Latin. The flowers appear after the leaves.

More Information: University of Texas

Swamp Azalea

Observer: Paul Lauenstein

Observation Date: 9/22/11

Observation Time: 3:25 p.m.

Observation Location: field near Gavins Pond

Common Name: Sweet Everlasting or Rabbit Tobacco

Scientific Name: Pseudognaphalium obtusifolium

Comments: This wildflower is a member of a group of daisy-family herbs called cudweeds. Heads never open wider than this.

More Information: Wildflowers of the Southeastern US

Sweet Everlasting

Observer: Paul Lauenstein

Observation Date: 7/31/10

Observation Time: 10:40 a.m.

Observation Location: Beaver Brook near tennis courts

Common Name: Sweet Pepperbush (Summersweet)

Scientific Name: Clethra alnifolia

Comments: Very fragrant.

More Information: Virginia Native Plant Society

Sweet Pepperbush (Summersweet)

Observer: Paul Lauenstein

Observation Date: 5/23/10

Observation Time: 3:00 p.m.

Observation Location: near Gavins Pond

Common Name: Sweetfern

Scientific Name: Comptonia peregrina

Comments: Sweetfern leaves are very aromatic. Edible fruit ripens in July and August. Sweetfern partners with actinomycete fungus that live in its root nodules to fix atmospheric nitrogen, so it can flourish in infertile soil. The soil in the area near Gavins Pond is relatively infertile because fill for the nearby Highway I-95 was taken from this area. It appears on some maps as “Sand Pits.”

The common name, sweetfern, is confusing, as it is not a fern. It is a deciduous shrub, growing to a maximum of five feet tall.

More Information: Wikipedia

Sweetfern

Observer: Paul Lauenstein

Observation Date: 7/7/18

Observation Time: 3:10 p.m.

Observation Location: Moose Hill Farm (TTOR)

Common Name: Tall Meadow Rue

Scientific Name:Thalictrum pubescens

Comments: Meadow rue flowers have no petals; the conspicuous part of the flower is the white filaments of the stamens.

More Information: Connecticut Botanical Society

Observer: Paul Lauenstein

Observation Date: 5/13/19

Observation Time: 11:10 a.m.

Observation Location: Moose Hill Audubon Wildlife Sanctuary

Common Name: Turkey-tail Fungus

Scientific Name: Trametes versicolor

Comments: This could also be false turkey-tail lichen. I neglected to inspect the underside to see if it had pores.

More Information: Edible Wild Food