Sightings – Plants

Observer: Paul Lauenstein

Observation Date: 5/23/23

Observation Time: 8:25 a.m.

Observation Location: Moose Hill Audubon Wildlife Sanctuary

Common Name: Siberian Iris

Scientific Name: Iris siberica

Comments: These gaudy flowers are non-native. They are typically purple, but they come in a range of colors including white.

More Information: Wikipedia

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: 5/28/23

Observation Time: 9:40 a.m.

Observation Location: Moose Hill Farm (TTOR)

Common Name: Smooth Brome grass

Scientific Name: Bromus inermis

Comments: Smooth brome is a Eurasian species of grass introduced to North America, where it has been used extensively for habitat rehabilitation and as a forage plant.

More Information: Go Botany

Observer: Paul Lauenstein

Observation Date: 5/28/23

Observation Time: 9:30 a.m.

Observation Location: Moose Hill Farm (TTOR)

Common Name: Smooth Meadow-grass

Scientific Name: Poa pratensis

Comments: Smooth meadow-grass is valued as a pasture and turf grass, particularly in golf courses, but is considered an invasive weed in natural grassland ecosystems, where it outcompetes native species, reduces biodiversity and alters nitrogen cycling and ecosystem function.

More Information: CABI Digital Library

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: 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: 5/11/23

Observation Time: 9:50 a.m.

Observation Location: Moose Hill Audubon Wildlife Sanctuary

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 12 inches tall, bearing clusters of star-shaped white flowers striped with green.

More Information: Illinois Wildflowers

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: 5/13/23

Observation Time: 8:00 a.m.

Observation Location: Moose Hill Audubon Wildlife Sanctuary

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: 5/14/11

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: John Baur

Observation Date: 5/25/23

Observation Time: 12:26 p.m.

Observation Location: trail off Lakeview St.

Common Name: Swan’s Sedge

Scientific Name: Carex swanii

Comments: A diverse array of grass species can be found in Sharon.

More Information: iNaturalist

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: 6/24/21

Observation Time: 3:55 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: 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

Observer: Paul Lauenstein

Observation Date: 5/12/11

Observation Time: 6:50 a.m.

Observation Location: Moose Hill Audubon boardwalk

Common Name: Tussock Sedge

Scientific Name: Carex stricta

Comments: A clumping, upright sedge with narrow, yellowish green leaves. Reddish brown flowers bloom early summer. Prefers moist fertile soil but will tolerate dry or wet sites.

More Information: North Creek Nurseries

Tussock Sedge

Observer: Paul Lauenstein

Observation Date: 5/8/19

Observation Time: 8:15 a.m.

Observation Location: Moose Hill Audubon Wildlife Sanctuary (wetland boardwalk)

Common Name: Tussock Sedge

Scientific Name: Carex stricta

Comments: A clumping, upright sedge with narrow, yellowish green leaves. Reddish brown flowers bloom early summer. Prefers moist fertile soil but will tolerate dry or wet sites.

More Information: North Creek Nurseries

Observer: Paul Lauenstein

Observation Date: 5/30/10

Observation Time: 4:00 p.m.

Observation Location: Moose Hill Audubon Wildlife Sanctuary

Common Name: Violet toothed polypore

Scientific Name: Trichaptum biforme

Comments: Tree fungus growing on a dead tree. The specimens in this photo are past their prime. Younger specimens exhibit a violet fringe that gives this fungus its name. See http://www.flickr.com/photos/ophis/3067412819/

More Information: InsectImages

Violet toothed polypore

Observer: Paul Lauenstein

Observation Date: 8/23/15

Observation Time: 5:45 p.m.

Observation Location: bank of Hammershop Pond at Ames and Cottage Streets.

Common Name: Virginia Marsh-St. John’s wort

Scientific Name: Triadenum virginicum

Comments: Occurs only in wetlands. (Wetland indicator code: OBL).

Please do not dig up wildflowers!

More Information: Go Botany

Observer: Paul Lauenstein

Observation Date: 4/25/23

Observation Time: 8:15 a.m.

Observation Location: Moose Hill Audubon Wildlife Sanctuary (bluff overlook)

Common Name: Virginia saxifrage

Scientific Name: Micranthes virginiensis

Comments: The characteristic features of saxifrage are consistent with its alpine provenance and consequent tenacity. A rosette of basal toothed leaves huddle on a rocky substrate to hold fast in the boreal winds that prevail in typical mountain habitats. Saxifrages are perennial and therefore retain their foliage, which turns red in winter due to the production of protective anthocyanin, regaining photosynthetic function and its attendant verdant hues that mark the advent of spring. The hardiness of the early saxifrage is evident in the near soilless niche habitat that it occupies with only lichens for competition.

I spotted this blooming specimen growing near a granite outcrop at the top of a cliff.

More Information: Hiker’s Notebook

Observer: Paul Lauenstein

Observation Date: 9/9/12

Observation Time: 3:00 p.m.

Observation Location: Sandy Ridge Circle

Common Name: Viscid Violet Cort mushroom

Scientific Name: Cortinarius iodes

Comments: This striking violet mushroom has a watery sheen.

More Information: American Mushrooms

Viscid Violet Cort Mushroom

Viscid Violet Cort Mushroom

Viscid Violet Cort Mushroom

Observer: Paul Lauenstein

Observation Date: 6/6/11

Observation Time: 1:15 p.m.

Observation Location: bank of Beaver Brook (near tennis courts)

Common Name: Water Forget-Me-Not

Scientific Name: Myosotis scorpioides

Comments: Water forget-me-nots are usually found in damp or wet habitats, such as bogs, ponds, streams, ditches, fen and rivers. While it favors wet ground, it can survive submerged in water, and often can form floating rafts.

More Information: Wikipedia

Water Forget-Me-Not

Water Forget-Me-Not

Observer: Paul Lauenstein

Observation Date: 9/12/09

Observation Time: 11:30 a.m.

Observation Location: Gavins Pond (near the dam)

Common Name: Water Lily

Scientific Name: Nymphaea odorata

Comments: It usually flowers only from early morning until noon. The black specks in the first photo might be black aphids.

More Information: The University of Texas at Austin

Water Lily

Observer: Paul Lauenstein

Observation Date: 7/13/13

Observation Time: 11:30 a.m.

Observation Location: Gavins Pond

Common Name: Water Shield

Scientific Name: Brasenia schreberi

Comments: Leaf floats like a water lily, but the stem is attached in middle.

More Information: USDA Forest Service

Water Shield

Water Shield

Observer: Paul Lauenstein

Observation Date: 8/24/09

Observation Time: 12:30 p.m.

Observation Location: Margin of wetland behind Hunter’s Ridge

Common Name: White Baneberry (a.k.a. “Doll’s Eyes”)

Scientific Name: Actaea pachypoda

Comments: Needs continuously damp soil. Seeds, which are highly toxic, were once used as eyes for rag dolls.

More Information: Dave’s Garden

White Baneberry

Observer: Paul Lauenstein

Observation Date: 9/9/12

Observation Time: 3:15 p.m.

Observation Location: Sandy Ridge Circle

Common Name: White Baneberry, or Doll’s Eyes

Scientific Name: Actaea pachypoda

Comments: Both the berries and the entire plant are considered poisonous to humans. The berries contain cardiogenic toxins which can have an immediate sedative effect on human cardiac muscle tissue, and are the most poisonous part of the plant. Ingestion of the berries can lead to cardiac arrest and death.

The berries are harmless to birds, the plant’s primary seed dispersers.

More Information: Wikipedia

White Baneberry

White Baneberry

Observer: Deborah  Radovsky

Observation Date: 11/10/17

Observation time:  unknown

Observation Location: Moose Hill, Vernal Pool Trail

Common Name: White Pine

Scientific Name: Pinus strobus

Comments: White pines are very common in Sharon.

More Information: Wikipedia


Observer: Deborah Radovsky  

Observation Date: 12/20/18

Observation Time: early morning

Observation Location: Conservation trail near the lake (dog park trail)

Common Name: White Pine

Scientific Name: Pinus strobus

Comments: White pines can live over 500 years and grow to more than 150 feet tall.

More Information: Wikipedia

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Observer: Paul Lauenstein

Observation Date: 8/18/20

Observation Time: 11:50 a.m.

Observation Location: Moose Hill Farm (formerly the Kendall Estate)

Common Name: White Vervain

Scientific Name: Verbena urticifolia

Comments: I initially identified this plant using a cool app called Seek. Normally white vervain has green leaves, so I sent my photo of this red-leaved specimen to a botanist, who verified that it is indeed white vervain.

The name vervain is derived from the Celtic ferfaen, that is from fer (to drive away) and from faen (a stone). In early times the plant was used for afflictions of the bladder, such as kidney stones. The species name, urticifolia, means it has nettle-like leaves.

More Information: Friends of the Wildflower Garden

Observer: Paul Lauenstein

Observation Date: 10/6/19

Observation Time: 2:00 p.m.

Observation Location: Near Beaver Brook

Common Name: White Wood Aster

Scientific Name: Eurybia divaricata

Comments: Eurybia divaricata is native to Eastern U.S. and typically grows in the wild in dry open woods. It grows in loose clumps with dark, sprawling, sometimes zigzag stems up to 2.5′ tall. Distinctive leaves are heart-shaped, stalked and coarsely toothed. Small but abundant flowers (to 1 inch across) have white rays and yellow to red center disks and appear in flat-topped, terminal clusters in late summer to early fall. Attractive to butterflies.

More information: Missouri Botanical Gardens

Observer: Paul Lauenstein

Observation Date: 5/25/23

Observation Time: 7:00 a.m.

Observation Location: Moose Hill Audubon Wildlife Sanctuary

Common Name: White-edged Sedge

Scientific Name: Carex debilis

Comments: The drooping seed stalks are characteristic.

More Information: Go Botany

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: Whorled Loosestrife

Scientific Name: Lysimachia quadrifolia

More Information: Wild Flowers of Sleepy Hollow Lake

Whorled Loosestrife

3 Whorls:

Whorled Loosestrife

4 Whorls:

Whorled Loosestrife

5 Whorls:

Whorled Loosestrife

Observer: Paul Lauenstein

Observation Date: 9/4/20

Observation Time: 1:10 p.m.

Observation Location: Moose Hill Farm (in the woods)

Common Name: Whorled Wood Aster

Scientific Name: Oclemena acuminata

Comments: Whorled Wood Asters are among the relatively few woodland wildflowers that bloom in late summer and early fall.

Note the pure gold-green sweat bee feeding on the blossoms.

More information: Wildflowers of the Adirondacks

Observer: Paul Lauenstein

Observation Date: 5/21/16

Observation Time: 3:20 p.m.

Observation Location: Kendall Estate, Moose Hill Street

Common Name: Wild geranium

Scientific Name: Geranium maculatum

Comments: Geranium maculatum, the wild geranium, spotted geranium, or wood geranium, is a perennial plant native to woodlands of eastern North America, from southern Manitoba and southwestern Quebec south to Alabama and Georgia and west to Oklahoma and South Dakota.

More Information: Wikipedia

Observer: Paul Lauenstein

Observation Date: 5/23/18

Observation Time: 9:30 a.m.

Observation Location: Moose Hill Audubon Wildlife Sanctuary

Common Name: Wild geranium

Scientific Name: Geranium maculatum

Comments: Geranium maculatum, the wild geranium, spotted geranium, or wood geranium, is a perennial plant native to woodlands of eastern North America, from southern Manitoba and southwestern Quebec south to Alabama and Georgia and west to Oklahoma and South Dakota.

More Information: Wikipedia

Observer: Paul Lauenstein

Observation Date: 5/26/19

Observation Time: 2:45 p.m.

Observation Location: Moose Hill Farm (formerly the Kendall Estate)

Common Name: Wild geranium

Scientific Name: Geranium maculatum

Comments: Geranium maculatum, the wild geranium, spotted geranium, or wood geranium, is a perennial plant native to woodlands of eastern North America.

More Information: USDA Forest Service

Observer: Paul Lauenstein

Observation Date: 6/5/11

Observation Time: 3:20 p.m.

Observation Location: Kendall Estate, Moose Hill Street

Common Name: Wild geranium

Scientific Name: Geranium maculatum

Comments: Geranium maculatum, the wild geranium, spotted geranium, or wood geranium, is a perennial plant native to woodlands of eastern North America, from southern Manitoba and southwestern Quebec south to Alabama and Georgia and west to Oklahoma and South Dakota.

More Information: Wikipedia

Wild Geranium

Wild Geranium

Observer: Paul Lauenstein

Observation Date: 9/7/20

Observation Time: 5:30 p.m.

Observation Location: Conservation land at Morse & Lakeview

Common Name: Wild Grapes

Scientific Name: Vitis spp.

Comments: Wild grapevines are native to eastern North America.

I smelled these wild grapes before I saw the grapevine laden with purple fruit climbing a tree beside the trail.

Be careful not to confuse wild grapes, which are edible, with Canadian Moon Seeds, which are poisonous.

More Information: Identifying Wild Grapes or Gardening Knowhow

Observer: Paul Lauenstein

Observation Date: 6/6/11

Observation Time: 2:20 p.m.

Observation Location: field near Gavins Pond Dam

Common Name: Wild Indigo

Scientific Name: Baptisia australis

Comments: It is a perennial  upright bushy plant with attractive foliage. Blossoms in mid-summer are bright yellow. Seed heads turn a deep indigo color providing winter interest.

More Information: Wikipedia

Wild Indigo

Observer: Paul Lauenstein

Observation Date: 7/22/15

Observation Time: 5:00 p.m.

Observation Location: field near Gavins Pond Dam

Common Name: Wild Indigo

Scientific Name: Baptisia australis

Comments: It is a perennial  upright bushy plant with attractive foliage and yellow blossoms. Seed heads turn a deep indigo color providing winter interest.

More Information: Wikipedia

Observer: Paul Lauenstein

Observation Date: 6/9/13

Observation Time: 2:15 p.m.

Observation Location: Gavins Pond area

Common Name: Wild Iris

Scientific Name: Iris virginica shrevei

Comments: These gorgeous flowers bloom in spring around Sharon. These are also known as Harlequin Blueflag and Northern Blue Flag. Look for them in swamps, marshes, and wet shorelines from Virginia to Canada. Watch honeybees and native bees land on the large petal, which must look AMAZING in their ultraviolet-shifted vision, and scoot down into the nectary through the roofed-over passage. Sometimes they’ll exit on the side if they are small enough.

More Information: Backyard and Beyond

Wild Iris

Wild Iris

Observer: Paul Lauenstein

Observation Date: 5/12/11

Observation Time: 8:35 a.m.

Observation Location: Gavins Pond Road near soccer field parking lot

Common Name: Wild mustard

Scientific Name: Barbarea vulgaris Aiton

Comments: Also called yellow rocket, or early winter cress, introduced from Eurasia.

More Information: Wikipedia

Wild Mustard

Wild Mustard

Observer: Paul Lauenstein

Observation Date: 7/7/18

Observation Time: 12:50 p.m.

Observation Location: Moose Hill Farm (TTOR)

Common Name: Wild Onion or Crow Garlic

Scientific Name: Allium vineale 

Comments: Instead of flowers, they have bulbils, which are miniature sprouts not unlike garlic cloves.

More Information: Wikipedia or GoBotany

Observer: Paul Lauenstein

Observation Date: 10/2/13

Observation Time: 12:15 p.m.

Observation Location: woods near Beaver Brook

Common Name: Wild Sarsaparilla

Scientific Name: Aralia nudicaulis

Comments: You might know Sarsaparilla as a sweet soft drink that was first introduced in the 19th century.  Wild sarsaparilla is a common plant found in the northern and eastern parts of  North America and grows on creeping underground stems.  This plant was used as food when hunting or during wars because it was so sustaining.  Wild sarsaparilla had a much wider use among native people because of its many medicinal purposes that treated everything from sores to toothaches.

While going through old photos on my computer, I came across this photo of yellow leaves. I opened an app on my cell phone called Seek by iNaturalist and pointed the phone at my computer monitor. The app immediately identified the leaves as wild sarsaparilla.

More Information: Stories from the Wigwam

Observer: Paul Lauenstein

Observation Date: 4/27/23

Observation Time: 3:30 p.m.

Observation Location: Moose Hill Farm (TTOR) along dirt road under high tension wires

Common Name: Wild strawberry

Scientific Name: Fragaria virginiana

Comments: Found in patches in fields and dry openings, this plant produces tasty strawberries.

More Information: Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center

Observer: Paul Lauenstein

Observation Date: 5/31/20

Observation Time: 3:00 p.m.

Observation Location: Moose Hill Farm (TTOR)

Common Name: Wild Violet

Scientific Name: Viola odorata

Comments: V. odorata is native to Europe and Asia, but has also been introduced to North America and Australia. It is a hardy herbaceous flowering perennial.

More Information: Wikipedia

Observer: Paul Lauenstein

Observation Date: 5/7/19

Observation Time: 8:00 a.m.

Observation Location: Moose Hill Audubon Wildlife Sanctuary

Common Name: Wild Violet

Scientific Name: Viola odorata

Comments: V. odorata is native to Europe and Asia, but has also been introduced to North America and Australia. It is a hardy herbaceous flowering perennial.

More Information: Wikipedia

Observer: Paul Lauenstein

Observation Date: 5/27/14

Observation Time: 6:50 p.m.

Observation Location: Moose Hill Audubon Wildlife Sanctuary

Common Name: Wisteria

Scientific Name: Wisteria spp.

Comments: Wisteria is a genus of flowering plants in the legume family, Fabaceae (Leguminosae), that includes ten species of woody climbing vines that are native to China, Korea, and Japan and as an introduced species to the Eastern United States.

More Information: Wikipedia

Wisteria

Observer: Paul Lauenstein

Observation Date: 6/23/19

Observation Time: 11:30 a.m.

Observation Location: Botanical Trail

Common Name: Witch’s Butter Fungus

Scientific Name: Tremella mesenterica

Comments: Although the species appears to be growing on wood, it is actually a parasite on the (usually hidden) mycelium of a crust fungus.

More Information: MushoomExpert.com

Observer: Kathy Farrell

Observation Date: 10/31/18

Observation Location: Mountain Street area

Common Name: Witchhazel

Scientific Name: Hamamelis virginiana

Comments: Small tree, very common in some areas off Mountain Street. Known for reducing skin inflammations such as acne. Used by Native Americans for dousing sticks to find water. Small yellow blossoms in October. Leaves turn yellow in autumn.

More Information: https://www.fs.fed.us/wildflowers/plant-of-the-week/hamamelis_virginiana.shtml