Wild Grapes – 9/7/20

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 […]

Read more

Indian Pipe – 9/4/20

Observer: Paul Lauenstein Observation Date: 9/4/20 Observation Time: 1:20 p.m. Observation Location: Moose Hill Farm 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. […]

Read more

Devil’s Beggarticks – 8/13/20

Observer: Paul Lauenstein Observation Date: 8/13/20 Observation Time: 3:30 p.m. Observation Location: Mountain St. Common Name: Devil’s Beggarticks Scientific Name: Bidens Frondosa Comments: A summer annual that may reach as much as 3 1/2 feet in height.  Devils beggarticks has prickly fruit that facilitate seed dispersal by sticking to the fur and clothing of any animal or human that brushes by this weed when mature.  […]

Read more

Halberd-leaved Tearthumb – 8/13/20

Observer: Rita Corey Observation Date: 8/13/20 Observation Time: 1:50 p.m. Observation Location: Rattlesnake Hill Common Name: Halberd-leaved Tearthumb Scientific Name: Persicaria arifolia Comments: Halberd-leaved tearthumb has distinctly arrow-shaped leaves with outward-pointing projections at the base. The stem is covered with small downward-curving barbs that gives this small annual wetland vine its common name. A halberd is a medieval battleaxe. More Information: Go Botany

Read more

Summer Grape – 7/12/20

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 […]

Read more

Common Mugwort – 7/12/20

Observer: Paul Lauenstein Observation Date: 7/12/20 Observation Time: 7:10 p.m. Observation Location: along Gavins Pond Road Common Name: Common Mugwort Scientific Name: Artemesia vulgaris Comments: Common mugwort is used as a culinary herb and medicinally throughout the world. More Information: Botanical.com and Wikipedia

Read more

Oriental Bittersweet – 7/12/20

Observer: Paul Lauenstein Observation Date: 7/12/20 Observation Time: 6:45 p.m. Observation Location: along Gavins Pond Road Common Name: Oriental Bittersweet Scientific Name: Celastrus orbiculatus Comments: This non-native invasive species comes from Asia. It grows as a vine that smothers plants and can topple trees due to its weight. It was introduced into the United States around 1860 as an ornamental plant. In fall, it produces attractive red and […]

Read more

Spreading Dogbane – 6/13/20

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 […]

Read more

Catchweed Bedstraw – 6/13/20

Observer: Paul Lauenstein Observation Date: 6/13/20 Observation Time: 6:10 p.m. Observation Location: Moose Hill Audubon Wildlife Sanctuary Common Name: Catchweed Bedstraw Scientific Name: Galium aparine Comments: Native to North America and Eurasia, this weed is an annual broadleaf plant with a shallow, branching taproot. The stems of catchweed bedstraw are square in cross-section, weak, mostly unbranched, and grow to about 6 feet long, but are […]

Read more

American Groundnut – 6/13/20

Observer: Paul Lauenstein Observation Date: 6/13/20 Observation Time: 5:30 p.m. Observation Location: Moose Hill Audubon Wildlife Sanctuary Common Name: American 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 […]

Read more

Field Horsetail – 6/4/20

Observer: Paul Lauenstein Observation Date: 6/4/20 Observation Time: 11:20 a.m. Observation Location: Moose Hill Audubon Wildlife Sanctuary Common Name: Field Horsetail Scientific Name: Equisetum arvense Comments: Field horsetail, a perennial plant of genus Equisetum, is the only living representative of the very ancient and primitive class Sphenopsida, tree-sized members of which were prominent in the land vegetation of the Carboniferous era (353-300 million years ago). More […]

Read more

Sarsaparilla – 5/17/20

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 […]

Read more

Indian Pipe – 6/23/19

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 […]

Read more

Rattlesnake Root (3-leaved) – 6/9/19

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

Read more

Roundleaf Greenbriar – 6/9/19

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

Read more

Autumn Olive – 5/26/19

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 […]

Read more

Skunk Cabbage – 4/16/19

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. […]

Read more

Wild Onion – 7/7/18

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

Read more

Poison Ivy – 5/23/18

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. […]

Read more

Autumn Olive – 5/23/18

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 […]

Read more

Honeysuckle – 5/22/18

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 […]

Read more

American Groundnut – 7/11/15

Observer: Paul Lauenstein Observation Date: 7/11/15 Observation Time: 1:36 p.m. Observation Location: near Gavins Pond Common Name: American 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 […]

Read more

Sweetfern – 5/23/10

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 […]

Read more

Staghorn Sumac – 7/25/10

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 […]

Read more

Purple Pitcherplant – 5/29/14

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

Read more
1 2