Site Introduction

The study site it the Wilma H. Schiermeier Olentangy River Wetland Research Park, located at 40.018892 degrees North, -83.019877 degrees West.  This long-term wetland research facility is 52 acres with two experimental wetlands, an oxbow wetland, and a bottomland hardwood forest.  A trail runs around the experimental wetlands, which are visible through a narrow border of trees and shrubs. Close to the parking lot there is an open prairie landscape, as well as more disturbed edges between the research facility and the cemetery to the west.

Amorpha fruticosa. (L) False indigo. A native shrub in Fabaceae. The brilliant purple flowers of this shrub were used by people to make a dye similar to true indigo.

Erigeron philadelphicus (L) Prairie fleabane. A native wildflower in Asteraceae.

Lotus corniculatus. (L) Bird’s-foot trefoil. A non-native wildflower in Fabaceae. While this little plant isn’t appatizing to humans, it is often consumed by livestock.  In the Victorian “flower language”, this flower represented revenge.

Catalpa speciosa. (Warder) Northern catalpa. Non-native tree in Bignoniaceae.  This tree has an impressive medical past, treating snake bites, whooping cough, malaria, and asthma. Pictured is the beautiful flower of the Northern Catalpa tree.

Toxicodendron radicans. Poison ivy.  Look out for low vines on the ground or creaping up trees.  These vines have 3 leaflets that are sometimes serrated.

Flowers and Fruits


Iris pseudacorus. (L) Yellow flag iris. Non-native forb. Sited in a disturbed, wet area by the front building. Large, distinctive yellow flowers with six fused perianth segments (3 large yellow sepals and 3 smaller yellow petals).  Perigynous with a superior ovary. Single flower per head. Fruit is a capsule. 

Prunella vulgaris. (L) Self-heal. Native forb. Square shaped stems with light purple and white flowers arranged in a spike. Zygomorphic with fused petals.  Deeply lobed ovary. Located along the disturbed forest edge.


Duchesnea indica. (Andrews) Indian-strawberry. Non-native forb. This low growing plant has trifoliate basal leaves that are deeply serrated.  Bright red accesory fruits with achenes covering a fleshy-dome make this plant stand out in the spring. Single flower per head. 5 yellow petals, 5 green sepals, many stamen and pistil.  Located in sunny, disturbed areas.

Rubus idaeus.(L) Raspberry. Non-native shrub. Alternate, pinnately compound leaves with 3-5 leaflets and small white flowers help this shrub stand out from others in its family.  Flowers arranged in a compound cyme.  Fruit is aggregate derived from a single flower with many pistils. Located near the wetland.

Mosses and Lichens


Amblystegium varium


Candelaria concolor

Physica millegrana