Botanical Survey of Whetstone Park

Columbus, Ohio

Located just minutes away from The Ohio State University campus, in Clintonville, Ohio Whetstone park is over 136 acres. It is a mix of recreational space, as well as preservation area for nature. Within the park is another park, called The Park of Roses. It is a 13 acre rose garden with over 350 different varieties of roses throughout it. Another great feature of Whetstone park is the prairie area. It is comprised of a small pond area that is being restored and consists of many different types of plants within the pond and on its banks. Additionally, there is a wildflower reserve that is also currently under prairie restoration. Many paths wind through the beautiful reserve so visitors can view and enjoy the numerous different types of wildflowers, as well as the various birds and insects that call the reserve home. Another wonderful feature of the park is the Olentangy river, which can be viewed from some more secluded areas of the park. Paved paths wind through the whole park, which is a great, and quite popular, way for bikers, walkers, runners and more to get outside and enjoy nature (The City of Columbus)!

 

 

Trees

 

 

Tree #1

Common name: American basswood

Scientific name: Tilia americana

Family: Tiliaceae

Fun fact: Blue jays and songbirds are quite attracted to the tree for its seeds, and also enjoy using it for shelter (The Morton Arboretum).

 

 

Tree #2

Common name: Boxelder

Scientific name: Acer negundo

Family: Sapindaceae

 

 

 

Vines

 

 

Vine #1

Common name: Virginia creeper

Scientific name: Parthenocissus quinquefolia

Family: Vitaceae

 

 

Vine #2

Common name: Wintercreeper

Scientific name: Euonymus fortune

Family: Celastraceae

Fun fact: It is native to east Asia and in some areas of the United States is considered invasive. It usually acts as a versatile ground cover vine (The Morton Arboretum).

 

 

Vine #3

Common name: Poison Ivy

Scientific name: Toxicodendron radicans

Family: Anicardiaceae

Identification: Some useful tips in identifying poison ivy are noticing the three-leaflet arrangement. “Leaves of three let them be!” Poison ivy will often be seen vining itself up trees but can also be found growing on the ground in all different kinds of wooded, forested or other types of areas. The shape of their leaflets can also be helpful, with their somewhat uneven lobing (Dr. Kilps’ lectures).

 

 

 

Flowers

 

 

Flower #1

Common name: red clover

Scientific name: Trifolium pratense

Family: Fabaceae

Fun Fact: Red clover is the symbol of Vermont. Additionally, its extracts are used in dietary supplements today for a variety of health issues, including osteoporosis (National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health).

 

 

Flower #2

Common name: White snakeroot

Scientific name: Ageratina altissima

 Family: Asteraceae

Fun Fact: White snakeroot is a poisonous plant. This was unknown earlier in United States history, and farmers would allow their cows to graze on the plant. By doing so however, the cows’ milk would become tainted with toxins from the plant. Anyone who then drank the milk, including calves and humans, would become sick and die. This was in fact the cause of Abraham Lincoln’s mother’s death (Brooklyn Botanic Garden).