Whetstone Park is an over 136 acre park located in Columbus, along the Olentangy River. This site includes a Rose Garden, as well a native Ohio prairie area. This large park includes many plants right along the riverbank. Therefore, this park houses many different types of plants. This is largely due to the different ecosystems that are exhibited throughout the park.
Plants at Whetstone Park
European Black Alder
Scientific name: Alnus glutinosa
The Black Alder was one of the trees that I identified at Whetstone Park. This tree was located near the Olentangy River. This tree’s name comes from the use of its tannin-rich bark to produce black dye. Also, when the wood is cut, it turns from pale yellow to rust red. Because of this resemblance to bleeding, the plant was considered to be bad luck in ancient times. (Link to source)
Scientific Name: Asimina triloba
The Pawpaw is a small tree that I found close to the banks of the Olentangy River. They are identifiable from their large toothless leaves, which actually drew me to the tree! I thought the leaves were very interesting. Also, the pawpaw and it’s fruit was used a lot in native american culture, for both eating and medicinal properties. Furthermore, many American cities are named after this tree.
Scientific Name: Eupatorium rugosum
The White Snakeroot is a flowering plant that I identified in Whetstone Park, right off of the Olentangy trail. It was growing on the outskirts of a heavily wooded area. A not so fun fact about the snakeroot is that its leaves and stems contain tremetol, which is a highly toxic compound. When cows eat this plant, their milk can be fatal to humans who drink it.
Scientific Name: Verbesina alternifolia
The Wingstem flowering plant was found right next to the White Snakeroot. It is named for its winged upper part of its stem. This plant typically flowers during late summer and fall.
Scientific Name: Syringa vulgaris
The Common Lilac is a shrub. This plant was found bordering the Park of Roses area in Whetstone park. It is a hairless European shrub with heart-shaped leaves. It has small flowers that are densely clustered and purple or white. This plant typically flowers from May to June.
Scientific Name: Rosa canina
The dog rose was a shrub found in the Park of Roses. This species of rose is actually an invasive species to Ohio. It is named the dog rose because its roots were said to be used to treat bites from rabid dogs. Furthermore, the flowers are used in nutritive syrup and herbal tea.
Finding Poison Ivy
At my grandmother’s house in Cincinnati, she lives on a large plot of land, with a wooded area in the back. Luckily for me, when playing whiffle ball, I went to retrieve the ball and stumbled upon some poison ivy near the edge of the woods. I was able to identify this poison ivy due to its compound leaves with three leaflets, and the rope-like stalk, along with the stalk of the middle leaflet being larger than the stalks of the others.