Part One: Introduction to the Site
Indian Run Falls is located at 700 Shawan Falls Dr., Dublin, OH 43017. It has an area of 3.51 acres (City of Dublin 2018) and geographic coordinates 40°06’00”N 83°07’15”W (Google Earth 2018). The main feature of the park is the waterfall, which the city of Dublin has declared dangerous and illegal to play in. The park is surrounded by offices, schools, and roads, which have noticeably contributed to high disturbance. There is a high number of invasive plants in this park, most notably varieties of Asian honeysuckle. Below is a Google Earth image of Indian Run Falls.
Some new trees!
Two trees that have not been featured on this site yet are the American basswood (Tilia americana) and white mulberry (Morus alba).
Leaves on white mulberry are alternate in arrangement, simple in complexity, and have serrate margins. Sometimes they randomly will have a notch or two in them, which makes them look palm-like or mitten-like. White mulberry is actually native to China, and can hybridize with red mulberry, the native mulberry tree in the United States. The berries on white mulberry are white when they are not ripe, are not as tasty as red mulberries.
American basswood sometimes is mistaken for Eastern redbud because like redbud, it has heart-shaped leaves. However, the leaves on basswood have serrate margins, whereas redbud leaves have entire margins. Leaf arrangement is alternate and complexity is simple.
Virginia creeper (Parthenocissus quinquesolia), riverbank grape (Vitis riparia), and poison ivy (Toxicodendron radicans) are are some vines that are all over Indian Run Falls.
Virginia Creeper (Parthenocissus quinquesolia)
The leaves on Virginia creeper are alternate in arrangment, palmately compound, and have serrate margins.
Riverbank Grape (Vitis riparia)
This vine produces delicious small grapes that are a great snack while hiking. Only eat them if you are certain they are riverbank grape and not moonseed, which is poisonous (Petrides 1971). Leaves are alternately arranged, simple in complexity, and have serrate margins.
Poison Ivy (Rhus radicans)
Poison ivy often pops up in disturbed areas, and can cause dermatitis when touched. The leaves and vine are both poisonous. Important features of poison ivy identification are alternately arranged leaves, compound leaves that create 3 leaflets, and each leaflet separates into 3 lobes. In the 1800’s, French physician André-Ignace-Joseph Dufresnoy actually made medicines from poison ivy distillates to treat skin maladies, and his patients reported success.
Different Plant Famillies!
We have studied 8 different plant families throughout this course, and all of them have been represented within the plants at Indian Run Falls. Here are representatives of 2 families.
False Solomon’s Seal, Maianthemum racemosum (Liliaceae)
This plant looks very similar to REAL Solomon’s seal, but its flowers give it away. REAL Solomon’s seal has flowers that come off the rachis in pairs or groups of pairs, and they come from the entire extent of the rachis. FALSE Solomon’s seal has flowers that sprout off a raceme at the farthest tip of the rachis.
Daisy Fleabane, Erigeron annuus (Asteraceae)
Asteraceae is the most diverse family of the 8 we have studied. Aster flowers actually have 2 different types of flowers. The white “petals” you see on this flower are called “ray flowers” and are sterile. They exist to attract pollinators. The true, fertile flowers on this plant are in the center, and are called “disk flowers.” They are tightly packed together so that a single pollinator can pollinate multiple disk flowers in one visit. Asters are known to be smelly, and have evolved to be that way so as to prevent herbivory.
Part 2: Flowers and Fruits
We have studied several different fruit and flower types over the past few weeks, and I can point out some of those fruit and flower types in this section.
Virginia waterleaf (Hydrophyllum virginianum of the Hydrophyllaceae family)
The flowers of this plant have radial symmetry and have 5 parts. The petals and sepals are fused into a hypanthium, with an epigynous ovary and unicarpelate gynoecium. The inflorescence type of this flower is a determinate umbel. Virginia waterleaf is found in riparian areas, and this flower was found near the falls. Young plants used to be cooked and eaten by indigenous people.
Golden Alexander (Zizia aurea of the Apiaceae family)
The flowers on this plant are radially symmetrical, but the umbels they come in are not. Flowers have 5 parts with epigynous ovary position and syncarpous gynoecium. Petals and sepals are not fused, but 2 carpels are fused together to create a bicarpellate pistil which will then become a fruit known as a schizocarp. The schizocarp is a type of fruit unique to the Apiaceae family. This plant flowers in umbels and was found in a less wooded and more prairie-like area of the park.
Dame’s Rocket (Hesperis matronalis of the Brassicaceae family)
Flowers for this plant have 4 parts. Flowers in the Brassicaceae family all have 6 stamens, with 2 of them being shorter than the other 4. Flower symmetry is radial, ovary position is hypogynous, and gynoecium type is syncarpous. Inflorescence type is a panicle. These flowers were found in a less wooded area of the park that was more prairie-like.
Black raspberry (Rubus occidentalis)
The flowers of this plant have 5 parts and are radially symmetrical. Members of the Rosaceae family that produce aggregate fruits like black raspberry have perigynous ovary positions and apocarpous gynoecia. This plant was seen at the beginning of the trail away from the falls and closer to grass and trees. The inflorescence type of black raspberry is a raceme.
Garlic mustard (Alliaria petiolata)
Flowers for this plant have 4 parts. Flowers in the Brassicaceae family all have 6 stamens, with 2 of them being shorter than the other 4. Flower symmetry is radial, ovary position is hypogynous, and gynoecium type is syncarpous. The unique fruit of this family is called a silique, which is a capsule with carpels. The carpels in siliques have partitions across them. Inflorescence type is a panicle. This plant is found in more disturbed areas of the trail that people walk near.
Kentucky Bluegrass (Poa pratensis)
Not many people realize that grasses flower because they are wind pollinated and not brightly colored. The inflorescence type featured here is called a spikelet and flowers are bilaterally symmetric. The ovary position for members of Poaceae like this grass is perigynous, with fusion of the perianth and stamens. The gynoecium type is syncarpous. The fruit of this plant is unique to graminoids, and is called a caryopsis. These fruits have a dry, 1-seeded ovary, and the ovary is fused to the seed. This plant was often spotted in grassy areas all over the park.
Part 3: Mosses and Lichens
Lemon Lichen (Candelaria concolor) AND Powder-Tipped Shadow Lichen (Phaeophyscia adiastola)