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Spring Blooms Abound on Oglebay’s Trails

Yellow Violet

By Jake Francis, Director of Environmental Education  — These flowers were seen in flower or fruit along the trails of Oglebay Park on April 20.  A recent hike proved that many are still in bloom, if not further along than they were 2 weeks ago! Come hike the trails at Oglebay and experience the beauty of spring as it blooms.

Blue Violet

Two-leafed Miterwort (Mitella diphyllum) — This plant is named after a clerical hat– miter, also called bishops cap because the flowers are similar in shape.  Falls Vista Trail.

Sweet White Violet

Blue Violet (Viola sororia) — This small purple flower is very common along the trails.  Most violets produce two types of flower; one that is open for sexual reproduction and one that never opens, called a   cleistogamous flower, that self fertilizes.  All trails.

Round-leafed Violet (Viola rotundifolia) — This plant is similar to the blue violet except for its rounded leaves.  All trails.

Northern White Violet (Viola canadensis) — A beautiful white violet that is slightly less common than its congeners on our trails.  Falls ravine trail and Hardwood Ridge Trail.

Blue Cohosh (Caulophyllum thalictroides) — A large plant that causes birth defects in mammals, the blue cohosh generally escapes browsing from the deer.  This genus is only found in Eastern US and Asia.  Hardwood Ridge trail.

Black Cohosh (Actaea racemosa) — Similar leaf arrangement to the blue cohosh but with acute leaf apicies. Hardwood Ridge trail.

Bear Corn

Blue Phlox (Phlox divaricata) — This long-blooming spring wildflower has five fused petals that form a tube and spread at the apex of the flower.  This shape is called salverform.  All trails.

Blue Cohosh

 Large-flowered Trillium (Trillium grandiflorum) — One of the earliest and showiest spring wildflowers, the Large flowered trillium ranges from white to (the more uncommon) deep red.  the white form blushes pink with age. (hardwood ridge trail–uncommon on trails)

Bear Corn (Conopholis americana) — This plant is a saprophyte, and is non-photosynthetic.  It parasitizes the roots of trees, particularly beech and oak.  This plant gets its name from its extrememe laxative properties, which bear take advantage of after their winter hybernation! All trails.

Virginia Bluebells (Mertensia virginica) —This large-leafed blue flowered plant is easily recognized by its large round-elliptical leaves growing in clumps throughout our woods.  Hardwood Ridge trail.

Virginia Bluebells

 Giant Chickweed (Stellaria pubera) — Though this plant is called the giant chickweed the flowers are rarely larger than 12mm across.  All trails–very common.

Spring Beauties (Claytonia virginica) — See our earlier blog post for some interesting ecological stories about the spring beauty; this plant is almost done flowering!   All trails.

Golden Ragwort

Golden Ragwort (Packera aurea) — This aster is common along roadsides and along our trails. All trails.

Jack in the Pulpit (Arisaema triphyllum) —  An interesting inflorescence called a spadix surrounded by a leafy spathe.  This flower is a perennial that stores starches in an underground root, and produces anthers (male parts) when small, and carpels (female parts) when it becomes larger. All trails.

Jack in the Pulpit

Spotted/ Wild Geranium (Geranium maculatum) —  This showy spring wildflower is fairly common in the park.  All trails.

Solomon’s Seal (Polygonatum biflorum) — This wildflower gets its name from the shape of its perennial rootstock.  The root is marked along its length with scars from previous years flowering stems, and when cut in cross section is said to resemble letters of the Hebrew alphabet.  Falls Vista trail.

Large Flowered Trillium

Bracken Strawberry (Waldsteinia fragarioides) — This plant will be in fruit almost all summer, and though the bright red aggregate fruit (that resembles a strawberry) is not palatable, birds have been observed picking and eating the fruit.  All trails.

Creeping Buttercup (I)– Ranunculus repens

Garlic Mustard (I)– Alliaria petiolata

Common Chickweed (I)– Stellaria media

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