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Remember: The flora of Cedar Beach Parkway: Part One

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

The flora of Cedar Beach Parkway: Part One

(Last Saturday, I had the opportunity to join the Rose Garden Neighborhood Association as a guest on their walk at Cedar Beach.  The intent of the walk was to observe the growing flora in the naturalized section of the park behind the Rose Gardens.  One member has been working on a botanical inventory and led the walk.  I want to thank the RGNA for allowing me to come, learn and now, share some awesome information with the readers of Remember.)
Today, will be the first in a four part series that spotlights the plant life growing in the riparian buffer zone at Cedar Beach Parkway.  The remaining three posts will be written in June, October, and December. 

Star-of-Bethlehem (Ornithogalum umbellatum)
A member of the hyacinth family,this Invasive Species was named after its star like flowering shape. It was probably introduced to America sometime in the 1940’s and like all invasive species is a rapidly reproducing, and easily dominating specimen that is a serious threat to native vegetation.
Link to DCNR page on Star-of-Bethlehem
  IMGP7082 Thin-leaved Sunflower (Helianthus decapetalus)
Come summertime, this native species will display a brilliant yellow flower.  For now, in the months of spring development, the future blossom is a distant promise.  Check back for part 2 this summer to see the flower.
Link to USDA page on Thin-Leaved Sunflower
IMGP7087 Creeping Buttercup (Ranunculus repens)
Another Invasive Species, this yellow flowering plant is considered a ground cover because of its ability to spread rapidly and dominate areas in which it grows. As you can see in the picture below, this plant can mean some serious business.
IMGP7113 Link to Wiki Page on Creeping Buttercup


Wintercress ( Barbarea vulgaris)
An Invasive Species, and member of the mustard family, is a biennial that is a native of Europe. Of the various names this plant can go by, I think Wound Rocket is my favorite.
Link to USDA page on Wintercress

IMGP7111 Garlic Mustard (Alliaria petiolata)
We’ve seen this character before.  This is a highly invasive species that can be seen dominating ecosystems all over the area.  This plant is a real pain. This is a plant that like, Japanese Knotweed, Tree of Heaven and Purple Loosetrife, I can easily say, I hate the sight of.
Link to PA DCNR page on Garlic Mustard


Shepherd’s Purse (Capsella bursa-pastoris)
Another Non-Native, but this one has been around long enough to be considered “naturalized” in some places.
Link to Wiki Page on Shepherd’s Purse

Gill-over-the-ground (Glechoma hederacea)
This carpenter bee is sitting on an Invasive Vine, that like the damn Garlic Mustard, is all over the place.  It’s common name is rather appropriate, the son of a gun is all over the ground, everywhere.
Link to the Minnesota DCNR page on Gill-over-the-ground

Philadelphia Fleabane (Erigeron Philadelphicus)
Mr. Fleabane is one of the good guys.  A delicate, wispy flower that is Native. It gets its name, fleabane, from a supposed odor that is a repellant to fleas.

Silver Maple (Acer Saccharinum)
Another Native, and the only tree on the list today.  Whenever I see one of these saplings growing on a creek bank, I actually feel better. 

I cheer for thee Silver Maple.

(Thank you C.S for the wonderful tour and amazing information.  This post is really hers!)


Anonymous Jenny said...

Once again, BEAUTIFUL photos Andrew! I've never been face-to-face with a bumble bee before. He looks kinda angry.

May 4, 2010 at 9:03 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Creeping buttercup, white wild garlic, ground ivy, these plants are doing serious, major damage damage in our parks. It is hard to over estimate the impact. This is another indication of the magnitude of the problems in the parks. Before Friends on the Parks does any nice little education events, they had better education themselves about the serious, immediate needs and insist that realistic priorities are set ASAP. Paving trails while the parks critical habitat declines-----tragic.

May 4, 2010 at 11:01 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Your photographs of the Cedar Beach parkway today are very beautiful. They showcase the splendor of what Allentown's park system can exhibit. Sadly, if you had been able to visit Lehigh Parkway last night instead, you would have seen far different images. The once clear and calm Little Lehigh on Monday night was a swirl of thick dark brown milk-like colors and rivets replaced the recently poured gravel by one of the Iron Bridge entrances,
a result of the storm's rushing waters forcing pounds of gravel into the Little Lehigh.

May 4, 2010 at 11:45 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Best of Dick Cowen

May 4, 2010 at 9:36 PM  

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