Riverbend Park meadows

new placeMargaret Chatham led a grasses walk through the managed meadow at Riverbend Park on Sunday, a new place for me. This patch of twelve acres is upland, rather than down by the river where we go looking for bluebells, and it’s regularly mowed in strips. Access is from Jeffrey Road and the nature center, rather than the vistor center farther downstream, where the boat rentals happen.

Nimblewill (Muhlenbergia schreberi) was a new grass for me. The culms are a nice ruby red at this time of the year.

whorledWe looked at woody plants and forbs, too. I got a pointer on distinguishing a young catalpa tree from an invasive Paulownia. Look for the whorl of three or more leaves at the stem, as you see in this image. The Asian invader has only a pair of opposite leaves. Similarly, the only two Verbesina wingstems that we see here in the mid-Atlantic can be separated by their branching pattern.

Your botany WOTD is endozoochory, that is, seed dispersal that depends on passing through the gut of animals. Habitat managers found out too late, to their dismay, that Rosa multiflora can be invasive when aided by birds’ digestive tracts.