Acidic seepage swamp in Fairfax County

look but don't touchNelson DeBarros led a walk to a small acidic seepage swamp tucked into a Franconia neighborhood. The park is variously named Springfield Forest Park or Franconia Forest Park, depending on whose map you use. Here, Nelson points out a Poison Sumac (Toxicodendron vernix), while all of us keep our distance.

rather drydoing wellThe wetland was rather dry today, but it was supporting a vigorous community of acid-loving heaths, like Black Highbush Blueberry (Vaccinium fuscatum), as well as some drifts of Netted Chain Fern (Lorinseria areolata)—which I learned as Woodwardia.

For the most part, I left the sedges and rushes to Grass Buncher Margaret C, but I did pick up the tidbit that the green above the inflorescence on Juncus effusus is actually a bract, not an extension of the culm.

A bitsy Krigia virginica had escaped the mower in a patch near the play equipment. Black Tupelo (Nyssa sylvatica) was coming into fruit—with a big swath of unidentified galls on its leaves.