Species

Poison Ivy. Toxicodendron radicans. CC= 1

Virginia Creeper. Parthenocissus quinquefolia. CC= 2

Northern Spicebush. Lindera benzoin. CC= 5

Shagbark Hickory. Carya ovata. CC= 6

American Hornbeam. Carpinus caroliniana. CC= 5

Multiflora Rose. Rosa multiflora. CC= 0

Japanese Honeysuckle. Lonicera japonica. CC= 0

Water Horsetail. Equistem fluviatile. CC= 7

Black Raspberry. Rubus occidentalis. CC=1

Wingstem. Verbisina alternifolia. CC= 5

White Snakeroot. Argeratina altissima. CC= 0

Purple Crown-vetch. Securigera varia. CC= 0

Biennial Beeblossum. Oenothera guara. CC= 1

Common Burdock. Arctium minus. CC= 0

Great Angelica. Angelica atropurpurea. CC= 6

Canada Thistle. Cirsium arvense. CC= 0

Autumn Olive. Elaeagnus umbellata. CC= 0

Common Hawthorn. Crataegus monogyna. CC=0

False Indigo. Baptisia australis. CC= 6

Pokeweed. Phytolacca americana. CC= 0

High CC Plants

Water Horsetail. Equistem fluviatile. CC= 7

I was absolutely thrilled to see this plant by the Thoreau ponds after seeing them in lab. This plant is crazy interesting, dating back to Ancient Greek times, with distant relatives from the Carboniferous period as well! It’s quite easy to identify with such a distinctive appearance, but has a hollow, dark green stem that is segmented throughout.

Shagbark Hickory. Carya ovata. CC= 6

An excellent source of shade, this tree provides great understory habitat for a variety of wildlife, such as turkeys, grouse, deer, squirrels, and other bird species. This tree is named for its distinctive bark, that peels off in thin, curved layers, giving it a shaggy appearance. Being a hickory, it also produces edible nuts.

Great Angelica. Angelica atropurpurea. CC= 6

Great Angelica is vastly different from many of the Apiaceae species. Its towering size, hollow stems, distinctive umbels, and large drooping fruit make it easy to identify. Very few insects are known to feed on this particular plant. Small bees and flies will consume the nectar, while aphids, a few borer moth caterpillars, and black swallowtail caterpillars eat the leaves.

Wingstem. Verbisina alternifolia. CC= 5

An aptly named aster, the stem of Wingstem has thin papery wings running along the sides. This is a great example of a disc flower as well, with the small disc flowers being quite large and noticeable. This flower is great for pollinators, and aids in the assistance of bee livelihood.

Low CC Plants

Poison Ivy. Toxicodendron radicans. CC= 1

Unsurprisingly, poison ivy has a low CC score. Found nearly everywhere, these vines grow in large amounts and in any location possible, from snaking up trees to covering forest floors. This plant is easily identifiable by it’s leaves of three, but the color change in fall may throw some people off. For any pet owners, be carful taking your furry friends outside! They may not react to poison ivy, but their fur can spread the oils to you.

Virginia Creeper. Parthenocissus quinquefolia. CC= 2

An absolutely stunning vine, this one is another easy identification with the broad, serrated and compound leaves of five. Virginia creeper has a fascinating history of medicinal uses, with the roots, stems, leaves, and berries all being put to use. To name a few, native Americans used this for stomach and urinary issues, teas were used for a large variety of issues, berries were used for dropsy, and the roots have helped with lockjaw.

Biennial Beeblossum. Oenothera guara. CC= 1

This flower is really cute, having dense clusters of four-petal flowers and extending stamens, making the plant appear wand-like. The petals only branch on one-half of the flower, giving it a missing appearance. Hybridization frequently occurs with this genus, making species identification difficult.

Black Raspberry. Rubus occidentalis. CC=1

One of my favorite late-summer plants to stumble upon. Black raspberry produces these broad, serrated leaves of three, but much more appealing, they produce delicious black raspberry fruit. This shrub serves as an excellent trail snack, but the berries can also be used for dye as well.

Invasive Species

Canada Thistle. Cirsium arvense. CC= 0

Canada thistle can be identified by its bright pink, small flowers and irregular leaves that grow 2-5 feet from the ground. This plant is native to Europe, but has been spread to nearly everywhere else in the world. It’s predicted that Canada thistle accidentally came to North America in the 1600’s in an agricultural seed shipment.

Autumn Olive. Elaeagnus umbellata. CC= 0

This entire plant basically looks speckled, with this pattern on the berries and branches, and greyish-green textured leaves. Originally from East Asia, autumn olive can grow up to 30-feet tall, which is terrible for our native fauna. The berries are edible though, and often made into jam.

Common Hawthorn. Crataegus monogyna. CC=0

Common Hawthorn originates from Europe, but has spread to many locations as of now. This shrub can grow up to 40-feet tall, with spiked and twisted branches. The leaves are alternately arranged and deeply lobed. Hawthorn is sometimes grown to be ornamental, being propagated similar to bonsai trees.

Pokeweed. Phytolacca americana. CC= 0

Every time I see this plant it looks edible, and I want to eat the berries. Alas, pokeweed is very toxic and must not be consumed. Unfortunately, the berries are a great food source for wildlife, aiding in the constant dispersal of this plant, which can easily outgrow native plants. Look for the bright pink stem and dark, flat berries to identify this plant.