Saturday, November 21, 2009

Davis Memorial State Nature Preserve

Dolomite gorge at Davis Memorial.

Sometimes you see so many interesting things in one day, it seems like I could write dozens of posts. That's how I feel about my early November trip to Adams County. For me, these posts are a way to remember and cement into my brain the names of the plants that I observed. Hopefully, you enjoy seeing what I saw as well!

If you've been following along, you'll remember the first stop of the day was Adams Lake Prairie State Nature Preserve, then on to Chaparral Prairie State Nature Preserve. Completing a trifecta of Adams County Preserves (there are even more that we didn't get to!), we headed over to Davis Memorial State Nature Preserve.

Davis memorial is underlain by both Dolomite and Shale. Where the dolomite is exposed grow many interesting plants. Proving that field botanizing is most definitely doable in November, we saw:

Walter's violet, Viola walteri. Very much a southerner, southern Ohio is the furthest north this species grows in the U.S. It is an Ohio threatened species.

Tall larkspur, Delphinium exaltatum I had only seen this species once before, at a fen near Springfield, Ohio. Beautiful when flowering, this species is rare throughout its range, and is a candidate for federal listing by the United State Fish and Wildlife Service.

And one of my personal favorite pteridophytes, walking fern, Asplenium rhizophyllum. This one doesn't seem particular to calcareous habitats, however, it does seem to be fairly frequent on the dolomite gorges of southern and southeast Ohio.

That wraps up a trifecta of Adams County State Nature Preserves. Next we were off to the moss workshop, held at the Edge of Appalachia Preserve. I'll have more on Ohio's largest privately owned protected natural area in the next post.



  1. Tom: Looks like a great place to visit and make botanical finds.

  2. Ooh! Ooh! Ooh! So many great botanical finds! I'm only an amateur botanizer, but I share your excitement at exploring a distinctive habitat. I found that Walking Fern just this week while on a group hike here in Saratoga County NY. I was jumping up and down with excitement, but most folks just walked away with a shrug, as if to say, Big deal. Well, folks, it IS a big deal to come across this unusual fern. I'm happy to find someone who agrees.

  3. Tom- It definitely was. This place is the Kent Bog equivalent of southern Ohio.

    Jackie- Yes, we are rare, aren't we? I think it is a matter of depth. If one is willing to really explore nature, one realized just how much interesting things there are to learn, including the plants.

    Lana- you are most welcome.