Deep Woods, the Appalachian Gametophyte, and Ohio Geobotany
Shining clubmoss (Huperzia lucidula)
In the photo above you can see the dominate sporophyte of the clubmoss. Clubmosses are seedless vascular plants. The spores of these plant have been used is treating digestive problems.(https://vnps.org/princewilliamwildflowersociety/botanizing-with-marion/clubmosses-an-ancient-and-interesting-group-of-fern-allies/)
Fan clubmoss (Diphasiastrum digitatum)
In the photo above you can see the upright shoots that are branching out from the stem that grows horizontally over the ground. This plant prefers a more acidic soil to develop in. Clubmosses were once used in dyeing fabrics.(https://vnps.org/princewilliamwildflowersociety/botanizing-with-marion/clubmosses-an-ancient-and-interesting-group-of-fern-allies/)
These clubmosses where found at Deep Woods Nature Area. This area has deep valley landscapes with underlying sandstone rocks. Erosion is mostly responsible for the deep valleys cut through the land.The soil in this area of Ohio is generally more acidic. Some plants that are most common in this area are sourwood, eastern hemlock, chestnut oak and scrub pine.
After reading “Unraveling the Origin of the Appalachian Gametophyte” my description would not change to much; I would add that it likes to grow near water on rock outcrops. I would also say clearly that it exist exclusively as a gametophyte. I believe that the ones we saw at Deep Wood where near the stream that run through the property.
Marsh, Prairie and Fen
The marsh we visited at Darby Creek Drive was pretty dried out when we were there. The marsh was dominated by sedges and forbs; such and cattails, Indian grass and woolgrass. It also and a few woody plants mixed in like willow , sycamore and cottonwood.
The prairie we visited at Battelle Darby Metro Park was a tall grass prairie that was dominated by tall grasses and forbs. These grasses included big bluestem, wild rye, indian grass and switch grass.
The fen we visited at Cedar Bog is an interesting habitat; it is in between two end moraines. Water runoff form rain and the river that run along these moraines collect underground and saturate the sand and gravel substrate left over by glacial till that sits on top of limestone. Then the water will flush up onto the surface within Cedar Bog. Cedar Bog should really be called Cedar Fen because bogs have trapped water that escapes mainly through evaporation; bogs will have brown looking water due to the layer of decaying plants on the bottom. Fens have a system of water that goes through them making the water look clear. Cedar Bog is home to many different types of plants like forbs, grasses and woody plants.
Cattails have a brown cigar shaped head that is on top a very tall stalk with narrow leaves coming out of it. Cattails are mostly edible; such as the lower leaves, young stems, young flowers, pollen, and roots.
Woolgrass have branching clusters of of flower clusters at the top of their stems, they are a rusty brown color with florets spirally arranged and narrow alternate leaves. Woolgrass can be used to make matting and ropes.