Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Ruderal ground


Abandoned farm field. Foxtail grass, common mullein, sweet everlasting, and Chinese lespedeza were the common species.



The plants said, Somebody was here. This was used land - the untilled edges were dominated by Chinese lespedeza and the remainder of the fields were primarily foxtail grass.

The forest at the edge of the fields were empty of an understory and herb layer. Two exceptions: 1.) Wreath goldenrod and white wood aster clung to the most precipitous shale bluffs over the brook. There, these herbs were safe from the deer.
2.) Where the land sloped gently to the brook, scraggly multiflora rose, Japanese barberry, and Morrow's honeysuckle made up the understory, and Japanese stilt grass, Japanese honeysuckle, and white snakeroot the herb layer. Interesting that not only the invasive species but also white snakeroot, a native herb, was found only on the disturbed ground. One could see the path that pasture animals had been allowed to take to drink of the brook's waters and wallow in the shade.

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