Scavenger Hunt: Special Characters

Perennial Pea

Lathyrus latifolius

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I found this perennial pea in the alley outside of my apartment. These produce a dry legume fruit which is a single carpel that encloses several seeds. in my photos the legumes have already split open and dropped their seeds. You can see they split into two and then curled.


White Sweet Clover

Melilotus albus



I found this plant in a field at Scioto Audubon Metro Park. It produces a raceme inflorescent. Raceme inflorescence have many flowers being produced on the same stalk.

Brittney’s Scavenger Hunt


Rosa sp.

This plant was found during the field trip to the Chadwick Arboretum and learning garden. It was cultivated along the roadside of Lane Ave.

Rosa sp. is a member of the Rosaceae family. This plant was identified as a cultivated rose due to the thorn-like structure on the stem (prickles), radial symmetry and the alternate leave pattern. It is what we commonly know as a rose. Some conserved characteristics of this family include the alternate leaves, stipules at the base of the petiole, actinomorphic and contain a hypanthiym.

(ignore that it is in blue font and underline, I do not know how that got that way nor do I know how to change it)


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This plant was found in the courtyard of Jennings Hall.

This is a member of the Poaceae family, also commonly known as the grass family. A conserved characteristic that helped identify this plant to family is the fact that it is a grass because of its hollow round open leaf sheath. Other conserved characteristics include tiny wind pollinated flowers, parallel venation, and they are monocot.



It is possibly a shrub of the Rosaceae family. Aronia berry

Aronia sp.

This plant was found outside of Jennings Hall.

This is a plant with berries. It was keyed as a berry because I squished the berry like structure and it was fleshy both inside and outside. It contains a black berry, with alternate, serrate leaves.

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Through Newcomb’s it was not keyed correctly, however it may have been closely related to the Swamp Fly Honeysuckle

Lonicera oblongifolia

Similarities of the two are that the leaves are oblong, the berries are red and the leaves are entire and opposite, however the Swamp Fly Honeysuckle blooms in late spring. It is now fall as this picture is being taken.

This plant was found along the roadside of Henderson Rd.

This plant has opposite, simple, entire leaves. It was keyed because the leaf arrangement are next to each other along the stem, on the opposite sides of the stem, they contain one leaf per petiole, meaning they are simple, and the margins of the leaf are smooth, meaning entire.


Taraxacum officinale

Known as a Common Dandelion

This plant was also found during the field trip to Chadwick Arboretum and learning garden.

It was keyed to species because growing up, we all know what a dandelion is. However, it is commonly known to know an all yellow head.

Andropogon gerardii

Big Blue Stem

This picture was taken in the middle of the driveway to the parking lot at Cedar Bog.

This plant is one of the three main prairie grasses. It was keyed to Big Blue Stem because it was spoken about during the field trip to Cedar Bog. It’s characteristics include its tall height, it’s coloring of being reddish purple bronze, and it’s flowering part looking similar to that of a turkey’s foot.


Scavenger Hunt Blog 2


A Plant that has many stamen: Cultivated Multiflora Rose
This flower has many stamen, meaning there are more than 10 male parts to this flower. This can be seen in this photo by counting the brown dots, which are the stamen. This flower can be found outside of the James Cancer research Hospital


A member of the Asteraceae family: Purple Cone Flower
This flower is a member of the Asteraceae family, which can be seen by the type of inflorescence of the flower; it looks like it is one flower head, but it is actually a cluster of flowers in one large head. This flower can be found at Cedar bog, within the parking lot.


A plant that produces a raceme: Common evening primrose.
This flower can be found in the middle of the Cedar Bog parking lot. This flower is a raceme because it produces its own individual flowers coming off the stem in a alternating fashion.


Juglans nigra: Black Walnut
This tree can be found near mirror lake, outside of Orton Hall. Unfortunately, I don’t know how to rotate the photo, but you can tell that it is black walnut by locating the fruit within the tree and the fallen fruit below the tree.


Aesculus glabra: Buckeye Tree
This tree is a buckeye tree and can be found right by mirror lake, closest to Neil Ave. The tree can be identified by its 5-leaf arrangement.


A member of the Poaceae Family: Bluestem grass
The Poaceae Family is the Grass family and it can be identified as part of this family because if you pull apart the grass at the root each separate leaf can be pulled apart and each is hugging the one below. This grass can be found outside of Jennings hall, in the courtyard. It can be identified as Bluestem by the flowers on the grass, they are formed in groups of three, looking similar to a turkey foot.

Sara’s Scavenger Hunt



Ilex verticillata

Common Winterberry

Lenticel: A pour on the stem that is an adaptation for getting air into the stem. Resembles a dot or line.

Found growing in the Chadwick Learning Gardens outside of Howlett Hall, Ohio State University, Franklin County, OH, on October 1, 2014.




Hypanthium: Sepals and petals fused at the base. Often found in plants of the Rosaseae family.

Found growing in courtyard next to Postle Hall, Ohio State University, Franklin County, OH, on September 26, 2014.




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Sunrise Sunset Rose

Rosaceae Family: identified by the many stamen and five sepals.

Found growing in the Chadwick Learning Gardens outside of Howlett Hall, Ohio State University, Franklin County, OH, on October 1, 2014.


Trifolium repens

White Clover

Fabaceae Family: identified by the presence of a banner and keel in the petals.

Found growing in the grass next to Jennings Hall, Ohio State University, Franklin County, OH, on October 1, 2014.


Sight ID


Vitus sp.

Recognized by its vining growth habit, cordate leaf base, and clusters of berries.

Vine found growing on Howlett Hall, Ohio State University, Franklin County, OH, on October 1, 2014.

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Juglans nigra

Recognized by walnut fruit on the ground, and somewhat serrate, compound leaves changing to yellow.

Tree found growing near Mirror Lake, Ohio State University, Franklin County, OH, on October 1, 2014.

Scavenger Hunt

Hannah Maurer

Sight ID

Juglans nigra

Found in yard outside of Jennings Hall

Identifiable Characteristics: Opposite pinnate leaflets and unique green fruits



Platanus occidentalis 

Found near Mirror Lake

Identifiable Characteristics: Toothed margins and 3-5 lobed leaves, whitish peeling bark

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Character Items

Parallel Venation

Found in courtyard outside Jennings Hall

Definition: A leaf with parallel venation has one main vein reaching from the base to the tip, with multiple veins running vertical alongside of it. The veins do not cross each other, they are parallel to one another.

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Arcuate Venation, Dogwood

Found in courtyard of Jennings Hall

Definition: A leaf with arcuate venation has one main vein reaching from the base to the tip of the leaf. The veins that branch off horizontally from the main vein reach almost to the edge of the leaf, but before touching the edge, they “arc” and curve back towards the main vein.

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Family Items

Member of the Apiaceae family

Found in courtyard outside of Jennings Hall

Conserved character: Umbel inflorescence, tall stems

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Member of the Solanaceae family

Found in courtyard outside of Jennings Hall

Conserved characters: 5 sepals, superior ovary, herbacious, alternate leaves

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Scavenger hunt-M.Friel

A member of the Lamiaceae family: Notice the square stem, covered in hairs, with the opposite leaves. Also, the purple hue to the leaves lead me to believe this plant is Purple Dead Nettle.


A member of the Apiaceae family: The defining character was the flowers are arranged in an umbel. Common name Wild Carrot.


A plant that produces achenes: These dry, indehiscent fruits are numerous inside sunflowers. Sunflower “seeds” are not really seeds but achenes.


A plant with prickles:  You would consider these prickles because they are easily taken off the epidermis of the plant and are not modified leaves or shoots. They are softer then thorns or spikes and cover the entire stem, not a few areas on this Teasel.



Acer Rubrum: Also known as red maple, these simple leaves are lobed. The defining character would have to be the red color of the leaf.



Aster novae-angliae: Also known as New England Aster, the flower has a purple color with numerous petals with radial symmetry.



Scavenger Hunt

Plant that produces legumes: Honey locust at Prairie Oaks Park. This bean pod is from a honey locust tree. It is a legume because it produces seeds inside of this pod.



Plant that produces flowers in a panicle: Goldenrod at Prairie Oaks Park. A panicle is showcased here in this goldenrod because of the branching characteristics in the inflorescence.


Plant in the Apiaceae family: Queen Anne’s Lace at Prairie Oaks Park. The defining characteristic that puts this plant in the Apiaceae family is the umbel shape of the inflorescence.


Plant in the Rosaceae family: Multiflora rose at Prairie Oaks Park. This plant is in the Rosaceae because of the hip fruit and serrate leaves.

Acer sacccharum: Found at Prairie Oaks Park. This plant is opposite and the leaves are palmately shaped/veined. 1001141742b


Celtis occidentalis: Found at Prairie Oaks Park. The distinctive warty ridges of the bark give this plant away. The leaves were too high to see any galls, but the leaf shape was correct. The specimen is the tree on the left.

Scavenger Hunt

A plant with obovate leaves

Obovate leaves definition- leaves that are wider near the tip or apex of the leaf.

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Asimina Triloba (pawpaw)

Description- alternate leaves, large obovate leaves, entire margins, pinnate venation, glabrous, prefers moist environments, green edible fruits.

Found behind Jennings Hall.

A plant with actinomorphic flowers

Actinomorphic flower definition- a flower that has radial symmetry. Can be divided into identical sections along any plane.



Hemerocallis lilioasphodelus (yellow daylily)

Description- trumpet shaped yellow flowers with radial symmetry, long arching leaves, superior ovary, fruit are capsules, 6-merous.

Found outside of apartment buildings along 12th street.

Toxicodendron radicans (poison ivy)

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First identified because of characteristic 3 compound leaves with middle leaf extending on long petiole. I also noticed it because it had begun changing colors, which is common for poison ivy to do early in the fall. Other characteristics of poison ivy are that it is a woody vine and can have variable leaf margins but are many times toothed or lobed.

Found at Alum Creek park.

Fraxinus spp.


Fraxinus pennsylvanica (green ash)

Determined to be an ash because of the compound, opposite leaves. Also the distinctive brown buds that sit on top of a “D” shaped leaf scar. I decided that it was a green ash verses other varieties because the bud sat on top of the leaf scar, unlike white ash that have buds sitting down in a “C” shaped scar. I also found the seedling in a wet-mesic are, a preferred site for green ash. I was unable to find any plants bigger than this due to emerald ash borer killing almost all of the larger trees in our area.

Found at Alum Creek park.

A member of the Lamiaceae with an explanation of the characters that you used to determine the family identification

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Species unknown


The characteristics I used to determine that this plant was in the mint family was first of all the most obvious, the aroma. Next, I felt the stem and confirmed that it was square. I also noticed that the leaves were opposite and serrate. And finally, I felt that the plant was pubescent. All of which are common characteristics for the family.

Found behind Jennings Hall.

A member of the Poaceae with an explanation of the characters that you used to determine the family identification



Bamboo is not what would typically come to mind right away when thinking about the grass family. It is, however, a member. Typical family characteristics that I found that it possesses are alternate leaves, tubular sheathing leaves with blades at nodes, and ligules or thin membranes where blades are attached.

Found in my backyard.

Scavenger Hunt at Shale Hollow Preserve


photoShale Hollow Nature Preserve is a relatively new preserve in Delaware, Ohio. Every weekend I take my dog to a different park and this week’s destination was Shale Hollow! After reading about the variety of habitats in the preserve’s relatively small area I decided this would be a great place to go on my plant scavenger hunt.

As I stepped out of my car into the parking lot I caught site of my first target species, Pokeweed, or Phytolacca americana. It was growing in a culvert on the edge of the parking lot with some other weeds and grasses and was easily recognizable by its dark purple fruits growing on a bright fuchsia stem.

photo 2(2)Pokeweed

 As I began to walk the preserve’s main gravel trail I caught sight of an Ulmus spp., the other species I needed to find. I recognized it by the double serrated alternate leaves. Unfortunately, the brown fringes on the leaf edges indicative of Dutch Elm disease were also a clue to this plant’s identity.

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 As the forest transitioned into a prairie I came upon a large clump of wild grape. I had to pull through it a bit to find a good example of a character I was looking for, tendrils!

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Upon entering the prairie I was surrounded by a sea of yellow. But the vibrant color wasn’t coming from the Canadian Goldenrod that I was used to seeing, but rather a member of the Fabaceae family, Partridge Pea, or Camaecrista fasciculata. The plants had four part flowers as well as legume fruits that made it obvious they were part of the pea family.

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On the the edge of the prairie trail, overshadowed by tall grasses was a single Solanaceae plant. Since it was all on its own and had but a single, large fruit, I couldn’t pick it for ID. It was also done flowering so Newcomb’s wasn’t much of a help. Despite being a mystery species this plant was definitely a Solanaceae as evidenced by the broad, uniquely shaped leaves, herbaceous growth pattern and its green, tomato-like fruit wrapped in 5 sepals.

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The last character I had to find was capsule fruits. It proved to be a bit difficult, but on my way out I walked past the Preserve’s planted bed of native plants. Coreopsis lanceolata was my saving grace. This plant was in flower so I was able to ID it and it also had the dry capsule fruits I was looking for.

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Scavenger Hunt

spice bush

Sight ID: Lindera benzoin

Found near Jennings Hall

Solidago canensis

Sight ID: Solidago candensis

Found near Jennings Hall


Member of Lamiaceae with an explanation of the characters used to determine family ID.

Characters: aromatic leaves, squares stems, opposite leaf arrangement, and five flower parts.

Found near Jennings Hall


Member of Rosaceae with an explanation of the characters used to determine family ID.

Alternate leaf arrangement, 5 flr parts, varied fruit, prickles (wild).

Found in orchard in Pataskala OH (Lynd’s Fruit Farm)


Plant with Gynoecium composed of many carpels

Found in Gahanna Woods Nature Preserve.


Plant with Gynoecium composed of one carpel

Found in Gahanna Wood Nature Preserve