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141 Cards in this Set

  • Front
  • Back
Acer negundo - box elder
medium tree 50-75’ high; twigs are green to purplish-bluish, glossy, powdery whitish “hairy”; leaves
opposite, compound w/ 3-5 leaflets with few or no coarse teeth (similar in appearance to poison ivy);
fruit a samara; moist soils, stream-banks, floodplain.
Acer rubrum - red maple
medium tree 20-60’ tall; leaves opposite, 3-5 lobed, toothed, base of terminal lobe wide; young bark
smooth and grey, older bark broken and darker; twigs and buds reddish; flowers red in spring; fruit a
samara; bright red fall color; lowland, poorly drained deciduous swamps, moist soil, bogs, floodplains,
river banks, can be associated with upland areas.
Acer saccharinum - silver maple
tall tree 40-60’ high; bark grey and peels off with age; leaves opposite, deeply 5-lobed, slightly
silver/whitish on lower surface; twigs and buds reddish; fruit a samara; moist soils, stream-banks,
Alisma sp. - water plantain
leaves not lobed with broad flat blades which may be rounded or tapered at base; nutlets in a ring; flowers
and fruit stems on a naked stem which is usually rigid and forming a massive panicle; may be mostly
submersed (the leaves), shores, ponds, shallow marshes.
Sagittaria sp. - arrowhead, duck potato
leaves variable from arrow-shaped to elliptical (ribbon-like) to lance-shaped, erect extending above
the surface, arising from the base which is normally submersed; inflorescence is a raceme or panicle of
whorled white flowers with three round-ish petals; fruit are in dense yellowish heads; ponds, shallow
marshes, shores.
Toxicodendron radicans - poison ivy
growth form variable: trailing or climbing vine, small shrub, ground cover; leaves alternate, trifoliate,
dull green, often w/ toothed leaflets, 4-14”; fruit a white ball-shaped cluster, Aug-Nov; moist woods,
location mostly variable.
Toxicodendron vernix- poison sumac
uptight shrub or small tree to 18’ high; leaves alternate, pinnately compound 6-12” long with 7-13
leaflets, thick & firm; twigs stout; flowers June; fruit a drupe, Sept.; swamps, bogs.
Cicuta sp. – water hemlock
Biennial or perennial toxic herb. Highly poisonous, handle with caution. Stems, leaves, and shoots
toxic if eaten. Tall erect stem (up to 2 meters) from tuberous rootstalk. Leaves alternate 2-3 pinnate.
Leaflets narrow or lanceolate. Flowers white or green in an umbel or many umbels. Fruit round or ovate
with prounonced ribs, June-September. Wet meadows, marshes, moist soils. Locations variable and highly
Sium suave – water-parsnip
Perennial herb up to two meters tall. Stems stout and glaborous, smooth, hollow, ribbed upward, slightly
zig-zagged in shape with cross partitions and thickened stem base. Leaves alternate and oddly pinnate
linear to lance shaped, lowest leaves up to 50 cm highly reduced anteriorly. Leaflets 5-10 cm long and 7-17
per leaf with fine, sharp, forward pointing teeth larger leaflets typically rounded at base. Finely dissected
underwater leaves. Inflorescence white in stalked terminally and axillary compound umbels, highly
characteristic for family. Oval fruit with prominent ribs. Wet areas, usually shallow.
Ilex verticillata - Michigan holly
plants are dioecious; leaves alternate, acuminate at tip with numerous fine teeth along margins; holly
with deciduous leaves; flowers with white petals in late June-early July; fruit a bright red drupe; bogs,
swamps, thickets, damp shores, swales, lake and stream margins.
Acorus calamus - sweet flag
leaves erect and sword-like; inflorescence a spadix (fleshy spike of flowers) long, yellowish-greenish,
coming from side of stem; plant fragrant when bruised; wet meadows, shallow marsh and swamps.
Calla palustris – water arum
Leaves broadly heart shaped, abruptly tapered at tip; inflorescence a short cylindrical spadix; spadix
shorter than spathe; spathe white, funnel shaped surrounding spadix. Shallow water, bog pools, wet
shorelines. Overwinters via rhizome.
Peltandra virginica - arrow arum
leaves lobed at base (typically sagitate), each basal lobe with a heavy central vein, 3-nerved,with a small
series of veins that run along the entire leaf margin on long petioles; spathe green, fleshy, inrolled;
herbs growing on muddy shores and shallow water.
Symplocarpus foetidus - skunk cabbage
perennial 1-3’; leaves broadly oval on short petiole, large, w/ foetid odor when crushed and appear
after the flowers; spathe is sheathing/shell-like, green to purple-brown mottled or striped and envelopes
the spadix which contain the stamens and pistils; plants are thermogenic (heat producing) in early spring;
swamps, marshes. muddy shores.
Asarum canadense - wild ginger
leaves basal, large, 6-12”, heart-shaped, soft to the touch, w/ hairy stalks; rhizomes aromatic w/ gingerlike
smell; flower located in the crotch between 2 leaf stalks at ground level, cup-shaped, w/ 3 pointed
red-brown calyx lobes; moist rich woods, stream-banks.
Asclepias incarnata - swamp milkweed
leaves opposite, narrow, lance-shaped to linear to oblong; smooth; flowers in several umbels, pink; milky
juice if broken stems or leaves (characteristic of family); long pointed seed pods; wet meadow and
coastal shoreline.
Aster sp.
leaves variable but usually lanceolate with a tapering point; flower heads with a yellow disk, rays are
blue, purple or white;
Bidens sp. - begger-ticks
flowers inconspicuous, lacking rays, bright yellow; leaves variable mostly toothed and lanceolate,
opposite; with distinctive barbed ‘tick’; extremely variable plant and difficult to get an exact
determination on species; shores, swamps, wet meadows.
Cirsium sp. - thistle
plant up to 1.5m tall; leaves spiny and lanceolate; flower heads clustered, mostly purple; swamps,wet
Eupatorium maculatum - joe-pye-weed
stem deep purple or purple spotted, rough and coarse, up to 1m tall; leaves in whorls, on short petioles,
uppermost leaves shorter than the inflorescence, lance-shaped to linear; flower heads in disks, numerous
umbels, clustered, flat-topped, pink or purple; shallow marshes, shores, wet meadows, swales.
Eupatorium perfoliatum - boneset
leaves wrinkled and veiny, unite basally around the stem (perfoliate); hairy plant; white flower; low
ground and swamps
Liatris spicata - blazing star
perennial herbs from corms; leaves linear and grass-like on stem 1-5’ tall; flower heads sessile, discoid,
numerous, tubular, pink-red; flower bracts blunt and sticky; wet meadows, fen, marsh edges.
Solidago sp. - goldenrod
leaves are ribbon-like with a central vein; upper part of stem branched; inflorescence is flat-topped, flowers
yellow, in small numerous heads crowded in small clusters; wet meadow, shallow marshes, shores.
Impatiens capensis - spotted touch-me-not, jewel weed
stems very succulent, nearly translucent and wilt easily; leaves alternate, delicate; flowers with a long
spur, dangle on a long stalk. orange, spotted; with ‘explosive’ seed pods; moist shady soil, along streams
and shallow marsh edges.
Alnus incana – speckled alder
thicket forming shrub up to 15’ tall; leaves simple, dull above, whitened beneath, doubly toothed, with
blunt teeth; twigs and young leaves not sticky; male and females flowers separate on same plant, forming
catkins; cones stalked; female catkins single; male catkins long and flexible.
Betula pumila - dwarf birch
erect shrub up to 9’ high; bark smooth, reddish brown, lenticels prominent; leaves alternate, simple, 1-
5cm long, ovate to orbicular with serrated margins; flowers on separate pendulous catkins ; fruit a
samara; bogs, open swamps, fens.
Myosotis sp. – forget-me-not
blue flowers, tube-shaped and abruptly flared outward at tip; leaves alternate, entire, with short,
appressed hairs.
Rorippa nasturtium-officinale – water-cress
Perennial herb. Spreading stems either floating or submerged, smooth and anchor to the bottom at many
points. Leaves pinnately compound divided into 3-9 segments, with leaves 4-12 cm long by 2-5 cm wide
with a terminal lobe that is often larger than the rest. Leaf margins complete or with a few small teeth.
Petioles present. Flowers are approx. 5 mm wide, white, 4 petals cross-like (distinct for family), in one to
several recemes per stem. Fruit a curved to linear pod tipped with beak containing coarsely textured
seeds. May-September. Springs and slow-moving steams. Prefers water less than 65 degrees F.
Brasenia schreberi – water-shield, snot weed
Perennial aquatic herb, underwater component of plants have slippery jelly-like coating (snot-like) which
is more pronounced on young shoots, distinctive. Leaves ovular, floating, 4-12 cm long and as half wide
green above and purple below, peltate (petiole attaches centrally underside, shield-like). Stems up to 2
meters long and smooth. Flowers maroon to purple less than three cm wide, sepals 3 and petals 3, 12-15
mm long. Fruit small and oblong, 3-5 mm. July. Soft water lakes and ponds with high decomposed organic
matter, sometimes acidic.
Campanula sp. – marsh-bellflower
Perennial herb, 8-24 inches in height. Stems usually have milky sap, slender. Leaves simple, alternate
linear or narrow lance shaped tapered to sharp tip, underside leaf margin and midvein occasionally rough.
No petioles. Flowers perfect, 5-parted, and funnel shaped, sepals triangular to lance-shaped, 2-5 mm long
with 5-12 mm long pale blue to dirty white petals. Extend on long stalks from upper leaf axils, ornamental
plants flowers June to August. Fruit a many seeded capsule. Damp meadows and swamps.
Lobelia cardinalis – cardinal flower
Stems usually have milky sap, slender. Leaves simple, alternate lance shaped to oblong tapered to a point
margins toothed, upper leaves stalkless lower leaves on short petioles. Flowers irregular, receme
inflouresence at end of stem,2-4 cm long bright red with often yellow to white blotchy markings on hairy
stalks. Stems erect and unbranched. July-September. Damp meadows and swamps.
Sambucus canadensis – common elder
Shrubs or small trees to 3m tall which may from thickets. Stems pithy with protruding wart-like lenticels.
Leaves pinnate, large and opposite divided into 7 leaflets (can be 5-11). Leaflets lancelate or oval in shape
tapered to a sharp long tip, sharply forward serrated. Leaf base often assymetrical. Flowers small, white,
perfect, 5-lobed in large round clusters at edge of stem. Fruit a dark purple berry like drupe. July-August.
Most wet areas, forms thickets.
Ceratophyllum sp. - coontail
leaves whorled, dichotomously forked with spiny teeth along one side, more crowded toward the tip
giving the “coontail” appearance; plants free floating, submersed, without roots; variable in length; ponds,
shallow marshes.
Hypericum sp. - St. John’s-wort
leaves opposite with scattered translucent dots (except in submersed forms);
flowers mostly yellow (or purple), with 5 petals, 5 sepals, stamens 15 or more; fruit is a capsule; coastal
shoreline, wet meadow; terrestrial.
Triadenum sp. – St. John’s wort
Smooth perennial herb. Leaves opposite 3-6 cm long, entire and oval shaped, lacking serrations, dotted
with small dark and transparent glands. Stems 30-60 cm tall from rhizomes. Flowers pink to greenishpurple,
in clusters from leaf axils at the ends of stems, also 9 stamens in 3 triplicate groups, 5 petals and
sepals each with 3 styles. Fruit is a capsule with three compartments containing brown seeds. Late summer
to early autumn. Bogs and wet meadows.
Cornus sp. - dogwood
Shrubs or trees; leaves not toothed; leaf veins follow the smooth leaf edges toward the tips; silky sap
apparent between veins when leaves are gently broken; twigs often reddish or purple; leaf buds with
only 1 pair of scales.
Echinocystis lobata – wild cucumber
leaves with 3-7 sharp, triangular lobes; 3-8cm petiole; flowers white; distinctive fruit green, ovate, 3-
5cm long with soft prickles.
Carex sp.
Nutlet enclosed in a sac, the perigynium; stamens and pistils in separate flowers. Staminate and pistillate
flowers may be in separate spikes, in different parts of the same spike or scattered and scarcely
distinguishable in each spike.
Cladium mariscoides - twig rush
coarse plants 0.5-1m tall; stems leafy, topped by a branched inflorescence with a cluster of spikelets at each
branch; spikelets are reddish-brown, nutlet without a tubercle; 1 achene per spikelet; wet meadows,
shores, shallow marsh.
Cyperus sp. - nut grass
Spikelets flattened, the scales in 2 rows on opposite sides of the rachilla; rachilla often with thin wings
somewhat enclosing the nutlet or running to the scale next above; spikelets often in heads, with leafy bracts
at base.
Dulichium sp. – three way sedge
Erect grasslike perennial sedge often found in large colonies. Resembles a three spoked airplane propeller
when viewed from above. Stems stout, erect, hollow, and jointed. Leaves three ranked, flat and short,
reduced to bladeless sheaths on lower 1/3 to ½ of stem. Flower heads from leaf axils, brownish clusters of
spikelets in two vertical rows with three stamens and a two branched style with lance shaped scales. Fruit is
a beaked achene with barbed bristles at base. July-September. Marshes, pond margins and fens.
Eleocharis sp.- spike rush
leaves are without blades and represented by sheaths at the base of the stem; flowers are solitary terminal
spikelets, flower has subtending scale which hides it from view, arranged spirally on the axis of the
spikelet with overlapping scales, the style base of each ovary persists as a tubercle (a cap) on the mature
fruit; identification within the genus is impossible unless the fruit (nutlet) is mature because species
identification is based on the tubercle characteristics; shallow and deep marshes, ponds, stream-banks, wet
meadows, swales.
Eriophorum sp. – cotton grass
Grasslike perennials. Stems clumped or more commonly singled, round to 3 rounded. Leaves few and
generally at base of plant, folded or inrolled usually reduced to bladeless sheath. Flower heads at terminal
end of stems with one or many spikelets, spirally arranged with chaffy margins. Many scales. Flowers
perfect sepals and petals numerous, with long, cottony, white to tawny brown bristles. Stamens 3, styles
three parted. Fruit is an achene generally brown and three angled sometimes with a short beak. May-
August. Bogs, wet meadows, wet areas.
Rhynchospora sp. – beak-rush
Grasslike perennial. Leaves flat or inwardly rolled, reduced. Stems erect and leafy usually 3-angled but
occasionally round. Spikelets clustered in dense flat-top like heads, the heads open to crowded, scales
spirally arranged. Flowers perfect and bisexual, sepals and petals reduced to usually six bristles. Fruit is an
achene (lens shaped) with a tubercle with downward barbed bristles at base. Only one achene per
spikelet. May to September. Wet areas
Scirpus acutus - hardstem bulrush
single round stem with sheath at base, sometimes leafy and sometimes naked from 70cm-200cm in height,
dark olive green and firm in texture; inflorescence sub-terminal and spikelets several, with involucre
(bracts) from the base of spikelet; Similar to S. validus, stem thinner at the base, a wide range of water
depth habitat from open swales to shallow and deep marshes 85cm deep.
Scirpus cyperinus - wool grass
spikelets terminal, like a fountain spray of wool puff ball due to long bristles; involucels (bracts at
the flower base) dull brown with blackish bases; plant extending .5-1m in height; wet meadows, shores,
very shallow marshes, riverbanks.
Scirpus fluviatilis - river bulrush
stems sharply triangled; flowers terminal; 50-80cm tall; muddy shores, shallow water.
Scirpus pungens - three-square bulrush
stems with sheaths at base, up to a meter tall, erect, sharply 3-angled; involucre of a single leaf as if a
continuation of the stem (may be short); 1-6 stalkless spikelets; scales of spikelet red-brown; nutlet with
abrupt short point; shallow and deep marshes, shores.
Scirpus validus - softstem bulrush
single round stem with sheath at base, sometimes leafy and sometimes naked from 70cm-200cm in height,
inflorescence sub-terminal and spikelets several, with involucre (bracts) from the base of spikelet; a wide
range of water depth habitat from open swales to shallow and deep marshes. Similar to S. acutus, stem
thicker at the base (0.8-2.5cm), light green, soft and spongy.
Drosera rotundifolia - round-leaved sundew
small perennial; leaves small, round, in a rosette, each on a slender stalk covered with reddish
glandular hairs (or tentacles) that exude a sticky juice, like tiny dewdrops that trap insects; flowers
pink or white in a one-sided cluster, open one at a time; acid or peaty bogs.
Onoclea sensibilis – sensitive fern
Erect medium perennial fern. Leaves upright with petioles roughly same length as blades. Sterile leaves
deciduous and surrounding fertile leaves, once pinnately divided at base, opposite, deeply cleft upward
wavy margined or coarsely toothed, with a winged central axis. Fertile leaves contain spore clusters
produced in summer and overwinter, leaves divided in beadlike pinnules with inrolled margins covering
the sori. Sori round and covered by indusia. Swampy woods, wet shores, wet meadow margins
Equisetum sp. - horestail, scouring rush
stems erect, hollow and jointed; no true leaves, rough texture due to silica in the tissue; sometimes a
terminal spore-bearing cone present; shallow water, moist ground
Andromeda glaucophylla – bog-rosemary
twigs with lines of hairs running down stems, or sometimes smooth; leaf margins distinctly rolled under,
evergreen, leathery, often blue-green, tip pointed with a small spine; flowers in drooping clusters at the end
of branches, urn shaped.
Chamaedaphne calyculata – leatherleaf
evergreen shrub up to 4’ tall; leaves 1-2” long, leathery, narrow to elliptic, toothless, evergreen, brown
scales appear as dots, flowers small, axillary, white bell-like, in clusters in angles of upper leaves; bogs
Kalmia polifolia – bog-laurel
Short evergreen shrub less than 1 meters tall. Old stems dark, twigs swollen in nodes and pale brown.
Leaves opposite, leathery and evergreen, linear to barely oval in shape, tip of leaf blunt or narrowed to
point, stalkless with edges rolled under, dark above and white below with white underside hairs. Midrib on
underside with large purple stalked glands. flowers pink, saucer shaped and showy, in terminal clusters, 5
parted. Fruit, rounded capsule with persistent style. May-June. Conifer swamps and peatlands
Vaccinium macrocarpon - large cranberry
trailing evergreen shrub with slender stems; leaves wedge-shaped to round, blunt-tipped, 1/4”-5/8”;
flowers pink, solitary in axils; fruits red; bogs.
Eriocaulon sp. – pipewort
Perennial aquatic her with spongy distinctly segmented unbranched roots. Leaves grasslike in a rosette,
thin and translucent with parallel veins and 3-9 conspicuous cross-veins. Stems single, leafless slightly
twisted and may reach length of 3 meters. Flowers minute with hairy tepals, either male or female on same
or separate plant in a round head at the terminal end of the stem. Fruit is a small 2-3 seeded capsule. July-
September. Sandy or peatland shorelines, shallow water, acidic lakes
Apios americana - groundnut, Indian-potato
low perennial vine; strings of edible tubers produced underground; leaves w/ 5-7 lanceolate to ovate
leaflets; flowers deep red to purple-brown; moist woods, shores riverbanks, stream-sides, marshes, wet
prairie, wet meadows
Quercus bicolor – swamp oak
Medium size tree reaching height to 20 meters. Leaves alternate, simple, obovate, margin with large
irregular blunt teeth, to 15 cm long and 10 cm wide, leaf lobes highly rounded. Gray-brown bark with gray
to yellow twigs. Buds at branch tips. Flowers, male and female separate but present on same tree, male
flowers in catkins female flowers in groups of 2-4 in leaf axils. Fruit, a pair of ovate acorns on stalks. May.
floodplain forests, swamps, and low woods
Gentiana procera – fringed gentian
Smooth perennial herb. Leaves entire, simple, opposite, without petioles. Flowers showy, perfect regular
on short stalks at terminal end of stem, single or clusters. Petals 4-5, blue, purple, white or green joined for
at least part of stem. Fruit a two-cahmbered many seeded capsule with seeds flattened and winged.
Summer. Open wetlands, bogs, calcareous fens.
Myriophyllum sp.- water milfoil
stems simple or branched, submerged or sometimes floating or ascending; leaves variously arranged,
usually whorled and pinnately compound (feather like in appearance); inflorescence terminal or
axillary; mostly submerged or seasonally terrestrial.
Myriophyllum spicatum- eurasian milfoil (nuisance introduced species)
stems simple or branched, submerged or sometimes floating or ascending; leaves variously arranged,
usually whorled and pinnately compound (feather like in appearance); inflorescence terminal or
axillary; mostly submerged or seasonally terrestrial.; leaf segments per side mostly more than 12; turions absent.
Myriophyllum tenellum – dwarf water milfoil
Perennial aquatic herb found in dense clusters of very narrow stems. Leaves simple reduced to small
scales, stems often forked, erect with creeping rhizomes. Flowers imperfect pale 4 parted small; flowers
from stem tips that rise above water surface, petals small and absent. Fruit nutlike, 4 lobed, each lobe with one seed.
Acidic lakes, forms colonies especially in deep water.
Elodea sp. - waterweed
plants submersed; branching stems forming large masses at the bottom; leaves whorled (rarely opposite),
mostly 3, small ribbon-like; flowers from a spathe, pistillate with a long thread-like tube reaching surface;
shores, ponds, shallow marshes
Vallisneria americana - wild celery, tape grass
plants submersed; leaves long and strap-like with 3 distinctive layers and horizontal veins (crack-like
in appearance); plants male or female; female produce flowers which float at surface and attached to long
peduncles, male plants produce flowers which are released under water and rise to surface to float freely;
ponds, shallow marshes
Iris sp. - iris
thick rhizomes; leaves sword-like, arranged together in flat, fan-like pattern, up to three feet tall;
flowers large, in threes (3 petals, 3 sepals, 3 stamens, 3 styles), sepals are larger than petals curving down
and broadly veined, native species is blue-violet; swamps shallow marshes, swales, wet meadows
Isoetes sp. – quillwort
Perennial emergent or aquatic herb. Leaves simple, linear, and entire. Outermost and innermost leaves
typically sterile pointed with spoon-like base. Outermost leaves have sporangia bearing megaspores,
inner leaves have microspores. Stem is modified into a corm (underground onion like structure).
Quillworts produce spores instead of flowers or fruits. Shallow to moderate depths in lakes and slowlyflowing
rivers on sandy substrates, mud, and wet ground.
Juncus sp. - rush
looks similar to grass or sedge, however flowers resemble a lily (3 sepals, 3 petals,3 or 6 stamens and a
capsule), have a true perianth (6 tepals); NO ligule at junction of blade and sheath like the grass leaf; wet
meadow and coastal wetlands; some terrestrial
Lycopus americanus - cut-leaved water horehound
leaves opposite, deeply serrated; square stems; without odor; flowers small in clusters in axils, corolla is
a tube usually with two flaring lips; shores and moist ground.
Mentha sp. - mint
Aromatic, mostly square stems and opposite leaves. Flowers small, usually in spikes or in clustes in
axils of leaves. The corolla is a tube usually with 2 flaring lips (bilabitate); the upper lip notched or 2
lobed and the lower 3 lobed.
Prunella vulgaris - selfheal
Perennial herb. Stems to 40 cm tall and 4 angled (square stem). Leaves opposite, petiolate to oval,
margins with sharp teeth, stalkless. Flowers in dense terminal 4-angled spikes 2-5 cm long, with obvious
bracts. Fruit a smooth nutlet. June-October. Most types of wetland areas.
Scutellaria sp. - selfheal
Perennial herb. Leaves opposite, lance-shaped to ovate, hairless with toothed margins. Stems erect or
spreading, 4-angled. Flowers have generally a raceme inflouresence from the leaf axils, single or short
stalks in axils of upper and middle leaves. Flowers are blue to blue with whit markings with an upper lip
hood-like. Fruit a paired nutlet. June-September. Most wetland areas.
Lindera bezoin - spice bush
small shrub to 12’ high; leaves, branches, fruit and buds with a strong spicy odor; leaves elliptic, not
toothed, 2”-6”; flower buds stalked and flank stalkless leaf buds; flowers yellow in early spring; fruit a
red berry; floodplain, moist woods.
Lemna minor - duckweed
floating; with roots; without leaves; one root to each joint; green underneath; 2-5mm long; joints
rounded, not stalked; float until cold weather; shallow marshes, ponds, stagnant waters
Lemna trisulca - star duckweed
floating; with roots; without leaves; one root to each joint; green underneath; joints of plants long and
narrow (triangular), stalked; commonly sinking; shallow marshes, ponds, stagnant waters
Spirodela polyrhiza - big duckweed
floating; with roots; without leaves; plants red on the lower surface; each joint with several roots; 3-
10mm long; shallow marshes, ponds, stagnant waters
Wolffia sp.
floating; without roots; plants globular, like size of corn meal grains, 0.5-1.5mm long (smallest flowering
plant known to science); floating at or near the surface of water; smallest of flowering plants; shallow
marshes, ponds, stagnant waters
Utricularia sp. - bladderwort
small herbs; leaves filament-like submerged in mud or floating horizontally in shallow water usually with
tiny bladders (to catch small animal life); flowering stalk several inches tall, flower zygomorphic with two
lips and a spur, mostly yellow; fruit a pod; shallow marshes, muddy shore
Decodon verticillatus - swamp loosestrife, water willow
woody shrub up to 4’ tall; stems pale orange in color, highly arching, stems which touch the water
form an extensive spongy cork-like tissue and they often root; leaves are opposite or whorled, in pairs
or threes, lanceolate, entire margins, 2”-5”; flowers produced in axillary clusters, magenta; wet ground,
pond edges.
Lythrum salicaria - purple loosestrife
stems slender, angled, not woody (can be woody as they age); leaves opposite, not petioled, sort of heartshaped
at base; flowers numerous in long purple spikes; many seeded; wet meadow, shores, shallow
Marsilea sp. – water clover
Perennial aquatic herb rooted in mud. Leaves with long petioles and floating blades. Blades divided in 4-
pinnae resembling a 4-leaf clover. Fern ally. Spores in dark sporocarps born on stalks at base of petioles.
Shallow waters.
Najas sp. – naiad, water-nymph
Aquatic annual herb, fibrous roots, emerge from slender stalk. Leaves opposite, paired, simple, or in
crowded whorls stalkless, widened leaf at base of stem, tapering to tip. Size and spacing of leaves is highly
variable. Stems fine and wavy. Flowers develop in leaf axils, single, stalkless, male and female flowers
separate and may be on different plants. Male flowers have a paper-thin envelope surrounding. Fruit is a 1-
seeded achene, with a glossy surface and 30-50 rows of small pits. July-September. Shallow to deep
waters, marshes and lakes
Nelumbo lutea – american lotus-lily
large peltate leaves, often held above the water surface, hairy below; large pale yellow flowers; unusual
cone like mature receptacle holding large (10cm wide) seeds (often sold for dried flower arrangements).
Nuphar sp. - yellow water lily
leaf blades oblong to oval or heart-shaped, sometimes emerging from the water; large floating leaves,
underground stem thick and fleshy; floating flower, with rounded yellow petal-like sepals.
Nymphaea odorata - fragrant water lily
platter-like large floating leaves, nearly orbicular in shape with a v-shaped cleft; underground stem thick
and fleshy; floating flower is white, fragrant with numerous petals and stamens; marshes and ponds, 10-
55cm deep.
Fraxinus pennsylvanica - green ash
large tree up to 60-70’ high; bark tight and closely furrowed; leaves opposite, 5-9 leaflets, short stalked,
toothed or not, 10”-12”; twigs hairless, mostly shiny; flowers in April; fruits wedge-shaped; lowlands,
floodplains, moist woods
Ludwigia palustris – water-purslane
Perrenial herb. Leaves opposite, ovate to lance-shaped, green to red in color, tapered at base to winged
petiole. Stems poor, creeping or partially floating, branched to simple, smooth or with sparse scattered
hairs. Flowers stalkless and single from leaf axils, petals absent and sepals triangular. Fruit a capsule. July-
September. Shallow water or exposed mud on pond margins.
Osmunda cinnamomea - cinnamon fern
leaves 3’ high, large, coarse, twice cut, lanceolate from central root stock; leaflets are lance-shaped,
pointed, cut deeply, 20 or more pairs, nearly opposite; bogs, swamps, stream-banks, edges of ponds.
Osmunda regalis - royal fern
fern; fronds bipinnate, large and semi-coarse, oblong, ovate; leaflets not opposite, 6 or more pairs; stipe
(frond axis) smooth or glabrous, some fronds sterile, some with fertile pinnae at their tips; bogs, lake
fronts, stream-banks, meadows
Larix laricina - tamarack
medium-large deciduous conifer tree, 40-80’ tall; needles slender, numerous to 1” long on short spurs,
forming circular or ring like structures; needles single on longer shoots; cones 1/2” long; bark is dark,
flakes off on small scales; bogs.
Platanus occidentalis - sycamore
large tree 50-130’ high; bark mottled like camouflage green-white-brown-grey, flakes off in a jigsawlike
puzzle; leaves alternate, 3-5 lobed, very large 6”-10”, edged w/ sharp teeth; leafstalk bases hollow,
encircle buds; flowers small in globose heads in April; fruits small, hairy, in tight brown long-stalked
hanging balls; floodplains, wet soil
Calamagrostis canadensis - bluejoint
leaves very narrow1-5mm thick; 1 floret per spikelet; bristle like hairs from floret; stem slight up to
1.5m tall; extensive creeping rootstocks; plants forming hummocks or tufts; inflorescence open loose
arrangement (like a true foxes tail), stamens and pistils borne in same spikelet without spines; shores,
swales, wet meadows.
Echinochloa sp. - wild millet
coarse grass 1-4’ tall, mostly erect, smooth, branching at base; leaves both sheaths and blades smooth
spikeletes with small stiff bristles; marshes, wet meadow, waste grounds, floodplain
Elymus sp. - wildrye
Perennial grass. Leaves flat with very short ligules. Spikelets paired at each spike node, distinctive.
Head a densely flowered spike. Glumes narrow and awn shaped. Wet to moist areas.
Leersia oryzoides - rice cut grass
stems 10cm-1m high; stems and leaves rough and cutting (feeling sticky); joints of stems with very small
stiff bristles or pubescence; inflorescence forming little spikelets, 1.5-2mm wide, fringed margins,
overlapping in a single row (like a stack of pancakes); wet meadow, shores, shallow marsh.
Phalaris arundinaceae - reed canary grass
leaves 5-15mm wide; slender tall grass up to 1.5m; found in large clumps; flowers in spikelets in club-like
masses (compound spike), stamens and pistils borne in same spikelet without spines, not all on one side;
shores, swales, wet meadows. Lemma with 2 tufts of silky hairs at base; native and alien species, which
can be highly invasive.
Phragmites communis - reed grass
stems erect up to 5 meters; leaves large, pennant-like, up to 5cm wide; rhizomonous and growing in
clumps or colonies; inflorescence feathery; wet meadow, shores, ditches, shallow marshes
Spartina pectinata - cord grass
stout grass, 1-2m tall, from stout scaly rootstocks; leaves tapering whip-like tips, very sharp and cutting on
margin; spikelets in several strong one-sided close spikes (according like in appearance); wet meadow,
shores, salt marshes, river edges, ditches.
Zizania aquatica - wildrice
Large annual emergent grass up to 3 meters tall, with fleshy yellow roots. Stems single or few together.
Leaves flat 1-3 mm wide smooth or finely hairy, alternate, sheaths short and hairy, ligule membranous or
entire. Inflorescence panicle, male and female flowers separate, female flowers upright, male flowers
spreading. Spikelets one flowered round with glumes. Male spikelets straw-colored to purple tapered to tip
with an awn, female spikelets purple or light green tapered to slender awn. Grain dark brown to black.
July-September. Shallow waters.
Polygonum sp. - smartweed
leaves long, narrow, lance-shaped; flower pink or whitish spike-like clusters, without petals, made up of
sepals; “knotted” or zigzag stems, swollen sheaths or joints with papery sheath (ochrea) at each joint;
very shallow marshes, wet places, swales, wet meadows, swamps.
Rumex sp. - dock
Perrenial herbs. Leaves large and clustered at base of plant, or can be leafy stemmed, oblong, flat to wavy
margins. Flowers in crowded whorls in panicles at end of stem, brown, becoming winged achenes. Fruit 3-
angled achene tipped with a slender beak. June-September. Wet meadows and wet non shaded areas
Eichornia crassipes - water hyacinth (tropical)
stems and leaves floating, emerged or creeping; inflorescence a spike or panicle; found in many aquatic
habitats. *a nuisance plant in Florida and other tropics.
Pontedaria cordata - pickerelweed
leaves clustered, large, arrow or heart-shaped with numerous parellel veins, extending erect above the
water surface; flowering stems consist of a single leaf and a dense spike of blue/purple bilabiate flowers;
marsh or pond; shallow water, 15-50cm deep
Zosterella dubia – water star-grass
Aquatic perennial herb. Stems slender, elongate and freely branched. Leaves alternate, sessile, linear,
obtuse to rounded or apiculate at the tip, 2-10(15) cm long, 2-5(7) mm wide. Flowers single and from leaf
axils. Streams, lakes, ponds.
Potamogeton sp. - pondweed
leaves generally with pronounced stipules , often in two kinds (floating and firm or submersed and
thin/membranous); flowers borne in spikes ascending above the water surface for wind pollination,
flowers in numerous pencil-like spikes, conspicuous in early to mid summer, retreating beneath the surface
when the fruit matures; identification is difficult; shallow marshes, ponds.
Potamogeton amplifolius – large-leaf pondweed
Aquatic perennial herb. Stems round and unbranched. Underwater leaves ovate to lance shaped 2-7 cm
wide. Floating leaves many-veined, with rounded or abruptly sharp tip 5-12 cm long. Flowers in dense
cylindrical spikes. Shallow to deep water of lakes and rivers
Potamogeton crispus - curly pondweed
Aquatic perennial herb. Stems compressed with few branches. Leaves al submersed, oblong rounded at tip
wavy with fine toothed margins and 3-5 veins. Invasive. Shallow to deep water of lakes, highly
pollution tolerant
Potamogeton natans - floating-leaf pondweed
plants submersed; leaves heart-shaped at base, submersed leaves 0.8-2mm. wide, floating leaves 4-9cm.
long and 2.5-6cm. wide; shallow marsh
Potamogeton pectinatus - sago pondweed
Aquatic perennial herb. Stems many branching and round. Leaves all underwater, 3-12 cm long, very
narrow to threadlike with stipules at base of blade, forming sheath. Shallow to deep water of lakes and
rivers, tolerant of brackish water.
Potamogeton richardsonii - clasping-leaf pondweed
plants submersed; leaves tapered or rounded at base, or absent, with 3-7 prominent nerves and wavy
margins; shallow marsh
Lysimachia nummularia – moneywort, creeping jennie
Perennial herb. Leaves opposite, dotted with black glands, round to oval usually in mats. Creeping stems
low to ground. Flowers single in leaf axils with triangular petals. Usually shady, wet areas. June-August.
Riccia fluitans – floating liverwort
Flat, ribbon shaped. Leaves absent. Sporophytes in air chambers in branching ribbon sections. Short
rhizoids. Low pH waters.
Physocarpus opulifolius - ninebark
shrub up to 10’ high; leaves 3-lobed, round-toothed and hairless, 1-5”; twigs hairless; bark peeling away
in large irregular flakes; flowers arranged in dense umbels; fruits small dry bladders in Sept.; rivers,
streams, shores, swamps, swales.
Potentilla fruticosa - shrubby cinquefoil
small shrub up to 3’; leaves pinnately compound with 5-7 crowded leaflets <1” long; leaves whitish in
appearance; flowers yellow and 5-merous; fen.
Potentilla palustris - marsh cinquefoil
leaves are toothed, 5-7 fingered; flowers erect, purple with petals pointed; flooded meadows, bogs.
Rosa palustris - marsh rose
Highly branching prickly shrub. Leaves alternate and palmately divided into usually seven leaflets.
Leaflets fine toothed margins. Twigs red-brown with paired downward curved prickles. Flowers single at
terminal end of branches. Fruit round and reddish orange. July-August. High prevelance in disturbed
wetlands, moist to wet areas, open bogs.
Rubus hispidus – swamp dewberry
Small creeping shrub. Leaves alternate divided into three leaflets (rarely five) that are ovate to obovate
and margins with rounded teeth. Stems have weak, dense backward bent bristles. Flowers in clusters with
gland tipped hairs. Fruit red and separating from receptacle when ripe. Thickets, wet areas, especially
found in disturbed areas.
Spirea sp.
Shrubs with slender wand-like twigs, narrow based and mostly toothed leaves, papery bark that often
flakes off, and raised leaf scars with only 1 bundle scar. Clusters of tiny dry 5 parted fruits often are
present at twig tips following white or pink flowers.
Cephalanthus occidentalis - buttonbush
shrub; leaves opposite, 2-3” long, in twos or whorls of three, waxy and thick, elliptic, sharp pointed;
flowers in spherical ball-like heads at the end of a long stalk in the axils of the upper leaves, whitish in
color; shallow marshes and ponds, scrub/shrub, floodplains along streams.
Galium sp. - bedstraw, cleavers
weak reclining square stems, sometimes scratchy or smooth; leaves in whorls of 4, 6 or 8; flowers in tiny
white clusters; shores, wet meadows, moist woods.
Ptelea trifolia - hop-tree, wafer ash
upright shrub or small tree, 10’-20’ high; twigs brownish, round; trunk bark smooth; leaves 3-parted,
smooth, alternate, aromatic, leaflets no teeth, leaves 4”-10”; buds hidden by petiole; fruit wafer-like,
papery, circular, Sept.-spring; moist thickets, stream-banks, alluvial woods
Populus deltoides - cottonwood
leaves triangular in shape with toothed margins, 3-6” long; flattened (terete) petioles; buds are gummy;
twigs hairless; 40’-80’ in height; wet grounds, swamps, forested bottomlands
Salix sp. - willow
variable species and difficult to identify to species: IN GENERAL: leaves alternate, usually lanceolate,
long and narrow; flowers arranged in catkins; characteristic of stream-banks and moist conditions,
floodplains, pond edges, shores.
Sarracenia purpurea - pitcher plant
perennial 8-24” high; “pitcher-like”; leaves heavily veined, red or green, usually half filled with water,
the flaring lips are lined with downward bristles to trap insects; flower dull red, nodding, on separate
stalk, with a large flattened pistil; bogs.
Saururus cernuus - lizard’s tail
perennial 2-5’ tall; leaves heart-shaped, base of petiole surrounds the stem, leaving a scar which
encircles the stem; flowers white, in long slender spikes, drooping or “nodding” near the tip; swamps,
floodplains, wet woods, muddy shores, margins of rivers, streams
Mimulus ringens - square-stemmed monkey flower
leaves sessile, toothed; flowers zygomorphic, violet, in pairs on long stalks in leaf axils; distinctive 5
joined sepals; stems square- ridged; swamps, wet places, stream-sides.
Solanum dulcamara - nightshade
perennial vine; leaves heart-shaped and lobed; flowers purple or blue; berries red; moist soil, wet
meadow, swales, stream banks, bogs.
Sparganium sp. - bur-reed
leaves long, ribbon-like, clustered basally, fairly thick if erect (sometimes limp), extending above the
surface up to 1.5m tall; lower pistillate flowers in bur-like, spherical heads, upper staminate flowers form
separate smaller balls, whitish-greenish-brown; fruit is a nutlet partly surrounded by scale-like sepals;
mature fruit is needed for identification to species; shallow marshes, swales, ponds.
Sphagnum sp. - Sphagnum moss
moss produces radially arranged branches, clustered near the tip of the growing stem, older stem regions
are limp and prostrate; stems and branches covered by small, overlapping leaves which consist of 2 types
of cells: living photosynthetic cells, and larger hyaline cells which are dead at maturity, these hyaline cells
serve as water storage “vaults” readily adsorbing water; create acidic conditions producing organic acids
Typha angustifolia - narrow-leaved cattail
leaves long thin and ribbon-like; stem is slender, underground stems spread rapidly; flowers small and
unisexual, arranged into close cylindrical spikes which consist of an upper region of staminate (male)
flowers and a lower region of pistillate (female) flowers in a dark brown spike (the male flower falls off
after pollination), staminate and pistillate portions are usually divided by at least 5mm; wet ground
shallow and deep waters; sign of disturbance; food for muskrats and cover for many types of wildlife.
Typha latifolia - broad-leaved cattail
leaves flat, thick and wide; stems stout, underground stems spread rapidly; flowers small and unisexual,
arranged into close cylindrical spikes which consist of an upper region of staminate (male) flowers and a
lower region of pistillate (female) flowers in a dark brown spike (the male flower falls off after
pollination), staminate and pistillate portions are usually contiguous; wet ground shallow and deep
waters; sign of disturbance; food for muskrats and cover for many types of wildlife.
Ulmus americana - American elm
large tree 80-100’ tall; outer bark consists of alternating pale white and dark brown layers like a
sandwich; twigs hairless; leaves alternate, sand papery, smooth or variable, oblique at base, 2-6” long;
buds over a 1/4”, light brown w/ dark edge scales; fruit a samara; swamp forests, floodplains, wet bogs,
and upland as well.
Ulmus rubra - slippery elm
medium-sized tree 40-60’ tall; inner bark mucilaginous when chewed; twigs rough-hairy; buds redhairy;
leaves alternate, very rough, sandpapery above, hairy beneath; fruit a samara; floodplains, streambanks,
rich hardwoods.
Boehmeria cylindrica - false nettle
16-40” tall; stem hollow, 4-angled; leaves opposite, NO stinging hairs, well stalked, coarsely toothed,
ovate; flowering stalks upright with cylindrical clusters, often with leaves at the terminal end, in the
leaf axils, green; floodplains, swamps.
Laportea canadensis - wood nettle
stem hollow, 4-angled; leaves alternate, toothed, with stinging hairs; flowering stalks upright,
flattened and mostly terminal, fruit with a strongly compressed achene; floodplains, stream banks,
Pilea pumila - clearweed
l 4-20” high; watery-appearing with translucent stems; nettle-like in appearance, NO stinging hairs;
leaves opposite, short, with few teeth; flower cluster short, curved, drooping, in leaf axils in branched
clusters, green; floodplains, swamp forests, stream banks, low rich woods.
Urtica dioica - stinging nettle
plants up to 4’ tall; stinging hairs; stem hollow, 4-angled; leaves opposite; leaves opposite, well stalked,
coarsely toothed, heart-shaped clusters; flowers tiny green, in clusters drooping, in leaf axils; swamps,
damp woods and thickets, shores, river banks.
Phyla lanceolata - fogfruit
leaves opposite, toothed; flowers in round heads or short cylindric spikes on leafless stalks from leaf
Verbena hastata - blue vervain
leaves opposite, toothed; flowers in branching pencil-like spikes from leaf axis, small five-petaled
flowers, blue-purple; stem grooved, four-sided; wet meadow
Vitis riperia - river-bank grape
vine; leaves alternate, roughly 3-lobed to about 12” long, leaf margins with teeth various and lobed
sinuses, shiny green on both surfaces; fruit glaucous; river banks, lowland to upland, shores, dunes.
Xyris difformis - yellow eyed grass
leaves are stiff and grass-like, basal, arranged in a fan-like fashion; flowers develop in axils of a series of
terminal overlapping bracts, resembles Eleocharis when older, yellow, 3-merous; bog.