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Plant Species

This page will provide photos and short descriptions of the plant species identified at Old Man’s Timber.

The Bloodroot gets its name from the fact that the salmon colored rootstock oozes a bright red juice when cut or broken.  This juice rapidly coagulates to protect the wounded area, just like blood, hence the name Bloodroot.  I have yet to try a cut and clot experiment.  The root is poisonous, and as part of the poppy family, it contains alkaloids closely related to morphine, was used to treat warts, ringworm, eczema and cancerous growths by Indians and Pioneers.   Who would have thought!

Bloodroot found in the Floodplain


A nice color contrast to the timber is Buttercup and a tasty snack for wild turkeys.



The Devil’s Urn is described in Petersen’s: A Field Guide to Mushrooms: “The black cups emerging through the fallen leaves from March to May are true harbingers of spring.” Ah, nothing says spring like “black cups emerging from the ground.”  It is also an indicator of furtile soil.

Devil’s Urn Growing on a Small Fallen Branch


Dutchman’s Breeches are a delightful spring wildflower of the woodlands – both the flowers and foliage are beautiful.  They are one of the earlier woodland species to flower in the spring.  These were found on a north facing slope coming from the upland area down onto the floodplain. Pretty cool, I am sure you can figure out where the name came from!

Dutchman’s Breeches


A common woodland wildflower, False Rue Anemone, is prevalent throughout the timber.  Its very nice to see in the spring!

Commonly Found – False Rue Anemone


Scarlet Cup has been found at Old Man’s Timber in late February and early March.  It is really neat to find, given its bright color is in stark contrast to the brown, black and snowy backdrop of the late winter woodland.  Each time I find a Scarlet Cup I am amazed at the wonder of woodland plant life!

Scarlet Cup Fungus


Dogtooth Violet, also know as White Trout Lily, are found plentifully throughout Old Man’s Timber.  They are one of my favorites as they indicate a high quality ecosystem and are really amazing to see in full bloom.  Interestingly, they do not flower until they are 6 to 7 years old and will die if the flower and two leaves are picked from the plant.

Dogtooth Violet was Plentiful in 2012


Spring Beauty is yet another unique species of the woodland, they open during sunny days and may even face the sun, and tend to close during cloudy days.  They are considered a very resilient plant, so absence of Spring Beauty is an indicated of a severely disturbed area.

Spring Beauty Open on a Sunny Day


Spring Cress (pre-bloom) as shown below is found in wet bottomlands, it has become less and less common as there are few undisturbed bottomland areas.  Pioneers used it to give a biting taste to salads and cooked greens.

Spring Cress found in the South Floodplain


Prairie (also known as Red or Wake Robin) Trillium are plentiful throughout the upland Oak/Hickory stands.



During the spring of 2012, we found a few Virginia Bluebells in the floodplain south of Old Man’s Creek, and later were delighted to find many more in the floodplain north of the creek.  Bluebells are great to see in the timber, as they are bright, vibrant and appear to be doing well in this environment.

Virginia Bluebells



Last modified on January 14th, 2013
Posted on May 22nd, 2012