The Bog Border   1 comment

The Bog Border

 The upland bog border is a narrow, wet  zone between the woodland forest and the bog itself. Plant families are listed in alphabetical order. Keep in mind that species described here are not necessarily restricted to this zone. Many of these species grow on the bog proper as well as in other habitats.

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Aquifoliaceae (Holly Family)

Ilex verticillata (Winterberry)

 

  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ilex_verticillata

 Http://plants.usda.gov/java/profile?symbol=ILVE

 

   

  

  

 

 

  

Winter-berry is an upright shrub that reaches heights of 4 meters or more. It is much shorter on the bog proper. The deciduous, alternate leaves are about 5 cm long and end in a small tip. The leaf margin is toothed (small teeth) and the leaf is attached to the stem by a short petiole. Leaves are green above and lighter green and hairy below. There are separate male and female plants. Tiny white flowers develop on female plants in clusters. Green berries form in these clusters, turning red in the fall. The bright red berries can remain attached throughout the winter. Winter-berry also grows in relatively wet woodland areas and on the bog itself. The brightly colored berries are consumed by birds and mammals and the indigestible seeds are distributed to new locations in fecal matter. Preparations made from Winter-berry bark have been used by native Americans as an astringent, a fever reducer, as a treatment for diarrhea and for other conditions.

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Ilex (Nemopanthus mucronata)(Holly, Mountain)

 

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mountain_holly

  Http://plants.usda.gov/java/profile?symbol=ILMU

 

  

  

  

 

Mountain Holly is a small deciduous shrub reaching a height of about 4 meters. It is much shorter on the bog surface. The small alternately arranged leaves lack teeth and attach to the stem via a long petiole. Each leaf has a small bristle at its tip. The pedicels and terminal branches are a reddish-purple. Male and female flowers are formed on separate plants. Female flowers are green-yellow and the fruit is red. Mountain Holly is often found growing on the bog itself. The red berries are eaten by a variety of birds, white-footed mice and raccoons. A preparation made from mountain holly roots has been used as a diuretic.

 

Adaptations:

1. Early Sexual Reproduction. Mountain Holly forms separate male and female plants just after the leaves emerge allowing the plant to complete the reproductive process before most predators emerge.

2. Plant Distribution. The conspicuous red berries are consumed by a number of birds and mammals and the indigestible seeds are distributed to new locations in animal fecal matter.

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Asteraceae (Aster Family)

 

Bidens spp. (Beggars-Ticks)

 

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bidens

  Http://plants.usda.gov/java/profile?symbol=BIAR

 

 

This genus is characterized by an erect stem about 1 meter tall with compound leaves each with 3 toothed lance- shaped leaflets.

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Doellingeria umbellata (Aster umbellatus) (Aster, Flat-Topped, White)

 

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Doellingeria_umbellata

  Http://plants.usda.gov/java/profile?symbol=DOUM2

 

 

  

 

This species is characterized as its common name suggests, by a cluster of flat-topped white flowers (7-15 rays) with a yellow center.

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Eupatorium perfoliatum (Boneset)

 

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Boneset

  Http://plants.usda.gov/java/profile?symbol=EUPE3

 

  

  

 

  

Boneset has an erect stem that can reach a height of about 1.5 meters. The large lance-shaped leaves (about 15 cm long) are attached on opposite sides of the stem. The next higher set of leaves is attached at right angles to the set below. The plant can colonize adjacent areas by means of its horizontal stem (Rhizome). The main stem is hairy and bears a flat cluster of flowers at its tip. The simple dry fruit  is consumed by migratory birds. Leaves and plant tops contain the glucoside eupatorin. The plant has been used to treat dengue fever. The North American Indians used boneset tea to induce sweating and as an emetic and laxative.

 

Adaptations:

 1. Anti predator defense. The relatively toxic glucoside eupatorium, protects the plant from susceptible predators such as certain insects.

 2. Increased number of offspring. Underground stems (Rhizomes) give rise to new stems and roots allowing boneset to quickly colonize new areas.

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Balsaminaceae (Touch-Me-Not Family)

 

Impatiens capensis(Touch-Me Not or Common Jewel Weed)

 

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Impatiens_capensis

  Http://plants.usda.gov/java/profile?symbol=IMCA

 

 

Jewel Weed has erect stems about 1.2 to 1.5 meters tall. Oval, toothed leaves are arranged alternately along the stem. Each flower has a seed capsule that “explodes” when touched, sending seeds a distance from the parent plant. The hollow stems break easily, releasing a mucilaginous fluid that has been used to treat poison ivy and skin irritation caused by contact with stinging nettles. The fluid has anti-inflammatory and anti-fungal properties.

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Caprifoliaceae (Honeysuckle Family)

 

Viburnum cassinoides (Witherod or Wild Raisin)

 

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Viburnam

 Http://plants.usda.gov/java/profile?symbol=VINUC

 

 

 

  

 

Witherod is a deciduous shrub that grows up to 4 meters tall, although it is much shorter on the heath. Thick, deciduous, shiny, opposite green leaves lack marginal teeth (Entire). The leaf edge tends to be wavy. There are terminal, flat clusters of star-shaped white flowers. The  fruit, initially green, turns whitish and finally a purple-black color. Ripe fruit, minus the seed has a raisin like taste and can be eaten raw or made into jelly. A fragrant tea can be made by steeping leaves or fruit in hot water. Infusions made from root or bark have been used to treat fever and spasms.

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Clethraceae (White Alder Family)

 

Clethra alnifolia (Pepperbush, Sweet)

 

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Clethra_alnifolia

  Http://plants.usda.gov/java/profile?symbol=CLAL3

 

  

  

  

This species is an erect deciduous shrub that ranges in height from about 1 to 3.5 meters. The oval leaves, arranged alternately along the stem, are about 7.6 cm long and taper to a fine point; the leaf edges are entire in the lower part of the leaf and toothed distally. Sweet smelling, 5 petaled white flowers are arranged in a terminal, erect cluster. Dry fruit capsules often remain on the plant throughout the winter.

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Cupressaceae (Cypress Family)

 

Chamaecyparis thyoides (Cedar,Atlantic White)

 

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chamaecyparis_thyoides

  Http://plants.usda.gov/java/profile?symbol=CHTH2

 

  

 

This species is generally rare in Maine raised bogs; however it is abundant in the Appleton Bog. It can reach a height of about 23 meters. The small paired scale-like leaves are green to blue-green in color. Small cones about 0.6 cm in diameter may be found. Bark is often reddish-brown and its surface can be shredded. Cedar wood has been used to fashion fence poles; make tubs, pails, barrels, and lumber; etc. Deer consume seeds and saplings. Leaves contain Thujone, a toxic compound. Leaf oil has been used as a heart and uterine stimulant as well as an antiseptic.

 

Adaptations:

 1. Anti predator defense: The relatively toxic thujone protects leaves from being eaten by most herbivores.

 2. Evergreen leaves: Leaves are retained by the plant for more than one season thereby using fewer resources than deciduous plants that must replace leaves yearly. The saved resources can be used for reproduction or metabolic needs giving those with evergreen leaves an advantage.

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Thuja occidentalis (Cedar, Northern White)

 

 http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thuja_occidentalis

  Http://plants.usda.gov/java/profile?symbol=THOC2

 

 

  

 

The tree can reach heights of about 23 meters. Evergreen leaves are scale-like. Bark is reddish-brown and its outer surface is often shredded. Low branches that touch the ground and become buried, extend roots downward and stems upward, forming new individuals. Seeds are consumed by birds and squirrels and the flat leaves are eaten by snowshoe hares and white-tailed deer. 

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Cyperaceae (Sedge Family)

  Http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cyperaceae

 

Carex crinita (Fringed Sedge)

 Http://plants.usda.gov/java/profile?symbol=CACR6

 

 

   

Carex crinata stems (Culms), about 50 cm long, are  erect, solid,  and triangular in cross section. There are about 4 lance-shaped leaves, each about 15 cm long. The entire flowering structure (inflorescence) is situated at the end of the stem. The fringed sedge grows in dense clumps  to a height of about 60 cm. Leaf sheathes, located at the base of the leaf, are green to brownish in color. The reproductive spikes are located at the end of an erect stem. In one specimen with 5 spikes, the upper two are staminate (Male) and the remaining three are pistillate (Female). Several Perigynia (Cover around the Pistil) are shown. They are about 1.5 mm long and 0.33 mm wide. The rhizomes, about 2 mm in width, are white. The reproductive spikes droop downward. This species is most abundant in wet woodlands next to the bog.

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Carex echinata (Star Sedge)

 

Http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Carex_echinata

Http://plants.usda.gov/java/profile?symbol=CAEC

 

  

 

 

The erect stems (Culms), about 60 cm tall and 2.5 mm wide, are solid and triangular in cross-section. The stems tend to bend downward towards the end of the season. There are about 4 leaves per stem; they originate near the base of the stem. There generally are  four clusters (Reproductive Spikes) of Perigynia (Covering around the Pistil), each about 5 mm long and 4 mm wide. Each of the Perigynia stick out at an angle, giving the structure a star-like appearance. The Perigynia are about 3 mm long and 1.3 mm wide. This species is most abundant in wet woodlands next to the bog.

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Carex flava (Yellow Sedge)

 

Http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Carex_flava

Http://plants.usda.gov/java/profile?symbol=CAFL4

 

 

 

 

 

 

   

 The culms (Stems), about 0.75 meters high, are erect early in the season and tend to bend over as time progresses. The yellow, elliptical, reproductive spikes (2-5) develop toward the end of the stem. They are about 3 cm long and 10 mm wide. Up to 5 leaves, about 40 cm long and 10 mm wide, extend from the stem. The Perigynia are about 7 mm long and 1.5 mm wide.

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Carex folliculata (Northern Long Sedge)

 

Http://plants.usda.gov/java/profile?symbol=CAFO6

 

 

 

  

 

The  stems (Culms), about 70 cm high, are solid and triangular in cross-section. Stems tend to bend downward towards the end of the season. There are about 7 relatively wide  leaves(Each about 6 mm in width) arising from the stem. One large Reproductive Spike, about 2 cm wide, is often attached to the top of the stem. In one specimen I counted 14 Perigynia in the terminal cluster. Each Perigynium was about 10 mm long and 4 mm wide. A thin male reproductive spike can be seen extending above the Perigynia. This species is most abundant in the wet forest next to the bog proper, however it also grows in the bog.

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  Carex trisperma (Three-seeded Bog Sedge)

 

Http://plants.usda.gov/java/profile?symbol=CATRT3

 

 

The three-seeded bog sedge is the thinnest of the bog sedges and outwardly appears grass like.  Stems , about 40 cm long, arch downward. It generally grows in clumps. The narrow leaves (0.3 to 0.5 mm wide) are about 15 cm long. 1-4 reproductive spikes emerge towards the top of the stem. Each spike has about 1-5 Perigynia, each about 3.5 mm long and 1.5 mm wide. Although this species is most abundant in the wet forest next to the bog, it also grows on the bog proper.

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 Carex vulpinoidea (Fox Sedge)

 

Http://plants.usda.gov/java/profile?symbol=CAVU2

  

Fox sedge stems are triangular in cross-section and reach a height of about  about 1 meter and a width of 2 mm. They tend to grow in clumps. A long (about 10 cm) reproductive inflorescence (Spike) forms at the end of the culm (Stem). There are 8-9 spikelets that form the reproductive spike. The spikelets seem to be twisted around the stem. Perigynia that make up the spikelet are about 2.5 mm long and 1.5 mm wide. Leaves that are as long or longer than the stem, arise near the plant base.

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Cladium mariscoides (Twig Rush)

 

Http://plants.usda.gov/java/profile?symbol=CLMA

 

 
 

 

  

The Twig Rush is an upright species standing about 1 meter tall. Narrow, linear leaves arise from the base of the plant. The upper part of the rough edged leaf is in-rolled while the lower part is flat. The upper part of the stem is triangular. Brown spikelets house small flowers. The spikelets are covered by spirally arranged scales and are grouped in terminal heads. Underground stems (Rhizomes) extend from the parent plant and give rise to new individuals.

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 Eleocharis spp. (Spike Rush)

 

 

This species has an erect stem about 0.5 meters high. It is characterized by a single reproductive spike  at the end of the stem. The basal leaves are reduced in size.

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Ericaceae (Heath Family)

 

Gaylussacia baccata (Huckleberry, Black)

 

 http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gaylussacia_baccata
 
Http://plants.usda.gov/java/profile?symbol=GABA
 
 
 
 

 

  

  

 

This species is a deciduous, upright, many branched shrub, typically about 1 meter tall. The alternate, elliptical, yellowish-green leaves are entire and have orange-red  resin dots on both surfaces. Reddish flowers are bell-shaped. Berries are borne on short stalks in clusters. Initially the berries are green and as they ripen turn red and then dark blue to black. The fleshy berries contain 10 hard seeds. Birds and other consumers feed on the sweet, edible fruit and distribute the indigestible seeds in their fecal matter at new locations. Ripe berries are edible and have been used to flavor bread and make pies. A mixture of crushed leaves in aqueous solution has been used to treat dysentery. Black Huckleberry also grows on the bog.

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Vaccinium corymbosum (Blueberry, Highbush) 

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vaccinium_corymbosum

Http://plants.usda.gov/java/profile?symbol=VACO

 

  

 

  

 

This deciduous shrub can grow up to about 3.5 meters in height. Leaves are simple, elliptical and  attached alternately to the stem. The upper leaf surface is usually dark green while the lower surface is a lighter green. The plant tends to grow in clumps and the stems branch upwards. Underground stems (Rhizomes) extend outward from the main plant and give rise to new roots and stems. Bell-shaped flowers are white or pinkish and the fruit is bluish. Berries are an important food source for songbirds and  mammals such as fox, bear and humans. Leaves and twigs are consumed by rabbits and deer. North American Indians often prepared a winter food called pemmican. Strips of deer, buffalo or elk meat were dried, shredded and mixed with fat. Berries such as blueberries, blackberries or cherries were mixed with the meat and fat to add flavor. Blueberries have been proven to help treat urinary tract infections.

 

Adaptations:

1. Plant distribution: Birds and other consumers feed on the sweet, edible fruit and distribute the indigestible seeds in their fecal matter at new locations. Why is this important? Describe other methods used by plants to distribute seeds.

2. Increased number of offspring: New shoots and roots arise asexually from underground stems, thus increasing the number of plants.

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Juncaceae (Rush Family)

 

Juncus effusus (Soft Rush)

 

  Http://plants.usda.gov/java/profile?symbol=JUEF

 

 

 

The Soft Rush has erect, smooth, rounded stems about 1.5 meters high. The reproductive inflorescence is situated a short distance below the stem tip.

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Laminaceae (Mint Family)

Scutellaria lateriflora (Mad-Dog Skullcap)

 

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Scutellaria_lateriflora

 Http://plants.usda.gov/java/profile?symbol=SCLA2

 

 

 

This species has an erect stem about 0.5 meters tall. Toothed , opposite, leaves, about 3.8 cm long arise from the stem. Each pair of opposite leaves are arranged at right angles to the pairs above and below. Blue-purple flowers are attached in pairs. Leaves produce a flavenoid protein (scutellarin) that has been used by native Americans as a mild sedative. Concoctions prepared from leaves have also been used to treat insomnia, epilepsy and other afflictions.

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Myricaceae (Wax-Myrtle Family)

 

Myrica gale (Sweet Gale or Bog Myrtle)

 

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Myrica_gale

  Http://plants.usda.gov/java/profile?symbol=MYGA

 

  

  

  

 

Sweet Gale is a deciduous shrub, 1 to 1.5 meters tall, with gray-green leaves, about 3 cm long, arranged spirally around the stem. Leaves have wide toothed tips and taper to a narrow base. This species has separate sexes and flowers are arranged on catkins. Crushed leaves give off a fragrant smell. This species often grows on the bog proper. Dried leaves have been spread on bed linen to ward off biting insects. Dried leaves also can be used as a substitute for bay leaves in various recipes. Leaf extracts apparently have antibacterial activity. Oil derived from the plant, although considered toxic is used in some skin care products. Extracts from tree bark were once used to tan steer hides.

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Rosaceae (Rose Family)   

 

Rosa nitida(Rose, Bristly)

 

  Http://plants.usda.gov/java/profile?symbol=RONI

 

 

 

  

 

The bristly rose is a small shrub about 0.3 to 1.0 meters high. It is characterized by dense reddish prickles on the stems and leaves. The green, glossy compound leaf has 7-9 leaflets and the flower is pink. The bristly rose may also be abundant on the bog proper.

 

Adaptations:

1. Anti predator Defense: The sharp, curved, spines (Bristles) physically deter predators.

2. Fast Upward Growth: Their fast upward growth places them in a better location to intercept light needed in the photosynthetic process.

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Sparganiaceae (Bur-Reed Family)

 

Sparganium americanum (Bur-Reed, American)

 

Http://plants.usda.gov/java/profile?symbol=SPAM

 

This species is usually found in standing water. Long, lance-shaped leaves, shown below, arise from the stem. Flowers arise from a rounded head that turns into a spiked fruit.

 

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Posted February 5, 2011 by zottoli

One response to “The Bog Border

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  1. Very nice pics. Finally found the name of the reed I was looking for. (Twig Rush). Thanks.

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