Tag Archive | Freshwater Wetlands

The Red Tree

The Red Tree

One of the most beautiful things to see in fall wetlands is the orange-red colors of autumn leaves from the red maple tree. This tree’s buds and flowers are red, its two-winged sumara are red tinged and it has red petioles. Red maple is also called swamp maple because it grows in wet woodlands and […]

The Plant with Many Names

The Plant with Many Names

It is called silverweed because when you dip its leaves into water the leaves show a silvery glow. It is called ladies ear drops because its flowers dangle like earrings from a girl’s ears. It is called jewelweed because the rain and early morning dew resemble jewels on its stems. It is called touch-me-not because […]

The Tasty Fern

The Tasty Fern

One summer day, when I was walking along a wetland trail in New York, I was about to cross a small spring fed brook, when I happened across a muskrat. I stopped dead in my tracks to observe it without frightening the muskrat away. It walked up to a four-foot tall royal fern and proceeded […]

The Delicate Marsh Fern

The Delicate Marsh Fern

An intermediate sized fern of the eastern U.S., the marsh fern prefers the wet soils of freshwater wetlands. Fern leaves are called fronds. The shape of the frond and how it is divided helps to identify it. Marsh fern has a sterile frond (a leaf without spores) with many leaflets that are also divided. Marsh […]

The Sensitive Fern

Curious? You are not going to hurt the feelings of this fern. It is a fern sensitive to cold weather and the fall frosts. Like many ferns, it grows in freshwater wetlands and moist woodlands in the eastern half of the U.S.

The Hairy Fern

The Hairy Fern

One of the earliest ferns to poke through the ground in freshwater wetlands in the eastern U.S. and Canada is the Cinnamon Fern. As is true of many ferns when this plant first appears, it looks like the top of a fiddle thus it is called a fiddle head. This “fiddle” will unfurl into a […]

The “Warm-blooded” Plant

The “Warm-blooded” Plant

  It is March and the wetlands in the northeast U.S. are still frozen. The landscape is gray with leafless trees and shrubs. The ground is covered with decaying leaves, pockets of ice and in some places snow. Yet for as bleak as this environment looks, the first sign of spring appears. Flower heads of […]