The last day of the trip was along the eastern shore, on the Delmarva peninsula. If you live along the east coast and have occasion to drive north or south --take Route 13 for a lovely, peaceful drive.
We stayed in a Hampton Inn Wednesday night, nice hotel in its own right, but compared to the dorm........well, let's just say I felt like I was in the lap of luxury!!
Our stop on Thursday was the Adkins Arboretum. This is a 400 acre native garden and preserve. There is always discussion about native plants-- do you mean ones that came over with the colonists? Do you mean plants that naturalize well in the landscape? What about those plants that were brought over mid-1800's? At the Adkins Arboretum our docent said their interpretation was if the plant was here at the time of colonial settlement..not brought over from the 'Old Country'.
As the group was large we divided into two smaller groups. Each group was lead by a docent from the Arboretum and in one group our extension agent and the other had the botany professor. I was lucky to also have in my group a number of Tree Stewards. As the group wandered through the forested path a few of us lingered and assessed leaves, bark and other features to better ID plant material. I did take copious notes on the tour-- though not one photo. Imagine that!
Oaks, beech, elms, hickory, and Ironwood were some of the trees along the way. The tree whose leaf is used on the brochure is the Liriodendron tulipifera, Tulip Poplar. The Tulip Poplar was dropping spent blooms but the trees were so tall, we could not see the blooms on the trees.
So some elementary ID tips-- oaks- white oak's leaves have rounded lobes and red oaks have pointed lobes and a black oak...well, um, they say you can tell a black oak by its acorn. As it not acorn time, that was hard to know for sure. The back oak had rounded lobes with bristle tips on the lobes..but online the black oak it said to have pointed lobes. We also saw a Blackjack Oak. Oh the varieties!! Here is a wonderful comparison page for oaks, from leaves to bark to fruit. Comparison of oak features.
Ironwood, Carpinus caroliniana, also known as American Hornbeam is a nice tree. One of the best ID features of the ironwood is the shape of the trunk of the tree. The sides of the trunk are flattened...almost a soft square shape.
Maples-- one person said that Red maples have pointed sinuses and sugar maples don't. Have I been able to verify that? No. It was a reliable source though.
There were various hickory in the woods. I am still having a time with all of them. Let's just say my tree knowledge was increased and I have much more to learn!!
The Adkins Arboretum was having a plant sale...I know!! Serendipity! The lovely ladies who were riding with me bought me a sweet Blue Eyed Grass,Sisyrinchium angustifolium 'Lucerne' as a thank you for driving. What a thoughtful group!
This is not my Blue Eyed Grass-- I went out to take a picture of it two days ago...the bunnies had eaten the blooms already!!
On our way home we stopped at a nursery, Thomas Gardens. A well stocked nursery and greenhouse. As if there weren't enough plants in the cars and vans....more room was found!!
One plant that I bought was a Pennisetum 'Fireworks' --similar to the Rubrum in our area, an annual. I have never seen this variety before, so I figured it would be worth buying on the trip. The foliage is variegated with white and pink and purple and green. Really interesting. The grass is supposed to get 30- 36" tall.
Here ends our trip north and back. I hope everyone enjoyed hearing about the study trip. Please make sure to use the links and go to the various websites for each garden. If you can lend some information on more tree ID tips, PLEASE let me know. Beeches, birch, and elms still confuse me.