1-1-2018 Happy New Year Walk at ORCA

Despite dismal weather and some sputters of rain that caused a few folks to turn back, a group of us made it to the Oslo Riverfront Conservation Area (ORCA) Observation Tower on 1-1-2018. Gorgeous Gwen poses center in the midst of Diane Morgan, Don Schuster, […]

Throwback Thursday: Pink Mother’s Day Flowers

Growing at the entrance to the Oslo Riverfront Conservation Area (ORCA) hammock loop trail near the Herb Kale Nature Trail plaque, seemingly in honor of mother’s day, was pink wood sorrel (Oxalis debilis).  On our New Year’s Day nature walk, we saw this pretty plant […]

Weeds of Wednesday: Siam weed?

Hurricane Irma coupled with the disturbance associated with the extensive professional invasive plant control work at the Oslo Riverfront Conservation Area (ORCA) has allowed jack-in-the bush (Chromolaena odorata) to display its weediness dramatically. This subtropical plant, a member of the daisy family, Asteraceae, is native to […]

Holiday Halophyte

Donna Winter (Class of 2016) sent this photo of gorgeous glasswort (Salicornia sp.) growing amongst sea oxeye daisy (Borrichia frutescens) and white mangrove (Languncularia racemosa) and showing its Christmas color. Like Christmasberry, glasswort is succulent and is a halophyte, a plant that grows in saline […]

Weeds of Wednesday: Tag-A-Longs

Delta Dawn, our puppy, was mortified to get covered with the seeds pods of creeping beggarweed (Desmodium incanum) when she visited the Florida Medical Entomology Laboratory adjacent to Oslo Riverfront Conservation Area (ORCA). Plants in this genus have developed a quite effective way to hitch-hike […]

Merry Christmasberry!

Christmasberry (Lycium carolinianum) is so named for its lustrous red berries that mostly appear in the early winter months. Hurricane Irma seems to have stimulated significant flowering/fruiting this year at the Oslo Riverfront Conservation Area (ORCA). Carolina desert-thorn is another name for this succulent shrub […]

Weeds of Wednesday: Goldenrod?

Goldenrod (Solidago sp.) gets a bad rap. The pollen of goldenrod is too large to be a human allergen, but goldenrod often blooms at the same time as ragweed (Ambrosia sp.), the real culprit. Nonetheless, many people consider goldenrod to be a weed. Pollinators flock […]

Weeds of Wednesday: Bad hair day or not?

As part of his basic botany walk/talk on November 18, 2017, Dr. George Rogers, Horticulture Chair at Palm Beach State College, pointed out the difference between native Boston fern (Nephrolepis exaltata) and non-native Asian sword fern (Nephrolepis browneii), both of which grow together at the […]

Botany Lesson #1: Heterostyly

Dr. George Rogers, Botany Department Chair at Palm Beach State College, led a marvelous botany walk/talk on Saturday, November 18, for volunteers for the Oslo Riverfront Conservation Area (ORCA).  After a wonderful whirlwind “tour” of botany basics, we headed out in to the field, where […]

Weeds of Wednesday: A New Name for Guineagrass

Guineagrass is shown above growing near the bike rack at the northwest “main” entrance to the Oslo Riverfront Conservation Area (ORCA). For awhile the politically correct name for this grass was giant panicum. Not anymore, though, since the botanical name of this grass has been […]

Swamp Fern has a New Name

The first plant that Sam Chancellor (Class of 2010) mentioned in his wonderful presentation, A Gentle Introduction to Plant Names, on Saturday, November 4 for a group of twelve veteran volunteers was swamp fern, Blechnum serrulatum, pronounced BLECK-num ser-you-LAY-tum (or see-roo-LAH-tum). Sam also mentioned that […]

Weeds of Wednesday: Paragrass

Paragrass (Urcochola utica) was clogging the ditch on the south side of Oslo Road near the southeastern entrance to the Oslo Riverfront Conservation Area, until Indian River County recently cleaned the with and mowed the right-of-way. Common names for this plant include para grass, buffalo grass, California grass, Carib grass, […]