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Vascular Plants of the Gorge at
Buttermilk Falls State Park (Ithaca, NY)
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Checklist of Vascular Plants - Vacant Lot.
     
  The "Vacant Lot" is a small ( approx. 1/4 acre) parcel of land, located adjacent to the lower entrance to the Gorge Trail. It is open (unforested), "disturbed" land. There used to be a large, single-family home in that place, which apparently was demolished in 2014. It isn't clear who lived in that home, when the owners departed, or how long the home had been unoccupied. Afterwards, the land was graded and leveled. In no time, an amazing diversity of opportunistic plants has since taken root to fill the void. Over 120 species, representing over 45 plant families are present. Together, they don't create a recognizable, naturally-formed plant community. Rather, it's a motley assemblage; a veritable melting pot of species of dry habitats and wet habitats; of natives and non-natives; of annuals, biennials and perennials, including trees, shrubs, herbs, grasses and sedges. The composition of that plot is continually changing and evolving. Species that were found in one season, are often absent the next season. Species that were absent during the 2017 and 2018 seasons, suddenly showed up in 2019. Where they all came from is unknown. As I write this note, a cluster of rapidly growing American sycamore saplings has begun to dominate a large portion of the plot. In 2017, those saplings were barely knee high. Today, they reach over eight feet in height, and tower over everything.  Elsewhere, highly aggressive grass species are claiming more and more territory. So far, extemely few of these species have found their way into the core sections of the Gorge Trail. My guess, is that a significant number of the species listed below are no longer present, or will disappear soon. As of today, the plot has been largely neglected by state park maintenance personnel. Because of its plant diversity, the vacant lot is an excellent place to take an introductory class in plant science.  
     

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Abbreviations Used
  F Ferns or fern relatives E Exotic (non-native) species
  S / V Shrubs or woody vines N Native species
  T Trees    
  W / G Herbaceous flowering plants, incl. graminoids    
         
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Find Corresponding English Name
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  Species Plant Form Nativity Plant Family        
 

Acalypha rhomboidea

W / G

N

Euphorbiaceae

 

Acer negundo

T

N

Sapindaceae

 

Ageratina altissima

W / G

N

Asteraceae

 

Alliaria petiolata

W / G

E

Brassicaceae

 

Ambrosia artemisiifolia

W / G

N

Asteraceae

 

Ampelopsis glandulosa

S / V

E

Vitaceae

 

Anthemis cotula

W / G

E

Asteraceae

 

Aquilegia canadensis

W / G

N

Ranunculaceae

 

Arctium lappa

W / G

E

Asteraceae

 

Artemisia vulgaris

W / G

E

Asteraceae

 

Barbarea vulgaris

W / G

E

Brassicaceae

 

Bellis perennis

W / G

E

Asteraceae

 

Berberis thunbergii

S / V

E

Berberidaceae

 

Blephilia hirsuta

W / G

N

Lamiaceae

 

Brassica juncea

W / G

E

Brassicaceae

 

Campanula americana

W / G

N

Campanulaceae

 

Cardamine diphylla

W / G

N

Brassicaceae

 

Carex annectens

W / G

N

Cyperaceae

 

Carex hystericina

W / G

N

Cyperaceae

 

Carex retrorsa

W / G

N

Cyperaceae

 

Carex scoparia

W / G

N

Cyperaceae

 

Carex vulpinoidea

W / G

N

Cyperaceae

 

Celastrus orbiculatus

S / V

E

Celastraceae

 

Centaurea nigrescens

W / G

E

Asteraceae

 

Centaurea stoebe

W / G

E

Asteraceae

 

Chelidonium majus

W / G

E

Papaveraceae

 

Cichorium intybus

W / G

E

Asteraceae

 

Cirsium arvense

W / G

E

Asteraceae

 

Cirsium vulgare

W / G

E

Asteraceae

 

Conyza canadensis

W / G

N

Asteraceae

 

Cyperus strigosus

W / G

N

Cyperaceae

 

Dactylis glomerata

W / G

E

Poaceae

 

Daucus carota

W / G

E

Apiaceae

 

Dianthus armeria

W / G

E

Caryophylaceae

 

Dipsacus fullonum

W / G

E

Caprifoliaceae

 

Echinacea purpurea

W / G

E

Asteraceae

 

Elymus hystrix

W / G

N

Poaceae

 

Epilobium ciliatum

W / G

N/E

Onagraceae

 

Erechtites hieraciifolius

W / G

N

Asteraceae

 

Erigeron annuus

W / G

N

Asteraceae

 

Erigeron philadelphicus

W / G

N

Asteraceae

 

Euonymus alatus

S / V

E

Celastraceae

 

Euphorbia maculata

W / G

N

Euphorbiaceae

 

Galium album

W / G

E

Rubiaceae

 

Geranium robertianum

W / G

N

Geraniaceae

 

Geum canadense

W / G

N

Rosaceae

 

Glechoma hederacea

W / G

E

Lamiaceae

 

Hemerocallis fulva

W / G

E

Asphodelaceae

 

Hesperis matronalis

W / G

E

Brassicaceae

 

Juncus tenuis

W / G

N

Juncaceae

 

Lactuca serriola

W / G

E

Asteraceae

 

Lamium purpureum

W / G

E

Lamiaceae

 

Lapsana communis

W / G

E

Asteraceae

 

Leonurus cardiaca

W / G

E

Lamiaceae

 

Lepidium campestre

W / G

E

Brassicaceae

 

Leucanthemum vulgare

W / G

E

Asteraceae

 

Lonicera morrowii

S / V

E

Caprifoliaceae

 

Lotus corniculatus

W / G

E

Fabaceae

 

Lychnis flos-cuculi

W / G

E

Caryophylaceae

 

Lysimachia ciliata

W / G

N

Primulaceae

 

Lythrum salicaria

W / G

E

Lythraceae

 

Malva moschata

W / G

E

Malvaceae

 

Medicago lupulina

W / G

E

Fabaceae

 

Melilotus albus

W / G

E

Fabaceae

 

Melilotus officinalis

W / G

E

Fabaceae

 

Mertensia virginica

W / G

N

Boraginaceae

 

Morus alba

T

E

Moraceae

 

Myosotis arvensis

W / G

E

Boraginaceae

 

Nepeta cataria

W / G

E

Lamiaceae

 

Oenothera biennis

W / G

N

Onagraceae

 

Oxalis stricta

W / G

N

Oxalidaceae

 

Persicaria lapathifolia

W / G

N

Polygonaceae

 

Persicaria maculosa

W / G

E

Polygonaceae

 

Philadelphus pubescens

S / V

E

Hydrangaceae

 

Phleum pratense

W / G

E

Poaceae

 

Picris hieracioides

W / G

E

Asteraceae

 

Pilosella aurantiaca

W / G

E

Asteraceae

 

Pilosella caespitosa

W / G

E

Asteraceae

 

Pilosella flagellaris

W / G

E

Asteraceae

 

Plantago lanceolata

W / G

E

Plantaginaceae

 

Plantago major

W / G

E

Plantaginaceae

 

Platanus occidentalis

T

N

Platanaceae

 

Polemonium reptans

W / G

N

Polemoniaceae

 

Populus grandidentata

T

N

Salicaceae

 

Potentilla argentea

W / G

E

Rosaceae

 

Potentilla norvegica

W / G

N

Rosaceae

 

Prunella vulgaris

W / G

E

Lamiaceae

 

Prunus virginiana

S / V

N

Rosaceae

 

Pycnanthemum virginianum

W / G

N

Lamiaceae

 

Ranunculus repens

W / G

E

Ranunculaceae

 

Robinia pseudoacacia

T

N

Fabaceae

 

Rubus occidentalis

S / V

N

Rosaceae

 

Rudbeckia hirta

W / G

E

Asteraceae

 

Rudbeckia triloba

W / G

U

Asteraceae

 

Rumex crispus

W / G

E

Polygonaceae

 

Rumex obtusifolius

W / G

E

Polygonaceae

 

Schedonorus arundinaceus

W / G

E

Poaceae

 

Solanum carolinense

W / G

N

Solanaceae

 

Solidago altissima

W / G

N

Asteraceae

 

Solidago caesia

W / G

N

Asteraceae

 

Solidago flexicaulis

W / G

N

Asteraceae

 

Solidago gigantea

W / G

N

Asteraceae

 

Solidago rugosa

W / G

N

Asteraceae

 

Sonchus asper

W / G

E

Asteraceae

 

Symphyotrichum lanceolatum

W / G

N

Asteraceae

 

Symphyotrichum lateriflorum

W / G

N

Asteraceae

 

Symphyotrichum pilosum

W / G

N

Asteraceae

 

Symphyotrichum prenanthoides

W / G

N

Asteraceae

 

Symphyotrichum undulatum

W / G

N

Asteraceae

 

Syringa vulgaris

S / V

E

Oleaceae

 

Taraxacum officinale

W / G

E

Asteraceae

 

Thuja occidentalis

T

N

Cupressaceae

 

Torilis japonica

W / G

E

Apiaceae

 

Toxicodendron radicans

S / V

N

Anacardiaceae

 

Trifolium aureum

W / G

E

Fabaceae

 

Trifolium pratense

W / G

E

Fabaceae

 

Trifolium repens

W / G

E

Fabaceae

 

Triticum aestivum

W / G

E

Poaceae

 

Tsuga canadensis

T

N

Pinaceae

 

Tussilago farfara

W / G

E

Asteraceae

 

Urtica dioica

W / G

E

Urticaceae

 

Verbascum blattaria

W / G

E

Scrophulariaceae

 

Verbascum thapsus

W / G

E

Scrophulariaceae

 

Verbena urticifolia

W / G

N

Verbenaceae

 

Veronica chamaedrys

W / G

E

Plantaginaceae

 

Veronica persica

W / G

E

Plantaginaceae

 

Vitis riparia

S / V

N

Vitaceae

 

Zizia aurea

W / G

N

Apiaceae

         

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