Thursday, July 16, 2009

Bike Trail Botany

The Richland County Park District manages the 19 miles of the scenic B&O Bike Trail which runs from the City of Mansfield to the village of Butler. It is one of my favorite places to botanize on a daily basis, mostly one finds the run-of-the-mill flora, but occasionally there is something spectacular.

Early in the morning the bumble bees pollinate the Swamp Roses, Rosa palustris which grow freely along a small stream. Their display is a feast for the eyes and a reminder that roses need not be the weak, chemically dependant, insect infested "hybrid teas" of Jackson Perkins fame. These natives are hardy beauties requiring no care, yet producing a wall of flowers for the passers-by.

And just beyond the Swamp Rose, another member of the rose family: Black Raspberry, Rubus occidentalis. These luscious berries festoon miles of the bike trail, and provide the energy and motivation I need on evening walks. How can the others bear to pass them by?

Yummm. I love botany.


  1. I love botany too! Nice post...we have prairie roses and red raspberry growing wild here in the Black Hills. :o)

  2. The bike is definitely the way to go, Cheryl! Those berries look tempting - our blackberries Rubus fruticosus are beginning to take shape here.

  3. I generally walk, although I like to bike too!

    My daughter just suggested we do an October trip on the Appalachian trail! 10 Miles a day in the Shenandoahs- Any takers?

  4. No thanks Cheryl! Bill Bryson's A Walk in the Woods is enough of the Trail for me. It takes way too much planning ahead to go on the trail. I recently talked to someone who was headed there. There were so many things to think about taking or not taking.