What follows are some of the things preserve staff found in preparation for the first report to ODOT.
Canada lily, Lilium canadensis. A native Ohio lily in the right of way that is pollinated by ruby-throated hummingbirds and larger bees and moths.
Common eastern bumble bee, Bombus impatiens, on spiked blazingstar, Liatris spicata.
|Angle-pod, Matelea obliqua,is one of the "prairie" milkweeds that tolerate shallow, dry soils and support monarch butterflies both as a nectar source and for their caterpillars. Many native bees also use the plant.|
|Swamp milkweed, Asclepias incarnata, favors the wet ditches of the right of way and are in one of the best families of plants for pollinators; the milkweeds. They also support monarch butterfly caterpillars that feed on the foliage.|
|Whorled milkweed, Asclepias verticillata, is one of the “prairie” milkweeds that tolerant shallow, dry soils and support monarch butterflies both as a nectar source and for their caterpillars. Many native bees also use the plant.|
|Purple coneflower, Echinacea purpurea, is one of the very showy, super-pollinator plants that has decreased due to mowing but is still present.|
| An exciting find! The caterpillar of a moth new to science in 2014 was found in the right of way! The coppery orbexilum moth, Grapholita orbexilana, on scurf pea, Orbexilum onobrychis.|
|Butterfly weed, Asclepias tuberosa, is the undisputed pollinator plant champion with bees, butterflies, moths & beetles that use it.|
|Spring ladies-tresses, Spiranthes vernalis, (an orchid). Bumble bee pollinated.|
|Leather flower, Clematis viorna, is bee pollinated.|
Fringed-leafed ruellia, Ruellia humilis, is pollinated by generalist bees.
|Western sunflower, Helianthus occidentalis, previously listed as an endangered species in Ohio, is a pollinator magnet. The native bees Andrena accepta & Andrena aliciae are known to only collect pollen from Helianthus spp.|
|Tall coreopsis, Coreopsis tripteris, is a member of the sunflower family which has one of the richest list of pollinator species.|
|Rose pink, Sabatia angularis, is pollinated by long tongued bees, moths and butterflies.|
|Wood betony, Pedicularis canadensis, is one of the most sought after flowering plants by bumble bees, Bombus spp. Because of the flower’s structure, it is engineered for bumble bees as its main pollinator.|
|Scaly blazing-star, Liatris squarrosa, is potentially threatened in Ohio but common in the right of way. It is used by many pollinators, especially butterflies and native bees.|
|Ear-leaved-foxglove, Agalinis auriculata, is an endangered plant in Ohio and globally is listed as a G3 plant which means it is considered vulnerable throughout the globe. It is one of the more endangered plants found in the right of way.|
|Great Plains ladies’-tresses, Spiranthes magnicamporum, an orchid, is also a potentially threatened plant in Ohio pollinated by bumble bees.|
|Crested coralroot, Hexalectris spicata, an orchid, is listed as a potentially threatened plant in Ohio and is found in the right of way. It glues its pollen (pollinia) to insects’ heads in order to cross pollinate.|
|Tar jelly lichen, Enchylium coccophorum, is a state endangered lichen that grows in rocky soils of the right of way. While lichens are not used by pollinators they are important components of these prairies.|
|Brown stipplescale, Placidium squamulosum, is another state endangered lichen that grows on rocky prairies soils of the right of way.|
|Non-native plants, especially horseweed, Conyza canadensis, are particularly thick in the soil added around guard rails.|
|Soil brought in from other areas smother native prairie (seen in the foreground). The tall grass in the foreground is big bluestem, Andropogon gerardii, a major species found in tall grass prairies throughout much of the United States.|
Adams County, Ohio is very fortunate to have this native prairie plant community along State Route 125 near Lynx, Ohio. The people passing through this area will enjoy the roadside beauty and a myriad of pollinators and native plants will benefit as well thanks to the efforts of ODOT, District 9.
Special thanks to ODOT District 9 personnel: Blaine Bradds, Kenny Grooms and all the workers at the garage that keep our highways safe and beautiful.
Posted by:Chris Bedel