Some thoughts abouts plants in Pennsylvania and anywhere else we travel

PA Plantings Blog Home

Including the new home for news and reports of the
Muhlenberg Botanic Club of Lancaster, PA

Pa Plantings Web Web Site Home
including other information about plants

All photographs copyright by Mike Slater unless otherwise noted.

Friday, September 19, 2014

Moss Walk at French Creek State Park - October 4th starting at 1 pm

Dr. Susan Munch lead a moss walk for the Muhlenberg Botanic Club and friends at Six Penny Trail
French Creek State Park on Oct. 4, 2014.

List of Bryophytes observed:


  1. Bazzania trilobata
  2. and most likely a Chiloscyphus sp. (with tiny 2 or 3 toothed leaves).  
  3. Jubula pennsylvanica (with tiny round leaves),
  4.  Pellia epiphylla


  1.  Sphagnum sp.
  2.  Atrichum undulatum (and most likely angustatum also)
  3. Aulocomium palustre
  4. Dicranum scoparium
  5. Dicranum sp.
  6. Entodon cladorrhizans
  7. Fissidens sp. 
  8. Fontinalis sp.
  9. Hedwigia ciliate
  10. Hypnum imponens
  11. Leucobryum sp.
  12. Mnium cuspidatum, 
  13. M. affine 
  14. M. punctatum
  15. Polytrichum commune 
  16. P. ohioense,
  17. Thuidium delicatulum

About French Creek State Park: 
Once an industrial complex for the fledgling United State of America, today French Creek State Park is an oasis for people and wildlife. Straddling the Schuylkill Highlands, the 7,730-acre park is the largest block of contiguous forest between Washington D.C. and New York City. The forests, lakes, wetlands and fields are a destination for the people of southeast Pennsylvania to hike, fish, camp and bike.

Directions from Lancaster:
1. Slight right to stay on PA-272 N, 0.5 mi
2. Take the ramp onto US-222 N/U.S. 30 E, 0.2 mi
3. Merge onto US-222 N/U.S. 30 E, 0.3 mi
4. Keep right to continue on US-222 N, 15.7 mi
5. Take the exit toward I-76/PA-272/Denver/Pennsylvania Turnpike, 0.2 mi
6. Turn right onto State Rte. 1040; Partial toll road, 0.7 mi
7. Keep right at the fork and merge onto I-76 E. Partial toll road, 12.0 mi
8. Take exit 298 to merge onto I-176 N toward PA-10/Morgantown/Reading. Toll road, 0.5 mi
9. Take exit 1A for PA-10 N toward Beckersville, Toll road.
11 Turn right onto PA-10 N/Morgantown Rd, 0.5 m
12. Take the 3rd right onto Joanna Rd, 0.9 mi
13. Turn right onto Elverson Rd, 0.5 mi
14. Take the 1st left onto Twin Valley Rd, 0.6 mi
15. Continue onto Hay Creek Rd, 2.3 mi
 10. Take Hay Creek Rd to Geigertown Rd in Union, 8.2 mi

11. Turn right onto Geigertown Rd. Proceed @ 2.3 miles. Parking area is on right. The parking area is about 0.10 mile from Rte. 345. It is within sight of the intersection of Geigerstown Rd. and Rte. 345.

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Summer 2014 Walks

Schedule of walks for summer 2014 by the Muhlenberg Botanic Society

Muhlenberg Botanical Society walk list, summer 2014

July 12                   Muhlenberg Meadow located in the Lancaster County Central Park.
Lancaster, Pa.  Starting at 1 PM. Combined walk with the Sierra Club.
N 40.00.769 W 76.17.098
Started in 1991, this restoration project spearheaded by Tim Draude and the Muhlenberg Botanical Society has expanded to five acres. Come and view the wide array of field flowers and what techniques worked and didn’t work in turning a cornfield into a dazzling native ecosystem.
                From Lancaster, go south on Rte. 222/272 for about 0.5 miles past the point where the north and south lanes rejoin. Turn left onto Golf Rd. and go about 0.6 miles to the intersection with Exhibit Farm Rd The parking area is a few hundred feet past Exhibit Farm Rd. on the right hand side. The sign for the meadow is up against the tree line and not easily visible from the road. Park on the grass in front of the sign.

Aug 16                  Soldier’s Delight Serpentine Barren, start time 10:00 AM, meet at the visitor’s center.
                                Soldiers Delight Natural Environment Area
5100 Deer Park Road
Owings Mills MD 21117
Soldiers Delight Natural Environment Area (NEA) is comprised of 1,900 acres of serpentine barren. The area has over 39 rare, threatened, or endangered plant species as well as rare insects, rocks and minerals. Rare grassland plant species are threatened by invasion of Virginia Pines. Currently, a five year effort of removing 1,000 acres of pines and prescribed burning are underway to return the area to natural serpentine habitat.

Sept 13                 Lock 12 Historic Area, Starting at 1 PM
                                Combined walk with Philadelphia Botany Club.
                                Lock 12 is a scour zone habitat on the lower Susquehanna River. This open, rocky area plays host to a mix of species from north, south, east and west. Coastal plain plants are here and remnant prairie species too. Southern plants find their work their way north through the wide, shallow river way.
Boltonia asteroides is here, down in the river bed with Physostegia virginiana. Lathyrus venosus and Solidago simplex ssp. Randii var. racemosa are high up on the rocks. Hypericum pyramidatum works its way down from the north and Chionanthus virginicus meets it coming up from the south. Liatris spicata is growing out on the islands and Rhododendron arborescens finds a home here too.

From Lancaster: Take Route 272 south to Buck, turn right onto Route 372. Take 372 west for about 7 miles. Cross the Norman Wood Bridge. Take the first right turn, McCalls Ferry Rd. The entrance to the parking lot is immediately on your right. Meet in the lower parking lot.

From York: Take Route 74 south. Turn left onto Route 372 and go about two miles. Turn left onto McCalls Ferry Rd. just before crossing the Susquehanna River. The entrance to the parking lot is immediately on your right. Meet in the lower parking lot.

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

A public Shenk's Ferry Wild flower walk on April 19th, Led by Muhlenberg Botanic Society President Joan King

Saturday April 19  at 1:00 PM
Shenk's Ferry Wildflower Preserve
Thousands of trilliums and Mertensia, and rich woods ephemerals.
Open to the public, walk rating: easy.
Parking is limited, carpool if you can.
Parking area GPS: N 39.89317 W 76.34204

  • From the north:
    • Starting at Willow Street, Lancaster County, PA
    • From the intersection of Rte. 272 & 741 in Willow Street, go 4.5 miles to Pennsy Rd.
    • Turn right onto Pennsy Rd. and go 3.5 miles to Rte. 324.
    • Go left (straight) onto Rte. 324 south and go 1.2 miles to River Rd.
    • Turn right (NOT LEFT) onto River Rd. and go 2.1 miles & turn left onto Shenks Ferry Rd.
    • go 1.2 miles & turn left onto Green Hill Rd.
    • Go  0.8 miles down the paved road, becoming a gravel road to the parking area next to Grubb Run.

  • From the south:
    • At the intersection of 272 & 372 at the Buck in Lancaster County, PA, go north 4.3 miles to Pennsy Rd.
    • Turn right onto Pennsy Rd. and go 3.5 miles to Rte. 324.
    • Go left (straight) onto Rte. 324 south and go 1.2 miles to River Rd.
    • Turn right (NOT LEFT) onto River Rd. and go 2.1 miles & turn left onto Shenks Ferry Rd.
    • Go 1.2 miles & turn left onto Green Hill Rd.
    • Go  0.8 miles down the paved road, becoming s gravel road to the parking area next to Grubb Run.
a PDF of Shenk's Ferry Wildflower Preserve's Brochure is here.

Monday, February 17, 2014

Feb 2014 Muhlenberg Newsletter

       Below is the Feb newsletter for 2014, The first meeting is thurs Feb. 20th 

       Muhlenberg Bulletin 


Volume 33  1/31/ 2014            Number 2

c/o Joan King, 205 Fox Hollow Rd. Pequea, Pa. 17565

Presiesident:   Officers:      Board Members:
President: Joan King (717-284-5239)
Vice Pres.: Mike Slater (610-775-3757) Tim Draude
Recording Secretary: John Ambler (717-394-1121) Ray Uhlig
Newsletter Editor: Ruthann Richards (717-872-7574) Kevin Weir
Treasurer: Matt Dilley (717-871-6279)


Winter's harsh grip is on us again, and it's time to think ahead to spring and summer. Give me ideas of places you would like to walk, habitat you want to see, and speakers you want to hear.

Our vice-president, Mike Slater, would like to relinquish his post due to a conflicting work schedule. Step forward and take a greater role in our club or nominate someone.

The president's post is also up for grabs, along with its high pay, corner office, etc.

Ruthann has been doing the newsletter for over twenty years and would like to find someone to take over those duties.

So think spring and bring someone new to a meeting or on a walk.

Joan King, President


Meetings are held from 7:00 to 9:00 on the third Thursday of the month in the Fred Kinsey Room, North Museum (College and Buchanan Aves.). Enter through the back door in the parking lot; ring the bell if the door is locked.  Meetings are open to the public, so please invite guests!
If bad weather is predicted, meetings will be canceled 48 hours in advance, as per our agreement with the North Museum. Please check the web site or call an officer if you are unsure whether a meeting is canceled.

February 20: Joan King and Tim Draude, "A Remnant Prairie Habitat in Southern Ohio."

Long-time members and officers Joan King and Tim Draude visited a remnant prairie habitat in southern Ohio last August. In the dolomite habitat, they saw Buchnera americana (blue hearts), Hexalextris spicata (crested coral root), and four species of Liatris, along with many other plants.

March 20: Christopher R. Hardy, "The Use of the Undergraduate Classroom to Advance an Emerging Paradigm in the Study and Conservation of Plant Diversity."
The emerging new paradigm in the study and conservation of biodiversity is one in which the analytical skills of professional scientists are integrated with the observational power of amateur citizen scientists in the important task of documenting our changing biota. Since 2010 we have employed a Web 2.0-enabled digital atlas to enhance a traditional collection project in an undergraduate course. Over the span of four semesters, 89 undergraduates amassed 906 records for 211 species in the region surrounding the university. Of these, 24 were new species records for seven counties, with three being new records for Endangered species or Noxious Weed species. Most students indicated they would use or contribute data to the atlas in the future. Accuracy checks revealed that 94% of the records were geospatially accurate and that most plants were accurately identified as to species, genus, and family. The conclusion: the undergraduate classroom is a premier place to engage the next generation of professional and citizen biodiversity scientists in the important task of documenting and conserving our natural heritage.

April 17: Michael McCampbell, "The History and Restoration of the American Chestnut."

Michael McCampbell is a graduate student in the Applied Ecology & Conservation Biology program at Frostburg State University in Frostburg, MD.  He will be speaking about the history of the American chestnut and the progress of restoring this iconic tree species which has been nearly wiped out by a fungal blight that was introduced in the early 1900s.  Although much is being done to develop blight-resistant chestnuts, little is still known about how seedling quality affects the growth and survival of chestnuts planted in the wild.  Michael's research focuses on how initial seedling height, diameter and root system size affect the establishment of American chestnut seedlings planted at different sites throughout PA..

May 15: Members' Night Photos and Plant Exchange. 

Bring a show and tell item, old copies of nature magazines, slides, or a digital show to share. A laptop and digital projector setup will be available. Anyone with film slides to share should let John Wolff know so he can bring a traditional projector.
For the plant exchange, please bring well-potted plants other members might like to adopt. Although our focus is on native plants, others are fine, too. Members who don't have plants to share are welcome—actually encouraged—to take plants home. We must continue to keep the meeting room clean, so please BRING PLANTS IN FAIRLY CLEAN POTS AND MAKE SURE THERE ARE NO INSECTS ON THEM.  If you spill dirt/plants, etc., please clean up the mess. We need to leave the Kinsey room as clean or cleaner than we found it so we can continue these exchanges.

MEMBERSHIP DUES were payable in September for the 2013-2014 year; they are $10.00 per household. Extra contributions are always welcome. If you are including an extra contribution, please designate it as such so our treasurer doesn't think you are paying for two or three years at a time!

If you would like to be contacted by e-mail for occasional spontaneous work days or field trips, plant rescues, or similar events, please include your e-mail address. At the bottom of the form, please include comments or suggestions for field trips and meetings, or topics you might like to see added to the newsletters or the website. Bring dues with this form to the February meeting or mail them to

Matt Dilley  20 Greythorne Rd.   Lancaster, PA 17603-7403

City: State:       Zip:
Phone: E-mail address:

Would you like to receive the newsletter only by e-mail?   ____ yes _____ no