Low CC Plants
Riverbank grape (Vitis riparia): CC 3. This woody vine is very common in our area, and it can be found throughout the eastern United States. Riverbank grape is distinguishable by its heart-shaped leaves and low hanging vines that tend to drape over other plants. it has blue-black fruits that are bitter in taste. Riverbank grape is used for medicinal purposes, particularly for memory loss and blood pressure management ( Go Botany).
Poison ivy (Toxicodendron radicans): CC 1. This nasty vine is distinguishable by its three-leaf pattern and vibrant red color in the later months of the year. Poison ivy also exists in the form of a hairy vine that grows up the trunks of trees. Its white fruits also aid hikers in identifying the harmful plant. Some lucky individuals are immune to the rash that develops after coming into contact with the oil secreted by poison ivy. Others, like myself, suffer for weeks…
Virginia creeper (Pathenocissus quinquefolia): CC 2. This vine can be found in close proximity to poison ivy, so beware of its presence. Virginia creeper is found growing up the trunks of trees (like the image) with its characteristic five leaflets. Its blue fruits are a great food source for birds, game species, and skunks, to name a few. Its foliage is browsed by deer that travel through wooded areas (Peterson Field Guide).
Black cherry (Prunus serotina): CC 3. This tree is characterized by its bark, which looks like burnt cornflakes. This is a very common tree in central Ohio, and it is easily identifiable. A strong wood, cherry is used for interior finishing and furniture. The fruits of black cherries are bitter but are often used for jelly, and their bark is used as a flavoring agent. The fruits are also eaten by various woodland species, such as deer, mice, and squirrels (Peterson Field Guide).
High CC Plants
Tulip poplar (Liriodendron tulipifera): CC 6. This tree is distinguishable by its lobed leaves with flat tops. Its bark is light gray with white grooves and patches on younger trees. It is second only to the sycamore in trunk diameter of eastern forest tree species. The tulip poplar is used for furniture, toys, and many other functions; Native Americans used its wood to sculpt dugout canoes (Peterson Field Guide).
Sycamore (Platanus occidentalis): CC 7. This tree is known for its distinct bark that appears to peel off like paint (see photo). The sycamore has wide leaves that come to a point at the top, and the tree itself is very large in diameter. Its twigs are eaten by muskrats and other rodents, while the wood is used by humans for furniture and canoes, among other uses (Peterson Field Guide).
Ohio buckeye (Aesculus glabra): CC 6. Serving as Ohio’s state tree, the buckeye is distinguishable by its palmate leaves and characteristic nut. The tree itself has pointy, dry buds buds with an imbricate scaling pattern and leaf scars in the shape of shields (Peterson Field Guide). The mascot of our university, the buckeye has long been known as an important facet of the culture of Ohio.
Chinkapin oak (Quercus muehlenbergii): CC 7. The chinkapin is known for its distinct leaves that are saw-toothed, rather than the lobed nature of other oak leaves. Its bark is light gray and flaky in nature, rather than the ridged bark of the chestnut oak. It averages around 50 feet in height, though larger specimens can reach the 100s (Peterson Field Guide).