Sep. 11, 2017

cowbane, Oxypolis rigidior

Cowbane was one of the plants we saw on this Saturday's Botany Club outing. Typically it grows in fens. We were at the new Adrian College preserve, Walden West. At this site, it was not unusual to see cowbane, and several of its other fen companions on higher, drier ground. There was even a poison sumac at the top of a hill, which is practically unheard of. The hydrology and/or chemistry that enables those plants to leave damp homes is so far a mystery. It will be interesting to figure it out. Cowbane, like so many other plants in the celery family, is extremely poisonous. It grows in AL, AR, DE, FL, GA, IA, IL, IN, KY, LA, MD, MI, MN, MO, MS, NC, NJ, NY(E), OH, OK, PA, SC, TN, TX, VA, WI, WV, and ON. Ives FEn Preserve, Lenawee Co MI, 7/30/11.