Apr. 22, 2018

sweet cicely, Osmorhiza longistylis

We had a volunteer day at Ives Fen Preserve yesterday. We spent the time pulling garlic mustard and dame's rocket along Champlain Creek. Many of the usual suspects were there, and Heather from Monroe County joined us with her son Ethan, about ten years old. Good workers! We always like to welcome newcomers, and help them learn a little about the preserve. Early on I found a wild leek and let them smell that. He later asked if skunk cabbage smelled like skunk, so I found some for him to smell. Then I found some sprouting sweet cicely, also appropriately called aniseroot. When I held out a root for him to smell, he reared back. Who could blame him for not wanting to smell something else I was holding? But then he did, and enjoyed the sweet licorice smell. Sweet cicely grows in woods in AL, AR, CO, CT, DE, GA, IA, IL, IN, KS, KY, MA, MD, ME, MI, MN, MO, MS, MT, NC, ND, NE, NH, NJ, NM, NY, OH, OK, PA, RI(T), SC, SD, TN, TX, VA, VT, WI, WV, WY, AB, MB, NB, NS, ON, PE, QC, and SK. Ives Fen Preserve, Lenawee Co MI, 5/29/11.