White snakeroot, flower close up (photo by Kate St. John)
Schenley Park Walk:
Just a reminder that I’m leading a bird and nature walk in Schenley Park on Sunday September 27, 8:30am – 10:30am.
This time we’ll meet at Bartlett Shelter on Bartlett Street near Panther Hollow Road. This is not the usual meeting place at the Visitor’s Center.
Click here for more information and updates if the walk must be canceled for bad weather.
On the August walk we saw white snakeroot and we’re sure to see it this month, too. At the time I called it tall boneset, a confusing alternate name. What was I thinking?! I should have used its most common name.
White snakeroot grows 1 – 5 feet tall with opposite, toothed, egg-shaped leaves and branching clusters of bright white flowers. Each flower head is a cluster of very tiny flowers, shown above.
White Snakeroot in Schenley Park (photo by Kate St. John)
The plant is similar enough to boneset (Eupatorium perfoliatum) that it used to be in the same genus, but it’s been reclassified to Ageratina altissima. To avoid confusion with unrelated boneset I’ll call it “white snakeroot” from now on.
Unfortunately “snakeroot” is confusing, too. White snakeroot (Ageratina altissima) is not related to black snakeroot (Actaea racemosa, black cohosh). Arg!
In any case, we’ll see it next Sunday.
(photos by Kate St. John)
UPDATE: 27 September 2015: We were a small group but we saw some cool things including this Best Bird: A red-tailed hawk hovered above Panther Hollow and then screamed in (silently!) with talons extended to catch something on the ground! But he missed it. We weren’t in the line of fire but we were certainly impressed!
Participants in 27 Sept 2015 Walk in Schenley Park (photo by Kate St. John)