Field Trip Report
The Wekiwa Springs state park 1800 Wekiwa Circle, Apopka, Fl 32712 is geographically located at the headwaters of the Wekiva River with a beautiful view which gives visitors have the opportunity to relax and enjoy a picnic in a natural environment. Some of the activities that take place at the park include bicycling, campfire circles, camping, fishing, hiking, picnicking, and horse riding.
We met at Wekiwa Springs early in the morning and we were able to see several species and types of plants. Some of the plants included the Buttonbush (cephalanthus occidentalis) which is a genus of small trees or shrubs from the madder family(Rubiaceae)it is commonly called honeyballs or button willow, the Joe-pye weed plant which is found in very wet thickets and they usually have clusters of purple flowers and fuzzy pink flowers, and the Florida elm ( ulmus Americana var floridana) which is a tree that grows rapidly when it is young and have an extensive and shallow root system.
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Another plant we encountered was the Water hemlock (cicuta maculata) which is a very poisonous plant and it belongs to the carrot family. A small ingestion of the plant by an individual can make a person seriously ill. Another common name for this plant is spotted cowbane and it originates from parsley family (apiaceae).
We also got to see the Loblolly-bay (gordonia lasianthus) is a Theaceae family member. It's shiny foliage and showy flowers make it attractive to be used as an ornamental, the Silver bay magnolia ( magnolia virginiana) from the magnoliaceae and is evergreen, smooth textured and deciduous, the Red maple( acer rubrum) is also known as soft maple or swamp and is a widespread deciduous tree and is adaptable to many conditions and can grow anywhere.
The devil's Shoestring looks just like long vines and can be used for protection against hell bounds, The Wild petunia (ruellia humilis) from the family acanthaceae is a drought resistant plant and herbaceous, The Trumpet creeper (radicans) which belongs to the bignonia family (bigniniaceae) and is best described to be a perennial vine and has a very long lifespan. It is mostly commonly used for medicinal, ornamental, culinary and landscaping among others. Other plants included the Pop ash (fraxinus caroliana), and the High bush berry.
By late morning, we visited the Mead Gardens. The Mead Gardens, 151 S. New York Ave, Winter Park, FL 32789 is an urban oasis which acts as a botanical garden and it emphasizes on nature and is also a place for celebration, recreation and environmental learning and sustainability.at the Mead Gardens, we got to see quite a number of trees: the Garden Slash pine which is adapted to soft soils and it grows just like a tree, the Laurel oak (quercus laurifolia) has simple leaves and its bark is thick and dark gray.
Bulrush (Scirpus lacustris) is grass like plant of the sedge family and grows in wet areas like lakes and marshes. Their stems are very useful especially in the weaving of mats, arm chairs and baskets. It is very important in helping to reduce water pollution since it absorbs toxic microorganisms and poisonous metals.
Lizard tail, (saururus cernuus) is a plant that is commonly found in marshes and its name is got from its flower stalk which looks like the tail of a lizard. Its stem is hairy above the water surface and there are also other stems that one cannot see which are known as the rhizomes which are under the mud and they are capable of growing sideways and shoot up new plants.
Cypress knees is the structure that is seen on the cypress trees' roots and are most commonly seen in swampy areas which are thought to help the tree to get oxygen and also aid in the anchoring of the tree in the muddy and soft soil. Carolina willow (salix caroliniana) is a small tree that contains salicin which acts as salicylic, a major component of aspirin which is used in medicinal purposes to relieve pain.
Chinaberry (Melia azederach) is a plant that is adaptable to environmental conditions since it is not easily attacked by diseases and insects. It is referred to as being a common hedgerow tree which over the years it has been used for medicinal purposes and as an ornamental plant. Elder berry (sambucus Canadensis) has a gray dark bark; the pith in the branches and twigs is spongy and has corky bumps covering the slim branches. Other trees in the gardens also included the black cherry, (prunus serotica), water oak, Cherry Laurel (prunus laurocerasus), Pickerelweed ( pontederia cordata), Pond cypress ( taxodium ascendens), Chinese Tallow(tradica sebifera), and the Ear pod tree (Enterolobium contortisiliquum).