Union County, New Jersey
Almost 2,000 acres
The Trailside Museum is located at the corner of New Providence Road and Coles Avenue.
From Route 22: Take Mountainside/New Providence Rd. exit. Proceed uphill (north ) on main road. Turn right on Tracy Drive. At traffic circle take third right and proceed 1/2 mile to Trailside.
From Route 287 and 78 East: Rt. 287 to Rt. 78 east to exit 44 (New Providence/Berkeley Heights). ** At T-intersection turn left on Glenside Avenue. After 1.2 miles, turn right into the Watchung Reservation (Route 645) and pass Lake Surprise and then picnic areas as you climb the Watchungs. At traffic circle take first right and proceed 1/2 mile to Trailside Museum.
From Route 78 west: Rt. 78 west to exit 43 (New Providence/Berkeley Heights). Turn right at light on McMane Avenue. ** Follow directions from Route 287 and 78 East.
Watchung means Watschu, "hill."
During the Revolutionary War the mill at what came to be Feltville made coarse gunpowder. Along Blue Brook are some large foundations, the remains of the old paper mill.
Before 1845 there was a saw and grist mill here. David Felt, a New York City businessman, set up a paper manufacturing and printing business. The village of Feltville lasted until 1860. It is located off Glenside Avenue on Hollow Road. It was a ghost town by 1880. On a hill are two rows of old house where the paper mill workers once lived. Now these houses provide classroom training in nature study to school kids of Union County.
Glenview Park was made a part of the Watchung Reserve in the 1920s.
1931 -- on the July Fourth weekend, some 22,500 visitors enjoyed the pleasures of Surprise Lake. (see Meola 1998.)
In the Trailside Museum (open 1-5 daily) there is a bulletin board with pictures and text that tells the Feltville story.
Open in 1969, the planetarium was financed and constructed by the Trailside Museum Association. It seats approximately 40.
Union County Watchung Stable plus nearly 30 miles of bridle paths.
There are a number of picnic areas. Just one of them, Seeley's Pond Picnic Area, is on Valley Road in the southwest part of the park.
Basalt ridge in the Newark Basin (piedomont province). Here is Blue Brook, the main watercourse between the two Watchungs. Here is a terminal moraine of the glacier.
The parks spans two ridges. Surprise Lake and Blue Brook that flows south of it lie in the valley between the two ridges. It straddles the First and Second Watchungs along with a valley in-between. It is found between Summit on the north land Scotch Plains on the south. It is fairly noisy here because it lies in a heavily populated area.
Harold N. Moldenke. 1936. "The flora of the Watchung Mountains. Part I -- Geology of the Region." Bulletin of the TBD Vol p. 57-61.
Five phytogeographic provinces are represented in the Local Flora area. The area is therefore the most complicated, physiographically and phytogeographically, of any similar-sized area in all of North America. This fact must be borne in mind when one studies the flora of any part of the local area, such as that of the Watchung Mountains.
The Watchung Ridges (as they are termed by geologists) or Watchung Mountains (as they are known locally) are three in number. Of these the longest is the First Watchung, which is also the farthest east. It is approximately 50 miles in length, through eastern Passaic Co. and western Essex and Union Counties, forming a bow-like curve from western Bergen County on the north, terminating in northern Somerset County. It passes through Paterson and just west of Orange and Plainfield, and at Bound Brook turns sharply westward to Pluckamin. The Second Watchung parallels the First, only a mile or so westward, and separated by a belt of red sandy shales forming the shallow Washington Valley. It runs through Little Falls, Caldwell, and Summit, and in northern Somerset County swings sharply to the west and then north, terminating at Bernardsville. The so-called Third Watchung is really a series of four disconnected ridges closely parallel to the First and Second, but lower and separated by a narrow red sandstone belt. Still farther westward, wholly in Morris County, is a fourth ridge, very small and crescent-shaped.
The Watchung Mountains are in general about 500 or 600 feet high -- the highest point being High Mountain (876 feet above sea-level) just north of Paterson in the Second Watchung. All fur series of ridges lie within the so-called Piedmont physiographic and phytogeographic province and are made up of volcanic rock (basalt), with, in a very few isolated spots, narrow intervening bands of red sandy shale of the same sort as makes up the valleys between them. They are of Triassic age. They are bounded on the east by the Coastal Plain province, which is composed of more recent geologic formations (from the Cretaceous to the present).
The Piedmont province is of older rock structure, considerably planed down, and underlying the Coastal Plain sediments. The northernmost portion of the Piedmont section is known geologically as the Piedmont Lowlands and is of Triassic age, composed of red sandstones and red shales, with igneous intrusions like the Palisades and the trap ridges at Princeton and Hopewell and along the Delaware River, and the Watchung ridges. The Piedmont plains are usually 100 or 200 feet above sea-level, somewhat higher in the north.
Westward and northward of the Watchung Mountains lies the so-called New England province, composed of geologically very old rocks (schists, gneisses, and much granite intrusive), all Pre-Cambrian and underlying the other two provinces. Two prongs extend southwestward from New England, separated by the Piedmont region. The eastern of these (Manhattan Prong) forms Manhattan Island; the west (Reading Prong) runs in a narrow belt across New Jersey (Sussex, Passaic, Morris, Warren, and Hunterdon Counties) to Reading, Pennsylvania. The New Jersey Highlands and Ramapo Mountains lie in this prong. It is separated from the Triassic Piedmont to the east by a gigantic fault scarp. This fault was doubtless begun during the Appalachian mountain revolution and form the western edge of a large arid or sem-arid valley which, through erosion from the mountains to the east and west, filled with sand during the Triassic.
The flows of lava which now form the Watchung mountains doubtless came up along this fault and spread eastward over the valley of sands. There were a number of lava flows, all in late Triassic time. Both the First and Second Watchungs are made up of several separate lava flows, those of the First being the oldest. In some cases (like Eagle Rock and Garret Rock) the lava seems to have come up through vents. Several large volcanoes were located along the fault line during this time. The climate was generally cool.
Fossils of a few small fresh-water fish and some fragments of land plants have been found. The fern fragments seem to indicate that they were washed in by floods from the surrounding mountains. Cycads were common and there were a few lingering pteridosperms. Some of the so-called algae described from the region are not plants at all, but are merely ripple-marks. They are commonly found in the old shallow lake-beds along with abundant mud-cracks, attesting to the arid or semi-arid climate. It was the early reptilian age, marked by the rise of dinosaurs. Footprints of small dinosaurs are commonly found through the region, mostly of the 3-toed, bird-like, carnivorous species, which fed upon one another. The mountains surrounding this vast sandy valley may have been sparsely covered with vegetation. The preceding geologic period had been very cold and characterized by many vast glaciers which certainly exterminated all the early plants of the region. The vegetation, however, gradually came back during the Triassic and Jurassic, so that in Cretaceous time there was an abundant flora over the area, including grasses and primitive dicotyledons. In the Triassic, conditions here were similar to those in valleys in the West today. Heavy rains during the winter washed much sand and gravel, often with plant fragments, into the valleys from the mountains. There were some small lakes, and a few intermittent streams existed, but there was apparently no large river in the entire area that is now New Jersey, and the Watchung region had no outlet to the sea.
After the Triassic lava flows had quite ceased, the intrusive diabase masses forming the Palisades and similar southern ridges were pushed up between the hardening sandstone. During the Jurassic the whole area was lifted up, probably into low mountains, then subjected to erosion and planed down during the Cretaceous since late Cretaceous deposits overlay the Tertiary in southern New Jersey). During the Jurassic climatic conditions were changed until they became more as they are today. No fossils are known from the Highland rocks, but in the Cretaceous beds they are numerous.
In Tertiary time the Atlantic transgressed over the entire state of New Jersey (and New York up to the Catskill area at least). Fossils from beds of this period represent a wholly marine fauna, with shells and corals much like the modern ones.
In the Pleistocene came an uplift of the region and active planning down of the land through erosion of the softer sandstones and shales, leaving the harder igneous ridges such as the Watchungs) exposed. This was followed by the southward advance of the glaciers, with their accompanying glacial climate -- the ice extending as far south as Staten Island. The terminal moraine runs just east of Plainfield, through the First Watchung at Scotch Plains and through the Second Watchung at Summit, then through the northern extremity of the southernmost ridge of the Third Watchung to Madison and Morristown, just north of the fourth ridge. The retreat of the glaciers left, just north of the fourth ridge and west of the Third Watchung, the old glacial lake Passaic, of which the lake-bed can still be plainly discerned. We see, thus, that approximately the northern two-thirds of the First, Second, and Third Watchungs were glaciated in the Pleistocene and the southernmost one-third not glaciated. The fourth ridge was entirely unglaciated.
Hemlock grove in part along a ravine.
There is an eleven-mile Sierra loop around the periphery of the reservation. This is a long walk but you can also take other walks.
From the museum you can take the white-blazed Sierra Trail to the deserted village of Feltville. Three-quarters of a mile past the village there is a T intersection. Leave the white trail bearing left. Turn left at the next t-intersection. Go back to the main trail and continue downhill to the trail that parallels Blue Brook. Cross the bridge to the Blue Trail that will take you back to the museum.
Near the museum (across the New Providence Road) the green trail starts. It circles around back to New Providence Road. From the Green trail the orange trail can be picked up which also brings the hiker back to New Providence Road (just a little farther west). The blue trail can be picked off the orange trail. It too circle around, but it feeds back into the orange trail,, and hence back to New Providence Road.
Scofield, Bruce, et. al., (1988)
Scofield, Bruce (1991)
Houck, Walter (1983)
Sept. 8, 2001 Watchung Reservation, Union County, N.J.
Torrey Botanical Society trip. With John Medallis (leader).
Nomenclature follows Gleason & Cronquist (1991). Common names from various sources.
Various manuals used for cultivated plants. Bailey (1949) often useful.
var. ... = unspecified variety. (Vars. listed in Gleason & Cronquist do not match Kartesz's interpretation.)
F Flowering specimen(s) found. [C.] Cultivated.
Fr Fruiting specimen(s) found. [E.] Escaped from cultivation.
Acer saccharinum Silver Maple few
Acer saccharum var. saccharum Sugar Maple some
Ailanthus altissima Tree of Heaven common; im Fr
Amelanchier arborea Downy Serviceberry 2
Betula lenta Black Birch some
Carpinus caroliniana var. virginiana Ironwood some
Carya glabra Pignut Hickory some
Carya ovata Shagbark Hickory some; Fr
Carya tomentosa Mockernut Hickory (Added by Patrick Cooney)
Castanea dentata American Chestnut 2
Celtis occidentalis Hackberry some
Cornus florida Flowering Dogwood some; im Fr
Fagus grandifolia var. ... American Beech some
Fraxinus americana White Ash some
Gleditsia triacanthos (unarmed cultivar) [C.] Honey Locust 1 seedling
Juglans nigra [C./E.] Black Walnut few; Fr
Juniperus virginiana var. ... Eastern Red-cedar few
Liriodendron tulipifera Tulip-tree some
Nyssa sylvatica var. sylvatica Sour Gum some; im Fr
Ostrya virginiana Hop Hornbeam few
Pinus strobus [C.] White Pine 1; Fr
Platanus occidentalis Sycamore few
Prunus serotina Black Cherry some
Quercus alba White Oak some
Quercus palustris Pin Oak common
Quercus prinus Chestnut Oak some; im Fr
Quercus rubra Red Oak some
Quercus velutina Black Oak few
Sassafras albidum Sassafras some
Tilia americana var. americana Basswood few
Tsuga canadensis Eastern Hemlock 1
Ulmus americana American Elm few
Alnus serrulata Smooth Alder few, several sites
Aralia elata [E.] Japanese Angelica Tree 1 seedling, near lunch site
Berberis thunbergii [E.] Japanese Barberry 2
Cornus amomum var. amomum Silky Dogwood some; Fr
Corylus americana [C.] American Hazel 1, roadside at pond
Corylus cornuta Beaked Hazel (Added by Patrick); Fr
Crataegus spp. (2) Hawthorn 2; im Fr
Euonymus alatus [E.] Winged Burning Bush (Added by Patrick)
Gaylussacia baccata Black Huckleberry few
Hamamelis virginiana Witch Hazel some
Ilex verticillata var. ... Winterberry few, 1 site; im Fr
Kalmia latifolia Mountain Laurel (Added by Patrick)
Ligustrum sp. [E.] Privet few; im Fr
Lindera benzoin var. benzoin Spicebush some; im Fr
Lonicera maackii [C.] Asiatic Honeysuckle 1 clump; im Fr
Lonicera morrowii Morrow's Honeysuckle (Added by Patrick)
Mitchella repens Partridge-berry few patches
Philadelphus sp. Mock Orange (Added by Patrick)
Rhus copallina Winged Sumac (Added by Patrick)
Rhus glabra Smooth Sumac few
Ribes sp. Gooseberry (Added by Patrick)
Rosa carolina Carolina Rose some; im Fr
Rosa multiflora Multiflora Rose common; im Fr
Rubus occidentalis Black Raspberry few
Rubus phoenicolasius [E.] Wine Rasberry few
Rubus sp. Blackberry some
Staphylea trifolia American Bladdernut some; im Fr
Vaccinium corymbosum Highbush Blueberry some
Vaccinium pallidum Early Lowbush Blueberry some
Viburnum prunifolium Blackhaw some; im Fr
Vinca minor [E.] Common Periwinkle common, 1 area
Amphicarpaea bracteata Hog Peanut some; F(1)
Calystegia sepium Hedge Bindweed 1
Campsis radicans Trumpet Creeper few; F
Celastrus orbiculatus [E.] Oriental Bittersweet some
Clematis virginiana Virgin's-bower 1
Cuscuta gronovii Common Dodder 2 patches; F
Dioscorea villosa var. villosa Wild Yam few patches
Lathyrus latifolius [E.] Everlasting Pea 1, roadside; F
Lonicera japonica Japanese Honeysuckle common; im Fr
Menispermum canadense Common Moonseed 1
Parthenocissus quinquefolia Virginia Creeper some
Polygonum scandens var. scandens Climbing False Buckwheat 1 patch; im Fr
Smilax rotundifolia Common Greenbrier some
Solanum dulcamara Bittersweet Nightshade 2; im Fr
Toxicodendron radicans var. radicans Poison Ivy common
Vitis labrusca Fox Grape 1
Vitis vulpina Frost Grape 1 patch
Wisteria sp. (floribunda?) [C.] Japanese Wisteria (13 leaflets) common, several areas
Actaea alba White Baneberry some; Fr
Aegopodium podagraria Goutweed few large patches
Agrimonia pubescens Downy Agrimony few; im Fr
Alliaria petiolata Garlic Mustard common
Allium tricoccum var. tricoccum Wild Leek locally common; Fr
Ambrosia artemisiifolia Common Ragweed some; F
Antennaria sp. Pussytoes (Added by Patrick)
Apocynum sp. Dogbane, Indian Hemp few
Aralia nudicaulis Wild Sarsaparilla some
Arisaema triphyllum var. triphyllum Jack in the Pulpit few
Artemisia vulgaris Mugwort common; F
Asclepias incarnata var. pulchra Swamp Milkweed few patches; im Fr
Asclepias syriaca Common Milkweed few
Aster divaricatus var. divaricatus White Wood Aster common; F
Aster linariifolius Stiff Aster some; near F
Aster patens var. patens Late Purple Aster some, 1 site; F
Aster racemosus Small White Aster some; F
Bidens frondosa Beggarticks few; F
Boehmeria cylindrica False Nettle few; im Fr
Chenopodium album Lamb's-quarters few
Chimaphila maculata Spotted Wintergreen 1 patch; im Fr
Cicuta maculata var. maculata Water Hemlock (Added by Patrick)
Cirsium arvense var. ... Canada Thistle (Added by Patrick)
Cirsium discolor Field Thistle 1; Fr
Cirsium vulgare Bull Thistle 1; F
Collinsonia canadensis Horse Balm some; F
Commelina communis Asiatic Dayflower some; F
Conyza canadensis var. canadensis Horseweed few; F
Cryptotaenia canadensis Honewort few, several sites; F
Cunila origanoides Dittany few patches; F
Cynoglossum virginianum var. virginianum Wild Comfrey some, one section of trail; Fr
Daucus carota Wild Carrot some; F
Desmodium nudiflorum Naked-flowered Tick-trefoil some; F, im Fr
Desmodium paniculatum Panicled Tick-trefoil (Added by Patrick); F
Dianthus armeria Deptford Pink few; F
Epifagus virginiana Beechdrops (Added by Patrick)
Epilobium coloratum Purple-leaved Willowherb 1; F, im Fr
Erechtites hieraciifolia Pilewort some; im Fr
Erigeron annuus Daisy Fleabane few; F
Eupatorium fistulosum Hollow-stemmed Joe-Pye Weed few patches, 1 site; F
Eupatorium perfoliatum var. perfoliatum Boneset few; F
Eupatorium purpureum var. purpureum Sweetscented Joe-Pye Weed 2; past F
Eupatorium rugosum var. rugosum White Snakeroot some; F
Euthamia graminifolia var. nuttallii Grass-leaved Goldenrod common; F
Geum canadense White Avens few; F(1),Fr
Gnaphalium obtusifolium var. obtusifolium Sweet Cudweed (Added by Patrick); F
Helianthemum canadense Long-branched Frostweed (Capsules of cleistogamous flws) few; Fr
Helianthus decapetalus Thin-leaved Sunflower some, woodland edge at pond; F
Hesperis matronalis [E.] Dames Rocket 1
Heteranthera reniformis Mud-plantain few
Hieracium paniculatum Panicled Hawkweed few; Fr
Hieracium venosum Rattlesnake-weed few
Hypericum gentianoides Orangegrass few; F
Hypericum punctatum Spotted St. Johnswort (Added by Patrick)
Hypoxis hirsuta Yellow Stargrass few; F
Impatiens capensis Jewelweed some; F
Iris pseudacorus [E.] Yellow Flag 1 large patch
Lespedeza cuneata [E.] Silky Lespedeza 1
Lespedeza intermedia Wand Lespedeza 1 patch; F
Ludwigia palustris Common Water-purslane some
Lycopus virginicus Virginia Water Horehound few; F, im Fr
Maianthemum canadense var. ... Canada Mayflower 1 patch
Medicago lupulina Black Medick 1; F
Monotropa uniflora Indian Pipe some clumps; Fr
Myosotis laxa Small Forget-me-not few; F
Myriophyllum sp. Water-milfoil some
Oenothera biennis var. biennis Evening-primrose 1; F
Osmorhiza claytonii Sweet Cicely few; Fr
Oxalis stricta Common Yellow Wood-sorrel some; F, im Fr
Penthorum sedoides Ditch Stonecrop few; im Fr
Phytolacca americana Pokeweed few; im Fr
Pilea pumila var. pumila Clearweed few; F, im Fr
Plantago lanceolata English Plantain some; F, Fr
Polygonatum pubescens Hairy Solomon's Seal 1
Polygonum arenastrum Dooryard Knotweed few clumps; F, Fr
Polygonum cespitosum var. longisetum Cespitose Smartweed some; F, Fr
Polygonum cuspidatum [E.] Japanese Knotweed few; F
Polygonum lapathifolium Nodding Smartweed (Added by Patrick); F
Polygonum pensylvanicum Pennsylvania Smartweed few; F
Polygonum punctatum var. punctatum Dotted Smartweed some; F, im Fr
Polygonum sagittatum Arrow-leaved Tearthumb some; F
Polygonum scandens var. scandens Climbing False Buckwheat 1 patch; im Fr
Polygonum virginianum Jumpseed common; Fr
Portulaca oleracea Purslane (Added by Patrick)
Potamogeton sp. Pondweed (No fruits, no submerged leaves) some
Potentilla norvegica Rough Cinquefoil few, 1 site; F
Potentilla simplex Common Cinquefoil some
Prenanthes altissima var. ... Tall Rattlesnake-root 1; near Fr
Prunella vulgaris var. lanceolata Selfheal few; F
Pycnanthemum tenuifolium Narrow-leaved Mountainmint few, 1 site; Fr
Pyrola rotundifolia var. ... Round-leaved Shinleaf few, 1 area
Pyrola elliptica Shinleaf (Added by Patrick)
Rudbeckia hirta var. pulcherrima Black-eyed Susan (Fall leaves only) 1 patch
Rumex obtusifolius Broad-leaved Dock few; Fr
Sagittaria latifolia var. ... Broad-leaved Arrowhead some; F
Sanguinaria canadensis Bloodroot some
Sanicula gregaria Clustered Snakeroot few; Fr
Scutellaria lateriflora Mad-dog Skullcap few; F
Sedum sarmentosum [E.] Stringy Stonecrop 1 patch
Smilacina racemosa False Solomon's Seal few; Fr
Solanum nigrum Black Nightshade 1; F, im Fr
Solidago bicolor Silverrod some; F
Solidago caesia Blue-stemmed Goldenrod some; F
Solidago canadensis var. scabra Canada Goldenrod some; F (few)
Solidago flexicaulis Zigzag Goldenrod some; F (few)
Solidago nemoralis var. nemoralis Gray Goldenrod some, 1 site; F
Solidago rugosa ssp. r. var. rugosa Rough Goldenrod some; F
Sparganium sp. Bur-reed (Added by Patrick)
Taraxacum officinale ssp. officinale Common Dandelion few; F @Taraxacum officinale $Dandelion
Thalictrum pubescens Tall Meadow-rue 2; Fr
Trichostema dichotomum Bluecurls few; F
Typha latifolia Broad-leaved Cattail some; Fr
Uvularia sessilifolia Sessile-leaved Bellwort 1
Verbena urticifolia var. urticifolia White Vervain few; Fr
Vernonia noveboracensis New York Ironweed few; F
Veronica officinalis Common Speedwell few patches
Viola sagittata Arrow-leaved Violet few
Viola sp. (sororia? cucullata?) Dooryard Violet? Marsh Blue Violet? some
Xanthium strumarium var. canadense Common Cocklebur 1; F, im Fr
Juncus sp. (pylaei?) Common Rush common at pond; Fr
Juncus tenuis var. tenuis Path Rush some; Fr
Carex pensylvanica var. pensylvanica Pennsylvanian Sedge some
Carex sp. (Laxiflora group) Loose-flowered Sedge some
Carex stricta Tussock Sedge few clumps
Cyperus bipartitus Shining Flatsedge few; F, im Fr
Cyperus erythrorhizos Red-rooted Flatsedge few; F, Fr
Cyperus strigosus Straw-colored Flatsedge some; F, Fr
Eleocharis ovata Blunt Spikerush 1 patch; im Fr
Scirpus atrovirens var. atrovirens Dark Green Bulrush few; Fr
Scirpus cyperinus Woolgrass some; im Fr
Agrostis gigantea Redtop common Andropogon gerardii Big Bluestem few; F
Aristida longespica var. geniculata Slimspike Threeawn few large patches; Fr
Cinna arundinacea Common Woodreed few clumps; F
Dactylis glomerata Orchard Grass common
Danthonia spicata Poverty Oatgrass some
Echinochloa muricata var. microstachya Rough Barnyard-grass few, 1 site; F
Echinochloa muricata var. muricata Rough Barnyard-grass few; F
Eleusine indica Goosegrass (Added by Patrick)
Elymus canadensis Canada Wild Rye 1; im Fr
Elymus hystrix Bottlebrush Grass 1; Fr
Festuca subverticillata Nodding Fescue few
Leersia oryzoides Rice Cutgrass 1 patch; F
Leersia virginica Whitegrass common; F
Microstegium vimineum Japanese Stilt Grass common; near F
Muhlenbergia schreberi Nimblewill some; F
Panicum clandestinum Deertongue some
Panicum dichotomiflorum Spreading Panicgrass 1, roadside at pond; near F
Phragmites australis Common Reed few patches
Schizachyrium scoparium var. scoparium Little Bluestem some; near F
Setaria faberi Nodding Foxtail (Added by Patrick)
Setaria glauca Yellow Foxtail common; F, Fr
Setaria viridis var. viridis Green Foxtail few; Fr
Sorghastrum nutans Indian Grass some, few sites; F
Tridens flavus var. flavus Purpletop (Added by Patrick)
Ferns & Fern Allies:
Athyrium filix-femina var. michauxii Lady Fern 1 patch
Dryopteris marginalis Marginal Woodfern some; Fr
Onoclea sensibilis Sensitive Fern some
Polystichum acrostichoides Christmas Fern some
Pteridium aquilinum var. latiusculum Bracken 3
Thelypteris noveboracensis New York Fern some
Fagus grandifolia (beech tree)
Ilex opaca (American holly) at the Trailside Museum parking lot
Kalmia latifolia (mountain laurel)
Liquambar styraciflua (sweetgum)
Liriodendron tulipifera (tulip tree)
Nasturtium (wild watercress)
Picea sp. (spruce)
Pinus strobus (white pine)
Rhododendron maximum (rosebay rhododendron)
Tsuga canadensis (hemlock)
blue atlas cedar -- at Trailside Museum parking lot
Dr. Harold Moldenke (old plant list)
Acer (Saccharodendron) nigrum (black maple)
Acer saccharum (sugar maple)
Carpinus caroliniana var. virginiana (northern hornbeam)
Cercis canadensis (redbud)
Cornus (Benthamidia) florida (flowering dogwood)
Juglans cinerea (butternut)
Juglans nigra (black walnut)
Liquidambar styraciflua (sweetgum)
Pinus rigida (pitch pine)
Pinus sylvestris (interesting naturalized exotics)
Populus grandidentata (large toothed aspen)
Populus tremuloides (trembling aspen)
Sassafras albidum var molle (sassafras)
Tsuga americana (eastern hemlock)
Aralia spinosa (Hercules' club) (widely naturalized)
Aronia melanocarpa (purple chokeberry)
Berberis thunbergii (the common barberry hedge)
Diervilla lonicera (bush honeysuckle)
Elaeagnus umbellata (a handsome Japanese shrub with silvery foliage)
Epigaea repens (trailing arubutus)
Hamamelis virginiana (witch hazel)
Ilex verticillata var padifolia
Myrica (Cerothamnus) carolinensis (bayberry)
Rhododendron (Azalea) japonica (Japanese azalea)
Rhododendron periclymenoides (Azalea nudiflora) (pinxter flower)
Rhododendron (Azalea) prinophylla (occurs sparingly)
Rhododendron (Azalea) viscosa (swamp honeysuckle)
Rubus phoenicolasius (wineberry)
Salix purpurea (interesting naturalized exotics)
Spiraea prunifolia var plena
Spiraea prunifolia var plena
Staphylea trifolia (American bladdernut)
Symphoricarpos albus var laevigatus
Vibrunum acerifolium (mapleleaf viburnum)
Viburnum dentatum (arrowwood viburnum)
Viburnum opalifolium (snowball tree)
Viburnum opalifolium (American cranberry tree)
Viburnum prunifolium (backhaw viburnum)
Viburnum rafinesquianum (downyleaf arrowwood)
Viburnum trilobum (cranberry bush ) very noteworthy
Amphicarpaea bracteata (hog peanut)
Aristolochia macrophylla (Dutchman's pipe)
Celastrus scandens (climbing bittersweet)
Clematis (Atragene) americana (purple virgin's bower) very noteworthy
Convolvulus americanus (American hedge bindweed)
Cuscuta corylis (dodder)
Cuscuta gronovii (dodder)
Dioscorea villosa (wild yam-root)
Humulus lupulus (common hops)
Lonicera dioica (glaucous honeysuckle)
Lonicera japonica (Japanese honeysuckle)
Menispermum canadense (Canada moonseed)
Opuntia compressa (northern prickly pear cactus)
Parthenocissus quinquefolia (Virginia creeper)
Smilax (Nemexia) herbacea (carrion flower) (rarity)
Vitis aestivalis (summer grape)
Vitis cordifolia (grape)
Wisteria sinensis (Chinese wisteria)
Acalypha virginica (Virginia three-seeded mercury)
Acorus calamus (sweet flag) very common
Actaea pachypoda (white baneberry)
Alisma subcordatum (water plantain)
Allium candadense (meadow garlic)
Allium vineale (field garlic)
Althaea rosea (hollyhock)
Anemonella thalictroides (rue anemone)
Anthopogon crinitum (fringed gentian)
Apocynum cannbinum var pubescens
Aquilegia canadensis (wild columbine)
Aralia chinensis (in cultivation)
Aralia nudicaulis (native in the woods)
Aralia racemosa (native in the woods)
Arctium minus (lesser burdock)
Arisaema triphyllum (Jack in the pulpit)
Asclepias incarnata (swamp milkweed)
Asclepias syriaca (common milkweed)
Asclepias tuberosa (butterfly weed)
Asclepias (Acerates) viridiflora (green milkweed)
Asparagus officinalis (asparagus)
Aster divaricatus (white wood aster)
Aureolaria (two species of yellow false foxglove) abundant in many localities
Baptisia tinctoria (common wild indigo)
Castilleja coccinea (Indian paintbrush)
Cathartolinum (two species of yellow false-flax) common
Chamaecrista (two species of partridge pea) common
Chamaelirium luteum (rarity)
Chelidonium majus (celandine)
Chelone glabra (turtle head)
Chimaphila umbellata (princes pine)
Chimaphila maculata (spotted wintergreen)
Cichorium intybus (blue and white chicory)
Circaea latifolia (enchanter's nightshade)
Cirsium muticum (occurs sparingly)
Collinsonia canadensis (horsebalm)
Coreopsis grandiflora var pilosa (interesting naturalized exotics)
Coreopsis grandiflora var villosa
Cuphea petiolata (stick-flowered) widely distributed in dry fields
Cynoglossum boreale (northern wild comfrey)
Cynoglossum virginianum (only recently discovered in the area)
Dasystephana andrewsii (closed gentian)
Desmodium nudiflorum f foliolatum
Deutzia scabra (two varieties)
Dianthus armeria (deptford pink)
Drosera rotundifolia (round-leaved sundew)
Euphorbia (Chamaesyce) maculata (milk purslane) abundant in many localities
Euphorbia (Chamaesyce) supina (spotted milk purslane)
Fissipes acaulis (moccasin-flower)
Galium circaezans (common wild licorice)
Galium piolsum (hairy bedstraw)
Goodyera repens var ophioides
Gratiola neglecta (northern hedge-hyssop)
Helenium autumnale (common sneezeweed)
Helianthus laetiflorus (sunflower)
Hemerocallis fulva var kwanso (interesting naturalized exotics)
Hemerocallis (four kinds)
Heteranthera reniformis (common mud plantain)
Hieracium murorum (very rare)
Hypericum (Sarothra) gentianoides (orange grass)
Krigia (Cynthia) virginica
Lactuca virosa (two forms)
Lechea leggettii (pinweed) abounds in open woods
Liatris spicata (dense gayfeather) extensive colonies
Lilium canadense (yellow field lily)
Lilium philadelphicum (wood lily)
Lobelia cardinalis (cardinal flower)
Lobelia siphilitica (great blue lobelia)
Lobelia spicata (pale spike lobelia)
Lycopus virginicus (Virginia bugleweed)
Melanthium latifolium (rarity)
Melanthium virginicum (rarity)
Mertensia virginica (Virginia bluebells)
Mimulus ringens (monkey flower)
Narcissus (two species)
Nuphar advena (spatterdock)
Orontium aquaticum (golden club)
Panax quinquefolium (American ginseng)
Pastinaca sativa var sylvestris
Pedicularis lanceolata (occurs sparingly)
Penthorum sedoides (ditch stonecrop)
Perilla frutescens var crispa (interesting naturalized exotics)
Phryma leptostachya (American lopseed)
Physalis (ground cherry)
Pilea pumilus (clearweed)
Plantago major var vulgaris
Plantago major var sinuata
Polygonum tenue (slender knotweed)
Ranunculus repens var floreplenus
Sabbatia angularis (square-stemmed rose-pink)
Sagittaria latifolia (broadleaf arrowhead)
Sarracenia purpurea (northern pitcher plant)
Saururus cernuus (lizard's tail)
Scrophularia lanceolata (Pursh's figwort)
Sedum triphyllum (very common)
Senecio balsamitae (balsam ragwort)
Silene (Lychnis) alba (white campion)
Smilacina racemosa (false Solomon's seal)
Taraxacum officinale (dandelion)
Trichostema dichotomum (common blue curls)
Trillium grandiflorum (large-flowered wake-robin) rarity
Tussilago farfara (coltsfoot)
Verbascum blattaria (both white and yellowed flowered)
Verbena hastata (blue vervain)
Verbena urticiolia (white vervain)
Vernonia noveboracensis (New York ironweed)
Veronica officinalis (common speedwell)
Veronica serpyllifolia (thymeleaf speedwell)
Veronicastrum virginicum (culver's root) abundant in many localities
Juncus effusus (soft rush)
Carex squarrosa (squarrose sedge)
Rynchospora glomerata (clustered beak-rush)
Panicum spp. (panic grass)
Phalaris arundinacea (reed canary grass)
Phragmites maximum var. berlandieri (common American reed)
Schizachyrium (Andropogon) scoparius
Sorghastrum nutans (Indian grass) was at its prime and rendered the fields a spectacular sight
Ferns and Fern Allies:
Equisetum arvense (field horsetail)
Lycopodium flabelliforme (trailing Christmas green)
Asplenium platyneuron (ebony spleenwort)
Athyrium angustum (American lady fern)
Camptosorus rhizophyllus (walking fern)
Cystopteris (brittle fern)
Dennstaedtia punctilobula (hay-scented fern)
Onoclea sensibilis (sensitive fern)
Phegopteris polypodioides (long beech fern)
Polypodium (American polypody)
Polystichum acrostichoides (Christmas fern)
Pteridium latiusculum (American bracken fern)
Woodsia obtusa (blunt-lobed woodsia fern)
Funaria (campfire moss)
Polystichum commune (comon haircap moss)
Sphagnum squarrosum (bog moss)
Harold N. Moldenke. 1936. "The flora of the Watchung Mountains. Part II -- The Flora." Vol pp 88-93.
The Watchung Mountains, lying wholly within the Piedmont phytogeographic province, whose geologic history we have just reviewed, have a native flora which is, on the whole, quiet characteristics of this province, although doubtless the close proximity of four other important phytogeographic provinces, viz., the Coastal Plain, the New England, the Appalachian Valley, and the Appalachian Plateaus, has aided materially in building up the remarkably rich flora which is to be found in these hills. Far greater contributions, however, have come due to the proximity of the area to the port of New York City, through which so many scores of foreign plants have entered.
Very representative of the region is the flora of that part of the Watchung Mountains at the town of Watchung itself, and in its immediate vicinity. Here, in a total area of less than 25 square miles, the present writer has recorded no less than 1,355 different species and varieties of wild plants, fully 85 percent of which can be found in an area of 5 square miles.
Although he has worked in his spare time for the past nine years on the compilation of a complete e list of the wild flora of this region, the writer is nevertheless convinced that the recorded list is still far from complete. If the cryptogams of the region could be as thoroughly collected and as accurately identified as have the phaneograms, the total for even this very small portion of the area under discussion would most certainly mount to well above two thousand species and varieties.
Among the botanists who have collected in the region should be mentioned William Henry Leggett, Ezra Brainered, Frank Tweedy, Nathaniel Lord Britton, Per Axel Rydberg, George Valentine Nash, Kenneth Kent Mackenzie, Mintin Asbury Chrysler, Waldron de Witt Miller, Percy Wilson, Norman Taylor, Gladys Pomeroy Anderson, and Edward J. Alexander. The collections of Mackenzie, Miller, and Tweedy are probably the most extensive made in the region before the present survey was begun.
In the Watchung area, out of the total of 1,355 species and
varieties recorded, 1,105 (or 81 percent) are native -- the
remaining 259 (or 19 per cent) are introduced. Some of these
foreign introductions have become very widely naturalized and
constitute what may in many cases be designated as pernicious
weeds. Others have become only sparing naturalized; a few have
been found only as waifs. Species existing in the area only in
cultivation are, of course, not here considered. Of the 250
introductions to the region, 164 are indigenous to Europe, 12 to
Eurasia, 26 to Asia, 1 to the Old World tropics in general, 14 to
tropical America, and 23 to other portions of North America. In
addition, 10 species and varieties usually ascribed to
horticultural origin have escaped from cultivation and have
become more or less naturalized.
Some of the more interesting naturalized species of the region have been described in a previous article.
Elaeagnus umbellata (a handsome Japanese shrub with silvery
Berberis thunbergii (the common barberry hedge, also from Japan, are widespread though the fields, along the streams and throughout the woods on both the First and Second ridges. Their distribution is doubtless explained by the fact that their fruits are fleshy and highly relished by birds.)
Azalea japonica (would spread though the open fields far more rapidly even that it has, were it not so relentlessly hunted and uprooted).
Other noteworthy introduced members of the flora: Ailanthus altissima, Amygdalus persica, Aristolochia macrophylla, Asparagus officinalis, Chaenomeles lagenaria, Chelidonium majus, Cleome spinosa, Convolvulus arvensis, Convolvulus japonicus, Deutzia scabra (two varieties), Hemerocallis (four kinds), Ligustrum obtusifolium, Lonicera morrowi, Malus sylvestris, Monarda didyma, Narcissus (two species), Ornithogalum umbellatum, Phlox paniculata, Pleuropterus cuspidatus, Poterium sanguisorba, Pyrus communis, Spiraea billiardii, Spiraea prunifolia var plena, Symphoricarpos albus var laevigatus, Symphytum officinalis, and Vinca minor.
Very common plants were: Abutilon theophrasti, Allium vineale, Ambrina ambrosioides, Bilderdykia convolvulus, Broussonetia papyrifera, Campe verna, Dianthus armeria, Humulus lupulus, Lonicera japonica, Lychnis alba, Lysimachia nummularia, Mollugo verticillata, Norta altissima, Pastinaca sativa var sylvestris, Prunus avium, Ranunculus acris, Ranunculus bulbosus, Salix alba, Salix fragilis, Salix purpurea, Sedum triphyllum (very common), Silene latifolia, Sisymbrium nasturtium-aquaticum, Verbascum thapsus and Verbascum blattaria (both white and yellowed flowered).
Eight mints are common: Glecoma hederacea, Lamium purpureum, Leonurus cardiaca, Mentha gentilis, Mentha piperita, Mentha spicata, Nepeta cataria, Prunella vulgaris.
Leucanthemum vulgare, from Europe, is one of the most conspicuous summer flowers in open fields and along roadsides, and Galinsoga ciliata, from South America, together with Portulaca oleracea, from Europe, are among the most persistent and pernicious of garden weeds.
Other common introduced composites are Arctium minus, Chamomilla suaveolens, Cichorium intybus (blue and white chicory), Cirsium arvense, Cirsium lanceolatum, Lactuca virosa (two forms), Senecio vulgaris, Senecio sylvaticus, Tanacetum vulgare, Taraxacum officinale (dandelion), and Tussilago farfara.
Of the eight species of hawkweed, four are native and four European. Hieracium murorum is found in one large colony in the area -- one of the half dozen records of this species for America.
Without doubt the rarest and most interesting of all native plants of the region is Obolaria virginica, a saprophytic member of the gentian family, which has been found in sizable colonies in many localities on the Second Watchung. Orchids, too, are well represented. Thus far 17 species, representing 11 genera of this family, have been found in the vicinity of Watchung, including: Blephariglottis grandiflora, Blephariglottis lacera, Blephariglottis psycodes, Corallorhiza maculata and C. odontorhiza, Galeorchis spectablis, Goodyera repens var ophioides, Isotria verticillata, Limodorum tuberosum, Liparis liliifolia, Malaxis unifolia, and Perularia flava.
Four species of ladies-tresses (Spiranthes) are there found, and the moccasin-flower (Fissipes acaulis) is rather abundant in some localities. None of these orchids, however, can justly be designated as common and should therefore be afforded all the protection and conservation that it is possible to give them. Other species common in the region up to a few years ago, must now also be afforded protection, such as: Anthopogon crinitum (fringed gentian), Aquilegia canadensis (wild columbine), Asclepias tuberosa (butterfly weed), Azalea nudiflora (pinxter flower), Chimaphila maculata (spotted wintergreen), Chimaphila umbellata (princes pine), Dasystephana andrewsii (closed gentian), Epigaea repens (trailing arubustus), Lilium canadense (yellow field lily), Lilium philadelphicum (wood lily), Lobelia cardinalis (cardinal flower), Lobelia siphilitica (great blue lobelia), Lobelia spicata (pale spike lobelia), Mertensia virginica (Virginia bluebells), Orontium aquaticum (golden club), and Sabbatia angularis (rose pink).
Four other species, formerly very abundant in the region, are being relentlessly persecuted by unthinking persons who yearly destroy hundreds of the plants and year by year bring the species near to extermination. These species are the: Benthamidia florida (flowering dogwood); Celastrus scandens (climbing bittersweet); Cerothamnus carolinensis (bayberry); and Lycopodium flabelliforme (trailing Christmas green).
In addition to the Obolaria mentioned above, 3 other saprophytic phaneogams occur in the area: Hypopitys americana, Monotropa uniflora, and Thalesia uniflora.
The Indian paintbrush (Castilleja coccinea) is still to be found in some localities and three species of gerardia (Agalinis) are fairly abundant. The true American ginseng (Panax quinquefolium) still occurs in at least one locality, and another rarity is Ilex bronxensis. The American bladdernut (Staphylea trifolia) occurs in scattered localities, as does also the redbud (Cercis canadensis). All the plants mentioned in this and the preceding paragraph deserve conservation, and , indeed in many cases urgently need our protection. They are the true "vanishing Americans."
Plainfield was for some time the headquarters of Ezra Brainerd who was fascinated by the wealth of wild violets in the Watchung area. No less than 33 distinct species, varieties, and named hybrids have been recorded from the region, including the rare Viola bissellii, Viola conturbata, Viola columbiana, Viola erratica, Viola malteana, Viola modica, Viola napae, and Viola ravida.
The sugar maple (Acer saccharum) and the Canada hemlock (Tsuga americana) both occur native in Wetumpka Notch and on other portions of the First and Second Watchungs; 11 species of tick-trefoil (Desmodium) have been recorded, and 13 species and 2 hybrids of Rubus. Robinia viscosa occurs in numerous localities as though native; Rubacer odoratus is abundant; and Crataegus uniflora quite common. Of the 11 species of willow recorded, at least 5 are native and the rest so widely naturalized as to appear indigenous.
The wide occurrence of the yam-root (Dioscorea villosa) in the region comes as rather of a surprise, as does also the abundance of the sweetgum (Liquidambar styraciflua) and of Achillea asplenifolia.
Other interesting natives are: Asarum reflexum, Celtis crassifolia, Corydalis flavula, Menispermum canadense, Triosteum angustifolium and T. aurantiacum.
Nine kinds of Ranunculus, 6 of Rosa, 5 of Lespedeza, 4 of Xanthoxalis, 8 of Asclepias, 4 of Cuscuta, 4 of Scutellaria, 5 of Physalis, 5 of Veronica, 7 of Galium, 6 of Viburnum, 7 of Eupatorium, 5 of Senecio, 15 of Solidago, and 7 of Scirpus occur in the neighborhood of Watchung.
The largest genus, however, in this area is Carex with 85 recorded species. The lichen Cladonia has 32 forms in the area, Panicum coming nest with 25, and Aster taking fourth place with 234. Of ferns and fern allies there are 32, of grasses 97, of sedges 113, and of composites 132 species and named varieties. 4 species of loosestrife.
Acerates viridiflora (green milkweed), Acorus calamus (sweet flag) very common, Actaea pachypoda (white baneberry), Alisma subcordatum (water plantain), Apocynum (three species often grow almost side by side in Washington Valley), Aureolaria (two species of yellow false foxglove) abundant in many localities, Azalea prinophylla (occurs sparingly), Cathartolinum (two species of yellow false-flax) common, Ceratophyllum demersum, Chamaecrista (two species of partridge pea) common, Chamaelirium luteum (rarity), Chamaesyce maculata (milk purslane) abundant in many localities, Chelone glabra (turtle head), Circaea latifolia (enchanter's nightshade), Cirsium muticum (occurs sparingly), Cuphea petiolata (stick-flowered) widely distributed in dry fields, Grossularia hirtella, Heteranthera reniformis, Lechea leggettii (pinweed) abounds in open woods, Lemna (duckweed), Melampyrum lineare, Melanthium latifolium (rarity) and M. virginicum (rarity), Micranthes pennsylvanica, Mimulus ringens (monkey flower), Myosotis (3 species of forget me not), Nemexia herbacea (carrion flower) (rarity), Nuphar advena (spatterdock), Pedicularis lanceolata (occurs sparingly), Penthorum sedoides (ditch stonecrop), Plantago halophila, Potamogeton diversifolius and P. pusillus, Ribes triste, Sagittaria latifolia (common arrowhead), Saururus cernuus (lizard's tail), Sparganium androcladum and S. eurocarpum, Spirodela polyrhiza, Trillium grandiflorum (large-flowered wake-robin) rarity, Typha (cattail), Utricularia gibba, Veronicastrum virginicum (culver's root) abundant in many localities, and Zosterella dubia.
From Washington Valley have been recorded. Lichens -- 84 forms; mosses -- 52 species; polypores -- 13 species. Liatris spicata (extremely showy is the tall purple-flowered gayfeather or blazing star). Viburnum trilobum (cranberry bush ) very noteworthy. Atragene americana (purple virgin's bower) very noteworthy.
Other plants of the region worthy of mention: Azalea viscosa (swamp honeysuckle), Camptosorus rhizophyllus (walking fern), Carpinus caroliniana var virginiana (northern hornbeam), Drosera rotundifolia (round-leaved sundew), Juncus effusus var solutus (common eastern rush), Opuntia compressa (northern prickly pear cactus), Phragmites maximum var berlandieri (common American reed), Sarracenia purpurea (northern pitcher plant), and Sassafras albidum var molle (sassafras).
In a future article the author hopes to compare the northern (glaciated) with the southern (unglaciated) portions of the Watchung mountains and the eastern ridges (First and Second) with the western ones (Third and Fourth).
There are many field trip reports by Moldenke that I have not put on the web.