Sussex County, NJ

A 1,744 acre park, five miles west of Newton and U.S. Route 206.  It is located on the shores of both Swartswood and Little Swartswood Lakes.


By car only: From New York City, take US 80 west to Exit 27 for Route 206 north. Take this route to Newton. In Newton follow traffic around center square to signs for Route 519 north; take this route for a short distance then turn left onto Route 622 west. Take Route 622 west (Swartswood Road) to junction with Route 619. Turn left onto Route 619 (East Shore Drive) and go half a mile to park entrance on the right. Turn right onto entrance road and park in first parking area on the left (by the park office). Be prepared for trail hiking and ventures onto wet pond shores.


The park area was once farmland with fields of hay and grains separated by stone fences. Much of this farmland is now returning to forest.

The name for Swartswood comes from Captain Anthony Swartwout, slain by Indians.

During the French and Indian War (1754l-1763), a raid by the Delaware Indians had as its goal the capture of Captain Richard Hunt of Hardwick (now Hunt's Pond, Fredon), Captain Daniel Harker of Stillwater, and Captain Anthony Swartwout of Great Pond (now Swartswood Lake). They attacked Swartwout's farm.  They killed his wife and three of her children.  Anthony and three of his remaining children had to surrender as captives.  About a mile from the house, the Indians killed him.  They also killed the youngest of the three children, probably because she was too small to keep up with the escaping raiding party.  (McCabe 2300:14)

Keen's Grist Mill is located off of County Route 521 near the outlet of Swartswood Lake. This mill was built in the 1830's on the site of several other mills, the earliest dating back to the Revolutionary War. This mill was used to grind locally grown grains.

The mill was built on the site of an earlier mill built by Charles Rhodes. Blair Academy (founded in 1848 by John I. Blair) acquired it in 1895 to control the flow of water to the Academy's power station on the Paulinskill at Paulina. In the 1930's, Mary and Levi Serey, who lived in Lake Cottage, managed the sluice gate for the Academy and rented boats on the millpond. A new dam was built in 1905. In the 1980s a still newer dam was built by the Army Corps of Engineers.

early 1900s  --  Swartswood Lake was a major resort, according to local historian Elsie Roof, with weekenders coming into nearby Blairstown by train through the 1940s. The North Shore Inn, visible across the lake, was once a booming hotel.  The Casino and The Dove Island Inn were other places for visitors to stay. Later, weekenders stayed in summer cabins. (source: http://www.njskylands.com/tnstlwtr.htm)

Lake Cottage, Swartswood Lake, was at the southern end of the millpond fed by Swartswood Lake, one half mile north of Middleville. It was a boarding house patronized by summer visitors. The house is still there.

The State of New Jersey began acquiring land for Swartswood State Park in 1914. The Emmans Grove Picnic Area was one of the original acquisitions. The 12.5 acres gift was from Mr. George M. Emmans with "... an intent that the people may have use of the premises herein conveyed as a public park forever . . ."

1,040 acres were acquired through the Green Acres programs.

Problems (http://www.epa.gov/ecoplaces/part2/region2/site26.html):
Swartswood Lake is 204 hectares (504 acres) in size, with a mean depth of 6.7 meters (22 feet) and a maximum depth of 128 meters (42 feet). The watershed covers 4,523 hectares (11,196 acres), including the lake. Some of the major environmental problems here are: high in-lake phosphorus, reduced fish habitat, excessive weed/algal growth, anoxia caused by internal phosphorus recycling, and reduction in clarity.

Some of the actions taken or proposed are: inactivation of internal phosphorus by hypolimnetic aeration, weed harvesting, development of a septic management plan, implementation of homeowner best management practices, and control of future land development.


There are approximately 4 miles of hiking trails and 41 miles of multi-use trails.  The hiking trails include the Spring Lake Trail and Mill Trail.  The Spring Lake trail is 2.5 miles in length and is accessible from near the Duck Pond Group Camping Area.  The Mill Trail is a 1.3 mile loop accessible from the Keen's Grist Mill parking area.

Multi-use trails include the Northern portion of the Sussex Branch Trail (13.2 miles) and the Paulinskill Valley Trail (26 miles).   

August 11, 1998 we saw a mother bear and her two bear cubs on the highway on the road near the West Shore Cartop Boat Launch, Swartswood.  They certainly took their time getting off the road so the cars could pass.


Dr. Kathleen Strakosch-Walz (8/15/98)/Dr. Patrick L. Cooney (5/20/96 and 8/11/98)/Karl Anderson (6/13/98)/Dr. Alfred E. Schuyler (9/12/81)

Acer negundo (box elder maple)
Acer nigrum (black maple)
Acer platanoides (Norway maple)
Acer rubrum (red maple)
Acer saccharum (sugar maple)
Acer saccharinum (silver maple)
Ailanthus altissima (tree of heaven)
Betula lenta (black birch)
Carpinus caroliniana (musclewood)
Carya cordiformis (bitternut hickory)
Carya ovata (shagbark hickory)
Carya tomentosa (mockernut hickory)
Celtis occidentalis (American hackberry)
Cornus florida (flowering dogwood) 5/20/96
Diospyros virginiana (persimmon) 8/11/98fr.
Elaeagnus umbellata (autumn olive)
Fraxinus americana (white ash)
Fraxinus pensylvanica (red ash)
Juglans nigra (black walnut)
Juniperus virginiana (red cedar)
Liriodendron tulipifera (tulip tree)
Nyssa sylvatica (tupelo)
Ostrya virginiana (eastern hop hornbeam)
Picea abies (Norway spruce)
Pilea pumila (clearweed)
Pinus strobus (white pine)
Pinus sylvestris (scotch pine)
Platanus occidentalis (American sycamore)
Populus grandidentata (big tooth aspen)
Prunus serotina (black cherry)
Pyrola elliptica (shinleaf pyrola) 6/13/98
Quercus alba (white oak)
Quercus palustris (pin oak)
Quercus prinus (chestnut oak)
Quercus rubra (red oak)
Quercus velutina (black oak)
Robinia pseudoacacia (black locust)
Salix nigra (black willow)
Sassafras albidum (sassafras)
Tilia americana (American basswood)
Tsuga canadensis (eastern hemlock)
Ulmus rubra (slippery elm)

Shrubs/Small Trees:
Alnus serrulata (smooth alder)
Berberis thunbergii (Japanese barberry)
Buddleja davidii (butterfly bush) planted 8/11/98
Ceanothus americanus (New Jersey tea) 6/13/98
Cephalanthus occidentalis (buttonbush) 8/11/98fr.
Chimaphila maculata (spotted wintergreen)
Clethra alnifolia (sweet pepperbush) 8/11/98
Cornus amomum (silky or swamp dogwood)
Cornus racemosa (gray-stemmed dogwood) 6/13/98
Cornus rugosa (round-leaved dogwood)
Corylus americana (American hazel)
Decodon verticillatus (swamp loosestrife) 8/11/98
Diervilla lonicera (bush honeysuckle) 6/13/98
Hamamelis virginiana (witch hazel)
Ilex verticillata (winterberry holly)
Lindera benzoin (spice bush)
Lonicera morrowii (Morrow's honeysuckle) 5/20/96
Rhodotypos scandens (jetbead)
Rhus typhina (staghorn sumac)
Rosa multiflora (multiflora rose)
Rosa palustris (swamp rose)
Rubus occidentalis (black raspberry)
Rubus odoratus (purple-flowering raspberry) 8/11/98
Rubus phoenicolasius (wineberry)
Salix discolor (pussy willow)
Taxus canadensis (American yew)
Viburnum acerifolium (mapleleaf viburnum)
Viburnum dentatum (arrowwood viburnum)
Viburnum prunifolium (blackhaw viburnum) 5/20/96

Amphicarpaea bracteata (hog peanut)
Apios americana (ground nut) 8/11/98 8/18/01
Cuscuta gronovii (dodder) 8/11/98 8/18/01
Dioscorea villosa (wild yam root)
Lonicera japonica (Japanese honeysuckle) 6/13/98
Menispermum canadense (moonseed)
Parthenocissus quinquefolia (Virginia creeper)
Solanum dulcamara (bittersweet nightshade) 8/11/98
Toxicodendron radicans (poison ivy)
Vitis aestivalis (summer grape)
Vitis riparia (riverbank grape)

Acalypha rhomboidea (three-seeded mercury) 8/11/98
Achillea millefolium (yarrow) 8/11/98 8/15/98
Actaea alba (doll's eyes)
Agrimonia sp. (agrimony) 8/11/98
Alisma subcordatum (water plantain) 8/15/98 one flower in bloom
Alliaria petiolata (garlic mustard) 5/20/96
Ambrosia artemisiifolia (common ragweed) 8/11/98
Anemone virginiana (thimbleweed) 8/11/98 in fr.
Anemonella thalictroides (rue anemone) 5/20/96
Antennaria sp. (pussytoes)
Apocynum cannabinum (Indian hemp dogbane) 8/11/98
Aquilegia canadensis (columbine) 5/20/96
Arabis canadensis (sicklepod)
Aralia nudicaulis (wild sarsaparilla)
Arctium sp. (burdock)
Arisaema triphyllum (jack in the pulpit)
Aristolochia serpentaria (Virginia snakeroot)
Artemisia vulgaris (common mugwort)
Asclepias exaltata (poke milkweed)
Asclepias incarnata (swamp milkweed) 8/15/98
Asclepias syriaca (common milkweed)
Aster divaricatus (white wood aster) 8/18/01
Aster racemosus (aster)
Aureolaria flava (smooth false foxglove) 8/11/98 8/18/01
Barbarea vulgaris (common wintercress)
Bidens beckii (water beggar ticks)
Bidens vulgata? (tall beggar ticks?)
Boehmeria cylindrica (false nettle) 8/11/98
Boltonia asterioides 8/11/98 8/15/98
Callitriche heterophylla ? (water starwort?)
Centaurea maculosa (spotted knapweed) 8/11/98
Ceratophyllum demersum (coontail)
Cichorium intybus (chicory) 8/11/98 8/18/01
Circaea lutetiana (enchanter's nightshade)
Cirsium arvense (Canada thistle)
Cirsium vulgare (bull thistle) 8/11/98
Daucus carota (Queen Anne's lace) 8/11/98
Desmodium glutinosum (pointed-leaved tick trefoil) 8/11/98
Desmodium paniculatum (panicled tick trefoil) 8/18/98
Desmodium sp. (tick trefoil) 8/11/98
Dianthus armeria (Deptford pink) 6/13/98 8/11/98 8/15/98 8/18/01
Elodea nuttalli (free-flowered water weed)
Erigeron strigosus (lesser daisy fleabane) 8/11/98
Eupatorium perfoliatum (boneset) 8/11/98 8/18/01
Eupatorium rugosum (white snake root) 8/11/98
Eupatorium purpureum (sweet-scented joe pye weed) 8/18/01
Euphorbia maculata (spotted spurge) 8/11/98
Euthamia graminifolia (grass-leaved goldenrod) 8/11/98
Fragaria virginiana (wild strawberry)
Galinsoga quadriradiata (galinsoga) 8/11/98 8/15/98
Galium aparine (cleavers) 5/20/96
Galium asprellum (rough bedstraw) 8/11/98
Galium lanceolatum (lance-leaved wild licorice)
Geranium maculatum (wild geranium) 5/20/96 6/13/98
Geum canadense (white avens)
Hackelia virginiana (Virginia stickseed) 8/11/98
Helianthus divaricatus (woodland sunflower) 8/18/01
Helianthus strumosus (pale-leaved sunflower) 8/11/98 8/18/01
Hemerocallis fulva (tawny daylily)
Hepatica americana (round-leaved hepatica)
Heuchera americana (alumroot) 6/13/98
Hypericum perforatum (common St. Johnswort) 8/11/98
Hypericum punctatum (spotted St. Johnswort) 8/11/98
Impatiens capensis (orange jewelweed) 8/18/01
Krigia biflora (two-flowered Cynthia) 6/13/98
Lamium purpureum (purple dead nettle) 8/18/01
Laportea canadensis (wood nettle)
Lespedeza sp. (bush clover) 8/18/01
Linaria vulgaris (butter and eggs) 8/11/98 8/15/98
Lobelia cardinalis (cardinal flower lobelia) 8/15/98
Lobelia inflata (Indian tobacco lobelia) 8/11/98 8/18/01
Lobelia siphilitica (giant lobelia) 8/18/01
Lotus corniculatus (birdfoot trefoil) 8/18/01
Ludwigia palustris (water purslane)
Lycopus uniflorus (northern bugleweed) 8/11/98 8/15/98
Lycopus virginicus (Virginia bugleweed) 8/11/98
Lysimachia ciliata (fringed loosestrife) 8/15/98
Lysimachia nummularia (moneywort) 6/13/98 8/11/98 8/15/98
Lysimachia terrestris (swamp candles)
Lysimachia verticillata (whorled loosestrife) 6/13/98 8/11/98
Lythrum salicaria (purple loosestrife) 8/18/01
Maianthemum canadense (Canada mayflower)
Medicago lupulina (black medic) 8/18/01
Melilotus alba (white sweet clover) 8/15/98
Mentha arvensis (wild mint) 8/11/98 8/15/98
Mitchella repens (partridge berry)
Mollugo verticillata (carpet weed) 8/11/98
Monotropa uniflora (Indian pipe)
Myosotis laxa (lesser forget-me-not) 6/13/98 8/11/98
Myosotis scorpioides (forget-me-not) 8/11/98 8/15/98
Myriophyllum spicatum (European water milfoil)
Najas flexilis (northern water-nymph)
Nelumbo pentapetala (lotus lily)
Nuphar advena (spatterdock)
Nymphaea odorata (fragrant white water lily) 6/13/98 8/11/98 8/18/01
Oenothera biennis (common evening primrose) 8/11/98
Osmorhiza claytonii (sweet cicely)
Oxalis stricta (yellow wood sorrel) 6/13/98
Pedicularis canadensis (wood betony)
Peltandra virginica (arrow-arum)
Penthorum sedoides (ditch stonecrop) 8/11/98 8/15/98 8/18/01
Philadelphus sp. (mock-orange) 5/20/96
Phytolacca americana (pokeweed) 8/11/98
Pilea pumila (clearweed)
Plantago lanceolata (English plantain) 8/11/98
Plantago major (common plantain)
Podophyllum peltatum (mayapple) 5/20/96
Polygonatum pubescens (hairy true Solomon's seal) 8/11/98 in fruit
Polygonum amphibium (marsh knotweed) 8/15/98
Polygonum arenastrum 8/18/01
Polygonum cespitosum (cespitose smartweed) 8/18/01
Polygonum cuspidatum (Japanese knotweed)
Polygonum robustius (white 5 tepals interrupted med hairs) 8/11/98
Polygonum virginianum (jumpseed)
Pontederia cordata (pickerel weed) 8/11/98 8/18/01
Potamogeton amplifolius (bigleaf pondweed)
Potamogeton gramineus (variable pondweed)
Potamogeton praelongus (whitestem pondweed)
Potamogeton perfoliatus (perfoliate pondweed)
Potamogeton robbinsii (fern pondweed)
Potamogeton vaginatus (big sheath pondweed)
Potentilla simplex (common cinquefoil)
Prunella vulgaris (self-heal) 8/11/98
Pycnanthemum incanum (hoary mountain mint) 8/18/01
Ranunculus abortivus (kidney-leaved crowfoot) 5/20/96
Ranunculus acris (tall buttercup) 8/15/98
Ranunculus flabellaris (yellow water buttercup)
Ranunculus repens (creeping buttercup) 5/20/96
Rudbeckia hirta var. pulcherrima (black-eyed Susan) 8/11/98
Rumex obtusifolius (broad dock)
Sagittaria subulata (arrowhead)?
Sanicula gregaria (clustered sanicle)
Satureja vulgaris (wild basil) 8/11/98
Saururus cernuus (lizard's tail)
Scutellaria lateriflora (maddog skullcap) 8/11/98 8/15/98 8/18/01
Senecio obovatus (round-leaved ragwort) 5/20/96
Silene vulgaris (bladder campion) 8/15/98
Sisyrinchium angustifolium (blue star grass)
Sium suave (water parsnip) 8/15/98
Smilacina racemosa (Solomon's plume) 5/20/96
Solanum carolinense (horse nettle) 8/18/01
Solidago bicolor (silverrod) 8/11/98
Solidago caesia (blue-stemmed goldenrod)
Solidago gigantea (late goldenrod) 8/11/98
Solidago nemoralis (gray goldenrod) 8/11/98
Sparganium sp. (burreed)
Spiraea alba var. latifolia (meadowsweet)
Spirodella polyrhiza (greater duckweed)
Symplocarpus foetidus (skunk cabbage)
Taraxacum officinale (dandelion) 5/20/96 8/11/98 8/15/98 8/18/01
Thalictrum pubescens (tall meadowrue)
Triadenum virginicum (marsh St. Johnswort) 8/11/98
Trifolium pratense (red clover) 8/15/98 8/18/01
Trifolium repens (white clover) 6/13/98 8/11/98 8/18/01
Trifolium sp. (yellow hop clover) 8/15/98
Tussilago farfara (colts foot)
Typha latifolia (broad-leaved cattails)
Uvularia perfoliata (perfoliate-leaved bellwort) 5/20/96
Vaccinium corymbosum (highbush blueberry)
Verbascum thapsus (common mullein) 8/11/98
Verbena urticifolia (white vervain) 8/18/01
Veronica officinalis (common speedwell)
Veronica serpyllifolia (thyme-leaved speedwell) 6/13/98
Viola pubescens (downy yellow violet) 5/20/96
Zosterella dubia (water stargrass) 8/22/01 follow up to 8/18/01 visit
thin leaved parsley?

Juncus acuminatus (rush)
Juncus tenuis (path rush)

Carex bebbii (sedge)
Carex cryptolepis (sedge)
Carex granularis (sedge)
Carex gynandra (sedge)
Carex haydenii (sedge)
Carex lanuginosa (=pellita) (sedge)
Carex laxiflora type (sedge)
Carex squarrosa (sedge)
Carex stricta (tussock sedge)
Carex typhina (sedge)
Carex viridula (sedge)
Carex vulpinoidea (sedge)
Cyperus bipartitus
Cyperus strigosus (flatsedge)
Dulichium arundinaceum (three-way sedge)
Eleocharis acicularis (spike rush)
Eleocharis palustris (spike rush)
Eleocharis tenuis (spike rush)
Scirpus pungens (common three-square bulrush)

Andropogon gerardii (big blue stem grass)
Brachyelytrum erectum (grass)
Bromus inermis (smooth brome grass)
Dactylis glomerata (orchard grass)
Elymus hystrix (bottlebrush grass)
Elymus virginiana (wild rye grass)
Eragrostis spectabilis (purple love grass)
Holcus lanatus (velvet grass)
Leersia oryzoides (rice cut grass)
Lolium perenne (rye grass)
Microstegium vimineum (Japanese stilt grass)
Panicum clandestinum (deer tongue grass)
Panicum longifolium (panic grass)
Phalaris arundinacea (reed canary grass)
Phleum pratensis (timothy grass)
Phragmites australis (giant reed grass)
Poa annua (annual bluegrass) 8/15/98
Poa compressa (Canada bluegrass)
Setaria glauca (yellow foxtail grass)
Setaria viridis (green foxtail grass)

Adiantum pedatum (maidenhair fern)
Asplenium platyneuron (ebony spleenwort)
Asplenium rhizophyllum (walking fern)
Asplenium trichomanes (maidenhair spleenwort)
Botrychium virginianum (rattlesnake grape fern)
Dryopteris intermedia (fancy woodfern) longer basal lower pinnule
Lycopodium clavatum (running pine clubmoss)
Onoclea sensibilis (sensitive fern)
Osmunda cinnamomea (cinnamon fern)
Osmunda regalis (royal fern)
Pellaea atropurpurea (purple stem cliffbrake)
Polypodium virginianum (Virginia rock cap fern)
Polystichum acrostichoides (Christmas fern)
Pteridium aquilinum (bracken fern)
Thelypteris palustris (marsh fern)
Woodsia obtusa (woodsia)

Chara sp. (alga)

Sussex County, NJ


The evening of the 16th of late July found me under the hospitable roof of Rev. Mr. Clarke, of Stillwater, Sussex County. Early next morning his two sons, students in Lafayette College, drove me three miles, to the southwestern extremity of Swartswood Lake.

On the edge of the stream near the outlet, the following plants were noted:

Cicuta bulbifera
Peltandra undulata
Sparganium eurycarpum
Pontederia cordata
Equisetum limosum

Taking a boat, the young men rowed me up the western shore, three miles, to the head of the lake. This shore has a few limestone bluffs and sheltered coves between. The water is shallow and our course lay through acres of Nymphaea odorata, and Brasenia peltata. Underneath, at a depth of three feet or more, the bottom is covered everywhere with the dark, regularly disposed plume-like, waving stems of Potamogeton robbinsii, among are to be seen, here and there, patches of Potamogeton amplifolius, distinguished by its lighter yellowish hue, and broad leaves curiously twisted and curled.

In one of the coves we came upon Nasturtium lacustre (in flower and fruit). I had collected it during a former visit (Sept 2, 1879) at a single station, but now it was observed at various places from the head of the lake to the outlet. The leaves, both those above the water and those beneath, are very easily detached, so that it is difficult to make complete specimens. At this spot we fished up half a dozen stalks of Ranunculus aquatilis var divaricatus (in flower) and Potamogeton lucens (in flower and fruit).

The opposite border of the cove is lined with a dense growth of Saururus cernuus, conspicuous by its nodding spikes of fragrant flowers. This plant is common all along the Paulinskill Creek from the lake to the Delaware, fifteen miles, but , strange to say, it has been observed, as yet, on that river, only at Trenton, about seventy miles further down.

As we passed around the main bluff, or promontory, some bushes of Myrica cerifera were seen on its slopes, and at its base, a solitary Salix lucida.

From this point we proceeded over a considerable bay to the northeastern end of the lake and glided into an area, several acres in extent, occupied by Nelumbium luteum. The vernation of the leaves is involute. Some project themselves above the water, whilst the others stop at the surface. These latter in unfolding assume the form of a bowl, or basin, or inverted skullcap, and are very pretty objects at they float. When fully expanded, they are of a deep green color above and lie flat on the water, which, cast upon them by the dip of an oar, rolls and divides itself like quicksilver, emitting a brilliant silvery light. The cause of this phenomenon is worthy of investigation. The leaves of Orontium aquaticum behave in the same way.

To our great disappointment not a single flower could be discovered in the entire colony. It may have been too early for their appearance, or else the summer lodgers of the neighboring hotels and farm houses had gathered them all.

A little further to the east, I look for Heleocharis quadrangulata, where I had discovered it September 2, 1879. It was now in flower, and still plentiful. In coasting back along the eastern shore we found Taxus baccata var canadensis, as abundant on the rocks as in September, 1879. On one of the undisturbed and untilled islets in the middle of the lake, it was a surprise to see Solanum dulcamara, flourishing luxuriantly amongst the aboriginal vegetation.

After dinner, at 2 p.m. Mr. P. P. Clarke drove me over from Stillwater to Blairstown, 6 miles, in order to take the evening train at that place For three miles along the road the eye was attracted by the frequent occurrence of Zanthoxylum americanum, Rosa rubiginosa, and Cnicus pumilus. Midway on the route, we turned into a lane, to the left, and soon reached a lakelet of oblong shape and about three-fourths of a mile in length called White Pond. A white line of shell-marl all around its margin indicates the origin of the name, it lies in Warren County close to its Sussex boundary. The boat we had counted on for the work of circumnavigation could be seen some distance out on the water, occupied by two men, who were fishing for black bass. Our exploration had, therefore, to be done on foot, and so we tramped for nearly one-half mile through a wide swamp on the border of the pond. The plants noted and collected here were

Sarracenia purpurea
Prunus virginiana
Potentilla fruticosa
Parnassia carolinana
Menyanthes trifoliata
Rhynchospora capillacea
Carex flava
Bromus kalmii

Of these, two (Rhynchospora capillacea and Carex ederi) are new in the flora of New Jersey. Carex flava was collected years ago by the late Dr. A. P. Garber in Sussex County, where he also obtained Lobelia kalmii, but the latter was sought for in vain. The result of my visit to the charming lakelet gave me so much pleasure that I mean to see more of it at an early day.

Easton, Penn. Thomas C. Porter

August, 1884, Vol. XI, #8, p. 90-92

July 5, 1907

The day was spent on a trip to Swartswood Lake. Mr. Joel Carter presided at the evening session.

Among the plants reported may be noted the following:

Batrachium longirostre
Boltonia asterioides
Botrychium neglectum
Carex setifolia
Celtis georgiana
Conopholis americana
Cypripedium hirsutum
Galeorchis spectabilis
Phegopteris phegopteris
Salix prinoides
Taraxacum erythrospermum

Dr. Britton reported Polygala paucifolia, showing good fruit, both aerial and subterranean, also one tree of Diospyros virginiana and a peculiar form of Ilex verticillata. The terrestrial form of Ranunculus delphinifolius was observed on the muddy border of a pond.

It is interesting to note the finding of the persimmon in this latitude, and it may be of interest to add that during several years of botanizing around Allentown, PA, I found just one tree of this plant, and that along the roadside in a similar situation to the one noted by Dr. Britton.

reported by Philip Dowell

Sponsor: Torrey Botanical Club

Date: September 12, 1981

Leader: Alfred E. Schuyler

With some of us in boats and others on shore, we explored the southeast side of Swartswood Lake between Dove Island and the northeast end. In shallow water near the shore we saw arrow-arum (Peltandra virginica) and lizard's tail (Saururus cernuus). In water up to about one meter deep, northern water-nymph (Najas flexilis) was the most abundant submergent. Also in water about this depth were numerous plants of perfoliate pondweed (Potamogeton perfoliatus), fern-pondweed (P. robbinsii), and free-flowered water-weed (Elodea nuttallii) along with fewer plants of Potamogeton gramineus. In water about two meters deep, European water-milfoil (Myriophyllum spicatum) and whitestem-pondweed (Potamogeton praelongus) were abundant. Some of the former were flowering but there was no sign of flowering in the latter here at its only New Jersey locality. Water beggar-ticks (Bidens beckii), previously known from this lake, was not found. In the cove south of Dove Island, a type of spatterdock (Nuphar luteum) and water-lily (Nymphaea odorata) were abundant. Emergent peltate leaves of lotus-lily (Nelumbo pentapetala) were visible from the highway along the northwest side of the lake at the north end. Some of us also made a stop at nearby Frog Pond to see Boltonia asterioides.


The area here is dolomite of the Ordovician age. It consists of a lot of magnesium carbonate, rather than limestone carbonate. Swartswood Lake itself is a glacial lake gouged out by the action of the glaciers.

The group visited the sinkhole ponds in the area. In these carbonate areas, fissures develop relatively easily, even being subjection to solution by rain water. Caverns develop underground. These cavern then collapse creating sink holes. These sinkholes are often ephemeral ponds. Lots of water fowl and five rare salamanders make their home here. In the winter and spring the water levels are relatively high, but drop in the summer and fall. Last year and this year (1998), the water levels are the lowest in forty years.

The group first walked to Little Frog Pond, which at times mimics a flood plain. A row of sycamore trees (Platanus occidentalis) lined the west side of the pond, while a row of silver maple (Acer saccharinum) lined the east side. The pond was dry at the time of our visit. Blooming in the ephemeral pond were Asclepias incarnata (swamp milkweed), Boltonia asteroides, Lobelia cardinalis (cardinal flower), Lycopus uniflorus (Northern bugleweed), Mentha arvensis (wild mint), Penthorum sedoides (ditch stonecrop), Polygonum amphibium (water knotweed), Scutellaria lateriflora (maddog skullcap), and Sium suave (water parsnip). In bloom near the old pond edge was Lysimachia ciliata (fringed loosestrife). A number of sedges were found in this area, including Carex cryptolepis, C. lanuginosa, and C. viridula, along with the rush Juncus acuminatus.

The next stop was Frog Pond. There are definite plant zones around this sink hole. Here in bloom were lots and lots of Lysimachia nummularia (moneywort). Another plant in bloom was Myosotis scorpioides (forget-me-not). Other plants seen here were Cornus amomum (swamp dogwood), Cyperus strigosus, Ilex verticillata (winterberry holly), Leersia oryzoides (rice cut grass), Panicum longiflorum (panic grass), Ranunculus flabellaris (yellow water buttercup), and Salix caprea (goat willow).

Rick Radis reported finding twenty plants of Aristolochia serpentaria (Virginia snakeroot) in the woods, but we could not find the species in spite of considerable searching of the area he described. We did find, however, some interesting ferns including Asplenium rhizophyllum (walking fern) and Woodsia obtusa (woodsia).

After lunch the group visited Duck Pond, which, at one-half mile long, is one of the longest sinkhole lakes in the state. Many ring neck ducks stop here at this pond. A Chara sp. dominated the sinkhole pond. These plants are only found in limestone waters their "leaves" often encrusted with carbonate. Also in the water was Potamogeton gramineus, one of the pondweeds. The shores were dominated by Boltonia asterioides and Mentha arvensis. One bloom was found on a plant of Alisma subcordatum (water plantain). Two sedges found were Carex bebii and C. typhina.

The weather was slightly overcast which made it a cooler day. Total attendance was 17. The trip leader was Dr. Kathleen Strakosch-Walz. Rick Radis, the co-leader, was ill and could not attend.