Rosedale Park – Not quite in the Sourlands, but a beautiful park none the less!

Rosedale Park is located on Federal City Road in Pennington, NJ.  It is part of Mercer Meadows.

Link to trail maps and description

 

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Spring Beauty, Claytonia virginica!  I have been waiting a month to see those beautiful petals in bloom!  The corms (underground tubers) of this plant are edible, and while I have not personally tried them, I hear that they taste like chestnuts.

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Ramps!!! Allium tricoccum, these are also called Wild Leeks.  I have been wanting to harvest them for years, but I have only found two small groups of them growing and I worry about depleting this lovely cohort.  I am keeping an eye out for larger patches so I can collect some to eat.  If anyone knows of any great foraging spots, please let me know!  These plants are so popular, there are festivals dedicated to them, however over-harvesting is leading to declines in this native plant.  It is always tempting to collect all that you see, but you may inadvertently extirpate a species from a park.  If you want to get into foraging, please get to know your forage sites and harvest responsibly!

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May Apples, Podophyllum peltatum, another wonderful spring plant!  These plants have a two year cycle.  In the first year, they put up one stem with a large leaf.  The second year, they will have a “Y” branched stem, with a leaf on each arm of the “Y” and a flower at the connecting point.  I love watching the leaves of May Apples unwrap themselves.  It reminds me of unravelling myself from my blankets in the morning and stretching out to the morning’s sun.  The ripe fruit of May Apples is edible (in small quantities), HOWEVER, most of the plant is HIGHLY toxic.  I DO NOT recommend eating this plant….  I know many people have eaten it, but when there are so many other plants that are edible and won’t kill you, why eat it?

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Yellow Trout Lily, Erythronium americanum, gorgeous as can be!

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Wood Anemone, Anemone quinquefolia, about to open its petals.  Usually you will find small clusters of these flowers growing together.

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Can you spot the Garter snake, Thamnophis sirtalis, amongst the sticks?  I am very proud of myself because usually when I see a snake I run in the opposite direction shrieking, but today I was brave and leaned in for a picture!

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