Keeping with the cemetery theme, here is a photo from my travels last summer. Three of Ohio best botanists, Jim McCormac, Jim Decker and Daniel Boone (left to right) were kind enough to let me tag along on the the great Bushy Horseweed expedition.
Dan Boone keeps a "life list" of plants, which he only counts if seen in flower or fruit. The inset photo shows a rare and stunning State Endangered plant. OK, maybe it is less than stunning, but once thought to be extirpated, it is rare.
A plant like Bushy Horseweed, Conyza ramosissima (inset photo)
serves as a classic example of the flora often preserved in little off-the-beat-path cemeteries. This unassuming plant could easily be passed off as something of no interest to the majority of visitors to Fish Cemetery
in Wood County. However, someone must have realized this sandy soil would be the perfect situation to find Bushy Horseweed and found it growing right in the lawn. Blessedly it was never a victim of the chem-lawn, which would undoubtedly destroy these botanical treasures. These small cemeteries have no budget for lawn maintenance: their loss, our gain. Many of Ohio's rarest plants are found in these rarely visited harbors of natural heritage and known to only a handful of Ohio's most botanically savvy.
To see the horseweed go to Pemberville, to see the botanists... plan to go to Portsmouth. They will be taking part in Flora-quest '08.