Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Trip Report: What's Up in Scott's Run

Our morels and wildflowers walk was so popular, we led two! On the past two Saturdays we've gone to Scott's Run to hunt for mushrooms and enjoy the spring.

Photo credit: Steve LaFayette
One of the things we've been focusing on in the last couple of years is better predicting when morels will be out. We've now got it down to a two-part warning system: when both redbuds and the evil invasive garlic mustard is blooming, there seem to be morels. On our second hike, the redbuds were on their way out, and we found fewer morels. Of course, on both hikes we also ran to other folks who were out mushroom hunting...that can't help either.

The elusive morels by Steve LaFayette
I think it's safe to say that finding morels was the highlight of the hike for many of us, but the sweet-smelling blooming pinxter azalea along the side of the trail was a close second. And there were lots of things to nibble along the way. Below is a longer list of the things we stopped to look at -- not an exhaustive of what's out there right now, but some of the highlights!

Our next edible plant walk will focus on fruit -- it's scheduled for June 12th in Upper NW DC. You can sign up here. Matt's also leading a free walk with the Maryland Native Plant Society on May 22 to look at a great stand of mountain laurels along the Northwest Branch of the Anacostia.

morels (yellow, black, and semi-free)
dryad saddle

Pinxter azalea
garlic mustard
pinxter azalea
star chickweed
showy orchis
wild ginger
cutleaf toothwort
sweet cicely
trout lily
wild geranium
toadshade trillium

Sending up leaves
wild ramps
bear corn (not really leaves, but up...)
skunk cabbage (already done blooming)

pawpaw flower
Paw paw flowers

bear corn
Bear corn (conopholis americana), a parasitic plant

star chickweed
Star chickweed (stellaria corei)

sweet cicely
Sweet cicely (myrrhis odorata)