Wister Woods and Witmer Stone

To read about some Philadelphia natural history and the people who documented it, see here:


And, for more about that site… a “Plan Placing Upon City Plan Wister’s Woods, 1907” can be found here:


And on Saturday the 31st of March 2012, a few of us went to Wister Woods and saw:

Herbaceous plants in the northern part of Wister’s Wood: Uvularia (bellwort), Sanguinaria canadensis (bloodroot), Equisetum arvense (field horsetail), Podophyllum peltatum (mayapple), Erythronium (trout lily)

Trees: Quercus alba, Quercus rubra, Fagus grandifolia, Liriodendron tulipifera

Some understory shrubs: Lindera benzoin, Toxicodendron radicans, Lonicera sp.Prunus serotina (from the big trees in bloom, too big for P. virginiana?)

Herbaceous ruderals: Veronica hederafolia, Alliaria petiolata.

Maple-leafed viburnum was especially interesting because we saw it in the southern portion, but not in the northern – it may well be there (in the northern half of the woods), but we didn’t see it.

We also saw Auricularia… “wood ear”

A small palmate, pinkish-white flowered plant that was Cardamine concatenata, cutleaf toothwort.

There was at least one jack in the pulpit just coming up.

There was also Halesia (likely cultivated), and we didn’t see any spring beauty – also, the duff layer was quite thick.

The prior June (2011), we also saw sarsaparilla and Collinsonia

And, a plant list from Sunday the 15th of April (2012)

Herbaceous plants:
Jack in the pulpit
Solomon’s seal
False Solomon’s seal
Trout lily
Equisetum arvense (field horsetail)
Cutleaf toothwort (in flower)
Beech drops
Spring beauty (in flower)
Garlic mustard
Greater celandine
Japanese knotweed

Maple leaf viburnum
Pinxter azalea
Halesia (don’t know yet which one)
Poison ivy
Asian bittersweet
Japanese honeysuckle
English ivy
Aralia (most likely elata)

Red oak
Black oak
White oak
American beech
Tulip poplar
Ash (probably American)
Red maple
Japanese maple (seedling)
Black cherry

Tufted titmouse (heard)
Yellow rumped warbler
Redtail hawk
Redbellied woodpecker
White throated sparrows

Here’s the plan for Wister’s Wood from 1907:

And, a historic list of plants (from the Plants of PA database) that have Wister’s Wood as their locality – they are as follows:
Anemone quinquefolia, Aralia nudicaulis, Arctium tomentosum, Aristolochia serpentaria, Asclepias exaltata, Cardamine parviflora var. arenicola, Carex cephalophora, Carex hirtifolia, Carex radiata, Castilleja coccinea (collected by WW Wister), Corallorhiza maculata, Corallorhiza odontorhiza, Corallorhiza wisteriana, Dichanthelium acuminatum, Eurybia schreberi, Geum virginianum, Liparis liliifolia, Malaxis unifolia, Myosotis verna, Obolaria virginica, Onoclea sensibilis, Phryma leptostachya, Ranunculus hispidus var. hispidus, Ranunculus hispidus var. nitidus, Rhododendron periclymenoides, Rumex altissimus, Symphyotrichum laeve var. laeve, Symphyotrichum phlogifolium.

Some of them we’ve seen there, many we have not (yet?) seen.

And, finally, below a link to an old photo of the site…

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