Join Jim for a walk in the woods. Check out the uphill climb along with the maple grove, area invasive species, game tracks and more.
Whether you have land around your home, or frequent the many nature trails in the area, put on your outdoorsy hat and see what you can find out and about in the Mohawk Valley.
Our Mohawk Valley Flora
Disclaimer: This is information we found on plants in our own local area. Any plants you find should be researched for your specific area.
CAUTION: Berries are toxic to humans and can cause stomach pains. Take caution with pets.
Also known as Bush honeysuckle
Where we are on the south side of the Mohawk River, this invasive species is considered a weed and was first introduced in Massachusetts in the 1860s from Japan. Morrow’s Honeysuckle grows in full sun to partial shade. We found it in moist, well-drained soil along a well-worn hillside path. It’s berries are toxic (which may explain why so many berries available).
This honeysuckle shrub’s can grow 6-15 feet tall with fragrant white flowers in from May to June that attract bees and butterflies.
The New York Invasive Species Information website states, “One way to distinguish between native and invasive honeysuckles is by looking at the stems – native honeysuckles have solid stems while invasive honeysuckles have hollow stems.”
Goldenrod is familiar to many, especially if you have allergies. Its bright yellow flowers can be found in fields, meadows and forests throughout the valley.
Stems grow as tall as 2-6 feet and have alternate lance-shaped leaves. Both leaves and stems are hairy. When they bloom, the flowers are very small and grow at the tops of stems in clusters called panicles.
We’re still researching the specific species of this particular goldenrod that grows up on the hill in the woods. We think seeing how it flowers will help us with that, so we’re going to need to keep going back to this location to see the shape of the flowers
We learned that goldenrod can be used for tea
Collect the top 12 inches of the plants to include the flowers. The flowers don’t dry well, so use them fresh. The leaves can be dried for future use.
To make goldenrod tea, pour boiling water over fresh or dried leaves and flowers. Cover and steep for 10 minutes. It has been said that the tea soothes sore throats.
We found this goldenrod growing in some sun to partial shade in the woods.
The rose shrub pictured here is very young and small. These produce white flowers, are thorny and are considered an invasive species. As kids, we remember these creating thick shrubs that can be quite tough to get through.
We remember these rose shrubs growing up in the Adirondacks. Where the flowers bloom, small red berries develop in the fall. The berries, rose hips, can be gathered from fall into winter are about 1/4 inch long and are an extremely good source of vitamin C at about 2000mg for every 100g of fruit. Some say the best time for gathering rose hips is after a the weather dips below 32 F a few times.
Rose hips can be made into jam, wine, tea and syrup although once heated, the vitamin C content goes down a bit. After gathering the rose hips, cut off the stem and flower ends and remove the hairy seediness before eating or preserving.
The leaves make a great tea and can be collected when they are green and healthy looking like in the picture. Tea made from the rose leaves has a mild taste and goes well with a bit of mint for more flavor.
We found the rose shrub growing in an area of sun to partial shade in the woods on the south side of the valley.
Black swallow-wort is listed as an invasive species. This species is a climbing vine, can thrive in woodlands in addition to other habitats, and can overpower native vegetation. Because this plant is currently not flowering, it’s really hard to tell whether it’s black or pale swallow-wort. Both have long oval leaves growing opposite each other and only differ slightly in color. However, the pale swallow-wort has pink flowers where the black swallow-wort has dark maroon flowers.
Both species have a fibrous root system and develop seed pods from 1-3″ that spread prolifically.The vines have been known to overtake fields, pastures and woodlands.
We found the swallow-wort growing in a partially shaded wooded area.
Since these plants are not good for monarch butterflies and native plants, the best thing we can probably do is collect and destroy the seed pods to hinder growth. They will still spread through its extensive root system, but at least it’s something. So glad we found out about this one so we can keep an eye on its spread and growth.
We found this fern under the trees in the woods, but it also grows all around the house, especially on the west side under the canopy of trees. It is native to the continental U.S. with the fronds measuring 2-5′ in height. They grow in clumps coming up every year.
We’ve had to manage these ferns by the house as they hamper the wild strawberry growth, which we love. They’re pretty and ornamental, but keeping the tick population down is a must closer to the house and these can grow quite tall.
Mohawk Valley Today Posts
Join our mailing list
The Mohawk Valley is located along the Mohawk River in the ancestral lands of the Kanienʼkehá:ka’ (Mohawk) and Oneida. We offer our deepest respect to Hodinöhsö:ni’ ancestors, past and present.
Click on the different category headings to find out more. You can also change some of your preferences. Note that blocking some types of cookies may impact your experience on our websites and the services we are able to offer.
Essential Website Cookies
These cookies are strictly necessary to provide you with services available through our website and to use some of its features.
We provide you with a list of stored cookies on your computer in our domain so you can check what we stored. Due to security reasons we are not able to show or modify cookies from other domains. You can check these in your browser security settings.
Google Analytics Cookies
These cookies collect information that is used either in aggregate form to help us understand how our website is being used or how effective our marketing campaigns are, or to help us customize our website and application for you in order to enhance your experience.
If you do not want that we track your visit to our site you can disable tracking in your browser here:
Other external services
We also use different external services like Google Webfonts, Google Maps, and external Video providers. Since these providers may collect personal data like your IP address we allow you to block them here. Please be aware that this might heavily reduce the functionality and appearance of our site. Changes will take effect once you reload the page.
Google Webfont Settings:
Google Map Settings:
Google reCaptcha Settings:
Vimeo and Youtube video embeds:
The following cookies are also needed - You can choose if you want to allow them: