Eastern Forests

Plant Species Information

Lobelia cardinalis (cardinal flower)—Cardinal flower is a member of the bellflower family (Campanulaceae). Growing nearly throughout the entire continental United States, cardinal flower’s preferred habitat includes stream banks and moist woodlands with filtered light. Hummingbirds are attracted to the scarlet-colored flowers.

Aquilegia canadensis (columbine)—Columbine is from the buttercup (Ranunculaceae) family. This perennial is found throughout the midwestern and eastern United States in moist, rocky woodlands. The name Aquilegia is from the Latin word aquilinum (eagle-like) because its flower spurs resembled an eagle’s talons to Linnaeus. Columbine is pollinated by hummingbirds.

Chionanthus virginicus (fringetree)—Fringetree is a member of the olive family (Oleaceae). This small tree is found throughout the southeastern United States in moist woodlands and along streams. Fringetree is also known as old man’s beard because of the appearance of its long, flowing inflorescence. The bark has been used as a fever reducer and a diuretic.

Euonymus americana (hearts-a-burstin’)—Hearts-a-burstin’ is a member of the bittersweet family (Celastraceae). This perennial shrub is found throughout the southeastern United States
in well-drained bottomland forests and mesic upland forests Euonymus prefers partial shade to partial sun. The bark and seeds are powerful laxatives.

Platanthera ciliaris (yellow fringed orchid)—Yellow fringed orchid is a member of the orchid family (Orchidaceae). This perennial is found throughout the southeastern United States in bogs and moist woodlands. Flowers are a brilliant sherbet orange with delicately fringed lips. The Cherokee thought the orchid encouraged fish to bite and used it to bait their hooks.