Cattail Creek

I am investigating sites for the purpose of nontidal wetland creation.  When doing so, the site cannot be forested, it must have capable hydrology and occur in uplands.  By permission of the land owner, I was in a stream valley that has been historically disturbed due to multiple terracing and flooding by beaver.  The second-order perennial stream is called Cattail Creek, a Tier II, natural reproducing trout stream in western Howard County, in the Woodbine/Lisbon area.


A portion of the site included a high quality reference emergent wetland (PEM1B), that was groundwater saturated (persistence) even through August.

Some of the plants that I observed included Microstegium, Allegheny blackberry, dogbane, goldenrod, Japanese honeysuckle, moonvine, henbit, agrimony, deadly nightshade, false nettle, jewelweed, deertongue, wild onion, yellow nutsedge, pink smartweed, lady’s thumb, black willow, common milkweed, clematis, sensitive fern, skunk cabbage, spotted hemlock (cowbane), jack-in-the-pulpit, broad-leaved cattail, silky dogwood, arrowwood, canary grass (Phalaris), arrowhead (duck potato), halbred-leaved tearthumb, arrow-leaved tearthumb, buttonbush, common dodder, swamp rose, tussock sedge, fireweed, Arthraxon, soft rush, ground-nut (Apios), bidens, lurid sedge, canada rush, eastern bur-reed, water plantain, muhleygrass, mountain mint and rice cutgrass.


Ditch Stonecrop, Penthorum sedoides.


Seedbox, Ludwigia alternifolia.


Heal All, Prunella vulgaris.


Swamp Milkweed, Asclepias incarnata.


Boneset, Eupatorium perfoliatum.


Monkey Flower, Mimulus ringens.


Cardinal Flower, Lobelia cardinalis.


New York Ironweed, Vernonia noveboracensis.


Rough Bedstraw, Galium aspellum (an aspect dominant at this site, and which was at peak flower).


White Vervain, Verbena urticiifolia.


It was hot and Action Jackson, my mixed Pyrenees/Bernese, will always seek out and lay down in stream channels.  In this case, while taking notes, Jackson found an inundated monoculture of bur-reed.

Surrounding the wetlands, I found open ground that could be suitable for wetland creation.  The uplands included dozens of mature shingle oak (Quercus imbricaria), which was formerly a MD DNR Natural Heritage Program watchlist species.  The tree is uncommon, and according to the MD Biodiversity Project, the tree is confined to Montgomery, Prince George’s and Anne Arundel County.  I always thought that this tree species was associated with serpentine soils in Maryland?  The old Brush, Lenk and Smith vegetation maps of Maryland denote a shingle oak forest type in Montgomery, reaching up into Frederick County.


Leaving the site, I had to pull off of Frederick Road (Route 144) in Lisbon and take this photo.  Works for me!