Posted by: wolfcampcollege | March 3, 2010

Wild Carrots in Olympia

I skipped blogging last week’s class so this is an account of what happened on Feb 24 and March 3. There were 5 of us attending, and we started out by spinning fireweed into cordage:

Kim showing Jessica how to process fireweed into cordage.

Next we took a look at the blog entry I did on Monday which included pictures of the many plants which have been budding out this week. Jessica certainly knew many of them! Then we reviewed taxometric order, mentioning the kingdoms of monera, protoctsista, fungi, animals and of course plants, which we then broke down into divisions of liverworts, hornworts, mosses, club mosses, horsetails, ferns, whisk ferns, gymnosperms and flowering plants.

We broke the gymnosperms into subdivisions cycads, gnetum and pinicae, the latter which we broke down into two classes: ginkgo and conifers. The conifers we broke down using Botany in a Day by Thomas J. Elpel, including pines, cypress, bald cypress, yew, and mormon tea. The pines we broke down into abies (fir), larix (larch), picea (spruce), pinus (pines), pseudotsuga (douglas fir) and tsuga (hemlock trees, whis spawned a discussion of that confusing name, and lead into our second hour activity which included the parsley family, which includes the poison hemlock plant.) We broke the cypress into calocedrus (incense cedar), chamaecyparis (white cedar), cupressus (cypress), juniperus (juniper), and thuja (arbor-vitae, western red cedar). We broke the bald cypress into taxodium (bald cypress), sequoia (redwood), and sequoiadenron (giant sequoia).

Next week we plan to break down the flowering plants into monocots and dicots, although today, we started identifying a couple of the families – parsely in particular – in preparation for going out to identify wild carrot.

Way to dangerous to depend on leaves to identify wild carrot! Also notice the other nice herbs next to it.

The roots have a carrot smell, while those of poisonous relatives might smell very pungent and contain chambers, but you never know until you see the flower!
The dead flower heads of wild carrot often curl up, but again, it’s only one sign that can happen to other poisonous parsely family plants.

We had a good time ... thus the cheezy pic!

But we decided to put the root back in the ground even though it was an annual, in order to watch the flower of near-by new plants develop over the coming summer. Hopefully, they will contain that diagnostic white Queen Anne’s Lace flower with colored petals directly in the center.

Check out our OLYMPIA WOLF JOURNEY CLASS page for a list of upcoming class dates there and in other locations throughout Western Washington.


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