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FIELD GUIDE Guide for Biodiversity in Washington Monument Park Mt. Vernon | Baltimore

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Contents List

About Biodiversity What is it?


Washington Monument Park in Mount Vernon


Madagascar Periwinkle (Catharanthus Roseus)


Petunia (Petunia x Hybridus)


Lily Turf (Liriope muscari)


Torulosa Juniper (Juniperus Chinensis)


Kanzan Cherry Tree (Prunus Kanzan)


English Sparrow (Passer Domesticus)


Bibliography (Sources used)


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4 | Introduction

About Biodiversity What is Biodiversity? Biodiversity is the variety of life. It can be studied on many levels. At the highest level, you can look at all the different species on the entire Earth. On a much smaller scale, you can study biodiversity within a pond ecosystem or a neighborhood park. Identifying and understanding the relationships between all the life on Earth are some of the greatest challenges.

Why is it important? Biodiversity is extremely important to people and the health of ecosystems. It is important to consider and care for biodiversity of species and habitats in your area as well as those in distant lands all play a role in maintaining healthy ecosystems. Ecosystems provide services such as pollination, seed dispersal, climate regulation, water purification, nutrient cycling, and control of agricultural pests. Many flowering plants depend on animals for pollination, and 30% of human crops depend on the free services of pollinators. About Biodiversity | 3

Washington Monument Park Biodiversity In Your Neighborhood This small park around the Washington Monument in Mt. Vernon area is a hidden gem of the town. The attention often goes to the monument, and not to the surrounding environment. This place has been a friendly neighborhood park where people come and enjoy the nature in the city. The park is one of the rare places in the city where you can find variety of species including plants, insects, and other small animals that deserve more attention. Walk around this small and compact park full of wonders and pay close attention to what you see.

What Is Our Mission? The mission is to acknowlege and appreciate all the small creatures and plants that make our planet and learn how to co-exist with them.

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Operating Hours The surrounding park squares are open from dawn to dusk every day, with the exception of properly permitted events.

Rules and Regulations Please place trash and recyclable     items in the appropriate cans. Do not littering and dumping. Please clean up behind your pet.

Free Shuttle The Charm City Circulator is a free bus service in Baltimore. Its stop number 307 on the purple route, stopping at N. Charles Street and E. Mt, Vernon Place.

Parking Metered and free street parking are available in the neighborhood.

Protect our trees and environment. Please do not feed the wildlife. No alcohol, charcoal, and gas grills. No wading in the fountains.

For further information, please visit

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Madagascar Periwinkle Catharanthus roseus Species Information Scientific Name: Catharanthus roseus Common Name: Madagascar periwinkle Classification: Plantae-Angiosperms Habitat: On sand and limestone soils in woodland, forest, grassland, and disturbed areas.

Madagascar periwinkle is a popular ornamental plant found in gardens and homes across the warmer parts of the world. It is also known as the source of chemical compounds used in the treatment of cancer. Their discovery led to one of the most important medical breakthroughs of the twentieth century. In the wild, it is an endangered plant; the main cause of decline is habitat destruction by slash and burn agriculture.

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It is also however widely cultivated and is naturalised in subtropical and tropical areas of the world. It is so well adapted to growth in Australia, that it is listed as a noxious weed in Western Australia and the Australian Capital Territory, and also in parts of eastern Queensland.

Flowers: It has attractive white or pink flowers comprising five petals spreading from a long, tubular throat. Fruits: Each fruit is made up of two narrow, cylindrical follicles which house numerous grooved seeds. Leaves: The leathery, dark green leaves are arranged in opposite pairs.

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Petunia Petunia x hybrida Species Information Scientific Name: Petunia x hybrida Common Name: Petunia Classification: Plantae-Angiosperms Habitat: Locations with sun exposure of six hours of daylight or more. They require moist, well-draining soil.

Petunias are one of the most popular garden bedding flowers. They have wide trumpet shaped flowers and branching foliage that is hairy and somewhat sticky. Petunias are prolific bloomers, though some forms require deadheading to keep them going. However most varieties will bloom throughout the summer, except in extreme heat. You can now find petunias in just about every color but true blue

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and with growing habits that mound in borders or trail down containers. Petunias are annual flowering plants, native to Argentina. Within the petunia family there is great variety: single and double blooms, ruffled or smooth petals, striped, veined or solid colors, mounding and cascading habits and even some fragrance.

Leaves: The alternate, sometimes opposite on upper leaves, broad-ovate to cordate shaped covered with a viscid-pubescence, sticky texture.

Flowers: Consists of a trumpet-shaped fused corolla that flares widely at its open end, with a slightly undulating margin and mild sweet fragrance.

Lily Turf Liriope muscari Species Information Scientific Name: Liriope muscari Common Name: Lily Turf Classification: Plantae-Angiosperms Habitat: Creeping lilyturf is a native understory plant in China and Vietnam occurring in forests and grassy slopes at elevations of sea level to 5,900 feet.

Lily Turf are excellent plants to grow in beds of spring flowering bulbs, where they will fill in as the bulbs fade, and are perfect for growing under trees, or for erosion control on banks and slopes. It is a tufted, grass-like perennial which typically grows 12–18 in tall and features clumps of strap-like, arching, glossy, dark green leaves to ½ inch wide. Clumps slowly expand by short stolons to a width of about 12 in, but

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plants do not spread aggressively. Roots are fibrous, often with terminal tubers. The small, showy flowers occur on erect spikes with tiered whorls of dense, white to violet-purple flowers rising above the leaves in late summer. Flowers resemble those of grape hyacinth (Muscari), which is the origin of the species name. Flowers develop into blackish berries which often persist into winter.

Flowers: Erect flower spikes with small, white to pale lavender flowers arise, somewhat hidden, among the leaves in late summer.

Fruits: Blackish berries develop in fall and often persist through winter.

Leaves: Grass-like perennial which forms clusters of narrow, arching, glossy, dark green leaves. Waxy.

Torulosa Juniper Juniperus chinensis ‘Torulosa’ Species Information Scientific Name: Juniperus chinensis ‘Torulosa’ Common Name: Hollywood Juniper Classifications: Plantae-Gymnosperm Family: Cupressaceae Habitat: Best in full sun and has very good heat, wind, and salt tolerance. It needs well drained soil to do its best.

Torulosa Juniper is a juniper that grows as a shrub or tree with a very variable shape, reaching 1–20 m tall. This native of northeast Asia grows in China, Mongolia, Japan, Korea and the southeast of Russia. It is a coniferous evergreen shrub. The leaves grow in two forms, juvenile needle-like leaves 5–10 mm long, and adult scale-leaves 1.5–3 mm long. Mature trees usually continue to bear

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some juvenile foliage as well as adult, particularly on shaded shoots low in the crown. This species is dioecious with male and female flowers usually born on separate plants. Occasionally some individual plants may produce both male and female flowers.

Leaves: The alternate, sometimes opposite on upper leaves, broad-ovate to cordate shaped covered with a viscid-pubescence, sticky texture.

Fruits: Small, round berry-like cones (1/3 inch across), nearly smooth, bluish white later turning brown.

Bark: Gray-brown and very shreddy and peelng, reddish brown patches may be present where bark has peeled.

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Kanzan Cherry Tree Prunus ‘Kanzan’ Species Information Scientific Name: Prunus ‘Kanzan’ Common Name: Kanzan Cherry Tree Classification: Plantae-Angiosperm Habitat: Best grown in moist, fertile, well-drained, sandy or clay loams in full sun to part shade. Best flowering in full sun. Tolerates summer heat and humidity. Tolerates some dry soils once established.

Kanzan’ (synonymous with ‘Kwanzan’ and ‘Sekiyama’) is a double flowered Japanese flowering cherry that is noted for its profuse and showy spring bloom. It is considered to be one of the most ornamental of the flowering cherries It typically grows 25-30’ tall and to 2530’ wide with a vase shape, ascending branching and a spreading-rounded crown. Deep pink double flowers, each with 20-30 petals, bloom in pendant

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clusters of in April. Flowers bloom just before and as the leaves emerge. Ovate, serrate, dark green leaves. Fall color is yellow to orange-bronze. Plants are sterile and do not produce fruit.

Flowers: Very showy, most commonly deep pink, double, occur in large clumps along the stem, in early spring.

Bark: Thin, smooth, reddish, glossy with very prominent horizontal lenticels.

Leaves: Alternate, simple, pinnately veined, serrated margin, lanceolate to broadly ovate, 3 to 5 inches long, shiny dark green above, light green below, petioles have obvious glands.

House Sparrow Passer domesticus Species Information Scientific Name: Passer domesticus Common Name: English Sparrow Classification: Animalia-Passer Habitat: The house sparrow is strongly associated with human habitations, and can live in urban or rural settings. Though found in widely varied habitats and climates, it typically avoids extensive woodlands, grasslands, and deserts away from human development.

The house sparrow is a bird of the sparrow family Passeridae, found in most parts of the world. A small bird, it has a typical length of 6.3 in and a mass of 24–39.5 g. Females and young birds are coloured pale brown and grey, and males have brighter black, white, and brown markings. One of about 25 species in the genus Passer, the house sparrow is native to most of Europe, the Mediterranean region, and much of Asia. Its intentional or accidental 16 | House Sparrow

introductions to many regions, including parts of Australia, Africa, and the Americas, make it the most widely distributed wild bird. It feeds mostly on the seeds of grains and weeds, but it is an opportunistic eater and commonly eats insects and many other foods. Its predators include domestic cats, hawks, owls, and many other predatory birds and mammals.

Female: Underparts grayish, upperparts brownish Back and wings brown with dark streaks Bill thick and yellowish.

Male: Black bill, mask, throat, and breast Gray cap, rufous nape Back and wings reddish with black streaks White stripe on shoulder.

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Bibliography Center for Biological Diversity Edward F. Gilman and Dennis G. Watson Jennifer Roof University of Michigan Museum of Zoology John Spicer and Kevin J. Gaston Biodiversity: An Introduction (New York: The Rosen Publishing Group) 2004.

18 | Biography

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We should preserve every scrap of biodiversity as priceless while we learn to use it and come to understand what it means to humanity. E.O. Wilson

Illustrations and Design by Seunghee Yi | MICA