WellesleyWeston Magazine

FALL 2017

Launched in 2005, WellesleyWeston Magazine is a quarterly publication tailored to Wellesley and Weston residents and edited to enrich the experience of living in two of Massachusetts' most desirable communities.

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skunk cabbage flowers lie hidden close to the ground, with speckled purple spheres that give off heat and melt the snow. In a few weeks, the foliage opens to broad ovals, and false helle- bore's pleated leaves stand in whorls on a tall, central stem. Close to the stream, marsh marigold's yel- low flowers stand out. Farther along the path, ironwood, an understory tree with a gray, fluted trunk, thrives in moist soil. This hard wood has been used for tool handles, pad- dles, and golf clubs. The woodland zone is populated with red oak and white pine, highbush blueberry, and New York fern. On a walk in April, plant ecologist and Weston Garden Club member Barbara Keller stopped at a patch of low-grow- ing, green and brown mottled leaves; lung- wort, perhaps? No, here was a trout lily colony, with three yellow blossoms. A spring ephem- eral, trout lily has a single leaf until maturity at seven years; then it develops two leaves and one tiny, lily-like flower. Trout lily gener- ally spreads by runners, but in a process called myrmecochory, its seeds are also sown by ants. Once summer comes, trout lily disap- pears until the next year. In early spring after dark, peepers, a small tree frog, raise a noisy, chirping chorus that can be heard from Church Street as they make their mating call. By mid-May, when trees begin to leaf out, trillium and wood anemone bloom along the path by the dam. Patches of sarsaparilla emerging with bronze trifoliate leaves stand on tall stems. In the pond, mounds of tussock sedge provide cover for amphibians. Where the woodland trail descends, it skirts a vegetated depression, a borrow pit from late 19th century railroad construction. Closer to Church Street, adjoining what was the Forbes residence, there are examples of Andromeda, azalea, and vinca minor, presumably planted by the Forbeses or volunteers from their gardens. These are common introductions in residential plantings. 61 W e l l e s l e y W e s t o n M a g a z i n e | f a l l 2 0 1 7

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