Cold River Local Advisory Committee Banner

Drinking Water Protection Plan and Presentation

A Trip down the Cold River

River Plants & Animals

River Geology

River History

Water Quality
and Monitoring


Events Calendar

Links for Teachers

Town Links

Other River Links



Slideshow Plants of the Cold River Watershed
(Assembled by Wendy Ward, 2002... pictures to follow!)



Deep Hole S. Acworth

Plant occur within Environments Headwater woodlands

Red Maple

Trees of headwaters, balsam fir, hemlock spruce and hardwoods

Striped maple

Trees are flowering plants. Understory small tree


Woodland river edge – small tree

Shadbush flowers

Flowers emerge before leaves, reddish leaves at first


Viburnam, True flowers in middle – outside flowers attract pollinators

Wild Sarsaparilla

Shrub – rings on little stump, pale tan berries in fall


Poppy family, blooms early May – sandy roadsides & railbeds, some sun needed

Foam flower

Riverine flower, saxifrage family

Red trillium

3 Parts – Lilly family, early blooming trillium, rich soils under hardwoods

Painted trillium

Blooms Later and smaller than red. Mixed woodlands more acidic

Trout Lilly

Riverine grows in small or large colonies, mottled leaves Lilly family


Blue bead Lilly, Leaves - Single midvien and glossy

Pink Lady Slipper

Orchid family, Mixed woodland, leaves many veined, not glossy & Slightly hairy

Star Flower

Common in woodlands mid to late May

Dog violet

Violet Id – Stemmed violet. Flowers and leaves on same stalk.

Wood Anemone

Grounds cover habit – Buttercup family. True flowers in center, sepals vary in number – key problems

Canada Mayflower

Ground cover - Common woodland flower– Double leaf plant produces flower


Ground cover – Wetland indicator, oral antiseptic


Ground cover – Dogwood, True multiple flowers in middle sepal attractant hence “bunch berries” red in fall

Cinnamon fern

Separate fruiting stalk - Wetland edge indicator, circular bouquet habit

Christmas Fern

Evergreen – Fruiting on back of fertile fronds, Richer woodland sites

Red Efts

Woodland health

Garter snake

Food web -garter snakes warming in spring woodlands

Baby Robins



Moving into floodplain- Explain floodplain - Root system of tree holding rocks

Pussy willows



Viburnums – used for making arrows


Clusters of flowers for insects, berries for birds and animals, shrubby growth for shelter and nesting – several species Red osier, silky, gray and alternate leaf

Poison Ivy

Flowering plant important for wildlife, aggressive but diminishes in thick shade.

Common Elderberry

Shrub for insects and berries for wildlife, wetland tolerant berries black for jelly & wine

Ostrich fiddleheads

Common floodplain fern, edible.

Ostrich ferns

Shape like ostrich feathers, circular bouquet habit

Interrupted Fern

Related to cinnamon fern, dyer tolerant roadsides, fruiting “interrupts” frond

Sensitive fern

Killed by first frost, wetland indicator. Spores important in seep areas for winter food. Grows in colonies, single fronds with separate fruiting stalk.

Royal fern

Very wetland tolerant fern. Large plant

Royal Fern Flower

Not true flowering plant – fruits at end of leaf frond

River view of Hellebore

Not skunk cabbage. Skunk is with is more southern and west in richer soils.

False hellebore

Skunk cabbage leaves not linear veined but feather veined and rounded.

Jack in the pulpit

Green or purple, berries in floodplain in fall

Meadow rue

Large herbaceous – leans over rivers and roadsides. Buttercup family leaves like columbine

White Snake root

Composite family, common in floodplains with richer soils- along Cold and Connecticut river.

Wood Nettle

Common in floodplains will sting. Stinging nettle not native. Important food for Red Admirals

Red Admiral

Found in floodplain area because larva feed on nettles

Question Mark, ragged

Winter hibernator, emerge in spring larva feed on elms in floodplain

Wild Rye

Native grass in floodplains – North east genotype seed development


Manna grass – varieties in fast moving to open wetlands

Blister Beetle (Ground Beetles)

Indicator s of forest floodplain health, Blisters are herbivores Scaohinotus (snail eating) are associated with mature older growth forests.

Blue Joint Reedgrass

Open wetland and meadow areas. Value as native grass for conservation, use for filter strips, nutrient uptake and forage


Wetland grass – rough, cuts you in wetland

Blue Flag Iris

Wetland flower, iris family Native, Blooms in June

Common skullcap

Wet meadow flower, several skullcaps in our area.


Tall purple, Persistent stalk in winter, being pushed out by Purple loosestrife. Blooms in July

Swamp candles

Native loosestrife family, Blooms in July in wetlands

Early goldenrod

Many species of goldenrod they vary in form and habitats. Important late summer, fall nectar food source for Monarchs for migration and bees and for winter food storage. Many insects live on goldenrod to catch pollinators that visit the flowers (crab spiders, ambush bugs)

New England aster

Variety of shades pinks to deep violet. Important autumn nectar source many varieties of aster, upland and wetland. Many cultivated varieties available.


Flower shaped like turtle’s head. Wet meadow and streamside. Being pushed out by purple loosestrife. Only larva food source for Baltimore butterfly

Baltimore butterfly

Extremely local seemingly isolated populations’ dependent on Turtlehead plant. Uses other flowers for adult nectar source.

White Admiral

More opportunistic than Baltimore. Varieties of hardwoods are larva food source. Larger range needed for life cycle. Depends on healthy woodland and meadow areas.

Cardinal flower

Most showy lobelia. Short lived perennial. Moves along dynamic river system

Nursery Web spider

Hunting spider does not use a web to ensnare prey. Makes “nursery” for young. Docile unless guarding young.

Turkey Tail Polypore

Common shelf fungi – decomposition important ecosystem function

Low Bush Blueberry

Exemplary Natural communities. Southern New England Acidic Rocky Summit / Rock outcrop community. Slides 63- 76. Including Pitch pine, Chestnut, black and scrub Oaks, sassafras. Blueberry common in understory and in openings

Diervilla Honeysuckle

Native bush honeysuckle. Part of this and other Plant Communities.

Marginal Wood Fern

Evergreen fronds, circular bouquet habit, Blue cast. Part of this Plant Community

Polypody Rock fern

Small fern grows on thin organic layer on rock.

Polypody spores

Fruit golden round dots on underside of leaf.

Hay Scented fern

Single frond Grows in forest opening, blades turn toward sun.

Pussy toes

An Everlasting, woolly growth on leaves. Everlasting is larval food for American painted lady Butterflies.

American painted Lady Caterpillar

Forming chrysalis on plant. Scrapes off wooly covering on leave and spin it into a shelter with silk for protection while eating leaves. Forms chrysalis right on larval plant. (Monarchs wander for up to 24 hours before settling on place to pupate so monarch chrysalis is seldom found close to the plant they fed on as larva)

False Solomon Seal

Lilly family blooms in late May early June.

Pale Corydalis

Occurs on rocky outcrops in thin organic – usually after tree throw. Poppy family.


White goldenrod. Common, sandy areas usually single flower spike

Pennsylvania sedge

Early blooming sedge common. Sedges and grasses are true flowering plants

Little blue Stem grass

Late summer blooming common on roadsides, Prairie and northeast native grass.

Spider web

Highlights delicate balance in the Web of life. Importance of looking at and protecting entire ecosystems.

Dutchman’s Breeches

Rich woods, spring ephemeral, Plant conservation – don’t dig up

3 Leaved Black Snake root

Endangered plant in watershed. Rich woodlands. Important to protect entire plant communities not just one plant.

American honeysuckle

Native woodland honeysuckle. Delicate and small with a few pair of dangling pale yellow flowers. European bush honeysuckle’s are larger with many flowers and have hollow steams and overtaking the Cold River woodlands and crowing out native species.

Footprints in the mud

Crow, Great Blue heron, duck raccoon. All use river.