Hike Report: Bendix Woods

“AWESOME”: May 5 North Wildflower Hike at Bendix Woods

by John J. Smith

These days “awesome” is overused, but it was an apt adjective for the INPAWS May 5 hike in the old-growth beech-maple forest in the State-dedicated Bendix Woods Nature Preserve in St. Joseph County.    

Where in the Midwest are there more large white trillium (Trillium grandiflorum) interspersed with false rue anemone (Enemion biternatum) in 27 acres?  T. grandiflorum was at its peak of bloom; only a few of the 4-8 cm white flowers were beginning to turn pink.

We found over 20 species of forbs blooming. Huge numbers of prairie trillium (T. recurvatum) and drooping trillium (T. flexipes) were also at their peak. Clumps of yellow wood poppy (Stylophorum diphyllum) punctuated the woods.   Along the stream bank were colonies of two-leaved toothwort (Cardamine diphylla), found only in a few Indiana counties. 

Three easy to miss species were wild ginger (Asarum canadense), with small maroon flowers tucked below fuzzy leaves; blue cohosh (Caulophyllum thalictroides) with small, yellow-green flowers; and false mermaid (Floerkea proserpinacoides) with minute (2-3mm) white flowers. 

Three shrub species were in bloom: spicebush (Lindera benzoin), prickly gooseberry (Ribes cynosbati), and red elderberry (Sambucus racemosa), which is found only in far northern Indiana.

We saw several species indicative of high quality northern hardwoods forests: beech (Fagus grandifolia), red elderberry, plaintain-leaf sedge (Carex plantaginea), Carey’s sedge (C. careyana), two-leaved toothwort, blue cohosh, beechdrops (Epifagus virginiana), maple-leaved waterleaf (Hydrophyllum canadense), downy Solomon’s seal (Polygonatum pubescens), large white trillium and Canada violet (Viola canadensis).

Over 40 persons (30 of them INPAWS members) participated, ably led by Scott Namestnik, senior project scientist and botanist, Cardno JFNew ecological consulting firm, and Deb Marr, associate professor of biology, Indiana University – South Bend.

This was indeed an awesome hike in an awesome woods. 

Original hike announcement with directions


    Halos wrote on August 06, 2014

    I drove back to Houston! By myself!!! Riplee and Amber are flniyg back to San Antonio, DJ is going back to New Orleans, and Candice and Austin start the week back in Houma. Lynette will be there for a couple of weeks visiting. I don't even have Fiona .she went to Houma too!Me, Candice, Austin, Darlene and Randy did take a trip to the Shrimp and Petroleum festival in Morgan City Sunday afternoon. That was a lot cooler than I thought it would be.Dang ..I had to go turn things on around the house so it wouldn't echo when I walked around ..party at my place if anyone wants to show up sniff :down_tb:

    INPAWS : INPAWS Hike: Bendix Woods Nature Preserve May 5 wrote on October 07, 2013

    [...] Bendix Woods Nature Preserve, St. Joseph County, Indiana.  This is a joint field trip between INPAWS (state) and INPAWS – North Chapter.  View full hike report [...]

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