The Country in the City: Natural History in Northwest Philadelphia
In 1903, regular newspaper readers in Germantown enjoyed a weekly series of articles titled, “A Flora of Germantown.” Written by Edwin Jellett, they ran every Friday for almost 40 weeks and covered Jellet’s wanderings throughout Northwest Philadelphia as he recorded plants in bloom, noted changes in the flora from previous decades, and referenced local history. To celebrate its centennial year in 2016, Awbury Arboretum republished Jellett’s articles in sequence, re-creating for the 21st century electronic reader what the newspaper consumer of 1903 enjoyed – a vicarious Friday jaunt through Germantown.
By Michael Martin Mills
Could it have been the equinox of 1903, with the days becoming shorter than the nights, that sent Edwin Jellett in a most peculiar frame of mind? His Sept. 25 installment of “A Flora of Germantown” is among his quirkiest to date. Here we have an obsessive recounting of notable residences of yore (that is, yore in 1903) along Old York Road and – ta-da! – all manner of bog plants of the Pine Barrens of New Jersey.
Fortunately, the name-dropping Mr. Jellett refers to his seeing the great actress of the 19th century, Fanny Kemble. Indeed, he seems to have visited her the very day she left Philadelphia in 1877 to return to England. At the time, Jellett was 16 or 17 years old. (Maybe he was not so much visiting Fannie Kemble as waving from a clutch of 19th-century groupies.)
Rather than try to make sense of Pine Barrens bog culture, let us enjoy Kemble’s ode, written after her visit to the Wissahickon Creek in the 1830s.
“To the Wissahickon”
My feet shall tread no more thy mossy side,
When once they turn away, thou “Pleasant Water”,
Nor ever more, reflected in thy tide,
Will shine the eyes of the White Island’s daughter.
But often in my dreams, when I am gone
Beyond the sea that parts thy home and mine,
Upon thy banks the evening sun will shine,
And I shall hear thy low, still flowing on.
And when the burden of existence lies
Upon my soul, darkly and heavily,
I’ll clasp my hands over my weary eyes,
Thou “Pleasant Water”, and thy clear waves see.
Bright be thy course for ever and for ever,
Child of pure mountain springs, and mountain snow;
And as thou wanderest on to meet the river
Oh, still in light and music mayst thou flow!
I never shall come back to thee again,
When once my sail is shadowed on the main,
Nor ever shall I hear thy laughing voice
As on their rippling way thy waves rejoice,
Nor ever see the dark green cedar throw
Its gloomy shade o’er the clear depths below,
Never, from stony rifts of granite gray
Sparkling like diamond rocks in the sun’s ray,
Shall I look down on thee, thou pleasant stream,
Beneath whose crystal folds the gold sands gleam;
Wherefore, farewell! but whensoe’er again
The wintry spell melts from the earth and air;
And the young Spring comes dancing through thy glen,
With fragrant, flowery breath, and sunny hair;
When through the snow the scarlet berries gleam,
Like jewels strewn upon thy banks, fair stream,
My spirit shall through many a summer’s day
Return, among thy peaceful woods to stray.
Edwin C. Jellett – September 25, 1903 – from “A Flora of Germantown”
As originally published in the Germantown Independent Gazette
York road, now “Old York road,” to distinguish it from Frankford, or “New York road,” although not the fixed eastern boundary of Germantown, has long been recognized as the natural one, and until recent strenuous suburban growth its line continued distinct.
By whatever name it is known York road is one of our oldest “turnpikes,” and from Fourth and Vine streets, Philadelphia, to its terminus, it is a well-known historic highway, but while of extreme interest we shall consider it only so far as it concerns our subject. We shall trace it, and that very briefly, from Fairhill, Turner’s lane and “Gunner’s Run” to “County Line road,” which I have marked as the northern limit of our floral territory. As many of us who lived in the early days of our Main street horse cars will remember, the long stretch of meadow opposite Fairhill Meeting, a place which took its name from the noted mansion below it, with its small stream, popularly known as “Three Mile Run.”
Those were the days when the horses sometimes, oftentimes, hoof-deep, struggled slowly through the mud with heavy burdens, past the “parting of the ways” where York road, which had run along without identity or objection, left for the north and then jogged along Germantown road past “Rising Sun Inn,” “Markley’s,” crossing at Nicetown the old stone bridge spanning Roberts Run, passing under “Turnpike Bridge,” where “Jake” hooked on needed help, cracked his whip, and the toiling crew upward “neath earth and sky” laboriously crept from view.
Fairhill, both in its founder’s day and much later, was celebrated, and Francis Daniel Pastorius, who was acquainted with its garden, pronounced it the finest he had seen in America, “filled with rarities,” while others had “pretty little gardens” much like his own, “containing chiefly cordial stomchic and culmonary herbs.” This much Rev. S.F. Hotchkin records, while Townsend Ward states that at Fairhill the first weeping willow brought to this country was planted. The successor to Isaac Norris was John Dickinson, who increased Fairhill’s fame, there wrote his “Farmer’s Letters,” and was visited by the most noted men of his day.
We shall rapidly pass without mention several places, which now are but a shadow of their former greatness, and from Fairhill, at one bound, leap to “Fairfield,” long the residence of Alfred Cope, and now occupied by Philip C. Garrett. Fairfield is one of the oldest places on York road, and was once owned by Henry Drinker, whose wife Elizabeth is known by her Journal, and at this place it was in part written, for “Clearfield,” as “the farm” was named, was occupied by them in 1794, the year following Elizabeth Drinker’s removal from upper Germantown. When Alfred Cope purchased the place he changed its name, and as Fairfield it is known to the present time.
Fairfield was a one-time botanic garden, and it now possesses one of the most valuable collections of rare trees and shrubs within our territory, a collection which in my youth was marked by labels of wood and metal prominently placed upon the ground, upon which from a point outside a bordering wall of stone, I often attempted to interpret the odd and curious looking names. Here long lived Edward Drinker Cope, the celebrated paleontologist, and one of America’s greatest scientists, the author of “Origin of Man and Other Vertebrates,” and numerous other important works; and also James Biddle Cope, the author of the “Greys of Greystone,” a work of no great merit, and reflecting no credit, who, born before the days of popular “Sunny Jim,” purchased a title and settled abroad.
Alfred Cope was a great man, whom we should gratefully remember, for it was he to whom we are indebted for the original library building on Main street, so generously and worthily maintained by the Society of Friends.
“Solitude,” which we pass, once mighty, has lived beyond its time, its best days are behind it, and we pass it, and also the beautiful grounds of the Jewish Hospital, the entrance to which is now guarded by the marble columns which formerly decorated the Chestnut Street front of the Mint, to halt at “Butler place.”
“Far away fields” seem always “green,” and there is a class of longsighted writers who are unable, or unwilling, to see close-range good. No one requires to be told that England is beautiful, for it is a garden which by the best gardeners has been cultivated for hundreds of years, and it is impossible with its climate for it to be otherwise. But beautiful as it admittedly is, I saw there nowhere a view which would at all compare with that of our own Whitemarsh Valley. Every word which has been written of the famous avenue of trees at Guy’s Cliff I believe to be true, for it is beautiful, but its beauty is distinct, and it in no way can be compared with the beauty of the majestic lines of interlocking trees overspreading Norwood avenue at Chestnut Hill. Nowhere abroad saw I an approach which appealed more to me than the shaded drive leading from Thorp’s lane to Butler place at Branchtown.
Here, however, recent changes have havoc wrought, for at one time Thorp’s lane, with “Harper’s Hollow” and its haunted house, “Harper’s Dam” and its “old man” on guard, with the stream reaching behind Edwin Lonsdale’s greenhouse up to and past the famous flour mill, and bordering meadow lands, above and below the “Hollow” which I thought unapproachable, have changed, and their peculiar charm has fled beyond a return. Although its entrance has lost, Butler place continues otherwise the same, and is one or those delightful homes which, like “Awbury” and “Springbank,” we imagine far away, and, like them, is a part of that culture English early settlers brought to America, and which has survived to exhibit to us the charms of old estates “at home.” To the many associations of Butler place I shall not refer, but shall pass across the road, where stood a house in which Fanny Kemble lived her last years in America, and in which I saw her the day she sailed for England. The home is no more, Fanny Kemble is dead, but her love of nature lives in her works, and all lovers of outdoor pleasures should read her works, particularly her “Journal,” published in 1835.
One of the most interesting places on York road is “Silver Pine Cottage,” standing opposite Mill street, conspicuous by its group of noble pine trees, as well as a bordering historic graveyard. To me this place, with its modest cosy home nestling under the trees and its surrounding garden of evergreen and bloom, was ever one of choicest spots near home, and I am pleased that the “trolleys” have done little to injure it. Dr. George De Bonnaville, or De Benneville, the owner, whose name has become a part of the place, was a noted character, born in France in 1703, educated in England under the supervision of Queen Anne, at 18 years of age a teacher of Huguenot doctrines in France, condemned to death, and saved only by the intervention of his patron, he in 1741 came to America, and at Germantown lived with, and for a time served as an apothecary for, Christopher Saur. From Germantown De Benneville removed to Oley, where he began the practice of medicine, became a local leader, again became a preacher, and the founder of “Unversalism” in America. From Oley, which will be remembered as a small settlement east of Reading, Dr. De Benneville returned to Germantown in 1755, where he enjoyed the confidence of the community, prospered, continued his religious work, and died ripe in years and honors in 1793. The little cemetery near his long time home is his resting place, and the pines he doubtless often looked upon tremble and sigh as they did of old, to remind the reflective of the silent valley through which every one must pass.
Descending the slight hill to the “soldiers’ monument,” we now ascend to the home high among the trees where dwells my old friend, and a Rittenhouse school boy, Harrison S. Morris, art critic, prose writer, poet and editor of Lippincott’s Magazine, who here among manifold interests divides his time with flowers. Adjoining is “Outalauna,” the residence of Joseph Wharton, and one of the most striking of the many beautiful places for which York road is justly celebrated. On this ground, if tradition be correct, long lived Benjamin Lay, an odd character, a vegetenarian, a friend of Dr. De Benneville, a writer and reformer, and one of the active early workers against slavery. Edward Morris Davis and his place we have heretofore referred to, and we shall pass to “Perot’s farm,” which now is only a name, and like Kulp’s homestead, which stood opposite the road leading to it, has lost its old-time simplicity, and is now known as “Northwood Cemetery.” Beyond to Milestown, and Robert Oollyer’s church, change is in everything I see, and we halt to view the “distant scene,” to dwell upon all those “gone before,” whose “works do follow them.”
Gardens, we hope, may long keep fresh and bright, but the signs of an early “fall” are everywhere apparent, and we need not expect much in the way of Dew bloom. Already Japan creeper on our houses is dropping its leaves, and in places silver maples and walnut trees are following suit. Already the leaves of cottonwood poplar, tulip-poplar and buttonball trees are turning yellow and falling. On dry hills vegetation appears in its accustomed autumnal habit, but on low grounds I imagine we shall have but little color this season, for frequent rains have kept trees at the top notch of vigor, and the required “shock” has not been furnished. Among late blooming garden plants is verbena shrub, a comparatively recent introduction of great merit, producing showy whorls of blue flowers, and now at its perfection. On trellaced fronts cobea, long in bloom, at no time showed its bell-shaped greenish flowers to better advantage than now. Mexican vine beside it, and false buckwheat on fences and in thickets, are both flowering as they did not before this season. Scarlet sage has reached its full development, and from now to frost it will be the most brilliant tenant of our “walks and beds.” In fields chickory, mullein, saponaria, wild carrot and evening primrose, with other less prominent plants, showing more or less wear and tear, continue a struggle which in the nature of things must soon come to an end. Cockle bur, or clot-bur, one of our latest maturing weeds, is everywhere in waste places in bloom. It is a coarse, unattractive, undesirable plant, with rough leaves, producing a compound bur of small slender inconspicuous yellow flowers, which bloom from the bur, instead of producing it.
Closed gentian, long showing its vigorous stems with leaves of freshest green, in spots is in bloom, but it, with fringed, and other gentians which appear later, we shall hope to present together. Slender gentian, the earliest and most beautiful native gentian, is now in bloom near Egg Harbor, N.J., but unfortunately it does not appear with us at all.
Summer is over, and the ‘“hustler” who while at home said, “Boys, if there is any loafing to be done I will do it myself,” has returned, and having spent a fortnight to his own satisfaction, now says, “Come, boys, vacation’s over, pitch in.” This is an extreme type, but an exact one, which fortunately is conspicuous, not at all plentiful, and an object of contempt wherever it “shows its head.” But ignoring that class which have only dollars and the desire for more, I often wonder if those blessed with a well deserved vacation get from it as much as they should, for granting that our tastes are as many as our “minds,” it often seems to me that many waste their time, and fail to find the satisfaction for which they search. One day while speaking with Abraham H. Cassell, I was impressed by a remark of his. “Visitors,” he said, “often wonder how I acquired so much. But it is no wonder. Long ago idleness and I parted company.”
The flora of home naturally leads to the flora of other places, for as there is no distinct line separating districts, so in the main the flora of one district is that of another. We of Germantown are blessed, and our flora rich in itself is so intimately connected with that of nearby New Jersey, that one flora cannot be fairly considered without reference to the other, and I have therefore endeavoured to present not all, but the most interesting plants of simultaneous bloom we lack, which appear in that paradise of flowers.
The geography of plants is a most valuable study, for by it we learn of the distribution of plants, and we grow to a larger view of nature. Thereby we learn of the flora frequenting different altitudes, and by it we are able to understand the arctic flora, surviving in the Adirondack Mountains. By it also we are enabled to comprehend isolated colonies of strange plants appearing in our own territory, and in a measure the marvellous flora of Southern New Jersey. I have often wondered if this richest of floras is not due to the area’s geologic lateness of formation, and whether its floral wealth is not the result of the deposits of slowly receding waters.
The evergreen woods observable throughout New Jersey are composed principally of pine, and cedar, the pines being pitch-pine, Jersey or scrub pine and yellow pine, the first two being common and the latter more rare, the cedar being the red and white varieties. Pitch pine and scrub pine both appear, though sparingly, in our Wissahickon woods. Red cedar is common with us, but white cedar appears in our territory only under cultivation. To study trees satisfactorily one must have a guide, for with many varieties the points of difference are so slight that only one continually among plants and possessing exact knowledge is able to discriminate and determine.
For several years it has been the practice of George Redles, Joseph Meehan and myself to take periodical trips Into New Jersey’s famous “barrens,” this party occasionally including Albert Woltemate.
These trips were for pleasure and for study, each member contributing to the extent of his ability, and Joseph Meehan being the recognized authority upon trees and shrubs, wherever I err or appear scant with these the fault or neglect is not his. George Redles invariably was leader, and those acquainted with his wonderful knowledge of plants may imagine the value of the outings. It is always a privilege with me to give credit, but with Joseph Meehan and George Redles I have worked so long that the knowledge I have acquired from them I find impossible to always separate from my own, so that the pleasure I would give myself must often be denied.
At home, as well as in New Jersey, the few flowers of swamp magnolia which escaped the plunderers have developed to sturdy blushing or fiery “cones,” as have also the bloom of common dogwood, now brilliant with clusters of scarlet jewels. In moist places near them arrow wood, black alder, itea, buckthorn, groundsel tree and cranberry tree, all frequenters of soft ground or banks of streams, are in fruit, and display berries of various hue.
In neighboring streams is eel, or tape-grass, a slender porous submerged floating plant, a lover of slow flowing waters, and schlerolepus, a smooth plant with a simple stem, and with a terminal head of flesh-colored flowers which are yet in bloom. In bogs, or in open swamps, cattails innumerable show high their brown rusty heads, and near them on the water’s edge is scouring rush, an exceeding odd and interesting plant. Here, as in Williams’ swamp at home, is marsh rosemary, a plant with oblong bristly pointed leaves, with a stem of lavender colored flowers growing to sometimes a height of two feet, and now in fruit; mud-wort, a plant with creeping slender runners, thread-like leaves, and small white or purplish flowers; awl-wort, a small aquatic with awl-shaped tufted leaves, and with a low stem of minute white flowers; and cotton grass, a pampas-like growth to four feet in height, now crowded by a rusty fuzzy head of mature bloom.
Also in moist places is mermaid weed, a low creeping plant with small greenish petalless flowers; grass of parnassus growing to two feet in height, with thick round or heart-shaped leaves, and yellow-veined white petalled flowers; red-root, with sword-shaped leaves, and cymes of dingy yellow wooly flowers; lophiola, a rare, slender growing plant with wooly topped stems, and dull yellow flowers; and cakile or American sea-rocket, a fleshy plant best liking salt marshes, now showing its purple flowers.
Other frequenters of swamps now in bloom or in fruit are light pink whorled loose-strife, an introduction, which in places has become a fixture; blue vervian, with spikes of purplish blue rising from a bed of green; swamp hyssop, a low smooth attractive plant with beautiful golden yellow flowers, not well named, for it more frequently appears on moist high ground. In swampy places everywhere is spragnum moss, a matted mass which in bulk has become an important article of commerce; American cranberry, here, as in Unruh’s swamp at home, in fruit, and partly showing, its Christmas color; tapering sundew, slender sundew and round leaved sundew nestling in shallow positions, and in deeper moisture near is bladder wort, another curious carnivorous plant producing small absorbing sacs upon its roots, with yellow flowers, and without comparison one of the strangest and most noted plants of a noted class.
Common in waters everywhere is arrow head, which yet displays its spikes of pure white yellow centred bloom; golden club and bog-arum, both with bright clean stems and knotted heads of fruit; and in shallow open places floating heart, with dark green leaves and slender flowers, lies swaying in the light. On bordering elevations is common veitch or tare, with flowers of blue climbing over thickets: near is lyre leaved sage, a low plant with bluish purple flowers; yellow-eyed grass, a bright sparkling bloomer, appearing like a narcissus in miniature; orange grass, slender yellow topped and wideawake, as bright here as it is at Walnut Lane Station at home; high green glass-wort or samphire, growing to a height of 18 inches, and in late fall widely known by it color; swamp-honeysuckle, yet in places showing azalia like white flowers; and shrubby St. John’s wort, studding open banks with gold.
In moist sandy places is thyme leaved sandwort, a low branched plant producing small white flowers; pipe-wort, a rigid grassy plant with awl-shaped leaves, wooly tipped stems, and circular flat flowers; star-grass, or colic root, a smooth plant producing a cluster or thin pointed leaves and a slender scape of white flowers; gaura, a high soft downy plant growing on dry banks and displaying flowers varying in color from rose to white; crotonopsls, a rare plant of minute form with hoary stems and very small petalless greenish flowers; brown-crowberry, a bushy shrub, one to two feet in height, with narrow leaves and handsome flowers; fringed polygala, or milk-weed, a low delicate plant with beautiful rose purple flowers; green milk-wort, a low plant wide branching, and with greenish heads of flowers, sometimes purple tipped; hedge nettle, a 4-angled hairy plant having purple flowers; water weed, rich weed or clear weed, a smooth watery nettle-like plant with inconspicuous flowers, plant common enough at home, and by George Redles said to be sure cure for “poison ivy itch;” bastard toad flax, a low plant with smooth stems and bearing greenish white flowers; enchanter’s night shade, distinct from other night shades, a dwarfed smooth weak plant with heart-shaped leaves, and small white flowers; and American centaury, or sabbatia, one of our handsomest native plants, growing to a height of two feet and covered with bright rose pink flowers.
The flora of New Jersey is unique, and I regret that I am able only to touch upon it, for it is so rich and wonderful that every flower lover should know it. Jersey woods with their balmy odors are from afar an inspiration, and near are a cure for all ills which “easily beset us.” We shall not attempt to describe them, but will simply endeavor to corral a few plants which do not commonly appear with us.
Among these are fever-wort or horse gentian, a hairy plant growing to four feet in height, and now long in fruit; chaff weed, a plant with hairy stems, rising to a height of two feet and bearing dull purplish yellow flowers, but at this time in fruit; long moss, or black moss, long gray and weird, dressing whole sections in mourning; crane fly orchis, a rare elusive plant, and like all the orchids of surpassing interest; false mistletoe, a strange, rare parasitic plant growing upon trees, and appearing upon our streets during the holiday season, a plant popularly accepted as true mistletoe, a plant quite different, and the only growing specimen of which I ever saw was on an apple tree in the Royal Botanical Gardens, Edinburgh.
Scotland brings us to Scotchmen, and we shall turn aside from flowers for a time, and before leaving York road district visit Oak Lane School to present two of its famous masters. On the site of the present school once stood an octagonal building, which many living remember, but before its day was a building of uncertain form which it replaced, and which was known as “Milestown School.” Since early days the school has had many names, but for our present purpose its first well known one is sufficient. An inquirer who wondered at some of the facts presented in these pages, as though I had been born “before the flood,” or at very latest “before the war,” asked my age, but while I am neither old nor young, I remember at least one who attended Milestown School in the days of Alexander Wilson. Without giving data, George Ord, whom Wilson addressed, “From Milestown’s fertile fields and meadows clear I hail my worthy friend with heart sincere,” states that Wilson taught here for several years. We know that he peddled in New Jersey in 1795, and we also know that he taught at Oxford first, so that most likely he came to Milestown during or later than 1797. On leaving Milestown, Wilson was succeeded by his nephew, William Duncan, also a naturalist, but of minor note, who in turn was followed by John Bachman.
Alexander Wilson, “the American ornithologist,” is one of the most notable characters surviving in science and literature, a contemporary of Ferguson and Campbell, and although never an artist of the front rank, his verse was equal to the average of his particular school. In America, it is said, Wilson first began the study of “nature” at Milestown School, but while this is not correct it was here he first certainly made its study an object, his leisure time being spent in the fields for study, he making frequent excursions, and often visiting Germantown.
In 1802 Wilson was located at Kingsessing, and William Duncan had taken his place at Milestown, where he stopped until the spring of 1809, when he gave place to John Bachman, a struggling youth studying for the Lutheran ministry.
Bachman served one year, preached in Milestown School his first sermon, and made many friends. While here Wilson occasionally visited him, and in a letter to Mrs. Anne De Benneville Mears, Bachman, writing of Wilson, stated, “I always joined him on Saturdays in looking for specimens in ornithology.” Although a great clergyman, Bachman principally is remembered by his association with John James Audubon, he writing “The Quadrupeds of America,” an important work which Audubon illustrated.
A tithe hath not been told, nor a little told well, and I am loath to leave, for the ground whereon we tread is filled with ore, but flowers, like “time and tide,” wait upon no man, and late bloom which will soon die has taken our space, and constrains us no more without murmur with the pressing current.
Weeping willow. Salix Babylonica.
Pine. Pinus Strobus.
Japan creeper. Ampelopsis Tricuspidata, var. Veitchii.
Silver maple. Acer Dasycarpum.
Walnut. Juglans Nigra.
Cottonwood poplar. Populus Monilifera.
Tulip poplar. Liriodendron Tulipefera.
Buttonball tree. Platanus Occidentalis.
Verbena shrub. Caryopteris Mastacanthus.
Cobea. Cobea Scandens.
Mexican vine. Boussingaultia Basseloides.
False buckwheat. Polygonum Dumetorum, var. Scandens.
Scarlet sage. Salvia Splendens.
Chickory. Cichorium Intybus.
Mullin. Verbascum Thapsus.
Saponaria. Saponaria Officinalis.
Wild carrot. Daucus Carota.
Evening primrose. Oenothera Biennis.
Cockle-bur. Xanthium Strumarium.
Clot-bur. Xanthium Strumarium.
Closed gentian. Gentiana Andrewsii.
Fringed gentian. Gentiana Crinita.
Slender gentian. Gentiana Augustifolia.
Pitch-pine. Pinus Rigida.
Jersey-pine. Pinus Inops.
Scrub-pine. Pinus Inops.
Jersey yellow pine. Pinus Mitis.
Red cedar. Juniperus Virginiana.
White cedar. Chamaecyparis Sphaeroidea.
Swamp magnolia. Magnolia Glauca.
Dog-wood. Cornus Florida.
Arrow wood. Viburnum Cassinoides.
Black alder. Ilex Verticillata.
Itea. Itea Virginica.
Buckthorn. Rhamnus Cathartica.
Groundsel tree. Baccharus Halimifolia.
Cranberry tree. Viburnum Opulus.
Eel-grass. Vallesneria Spiralis.
Schlerolepus. Schlerolepus Verticillata.
Cattail. Typha Latifolia.
Scouring-rush. Equisetum Hyemale.
Marsh rosemary. Statice Limonum.
Mud-wort. Limosella Aquatica.
Awl-wort. Subularia Aquatica.
Cotton-grass. Eriophorum Virginicum.
Mermaid weed. Proserpinaca Palustris.
Grass of parnassus. Parnassia Carolina.
Red-root. Lachanthes Tinctoria.
Lophiola. Lophiola Aurea.
Cakile. Cakile Americana.
American sea rocket. Cakile Americana.
Spiked loose-strife. Lythrum Salicornia.
Blue-vervian. Verbena Hastata.
Swamp hyssop. Gratiola Aurea.
Sphagnum moss. Sphagnum Cuspidatum, var. Plumosum.
American cranberry. Vaccinium Macro Carpon.
Tapering sundew. Drosera Intermedia, var. Americana.
Slender sundew. Drosera Fillformis.
Round leaved sundew. Drosera Rotundifolia.
Bladderwort. Utricularia Clandestina.
Arrow head. Sagittavia Variabilis.
Golden club. Orontium Aquaticum.
Bog arum. Calla Palustris.
Floating heart. Limnanthemum Lacunosum.
Vetch. Vicia Cracca.
Tare. Vicia Cracca.
Lyre-leaved sage. Salvia Lyrata.
Yellow eyed grass. Xyris Flexuosa.
Narcissus. Narcissus Polyanthos.
Orange grass. Hypericum Nudicaule.
High glass wort. Salicornia Herbacea.
Samphire. Salicornia Herbacea.
Swamp honeysuckle. Rhododendron Viscosum.
Shrubby St. John wort. Hypericum Prolilicum.
Thyme leaved sand-wort. Arenaria Serpylifolla.
Pye wort. Eriocaulon Guaphalodes.
Star-grass. Aletris Farinosa.
Colic root. Aletris Farinosa.
Gaura. Gaura Biennis.
Crotonopsis. Crotonopsis Linearis.
Broom Crowberry. Corema Conradi.
Fringed polygala. Polygala Passiflora.
Milkweed. Polygala Passiflora.
Green milk-wort. Polygala Ambigua.
Hedge nettle. Stachys Palustris.
Water weed. Pilia Pumila.
Rich weed. Pilia Pumila.
Clear weed. Pilia Pumila.
Bastard toad-flax. Commandra Umbellata.
Enchanters night shade. Circaea Alpina.
American centaury. Sabbatia Angularis.
Sabbatia. Sabbatia Augularis.
Feverwort. Triostium Perfoliatum.
Horse gentian. Triostium Perfoliatum.
All botanical illustrations, unless otherwise noted, are by Alois Lunzer, from Thomas Meehan’s “The Native Flowers and Ferns of the United States,” first published in 1878. Plates from this book were clipped and included in Jellett’s scrapbook/manuscript “The Flora of Germantown.”