The Bay's wetlands are filled with a variety of water-loving plants. Here are the scrambled names of some of these plants with their descriptions. Can you figure out the correct name for each plant? Answers are on page 21.
1. SHRAM NERF: This is plant is the most abundant of its kind in the Bay's tidal freshwater marshes. In the spring, before their fronds unfurl, its young plants are called fiddleheads because they look like the neck and scroll of a violin.
2. LATTICA: There are two species of this plant in the Bay watershed: One is found in freshwater wetlands; the other in saltier wetlands. Humans have found a use for each part of this plant. Its leaves can be woven into mats or baskets. If prepared properly, its young stalks and pollen and rhizomes (an underground stem) are edible. Its fluffy seeds were used to line moccasins. Dip its fruiting brown stalk in oil or wax to create a candle or torch that some believe repels insects.
3. VEIL AKO: This tree is tolerant of saltwater and is found inland as well as along beaches. It is an evergreen because its older leaves do not fall off until the new leaves that replace them are mature. Wildlife eats its acorns. So did American Indians.
4. OUTLEP: This tree is found in the southern part of the Bay, where it grows in standing water of freshwater swamps. The height of its trunk from the ground to the first branch (called a bole) is very long. This made the tree very popular in furniture-making and construction. Its fruit, which looks like a small black olive, floats. This is how seeds travel to new sites.
5. WEEKCUDD: Far from being pond scum, this tiny flowering plant is used to treat wastewater. It is eaten by some waterfowl.
6. FRALEWORA: This freshwater marsh plant gets its name from its weapon-shaped foliage. It gets its other name, duck potato, from the starchy bulb-like organ that stores the plant's food when the rest of the plant dies back in the fall. This organ will grow into a new plant in the spring. Its flowers grow on racemes (a type of plant stalk) that can grow up to 5 feet tall.
1. Marsh Fern
3. Live Oak