Washington Valley Park, Somerset County

East Section

April 14, 2018

After a cold beginning of spring, it was refreshing to see activity in our yard. We noticed that our bloodroot and hepatica were starting to bloom so we decided to look for them out in the wild.

We visited this area before back in 2015 and it is close to where we live. The east section is the area around the East Branch Reservoir. To access the east section we parked on a lot along Gilbride Road, just as the road crosses over the Middle Brook.
Map: Washington Valley Trail Map

NJ State Forestry Service did a controlled burn there last November to reduce fuel buildup on the forest floor and decrease the likelihood of a fire in the future. We did see charred wood. There was not a lot of leaf litter on the ground.

The highlight of the trip were all the bloodroot (Sanguinaria canadensis) that we found growing on the barren rocks and also all the deeply colored roundlobed hepatica (Hepatica americana) that we found. The timing was very good for these two plants. If you go later, the bloodroot and hepatica flowers will be gone and you see only the leaves.

roundlobed hepatica (Hepatica americana) in Washington Valley Park, Somerset NJ roundlobed hepatica (Hepatica americana) in Washington Valley Park, Somerset NJ

Bloodroot Sanguinaria canadensis in Washington Valley Park, Somerset NJ The above two photos are hepaticas. We saw blue, pink and white hepeaticas.

The photo to the left is the bloodroot.

We were too early for most of the spring flowers. There were plenty of troutlily leaves and a few buds. There was some spring beauty leaves and a few flowers were actually found. The skunk cabage flowers were done. We came across leaves of partridgeberry, leeks, and toothwort.

Not unexpected, we saw lots of lesser celandine (invasive, alien)

Visit our Spring Photo Gallery 


Hope you will visit here and enjoy.

Hubert & Millie Ling

All photos by Hubert & Millie Ling 4/14 2018.