A new Nature Trail has just been opened at White River Public Camp. It is just a quarter of a mile in length, winds through the deep woods, crossing three times on rustic bridges a babbling brook. Along the trail will be found, Wild Ginger, Alum Root, Devils Club, Canadian Dog Wood, Birdsfoot Bramble, Alpine Beauty, Spring Beauty, Oak Fern, Lady Fern, Solomon Seal, Vanilla Leaf, Pyrola, Pipsisewa, Yellow Violets, Armica and Valerian. This little trail should prove a delight to White River visitors who are unable to take the more strenuous trail trips.
The Single Beauty, that charming little member of the Wintergreen family does not grown in great profusion in the Park. The Naturalist found, in the deep moist woods, one small bed of these star shaped, waxy-white flowers with their clusters of glossy bright green leaves, the flower faces modestly turned to the ground. Three specimens were picked for the Nature Exhibit which is maintained at the White River Public Camp. They lasted for more than a week but are wilting now. No more will be picked unless a more abundant supply is discovered.
No, the Naturalist is not attempting a display of scientific verbal pyrotechnics--but this plant is so rare that it has never been given a common name. On the trail to Summerland in a position where destruction was inevitable the writer found a low rounded mass of this peculiar plant about six inches in diameter. It now rests among the 45 or 50 specimens of the White River Nature Exhibit.
Hemitomes Congestum belongs to that peculiar and interesting group of plants, known as the Indian Pipe Family, which live on decayed matter. The Indian Pipe or Ghost Plant, Barbers Pole, Pine Drops and Pine Sap are other members of the family circle. They live on the products of other plants and have, therefore, lost the green coloring necessary to self support. When young the Hemitomes Congestum has a clear white or pinkish white coloring, but with age darkens to a black shapeless mass. In general appearance it is not unlike a big sponge. Close examination reveals a compact group of branches not unlike its more common relative, the Ghost Plant.
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