Hugh Iltis; Mary Ann Feist
Citation: Beech-maple Region: Inventory of Natural Areas and Sites Recommended as Potential Natural Landmarks. Alton Anthony Lindsey, Linda K. Escobar. U.S. Department of the Interior, National Park Service, 1976. Appendix.
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Locality: Abrahams Woods SNA, Green County, WI (42.684823, -89.483359)


Abrahams Woods features an old-growth stand of southern mesic forest, which is increasingly rare in Wisconsin. Sugar maple, basswood, and red oak dominate the forest with other canopy trees including bitternut hickory, hackberry, black walnut, butternut, slippery elm, black cherry, and white oak. Surrounding the woods is a sandstone ridge, which curves both northeast and southeast creating an east-facing amphitheater. These steep slopes on the south and west boundary helped protect the area from wildfires and windstorms. The woods is known for its spectacular display of spring wildflowers and is noted by botanists for its floristic richness including two rare species. Herbaceous plants include sharp-lobed hepatica, dogtooth violet, false rue anemone, nodding trillium, and dutchmens breeches. There are large clumps of Goldies fern in the amphitheater and wood nettle and yellow jewelweed dominate the midsummer flora. Typical of a mesic forest, it has few, widely scattered shrubs including chokecherry and American bladdernut. An active Great Blue Heron rookery is found in the woods. Visitors should be very careful not to disturb the birds and rookery in the spring, as too much disturbance may force the herons to abandon their nests and relocate the rookery. Abrahams Woods is owned by the University of Wisconsin and was designated a State Natural Area in 1961.


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Families: 52

Genera: 74

Species: 90

Total Taxa: 93 (including subsp. and var.)

Sanicula sp. L. - Black-Snakeroot
Arisaema triphyllum (L.) Schott - Jack-in-the-pulpit
Aralia nudicaulis L. - wild sarsaparilla
Maianthemum racemosum - Solomon's-plume
Prenanthes alba L. - white rattlesnakeroot
Solidago flexicaulis L. - zigzag goldenrod
Impatiens capensis Meerb. - spotted touch-me-not
Podophyllum peltatum L. - wild mandrake
Celtis occidentalis L. - northern hackberry
Lonicera sp. L. - Honeysuckle
Celastrus scandens L. - climbing bittersweet
Uvularia grandiflora Sm. - large-flowered bellwort
Cornus sp. L. - Dogwood
Carex blanda Dewey - wood sedge
Carex hirtifolia Mack. - pubescent sedge
Carex normalis Mack. - spreading oval sedge
Carex oligocarpa Willd. - rich-woods sedge
Carex woodii Dewey - Wood's stiff sedge
Pteridium aquilinum (L.) Kuhn - eastern bracken fern
Cystopteris fragilis (L.) Bernh. - northern fragile fern
Quercus rubra L. - northern red oak
Geranium maculatum L. - wild geranium
Juglans cinerea L. - white walnut
Juglans nigra L. - black walnut
Trillium flexipes Raf. - nodding wake-robin
Menispermum canadense L. - common moonseed
Circaea canadensis subsp. canadensis (L.) Hill - broad-leaf enchanter's-nightshade
Osmunda claytoniana L. - interrupted fern
Phryma leptostachya L. - American lop-seed
Phlox divaricata - woodland phlox
Actaea pachypoda Elliott - white baneberry
Anemone acutiloba (DC.) G.Lawson - sharp-lobed hepatica
Enemion biternatum Raf. - false rue anemone
Ranunculus abortivus L. - small-flowered buttercup
Ranunculus recurvatus - hooked buttercup
Potentilla simplex Michx. - old-field cinquefoil
Prunus virginiana L. - chokecherry
Galium aparine L. - sticky-willy
Smilax ecirrhata S.Watson - upright carrion-flower
Smilax tamnoides L. - hellfetter
Viola pubescens Aiton - yellow violet
Vitis riparia Michx. - river bank grape