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Field Trip: Center Hill Dam, Caney Fork River

May 20, 2023 @ 10:00 am - 3:00 pm

Description: It has been about 15 years since TNPS visited the rich hillsides along the Caney Fork River below Center Hill Dam in DeKalb County, TN. Since then the Corp of Engineers has completed 3 major construction projects to stabilize the dam and eliminate safety hazards from water leakage and erosion. I hope the 12 years of repair work have not significantly impacted the interesting and rare plants we plan to observe on this trip. Along the river bluffs grow several rare and endemic plants. A primary target species is the newly described Wofford’s wood mint (Blephilia woffordii). It is found only in the Caney Fork River basin. We also will look for western wallflower (Erysimum capitatum), a beautiful orange flowered member of the Mustard Family (Brassicaceae), and woolly Dutchman’s pipe (Isotrema tomentosum), formerly (Aristolochia tomentosa). Other plants include large stem alumroot (Heuchera macrorhiza), Svenson’s wild rye (Elymus svensonii), and a mock vervain (Glandularia sp.) plant yet to be formally described. At the base of a rock quarry below the dam we will look for Loesel’s twayblade (Liparis loeselii), a TN threatened species known to occur there from previous years along the spring emerging from the base of the quarry.

Meeting Place/Time: Long Branch Recreation Area (picnic pavilion below
the Dam), accessed from I40, Buffalo Valley exit 268, then south on TN
Hwy 96 about 5 miles to the Dam, then cross the Dam and turn right on
TN Hwy 141, go 0.5 mile to picnic area on the right. 10:00 AM CDT.

Difficulty: Easy, mostly roadside botanizing. Boots may be needed at the
orchid (Liparis) site.

Lunch: Bring to eat in our vehicles or at the picnic area.

Facilities: At meeting place.

Leaders: Louise Gregory, Dennis Horn 9315819901,


May 20, 2023
10:00 am - 3:00 pm
Event Category:


Center Hill Dam, Caney Fork River
Long Branch Recreation Area
DeKalb County, TN
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