native forest
prospect park, brklyn



basswood, aka American linden, Tilia americana, bloom

bitternut hickory, Carya cordiformis, nut oil
oak moss, Evernia prunastri, lichen
tulip tree, Liriodendron tulipifera, bloom



In 1867, Prospect Park opened, designed by Frederick Law Olmsted and Calvert Vaux. They left undisturbed two native forests, called the Ravine and the Midwood. These forests were dominated by oak, hickory, and chestnuts. Prospect Park changed dramatically after the Great Chestnut Blight; by 1911, not one chestnut remained in the park.1 The tree species we selected for this combination— basswood, dogwood, and tulip tree—are the most fragrant of those present pre-European settlement in such a forest type. Also included: hickory nuts as a carrier oil, and a lichen traditionally used in perfumery that grows on oak bark.   

1. Newman, Andy. “Returning Chestnut Trees to City Where Blight Was First Found.” New York Times, City Room, 23 March, 2011.

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