Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Nannyberry



These pictures which were taken last autumn show leaves on a nannyberry (Viburnum lentago) bush. Nannyberries are native in our area and have shiny green leaves in the summer, and if you are lucky, red and chocolate colored leaves in the fall. The fall foliage is not reliable and varies from plant to plant and year to year. There are clusters of white flowers in the spring and small blue/black berries in the late summer and early fall on mature bushes (which can actually grow quite large resembling small trees). The berries are edible, but I have never had one. Most of the nannyberry plants that I have seen are in the understory and not very healthy or productive although I have seen some with spectacular fall color. Some varieties of nannyberry have been cultivated for ornamental use and are sold through nurseries.

1. poison ivy (Toxicodendron radicans) -native
2. red maple (Acer rubrum) -native
3. Virginia creeper (Parthenocissus quinquefolia) -native
4. staghorn sumac (Rhus typhina) -native
5. common dandelion (Taraxacum officinale) -not native
6. New England aster (Symphyotrichum novae-angliae) -native
7. Canada goldenrod (Solidago altissima) -native
8. catsear (Hypochaeris radicata) -not native
9. butter-and-eggs (Linaria vulgaris) -not native
10. meadow hawkweed (Pilosella caespitosa) -not native
11. spiny sowthistle (Sonchus asper) -not native
12. Carolina horsenettle (Solanum carolinense) -native
13. lady's-thumb (Persicaria maculosa) -native
14. American elm (Ulmus americana) -native
15. nannyberry (Viburnum lentago) -native

Monday, August 24, 2009

American Elm



The American elm has the scientific name of ulmus americana, and these pictures of young elms were taken last fall in our wood. The American elm was once known for its longevity, but the advent of Dutch elm disease into North America has made older trees a rarity. Young trees are still common in our area though.

1. poison ivy (Toxicodendron radicans) -native
2. red maple (Acer rubrum) -native
3. Virginia creeper (Parthenocissus quinquefolia) -native
4. staghorn sumac (Rhus typhina) -native
5. common dandelion (Taraxacum officinale) -not native
6. New England aster (Symphyotrichum novae-angliae) -native
7. Canada goldenrod (Solidago altissima) -native
8. catsear (Hypochaeris radicata) -not native
9. butter-and-eggs (Linaria vulgaris) -not native
10. meadow hawkweed (Pilosella caespitosa) -not native
11. spiny sowthistle (Sonchus asper) -not native
12. Carolina horsenettle (Solanum carolinense) -native
13. lady's-thumb (Persicaria maculosa) -native
14. American elm (Ulmus americana) -native

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Lady's-thumb





Neither of these pictures is the best. This is lady's-thumb also commonly referred to as redshank. It is one of my girlfriend Diana's favorite flowers! It is very pretty and delicate. There are a few different varieties in our areas, some native and some spread from Europe. This particular speciman is Persicaria maculosa and is native to our area and is found throughout the continental U.S.

1. poison ivy (Toxicodendron radicans) -native
2. red maple (Acer rubrum) -native
3. Virginia creeper (Parthenocissus quinquefolia) -native
4. staghorn sumac (Rhus typhina) -native
5. common dandelion (Taraxacum officinale) -not native
6. New England aster (Symphyotrichum novae-angliae) -native
7. Canada goldenrod (Solidago altissima) -native
8. catsear (Hypochaeris radicata) -not native
9. butter-and-eggs (Linaria vulgaris) -not native
10. meadow hawkweed (Pilosella caespitosa) -not native
11. spiny sowthistle (Sonchus asper) -not native
12. Carolina horsenettle (Solanum carolinense) -native
13. lady's-thumb (Persicaria maculosa) -native

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Carolina Horsenettle





These are autumn pictures mostly featuring the fruit that grows on the horsenettle plant. Although they look a lot like tomatoes, they are poisonous. When I was a kid, my parents referred to this plant as poison oak. Since then I have heard others in our area refer to it that way, although it is not at all related to poison oak (a west coast relative of poison ivy.) I think it might be because the leaves are similar to oak leaves and the prickers of the plant can give you a a rash. Also true poison oak doesn't grow in our area.

This plant is not a true nettle either. It is a relative of the tomato, and its scientific name is Solanum carolinense. All parts of the plant are poisonous to people and livestock if ingested. It is native to our area and most of the eastern U.S. but has spread to most of North America.

1. poison ivy (Toxicodendron radicans) -native
2. red maple (Acer rubrum) -native
3. Virginia creeper (Parthenocissus quinquefolia) -native
4. staghorn sumac (Rhus typhina) -native
5. common dandelion (Taraxacum officinale) -not native
6. New England aster (Symphyotrichum novae-angliae) -native
7. Canada goldenrod (Solidago altissima) -native
8. catsear (Hypochaeris radicata) -not native
9. butter-and-eggs (Linaria vulgaris) -not native
10. meadow hawkweed (Pilosella caespitosa) -not native
11. spiny sowthistle (Sonchus asper) -not native
12. Carolina horsenettle (Solanum carolinense) -native

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Spiny Sowthistle



Sowthistles are not true thistles. They are tall spiny leaved plants with flowers that look sort of like dandelions. The spiny sowthistle can be distinguished from other varieties by the way the leaves sort of curl around the stem. These plants can get to be six feet tall, and I find them rather pretty. They are not native but another plant that spread from Europe. They are now found in all of U.S. and Canada North America except for the arctic region. The scientific name is Sonchus asper.

1. poison ivy (Toxicodendron radicans) -native
2. red maple (Acer rubrum) -native
3. Virginia creeper (Parthenocissus quinquefolia) -native
4. staghorn sumac (Rhus typhina) -native
5. common dandelion (Taraxacum officinale) -not native
6. New England aster (Symphyotrichum novae-angliae) -native
7. Canada goldenrod (Solidago altissima) -native
8. catsear (Hypochaeris radicata) -not native
9. butter-and-eggs (Linaria vulgaris) -not native
10. meadow hawkweed (Pilosella caespitosa) -not native
11. spiny sowthistle (Sonchus asper) -not native

Meadow Hawkweed



Since I covered dandelion and catsear, I thought I should tackle hawkweed next. Most of the hawkween in our yard stopped blooming awhile ago, but I was able to find one last blooming plant right along the edge of our trailer. Probably the leaking heat helped it along.

Unlike catsear and dandelion, meadow hawkweed has unlobed leaves. It also tends to get a leaf or two about halfway up the stem. The stem, leaves, and bracts are covered with a stiff hair. The flowers of meadow hawkweed tend to be in a loose cluster at the top of the stem as you can sort of see here. Some other varieties of hawkweed only have a single flower per stem though. The scientific name of meadow hawkweed is Pilosella caespitosa. It is not native to our area although some other hawkweeds are. Like so many other plants, it was native to Europe and was spread here with European exploration.

1. poison ivy (Toxicodendron radicans) -native
2. red maple (Acer rubrum) -native
3. Virginia creeper (Parthenocissus quinquefolia) -native
4. staghorn sumac (Rhus typhina) -native
5. common dandelion (Taraxacum officinale) -not native
6. New England aster (Symphyotrichum novae-angliae) -native
7. Canada goldenrod (Solidago altissima) -native
8. catsear (Hypochaeris radicata) -not native
9. butter-and-eggs (Linaria vulgaris) -not native
10. meadow hawkweed (Pilosella caespitosa) -not native

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Butter-and-Eggs





Locally this plant is called butter-and-eggs. In some places, it is called common toadflax. Its scientific name is Linaria vulgaris.

We do not have a lot of this in our yard. We only have two patches. One is at the end of the trailer on the septic tank side. One is in a shady, sandy area near our propane tank. I think it is a very pretty flower though, and I like the foliage a lot. It is native to Europe and Northern Asia and like so many other plants has spread to most of North American.

I was thinking that I would like to keep track of which plants on my list are native and non-native to my area so I am going to add that to my list!

1. poison ivy (Toxicodendron radicans) -native
2. red maple (Acer rubrum) -native
3. Virginia creeper (Parthenocissus quinquefolia) -native
4. staghorn sumac (Rhus typhina) -native
5. common dandelion (Taraxacum officinale) -not native
6. New England aster (Symphyotrichum novae-angliae) -native
7. Canada goldenrod (Solidago altissima) -native
8. catsear (Hypochaeris radicata) -not native
9. butter-and-eggs (Linaria vulgaris) -not native