Thursday, August 26, 2010

Welcome to week six of the native plant I.D. blog from the Blomquist Garden of Native Plants at the Sarah P. Duke Gardens. This week will be a mixture of wild grasses and perennials of interest at the moment. Only seven plants this week, so a bit shorter than the usual ten.

1) Panicum anceps BEAKED PANICGRASS Poaceae - Grass Family

One of our most common piedmont old-field grasses. Can be seen during August and September in fruit at the same time as another species in today's list, Purpletop. The mature seeds resemble the curved beak of a bird, thus inspiring the common name. Beaked Panicgrass is found throughout the eastern U.S. from Canada to Florida and as far west as Kansas.

2) Tridens flavus PURPLETOP Poaceae - Grass Family

One of our most attractive native grasses, Purpletop typically reaches heights from three to five feet, with drooping floral spikes. As the seeds mature, the florets turn a deep brownish-purple, and are very noticeable among other, often shorter old field grasses such as Andropogon and Panicum species in August and September. Purpletop is a host plant for the larval stages of a number of butterfly and moth species, some of which include the Common Wood Nymph and the Little Glassywing.

3) Coreopsis verticillata THREADLEAF COREOPSIS Asteraceae - Aster Family

Native perennial to two feet. Stems glabrous but often pubescent at leaf nodes. Leaves cauline, in a opposite pair arrangement or sometimes in whorls of three. Ternately dissected, with individual leaf segments very thin. Blooms from a diffuse corymb. Yellow ray and disk flowers from early to late summer in dry woods and slopes. Often found among Eupatorium rotundifolium, Epigaea repens and Mitchella repens.

4) Lobelia cardinalis CARDINAL FLOWER Campanulaceae - Bellflower Family

Native perennial from three to six feet tall. Stems usually pubescent. Leaves alternate, lanceolate, serrate to crenate, petioles becoming shorter as you travel up the stem. Flowers in racemes near apex of stem, corolla a scarlet tube seen from mid to late-summer. Found in wet meadows, moist woods and streambanks. Excellent at providing nectar for Ruby-Throated Hummingbirds.

5) Impatiens capensis JEWELWEED Balsaminaceae - Touch-Me-Not Family

Native annual to five feet tall. Stems glabrous, producing copious fluid when crushed. Flowers in axillary panicles. Flower a heavily spotted orange-red tube with spurred sepal bent back underneath bloom. Tightly wound capsules expel seeds when touched, giving rise to another common name, SPOTTED TOUCH-ME-NOT. Blooms all summer until frost. We have two native species of Impatiens the other being Impatiens pallida. Globally there are eight hundred and fifty species in the genus Impatiens. Jewelweed, like Cardinal Flower, is an excellent nectar producer for our native hummingbirds.

6) Apios americana GROUNDNUT Fabaceae-Pea Family

Native vine. Twining stems arise from fleshy, round tubers, inspiring the common name. Alternate, pinnately compound leaves with five to seven leaflets. Axillary inflorescence with seven to ten creamy brown/purple flowers mid summer. Fruit a three to four inch legume in late summer. early fall. Found in moist woods/bottomlands.

7) Coreopsis tripteris TALL TICKSEED Asteraceae - Aster Family

Native perennial to six feet. Stems and leaves glabrous. Leaves pinnately compound with three to five lanceolate leaflets, often with revolute margins. Flowers in a diffuse corymb, each bloom with six to ten yellow ray flowers and numerous brownish disk flowers. Blooms July to September in meadows and open woods. Often found on circumneutral (pH +/- 7) soils.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Welcome to week five of the plant ID blog from the Blomquist Garden of Native Plants. This week will be a Eupatorium fest, with five of our native species represented. Other species represent many of our late-summer/ Fall blooming perennials. Don't forget to use this link if some of the botanical descriptions (ex. villous) are confusing. You can find definitions there for these terms. Enjoy!

1) Apios americana GROUNDNUT Fabaceae - Pea Family

Native vine of bottomland woods. Pinnate leaves with 5-7 lanceolate leaflets. Climbs by twining. Flowers in a terminal inflorescence of 7-15 distinctive, purple-brown blooms in early to mid summer. Fruit a legume 2-4 inches long seen in late summer.

2) Vernonia noveboracensis NEW YORK IRONWEED Asteraceae - Aster Family

Native perennial of wet meadows and streambanks. Lanceolate, serrate leaves dark green above, lighter green beneath, 4-8 inches long. Leaf base attenuate to petiolate. Perfect flowers, disk flowers a deep violet/purple. Stems often to six feet. Blooms July - September.

3) Eupatoriadelphus fistulosus TRUMPETWEED Asteraceae - Aster Family

Native perennial with tall, erect stems (often hollow) to six feet. Lanceolate, serrate leaves in whorls of 4-7. Flowers held in a terminal, paniculate cyme lacking ray flowers. Disk flowers 4-5 per flower head, pinkish/purple. Blooms July - September in wet meadows, ditches and along streambanks.

4) Eupatorium serotinum LATE FLOWERING THOROUGHWORT Asteraceae - Aster family

Native perennial to six feet. Stems pubescent on upper section, glabrous below. Leaves 4-7 inches long, opposite, serrate, lanceolate. Flowers in terminal corymbs, many flowers per head (often 15-20). Ray flowers absent. Disk flowers white to creamy/lavender, five lobed. Flowers July-September in old fields, roadsides, waste places.

5) Eupatorium perfoliatum COMMON BONESET Asteraceae - Aster Family

Common native perennial to five feet. Stems herbaceous, villous. Leaves six to eight inches long, serrate, lanceolate, pubescent, typically perfoliate. Flowers in terminal cymes with many blooms (15-20). Ray flowers absent, disk flowers white to pink, five-lobed. Flowers July - September in wet meadows, ditches.

6) Eupatorium hyssopifolium HYSSOPLEAF THOROUGHWORT Asteraceae - Aster Family

Native perennial with erect stems to three to four feet. Narrow, linear leaves two to four inches long in whorls of four. Leaves resin-dotted below. Upper leaves with fascicles of smaller leaves attached. Flowers in terminal cymes of five blooms each. Ray flowers absent. Disk flowers white to pinkish white, five lobed. Blooms July - September in old fields and waste places.

7) Eupatorium capillifolium DOGFENNEL Asteraceae - Aster Family

Tall native annual to six or seven feet. Often more than one stem per crown. Leaves thin, linear, aromatic, alternate, one to three inches long, pinnately or often bi-pinnately disssected to create a fine, filiform texture. Paniculate flowerheads in racemes, each head 3-5 flowered. Flowers white to cream colored in late summer.

8) Aureolaria virginica DOWNY FALSE FOXGLOVE Scrophulariaceae - Figwort family

Parasitic native perennial with (parasitic) association with members of the White Oak group of native trees. (Quercus stellata, Quercus alba, etc). Erect or drooping pubescent stems to three feet. Lanceolate leaves entire, sometimes lobed, two to five inches long. Solitary flowers arise from leaf axils. Yellow, tube/trumpet shaped flowers to two inches long in June and July. Found in mixed woodlands/wood edges.

9) Agalinis purpurea PURPLE FALSE FOXGLOVE Scrophulariaceae - Figwort family

Native annual. Many branched stems to three feet. leaves opposite, thin, linear, often curled. Violet flowers in terminal racemes. Corolla tube purple with creamy yellow throat. Found in waste places, old fields, ditches, etc. Blooms late summer into fall.

10) Pseudognaphalium obtusifolium RABBIT TOBACCO Asteraceae - Aster Family

Native annual or biennial to three feet. Stems single, erect, finely pubescent. Leaves linear, pubescent, margins often revolute, sessile, two to three inches long. Flowers in branching corymbs at top of stem. Ray flowers absent, disk flowers creamy white, tiny, often hidden within the floral involucre. Flowers late summer through fall in waste places, old fields, roadsides, etc.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

August 2010, week 2

Happy Wednesday! Welcome to week four of "Name that Native", the plant identification blog from the Blomquist Garden of Native Plants. I took a few weeks off, almost a month actually, to take some vacation and then get through the vacation withdrawal syndrome, but we're back in action! Today we've got a few coastal plain natives as well some mosses thrown in the mix with our piedmont natives.

1) Solidago nemoralis GRAY GOLDENROD Asteraceae Aster Family- Common native perennial to four feet. Spreads by short rhizomes, with both basal and cauline leaves. Cauline leaves rapidly reduced in size as you travel up the stem. Leaves elliptic,crenate, scabrous on upper surface and pubescent beneath. Yellow flowers in heads of 10-15 occuring in panicles. Found along roadsides, woods edges and old fields. Blooms July-September.

2) Hieracium venosum RATTLESNAKE WEED Asteraceae Aster Family- Native perennial of dry woodlands and wood edges. Basal leaves 1-3 inches long, lanceolate to oblanceolate. Pubescent, with prominebt leaf hairs highly visible. Prominent purple-black veins a good diagnostic characteristic. Mostly leafless flowering stem .5 to 1.5 feet tall. Yellow, somewhat dandelion-like flowers in a many-headed corymb. Blooms April to July.

3) Polytrichum commune HAIRCAP MOSS Polytrichaceae Haircap/Smoothcap Moss Family-
Moss species found in moist woodlands, wood edges and along river and stream banks. Individual fruiting stems resembling miniature pine trees. Commonly seen among granitic outcrops/seeps with various other moss species, including Sphagnum spp.

4) Schizachyrium scoparium LITTLE BLUESTEM Poaceae Grass family- Native perennial grass to four feet tall. Forms upright clumps, slender green leaves tinged with blue near the base. Purplish flowers appearing in 3-4" racemes above the foliage in August. Silver seeds heads persist through winter, when this year's foliage dies and turns a golden orange. Common along roadsides, old fields and wood edges.

5) Thuidium recognitum THUIDIUM MOSS Thuidiaceae Tamarisk Moss Family- Moss species often found in moist seeps, streambanks or shaded slopes near moving water. Many of our moss species are very hard to identify. The genera Thuidium can often be keyed out by examining the individual stems. Thuidium stems strongly resemble a miniature fern frond.

6) Vaccinium arboreum SPARKLEBERRY Ericaceae Heath Family- Native shrub to fifteen feet. 1.5-2-5" leaves sub-orbicular, glossy. Unique, reddish exfoliating bark. Often found among other xeric (dry woods) species (Mitchella, Hieracium) on granitic slopes. Latest flowering and fruiting of our piedmont blueberries. Fruit a small black berry in late summer. Blooms April-June.

7) Ilex glabra INKBERRY Aquifoliaceae Holly Family- Native shrub to 6-8 feet. Found most often in sandhills/coastal plain regions- well adapted to sandy soils, though will tolerate other soil types. Evergreen leaves crenate/serrate near leaf tip, oblanceolate, coriaceous. Small glands present on leaf underside. Fruit a black drupe appearing in late summer. Rhizomatous, forming spreading colonies. Dioecious. Blooms May-June.

8) Persea borbonia REDBAY Lauraceae laurel Family- Native tree to 40-50 feet. Evergreen leaves elliptical. Perfect flowers in axillary racemes. Fruit a dark blue drupe in late summer. Important wildlife species in moist forests of the sandhills/coastal plain region. Susceptible to Laurel Wilt, a fungal disease. Blooms in May-June

9) Chamaecyparis thyoides ATLANTIC WHITE CEDAR Cupressaceae Cypress Family-
Medium evergreen coniferous native tree to 40-60 feet. Upright form, once used a source of telephone poles. Fibrous bark a gray/brown. Often mistaken for Juniperus virginiana. Thrives and forms large stands with periodic burns- suffers from fire suppression. Native of moist forests/acidic swamps.

10) Gaylussacia brachycera BOX HUCKLEBERRY Ericaceae Heath Family- Rare native evergreen groundcover shrub to 6". Native of xeric slopes- often found with other xeric companions such as Quercus prinus and Hammamelis virginiana. Only known NC population found in 2003 by blog author in northern Durham county. Rhizomatous, forming very large colonies. Endangered due to forest habitat destruction and the self-sterile nature of these large colonies. Flowers in short racemes of whitish-pink umbellate blooms. Blue/black berry forms in July-August. Flowers in May.