Thursday, September 9, 2010

week 7

It's Thursday again, time for another installment of the "Name that Native", the native plant ID blog from the Blomquist Garden of Native Plants. This week we have a healthy dose of Solidago (goldenrods), along with a few other native perennials of particular interest right now. Most of these can be seen blooming along our rural roadsides and in sunny woodland patches and clearings as I write this. Enjoy!

p.s. in the last entry, I accidentally duplicated a few species from earlier posts- sorry

1) Solidago altissima CANADA GOLDENROD Asteraceae - Aster Family

Native perennial to seven feet. leaves alternate, elliptic, pubescent beneath and often scabrous above. Flowers in panicles of fifteen to twenty blooms. Yellow ray flowers. Often seen in large clumps in ditches, roadsides and old fields. Blooms often resemble large yellow cones, or "christmas tree-ish" in general shape. Blooms September and October.

2) Solidago rugosa WRINKLELEAF GOLDENROD Asteraceae - Aster Family

Native perennial to five feet. Stems and leaves pubescent. Leaves lanceolate near the base and ovate towards the apex. Leaves with pronounced "sandpaper" texture. Flowers in a pyramidal paniculate arrangement, each flower head with a minute bract subtending. Ray and disk flowers, ray flowers pistillate, disk flowers perfect- approximately 5-6 of each per head. Blooms September and October along streambanks and sunny bottomlands.

3) Solidago bicolor WHITE GOLDENROD Asteraceae - Aster Family

Native perennial to three feet. Leaves rarely basal, mostly cauline, pubescent, often with attenuate base, elliptic. Narrow panicles with ten to twenty blooms apiece. Disk flowers yellow, Ray flowers white. Our only eastern goldenrod with white ray flowers- easily distinguished by this characteristic during blooming.

4) Bidens aristosa BEARDED BEGGARSTICKS Asteraceae - Aster family

Native annual to six feet. Leaves pinnately divided with five to seven segments- these being laceolate and serrate. Ray and disk flowers yellow. Seeds with two prominent "hooks" that allow them to attach to fur or clothing, and in that way disperse themselves. Blooms in September and October in moist meadows and ditches.

5) Elephantopus carolinianus CAROLINA ELEPHANTSFOOT Asteraceae - Aster Family

Native perennial to three feet. Leaves alternate, sessile, oblanceolate with crenate margins. Pubescent below, glabrous/pubescent above. Violet flowers in a capitate cluster. Flowerheads subtended by three foliaceous bracts. Ray flowers absent, disk flowers with lilac corolla. Similar in appearance to Elephantopus tomentosus, the latter more densely pubescent, appearing in drier sites, and possessing a large basal leaf cluster with extremely reduced cauline leaves. E. Carolinianus blooms July to October in moist woods.

6) Saccharum giganteum SUGARCANE PLUMEGRASS Poaceae - Grass Family

Native grass to eight feet. Found most often near ponds, stream edges or in moist ditches. Reddish plumes appear in late summer, and it these foot long collections of fuzzy panicles that make this grass so easy to identify this time of year. Sugarcane Plumegrass is a larval food source for the Clouded Skipper.

7) Chamaecrista fasciculata PARTRIDGE PEA Fabaceae - Pea Family

Native annual to three feet. Leaves pinnately dissected, closely resembling those of Mimosa.
Partridge pea is a plant of waste places, roadsides, powerline cuts, etc. Attractive yellow pea flowers are a favorite of a number of insect pollinators. Chamaecrista fasciculata is often used a s part of a reclamation seed mix for re-seeding disturbed sites. Blooms August to October.

8) Chasmanthium laxum SLENDER WOODOATS Poaceae - Grass Family

Native perennial grass to three feet. Found often in moist woods near stream/riverbanks or on moist slopes. Woodland relative of Chasmanthium latifolium, a native grass of more open, sunny riverbottoms. Slender Woodoats is usually found in sparse colonies, but with adequate moisture can form running woodland meadows much like some Carex species.

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