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Ask the Botanist
Our ace botanists are here to help you identify wild New England plants and to answer questions about their ecology and conservation. When posting a question, please provide the location, habitat (e.g. river, mountain, woodland), and photographs of the plant.
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Recently Answered Questions
- Good afternoon, I hope I am not breaking any etiquette by re-asking a question, or whether I should be using other means, but I wanted to clarify on the plant I wanted to make sure was Aegopodium podagraria, with its white summer umbels. The plant is found abundantly in the willow copse, although it is scattered all over the riverbanks: in a wood of boxelder and black locust, over a meadow of sedges and joe pye weed, and so on. For a more precise location: Mettowee Valley of S. VT. Thank you.
- Dear ljalos, good afternoon. No, you are not breaking any etiquette. However, I won't be able to provide you an answer that is any more confident than the one I gave before. The young, expanding leaves do look like Aegopodium podagraria, but the only way to be certain would be to have a close-up of the fruiting arrays (the two styles at the tips of the ovary curve backward and down the ovary, a trait that is peculiar to this species). In the meantime, I can only state that your images are consistent with Aegopodium podagraria. (Monday, 5 April 2021)
- Hello. Can you tell me if this is Abies balsamea or Abies fraseri, please? I see the twig is hairy, which i think is fraseri, but not sure. I know fraseri is mostly in the south, but this area is a suburb and could have been planted on purpose. thank you.
- Dear dcmmings, I would not be able to identify the fir in question without a specimen in hand. The pubescence on the branchlets is hard to utilize because both can have hairs (though Abies fraseri tends to have denser hairs). If you want to secure a specimen that I could examine, feel free to contact me at ahaines[at]nativeplanttrust.org. Best wishes. (Monday, 5 April 2021)
- Hello. I thought this plant was Cardamine hirsuta, but the leafs clearly have pointed projections at the leaf tips. What do you think? Thanks..
- Dear dcmmings, good afternoon. The presence/absence of small projections (i.e., teeth) on the margins of the blade is not a diagnostic character for this species. They usually have something, especially on larger plants. These images show a species with abundant basal leaves, pubescent petioles, and flowers with four stamens. These are good markers for Cardamine hirsuta. Best wishes. (Monday, 5 April 2021)