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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
- We bought our house last fall (Woburn, MA) so didn't have a full picture of the plants in the beds. In the last two weeks the pictured plant has started popping up everywhere. My plant ID app says it's Creeping Bellflower. Bad news! First, is it? Second, I am digging and pulling as much as possible, but everything I've read said it's nearly impossible to eradicate fully: is there a thuggish, aggressive native perennial that might outcompete this? Asters? Goldenrod? Help!!
- Dear alfiemp, good morning. The plant in your image is likely Campanula rapunculoides (creeping bellflower). We can't be 100% certain until flowers are produced. Yes, this species is difficult to eradicate, but the leaves, flowers, and rhizomes are all edible (once confirmed, you could potentially eat it away). Best wishes. (Friday, 7 May 2021)
- DId not have a camera. Oaken slopes along wide brook areas, lot of trout lily, yellow violets, dwarf ginseng, wake robin and??? knee high , white blooms pendulous, at top of plant, 4-petalled, opposite triangle-shaped irregular leaves, a trio towards the base and another trio before the bloom, the flowers are off=white. ps could send seeds for the mixed clumps of white Blue Flag this fall.
- Dear sziabrowska, you likely have seen Cardamine diphylla (two-leaved toothwort), a native member of the mustard family that inhabits rich, moist forests. It has compound leaves with three leaflets. If you examine some images of this species online you might be able to confirm your observation. If you have time, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and let me know if you identified your plant. (Friday, 7 May 2021)
- I have been trying to find out what type of plant this is. They are growing on a hill in the woods in Connecticut, I've seen several and they all seem to be growing at the base of a tree. It's just one leaf each plant. Thanks for any help!
- Dear rhiannon1966, good morning. You've photographed the leaf of Sanguinaria canadensis (bloodroot), a native member of the poppy family. This species has a solitary white flower on a leafless stalk (when it flowers). The plant has an orange latex in the sap, so the sap appears +/- orange when any part of the plant is torn or bruised. Best wishes. (Thursday, 6 May 2021)