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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
- Hello, I believe this is a species of alder. Would I be far off in thinking this is speckled alder (Alnus incana)? The bark seems to exhibit the white lenticels which is, I think, indicative of this species. Thanks!
- Dear sldz22, you do appear to have Alnus incana subspecies rugosa, which is a native shrub that fixes atmospheric nitrogen (i.e., it enriches the soil). All the species of alder are native to New England except Alnus glutinosa, a species that can grow to the size of small trees. Best wishes. (Friday, 2 December 2022)
- Hello, wondering if this is yet another Ranunculus, this one perhaps not native? Leaves are definitely hairy; the leaf base is cordate. Found in the same floodplain area as the American gooseberry (North Providence, RI). Wondering also if the photo with the the two cordate leaves is the same plant as the first, but with with different leaves, as the species is, I believe, dimorphic? Thanks!
- Dear sldz22, the species with three- to five-lobed basal leaves is a Ranunculus and is likely R. recuvatus (hooked crowfoot). The species with heart-shaped bases is not a crowfoot. I do not recognize the plant from the image (sorry). Best wishes. (Friday, 2 December 2022)
- Hi, I don’t have a question about plants, but ‘m doing a spreadsheet about the plants can be founded on here. And I’m wondering about the abbreviation which are not explained in the Conservation Status of the plant. For example: code C
- Dear anniez, the designation of "C" simply means that the plant is of conservation concern globally or regionally (i.e., it is rare throughout the world or throughout New England, respectively). It was a way to alert people that they have found something that perhaps could be reported to their local Natural Heritage Program due to its rarity. Best wishes. (Friday, 2 December 2022)