Sign up for PlantShare!
As a member of PlantShare, you will be able to:
- Upload photos of plants to share with others
- Create checklists of plants you want to keep track of
- Publish the location of the plants you have seen on your own map
- Ask one of our expert botanists questions Get Started
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.
Everyone can read the answers, but only logged-in users can ask questions. Log in to ask a question.
Recently Answered Questions
- I saw these this morning at Garden In the Woods. Can you tell me what they are and if they are native to New England?
- Dear dfish60, good morning. You have photographed a species of Packera (groundsel), a member of the composite family. There are several species native to New England. Unfortunately, there aren't any close images that allow me to examine the leaves; therefore, I can't identify this plant to the species for you. If you get additional closer images, I should be able to help you further. (Monday, 1 June 2020)
- I have a Pagoda dogwood tree in my backyard. My question is about the scientific name; is it Swida alternifolia or Cornus alternifolia? I keep hearing that the DNA studies do not hold up for Swida. Please enlighten me.
- Dear Plantperson, DNA studies contribute to our understanding that Swida is a distinct lineage from the other dogwoods. You are hearing they do not uphold because many botanists (amateur and professional) consider the recognition of four genera of dogwoods unpopular. However, Swida is distinctive in its morphology, phylogeny, geography, patterns of hybridization, and physiology (freeze tolerance is correlated with the four genera). There is ample evidence to recognize the four genera (including Swida). DNA sequence studies using phylogenetic methods demonstrate four distinctive lineages--but those data alone do not necessitate changes, they only support change from our typical way of treating this genus. Best wishes. (Monday, 1 June 2020)
- Found May 20, Ossipee NH. Lots of it. In very gravely, sandy soil, though on a slope and written description of area said it could get wet here. Is this Canadian wild ginger? Thank you!
- Dear ksolstad, you have photographed Epigaea repens (trailing arbutus). This native evergreen plant belongs to the heath family. It has early appearing, very fragrant flowers. The brown remnants of the flowers are visible in the images. Best wishes. (Monday, 1 June 2020)