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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.
Everyone can read the answers, but only logged-in users can ask questions. Log in to ask a question.
Recently Answered Questions
- Aloha, located here on the Big Island of Hawaii. We have a very prolific wild grass I believe to be Colombia Blue Stem aka Schizachyrium condensatum. Could you confirm this to be the correct species and is there any toxic attributes to this grass? I would like to use it to feed my rabbits but don't want to get them sick. If you know any nutritional information on this grass I would appreciate that as well.
- Dear Splocal, good morning (here). I can't help you except to write that the image is consistent with Schizachyrium condensatum. You are a long way from my region of expertise (northeasstern North America). Some cosmopolitan plants I can recognize, but I have no field experience with this grass. It is likely the grass is appropriate for animals given the high quality forage of many blue-stem species (though I do not know this for certain). Best wishes. (Thursday, 16 September 2021)
- Abutilon theophasti - 3 plants, each about 4inches shorter than the others. In an estalished vegetable garden in Westerly, RI. I have gardened this space for over 30 years and have never seen in before. In back of a house built in 1734. 3 miles from CT border in the lower southeast of RI. Rec'd a terrible insect bite- any known insects inhabit this? Never seen this bite before either - black dot w/red dots around it. Looks like red dots are the "babies". Big sting when it hit! Spreading
- Dear hvalpatricia, this plant frequently shows up in cultivated spaces and can arrive through a variety of means, including as a contaminant in the seeds of other species and in manure from other locations. I do not have information about specific insects that utilize this species over others for a host. Best wishes. (Tuesday, 14 September 2021)
- Hi. Do you know what plant this is? It’s in a relatively shaded area underneath a viburnum shrub. I have a second one like this growing by a hydrangea is a partially shaded area. I don’t see any flowers or fruits on it. It’s less than 6 inches tall. I pulled one seedling out of the ground and it has its own root. Thank you.
- Dear suzysims, good afternoon. I'm sorry that I cannot help you. I'm not sure where this plant was growing in the world (location information is very important for those trying to assist with identification). Perhaps when it grows up a bit taller (or has flowers/fruits) you could take another image. Assuming it is from the northeast, I should be able to assist then. (Tuesday, 14 September 2021)