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Ask the Botanist

Ace Acer

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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All Questions and Answers

Recently Answered Questions

  • Question
    Hello! I'm from Malaysia. I would be very happy if you can identify for me what flower is this, because I have searched on Google or any applications like NatureID or PictureThis but still can't find the answer. Thankyou in advance :) Anyway, the habitat is in a garden.
    Answer
    Dear rjahajar, good afternoon. I'm sorry I can't help you with your question. Go Botany is a website dedicated to wild plants of northeastern North America. While we are happy to entertain any plant related questions, some are outside our region of expertise. I apologize again and hope you can find an answer to your question. (Monday, 15 February 2021)
  • Question
    Cuscuta gronovii? Ferrisburgh, VT August 23, 2014, Thanks.
    Answer
    joshl, again, this looks consistent with Cuscuta gronovii, but I can't see some of the micromorphological details that are needed for me to confirm this. Cuscuta gronovii is the most common species in New England. Most populations with a 5-merous perianth are this species. Best wishes. (Monday, 15 February 2021)
  • Question
    Cuscuta gronovii? Salisbury, VT August 2020
    Answer
    joshl, good morning again. Similar answer to the other Cuscuta gronovii image you took. This picture is consistent with that species. If you are able to get close up images of the flowers (such as a side view so that sepals are visible), that would be helpful. Best wishes. (Friday, 5 February 2021)
  • Question
    Rudbeckia laciniata? Salisbury, VT August. Thanks
    Answer
    Dear joshl, yes, the image does look consistent with Rudbeckia laciniata. Of course, I can't see all the micromorphological details to confirm this, but it is one of the most common species of Rudbeckia with lobed leaves. Best wishes. (Friday, 5 February 2021)
  • Question
    Hi! I'm a Living Collections fellow at Long Hill Estate (The Trustees) in Beverly, MA. We have a number of plants on the property that are labeled Myrica Pensylvanica, but I've recently learned they're of wild provenance dating to the early 20th century: I'm wondering if they're Morella caroliniensis. A Q &A entry from this board dating to 2017 outlined some of the differences, but the botany is a little beyond my level. Can I send pics, and could you describe what you'd want to see in them? Tx!
    Answer
    Dear Ninnybroth, good morning. Send images to ahaines[at]nativeplanttrust.org and I will try to assist. Best wishes. (Friday, 5 February 2021)
  • Question
    Hello I was walking to work earlier today and this beauty caught my eye. Do you know the name of this flower/plant? Was thinking about growing it in my yard.
    Answer
    Dear dior, you have photographed a species of Rosa (rose). However, I would need more images to have a possibility to identify which species it is. I need to see images of the stems (with the prickles), the leaves, and side-view of the flowers. Perhaps knowing the genus (a rose) will be sufficient for your purposes. Best wishes. (Monday, 18 January 2021)
  • Question
    Wasque reservation, Chappaquiddick, Martha’s Vineyard (Edgartown, MA). Plant found on beach Dec 12, 2020.
    Answer
    Dear katerosso12, good afternoon. It looks a lot like a seedling of Lathyrus japonicus (beach vetchling). I can see a small tendril being produced on one leaf, which would corroborate this hypothesis. Some of the leaves don't show a tendril tip, which may be because of the age. Best wishes. (Monday, 18 January 2021)
  • Question
    Unknown grass The grass rhizome is very unusual, it grows in the woods, in a shady spot, in heavy wet clay, but I believe was brought by a builder, who dump loads of this heavy clay from another construction site, before I purchase the property. With this came lots of invasive species like field garlic, Japanese honeysuckle, Japanese barberry, rosa multiflora, stilt grass and others. This is why, I believe it is also invasive like the rest of them. My location is Nokesville VA
    Answer
    Dear JoaM59, good afternoon. I wish I could assist, but I do not recognize this grass from the rhizomes alone. Hopefully you will find an answer to your question. Good luck. (Monday, 18 January 2021)
  • Question
    We have pastures in Petaluma, ca that this plant (ground cover type) is showing up and we have no idea what or if it is a safe plant for our livestock to graze on.hope you can help. Thank you Lthorne
    Answer
    Dear lthorne, good morning. You are a long way from my region of expertise (northeastern North America). That written, the plant you have photographed may be a species of Erodium (stork's-bill), in the Geraniaceae (geranium family). You should connect with an herbarium in your area that would have folks who can help you. If you need assistance with this, feel free to email me at ahaines[at]nativeplanttrust.org. (Thursday, 14 January 2021)
  • Question
    Hello Botanist, I see this vine growing in NYC near small ponds. It seem fairly common, but I would greatly appreciate your assistance.
    Answer
    Dear billythenyguide, good morning. You appear to have photographed Hedera helix (English-ivy), a member of the celery family. This vine is quite prolific in certain areas (often around human habitation). Best wishes. (Monday, 11 January 2021)

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