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Native Plant Trust: Go Botany Discover thousands of New England plants

Questions and Answers

2021

  • Question
    Hello Dear Botonist, Firstly, how nice for you... Ageless! I am wondering if it is possible to tell what species this grass is. It is located on an island in Salem Sound, MA Thank you very much! SueLB
    Answer
    Dear SueLB, good morning. Grasses are very difficult to do from images, so please forgive the lack of certainty. The genus looks like Festuca (fescue), but it is hard for me to go any further without a specimen. Best wishes.
  • Question
    I just received an answer to my question about a plant that materialized in my back yard in Wayland MA. Two people have identified it as a grass. The latest suggestion is sorghum bicolor which I think is very likely, but sorghum rarely grows in our climate. Where did it come from and what is its future? Is there a form of sorghum that does grow in the northeast?
    Answer
    Dear mabelde, good afternoon. I was the one who answered your question in the other format. Yes, Sorghum does grow in New England as an occasional escape from cultivation (even in Maine where I live I've seen it growing as a weed near agricultural feeds). I don't know where it came from, but it is likely to not continue growing at the site for long (the plants tend not to persist for long). Best wishes.
  • Question
    Plant apps have given me an id of royal fern (Osmunda regalis) but to me this looks very different. Seen in October at Moose Hill Wildlife Sanctuary, Sharon, MA, in a wetland area. Is it just fresh growth or something different?
    Answer
    Dear lfarnitano, good afternoon. While a bit unusual, it does look like the fern Osmunda spectabilis (American royal fern). While identification apps frequently make mistakes, I think this one led you to the correct species. Best wishes.
  • Question
    I found the plant in the photos on the hill behind my house this fall in Wayland, MA. It appeared out of nowhere and is the only one of its kind. It looks like a small spindly cornstalk but the flowers at the top are different, whitish.
    Answer
    Dear mabelde, good afternoon. I don't know which species of grass you have photographed, but it does look like a member of the Sorghum genus. It might be Sorghum bicolor, but I would need to see a physical specimen to know this. Best wishes.
  • Question
    I planted a tree many years ago that came in the mail from the Arbor Day Foundation. Now I suspect it may be a Bradford pear. It has stinky white flowers in early May and small, round, brown fruits.
    Answer
    Good morning Jenn, it certainly does appear to be a species of pear (genus Pyrus). The size of the fruits that you mentions supports the hypothesis of P. calleryana. As you likely know, this species is capable of naturalizing to the local landscapes from a seed source (though, I have not seen it "invasive" in New England). Best wishes.
  • Question
    this is just leaf set but hopefully that will be enough to narrow down by family or genus! this is from a pretty arching shrub in the woodland behind my home, right along an old fenceline. i think it might've been planted, but the leaves are thick and tough with little spiny serrations and clusters of white flowers in spring.
    Answer
    thatonetreetho, good afternoon. I wish I could help, but from the image provided, I'm not able to assist. If this is a cultivated plant, it will make things much more difficult. If you can get images of the flowers in the spring, I'm certain we can get you started. Best wishes.
  • Question
    identify? Was a potted plant, put in ground, was short, had some flowers in spring. Once the flowers died off, I trimmed it and there it say until November, and it grew 2' tall and produced big yellow flowers. Nov. 11th and the bees are still interested. one photo is the flower, the other the leaves. Problem using these identifier sites it that the flower might look like 1 plant, but the leaves are different. My wife thinks it might be a Mum left over.
    Answer
    Dear sodaspop, yes, they do resemble some cultivars of mums (Chrysanthemum morifolium or a related species). These plants are highly variable as to the color of the flowers and outline of the leaves. Best wishes.
  • Question
    Hello, My name is Greg Mouser from Bristol, TN area I have a ladyfriend on Facebook that posted a picture of this tuber with thorns that she has on her property. in the woods too says they are vines that grow profusley . She of course lives in Georgia. at first glance, I thought these were sweet potatoes but Barbara insists they are not. I must admit I am stumped I put out another question to a University Botanist up in West Virginia at WVU where I attended college back in the early 1970
    Answer
    Dear mousg1252glm, good morning. Unfortunately, TN is outside of my region of expertise. That written, you might try comparing the tubers of Helianthus tuberosus (tuberous sunflower or sunchoke) and see how well they match what she is observing. Good luck.
  • Question
    I came home after months away to find an odd plant growing all by itself. I have no idea what its flowers look like, but the seed pods are white at the top of a tall 2-3' grass-like stalk. I will attach the best photo I could get. I am trying to establish wild flowers on a hillside and I want to know whether I should keep this and encourage it, or whether I should get rid of it. Thank you for your help.
    Answer
    Dear mabelde, good evening. As best I can tell, you have photographed a grass in the subfamily Panicoideae. I can't be certain which grass this is, and I can't answer if it is native or non-native because I don't know where the image was taken. If you can get me a closer image of the fruits and provide some additional information on general part of the world this grass is growing, I can help you further. Thank you and best wishes.
  • Question
    Thank you for your answer. Is Ranunculus hispidus var. caricetorum the same as Ranunculus caricetorum?
    Answer
    Dear dcmmings, good evening. Yes, they are one and the same, though Ranunculus caricetorum is better treated at the species level. It differs in vegetative, floral, and fruiting characteristics from R. hispidus and has a slightly different geographic range. Best wishes.
  • Question
    Hello. This plant is in NY. Thank you!
    Answer
    Hello, without flowers or fruits, I can't be certain. I also don't know the habitat this plant was found in. From what I can see, it looks to be a species of Ranunculus. It may be Ranunculus caricetorum (swamp buttercup) based on the compound leaves and rooting at the nodes from sprawling stem. Best wishes.
  • Question
    Is this CAPRIFOLIACEAE Lonicera periclymenum?
    Answer
    Dear LinkMDavis, there are no images associated with your question, without them, I can't assist you. If you are having trouble uploading images, feel free to send them to ahaines@nativeplanttrust.org and I can try to assist. Please be sure to include information like where the plant is growing (what state), is is cultivated or wild, and any other details that might help me assist you. Best wishes.
  • Question
    Hello! I found I plant I assumed was Pseudognaphalium, but upon noticing that it didn’t have a strong syrup scent, I thought maybe it was an Anaphalis. At this time in the season I’m not too confident in my judgement of whether the bracts are ascending or dingy white. Thanks so much!
    Answer
    Dear philterfeed, good morning. The plants look to be a species of Pseudognaphalium (likely Pseudognaphalium obtusifolium--blunt-leaved rabbit-tobacco). This is the most common species in the genus within New England. Best wishes.
  • Question
    Hello! I grew husk cherry (Physalis pruinosa) this past season with seeds from Johnny's. Can you tell me if P. pruinosa is native to New England? I see on your site that P. grisea is native, and that P. pruinosa is a synonym. However, your site also mentions some confusion around P. pruinosa. I just want to be sure. Thank you!
    Answer
    Dear laurie.r, good morning. Physalis grisea has been called by the name Physalis pruinosa in New England. However, it is not exactly a synonym (but a misapplied name). It has also been misapplied to Physalis pubescens (a non-native species). There is no way to know what Johnny's Select Seeds is selling without examining a specimen of the plant grown from the seeds. Do you have images or specimens that could be examined? If so, contact me at ahaines@nativeplanttrust.org and we can try to resolve your mystery.
  • Question
    What is this grass foundin new Haven, CT on the river shoreline
    Answer
    Dear James, there is no image associated with you question. Without one (or preferably more), I won't be able to assist you. If you are having trouble uploading images, feel free to attach them to an email and send them to ahaines@nativeplanttrust.org. I will be happy to try and assist you.
  • Question
    Here are some more pictures of the wild flower hopefully this helps and can I transplant it to another location ?
    Answer
    Dear Pandabear70, the plant look very much like Campanula trachelium, the only issue is the reflexed calyx lobes (which should not be, they should be upright to slightly spreading). If this is a cultivated species, there are a number of possibilities for its identification. But if naturalized, it is most like Campanula trachelium. Best wishes.
  • Question
    This tree has me stumped. It is growing on a steep slope near where a cabin used to be. I did not see any catkins, flowers, fruit, nuts, etc., but I only checked sporatically. Bark has deep fissures. The black buds where present in the early sping (second photo) and now again. Thanks in advance for any insights you can give!
    Answer
    Dear kasmus.nh, good morning. You have photographed a species of Ulmus (elm). It looks most close to Siberian elm (Ulmus pumila), a species with relatively small leaves (for an elm) that have single-serrate leaf blades. Best wishes.
  • Question
    This is a follow up to a question that I asked previously. I found this plant at East Rock Park in Hamden, CT and am having trouble identifying it. I think it might be a species of Deutzia based on the leaf margins (and the fruit somewhat) but I cannot be sure. I’ve included a few more pictures of the plant here, any help is greatly appreciated.
    Answer
    Dear amikolinski, good morning. I do think you are correct. My observations of the fruits of these species are typically when the sepals are still persistent. Once they fall off, they do look like the fruits in the images you have captured here. You can confirm the identity by hollow pith and stellate (i.e., branched) hairs on the peduncles, etc. Let me know what you identify please (ahaines@nativeplanttrust.org).
  • Question
    Is this a nettle bell flower ?
    Answer
    Dear Pandabear70, good morning. You have photographed a species of Campanula (bellflower). It may be Campanula trachelium (nettle-leaved bellflower), but the image isn't close enough for me to see some necessary details. I can confirm the identification if you have additional images you can post. Best wishes.
  • Question
    Found this at East Rock Park about a month ago, not sure what it is but I think it’s a Deutzia species. I know that this picture isn’t the best but any ideas about what species exactly it is?
    Answer
    Dear amikolinski, good morning. I don't recognize the fruit--I wish there was more of the plant in the photograph so I had more to go on. It does not look like the fruits of a species of Deutzia (which I recognize). Sorry I can't help.
  • Question
    Hello! I found a Penstemon growing on a gravelly slope in Ithaca, NY, and someone had taken a photo of it when the flower was still there, and it looked like Penstemon hirsutus, and also seemed like it was the right habitat for it. However, the stem really didn't have any evidence of hairs on it in its autumn form, except a few wisps near the base. I was wondering if it is known if the hairs on P. hirsutus fall off after the plant matures and goes to seed. Thanks very much
    Answer
    Dear philterfeed, hello to you. I do not know the persistence of the hairs in Penstemon hirsutus, but I would expect some to remain late into the season, as they do on many other herbaceous plants. Only very late, when the stems are dried and senesced should hairs be difficult to locate. Best wishes.
  • Question
    Catskill NY back yard
    Answer
    Dear 26125Plants, good afternoon. You have photographed what appears to be a species of Morus (mulberry), most likely Morus alba. The lobed leaves are typical of the species. Best wishes.
  • Question
    This fern is found along the cliffs of the Housatonic river in Bulls Bridge area. I have found some ferns hard to id and this is one of them.
    Answer
    Dear wdshaffer, good afternoon. The fern is likely Cystopteris fragilis (fragile fern), a native species primarily of rocks and cliffs. Best wishes.
  • Question
    Any idea what this shrub could be? I found it when hiking in southern CT on a rocky, cliff-side trail. The berries seem really striking but I have yet to find a match.
    Answer
    Dear thatonetreetho, good afternoon. The shrub you have photographed is a member of the genus Ligustrum (privet). These are plants in the olive family. There are four species that are known from New England, but I would need to see close-up views of the branchlets and images of the flowers to narrow it down to species. Hopefully knowing the genus is useful to you.
  • Question
    I believe heartleaf peppervine? Found in Woburn MA 01801
    Answer
    Dear pdougla002, you have likely photographed Ampelopsis brevipedunculata (Amur peppervine). The plant in your photograph has lobed leaves and pubescent (i.e., hairy) branchlets, suggesting this is not Ampelopsis cordata. Best wishes.
  • Question
    I saw this wildflower mid-October in a moist (not entirely swampy) area near the trail in some conservation land in Lexington, MA. GoBotany doesn't offer Stellaria aquatica as an option, but it seems to look most like that. Any thoughts?
    Answer
    Dear bkatzenberg, good afternoon to you. Your plant could be Myosoton aquaticum (synonym: Stellaria aquatica), but I can't see the number of styles in the flower to know for certain which genus I am examining. You may well be correct with this hypothesis as the general features of the plant fit for Myosoton aquaticum. Best wishes.
  • Question
    Hi, Attached is an image of an interesting little plant that I saw on the trails in Sept. at Salt Bay Farm in Damariscotta, Maine. Each leaf whorl was about 2" across. There seem to be some seed heads on it that may help with the ID. The stems on the seed heads were about 1" long. It was growing alone in the open in a wooded area. Thanks for your ID help, it's hard with no flower to go on. Ann
    Answer
    Ann, good afternoon. The plant you have photographed is Chimaphila umbellata (noble prince's-pine), a native plant in the heath family. The leaves are evergreen, so the plant can be seen throughout the year when the snow isn't deep enough to cover the plants. Best wishes.
  • Question
    Plant is ~8'HX6'W in seasonally damp area. The spikes on the limbs seem to be the remains of broken stems. Photos taken 10/12/2021.
    Answer
    Dear dsmola1, good afternoon. The plant looks to be a species of Ligustrum (privet), a member of the olive family. I cannot tell you who it is for certain, but it appears close to Ligustrum obtusifolium (border privet) or a related species. Best wishes.
  • Question
    I sent you some pictures of this plant a month or so ago, before it came into bloom. I hope these pictures provide enough clues. Symphyothrichum whatchmacallitum? Thanks, Jula
    Answer
    Dear JuliaB, good morning. I do not recognize this species of Symphyotrichum. It is likely of hybrid origin, between a species with narrow leaves and one with cordate leaves. I would not be able to offer an identification without a specimen. If it is possible for you to collect and press one, let me know and I'll give you an address. My email is ahaines@nativeplanttrust.org.
  • Question
    I've been trying to identify this aster species that has appeared in the moister portions of our sunny, open field in Lincoln County, ME. Stems are quite pubescent, sometimes more bristly and purple at base of plant. Light blue ray florets often number as few as 20. The larger of the alternate leaves have indistinctly toothed margins and they all clasp the stem. Involucral bracts feel soft. No plants taller than 14" (maybe due to mowing). My guess is Symphotrichum puniceum?
    Answer
    Dear winterbloomfarm, good afternoon. The plant you have photographed is most likely Symphyotrichum puniceum (purple-stemmed American-aster). It is a native species that only sometimes has a purple stem. It has obviously clasping leaves and large flower heads (such as you have photographed). Best wishes.
  • Question
    I have these growing in my backyard, never had before. They are opening up and dark brown seed's are falling out, almost resemble almonds. I live in the middle of a city. They are growing from the tree's and wild Flowers I have growing in my backyard. I live in Gloversville NY
    Answer
    Dear wm.hayes, good afternoon. The plant you have photographed is wild cucumber (Echinocystis lobata). This is a native member of the cucumber family that is found over much of the northeastern United States. Best wishes.
  • Question
    Hi, I'm trying to do an illustration of this 19th century Floridian scene (first St. Augustine lighthouse) and I just can't figure out what kind of palms those are in the foreground on the left. Any ideas? Thank you! (I just noticed you're New England specialists ... but just in case!)
    Answer
    Dear hoboxia, good afternoon. As you suspected, my expertise is limited to the northeastern portion of North America. However, the plants look identifiable. You want to connect with folks in the southeastern US, which you can find on Index Herbariorum. With some searching, you should be able to find someone that can assist. Good luck.
  • Question
    Hello I am in shamokin dam, PA. I live on an old floodplain of the susquehanna river. This plant is along a streambank, and the surrounding area may possibly be a wetland that is not delineated. Historical use may have altered the landscape (drained the wetland) and now it is in a more natural state. There are other OBL species nearby, and I wanted to know if this is a Northeastern Bulrush, or another species of sedge grass. Thanks.
    Answer
    Dear Penny, good afternoon. These do not appear to be Scirpus ancistrochaetus (northeastern bulrush). That species has characteristic arching branches of the inflorescence (these are quite straight). I do not know who this is from the images supplied, but it may be part of the Scirpus atrovirens complex, which includes S. atrovirens, S. hattorianus, and S. georgianus in the northeast. Best wishes.
  • Question
    Hi Arthur, I have a two dogwoods inMass in my yard, Cornus mas, whose fruits are edible and Cornus Florida, whose fruits are said by some studies to be poisonous, or non-edible, or unpalatable but non-poisonous. I bit one of the drupes and it is very bitter with what looks like a high lipid content. I have a book that lists that Indians would regularly deseed the drupes, mash them up and cook/mix with other fruits. So it appears that Indians ate them cooked but I'm also told they are poisonous.
    Answer
    Dear Howard, good morning. I'm not aware of any reliable reports of Benthamidia florida (synonym: Cornus florida) being consumed as a food. The plant was used extensively for medicine by the Indigenous of Turtle Island (North America). However, food use appears to be absent based on the usual sources that I examine for ethnobotany. Best wishes.
  • Question
    Hello Dear Botonist, I am wondering if it is possible to tell what this plant is, or set me in some sort of direction to find out. It is growing on a river bank in the lake's region of N.H. Thank you so much! SueLB
    Answer
    Dear SueLB, good morning. You have photographed Mitchella repens (partridge-berry), a native plant in the madder family. The opposite, evergreen leaves with a light-colored central vein and plant that trails over the ground are good characters to identify this species.
  • Question
    Hi, I recently spotted this Monarda punctata growing along the path at the Coonamessett bog restoration project in Falmouth, MA. I don't see it listed for Barnstable county or see any other sightings on the Cape on iNaturalist. Do you agree that it's M. punctata? Thanks!
    Answer
    Dear ChuxPix65, yes, the image certainly appears to capture Monarda punctata quite well. I am not aware of sightings in Barnstable County. Do you believe this is possibly planted? You mention it was found near a restoratioh area--was this area seeded with wildflowers? Feel free to contact me at ahaines@nativeplanttrust.org so we can discuss further.
  • Question
    Hello. I am trying to identify a group of Euonymus trees in Appalachian woodland habitat. They are either E. atropurpureus or E. europaeus. Oldest specimens in group are at least 8-10ft tall. No wings present on any of them. Leaves are pubescent underneath (though I have read this can be common to both species). No sign that they have flowered probably due to shady location. Is there any feature that can be used to definitively determine which species I am looking at besides flowers/fruit?
    Answer
    Dear mostyn, good morning. Unfortunately, the vegetative plants do not have a suite of good characteristics. It is the pubescence on the abaxial (undersurface) of the leaf that distinguishes Euonymus atropurpureus from E. europaeus. The hairs on E. atropurpureus are erect (i.e., stand up from the leaf surface), as opposed to any scattered hairs that might be present in the other species. Good luck.
  • Question
    Hello! I need help identifying this pant. It was spotted in Hartford County, Connecticut in a meadow. Please help me!! Thanks!
    Answer
    Dear teaganq, good morning. I'm sorry, but I can't help you with your question. There just isn't enough to go on. If you find flowers or fruits, please send an additional image so I can try to assist you. Best wishes.
  • Question
    Catumet , ridge line near the Somerset creamery. Hypopitys lanuginosa . I understand that Botany folks of Connecticut determined this to be a separate spieces from hairy pinesap. Is it toxic ? If not , is it edible ? Does it have medicinal uses ? Thank you.
    Answer
    Dear NatureD, yes, you do appear to have photographed Hypopitys lanuginosa (hairy pinesap). Based on its morphology and later flowering time, it is considered distinct from H. monotropa (yellow pinesap), which is the more common species encountered in New England. I have not see any reports of H. lanuginosa being edible or medicinal; however, H. monotropa is both edible and medicinal. Best wishes.
  • Question
    Found in Mashpee Ma. Along the entrance of a hiking trail. I would like to know a name for this please.
    Answer
    Dear NatureD, good morning. You have photographed a species of fungus--unfortunately, I am not a mycologist. Go Botany is a website dedicated to wild plants of New England. You should try posting this in a mushroom forum to find an answer to your question. Good luck.
  • Question
    Thanks for telling me my sedge belongs to the Cyperaceae. That, I already knew. Sorry for not mentioning that. I was hoping for a genus, and you gave me Cyperus. Do you think that Scleria is also a possibility? Many thanks for your guess of Cyperus. Annette Aiello
    Answer
    Dear AnnetteAiello, good morning. Unfortunately, I simply can't see the details that I need to in order to tell you anymore. The scales/spikelets don't match perfectly for Cyperus, it is the foliage that suggests this. I do wish I could assist you more.
  • Question
    Can you ID this plant in the marshes of Barn Island in Stonington CT
    Answer
    Dear Lgarfield, good morning. From the image, the only thing I can share is that you have photographed a species of Salicornia (glasswort), a native member of the amaranth family. I would need closer images to see the details necessary to make a species-level determination. Best wishes.
  • Question
    I found this low, lovely plant under a power towers easment in Lexington, MA, blooming in early October. Nearby are goldenrod, sweet fern, and little bluestem among others. The flower looks like Kalmia, but the time of year seems wrong.
    Answer
    Dear bkatzenberg, you have photographed Kalmia angustifolia (sheep American-laurel). It is an unusual time of year, but there are many species of plants (including in the heath family) that I observe flowering again in the autumn season in certain years. Extreme weather (such as droughts or heat) can sometimes bring on fall flowering in species that would normally bloom much earlier in the year (but those flower buds are now spent, so they won't produce flowers next year from those buds). Best wishes.
  • Question
    Good morning, These pictures were taken in a salt Marsh in Rye, New Hampshire. Is it possible that the subspecies of bulrush (Bolboschoenus) could be determined from these images? Thanks so much for helping me, Von
    Answer
    Dear Von, good morning. From the images you have supplied, it isn't possible. I need to see achenes, leaf sheaths, and close-ups of scales. If you want to collect a specimen and send it to me for determination, let me know. My email address is ahaines@nativeplanttrust.org (so we can discuss further if you wish).
  • Question
    Hi this plant is located along the Connecticut River Bank in North Haverill, New Hampshire. I can't seem to identify it by leaf or by seed pod or Fruit? I guess I could wait 'till spring to see how it blossoms but I am too curious to wait. Please let me know what this is, Thanks, T
    Answer
    Dear tmrbrgn, good morning to you. You have photographed Lysimachia terrestris (swamp yellow-loosestrife), a native species with yellow flowers. You can see the brown bulbils this species produces in your photographs, which are a means of vegetative reproduction. Best wishes.
  • Question
    The plant in the photograph almost certainly is not found in New England. It appeared in my Zingiber officinale planter, here in Panama City, Rep. Panama. Nevertheless, I am hoping that someone might be able to assign it to a genus. Thanks for any guesses you can make. Annette Aiello, aielloA@si.edu
    Answer
    Dear AnnetteAiello, good morning. I can see certain features about this plant that suggest it is a member of the Cyperaceae (sedge family). It has resemblance to our species of Cyperus (flatsedge), but I can't be confident about that because you will have genera that are not found here. I'm hoping this will be a place you start your study from. Best wishes.
  • Question
    September 29, 2021 sighting in Phillipston, MA forest on the border of a large swamp. Not directly in, or at the waters edge, but was near it in moist but rocky soils. Having trouble identifying it. The flowers appeared closed, but purple and growing in clusters. I did not want to force the flowers opened as they seemed pretty delicate and I did not want to disturb it. Having trouble IDing it. Thank you!
    Answer
    Dear almahaney16, you've photographed a species of Gentiana (gentian). Unfortunately, I would need closer images to assist you with identifying it to the species. There are three it could be: G. linearis, G. clausa, or (rare) G. andrewsii. Good luck.
  • Question
    I live in Natick, MA and would like to identify some plants that have popped up in our back yard this summer. I would also like to take this opportunity to thank Garden in the Woods. Thanks to their wonderfully helpful staff, I have a patch of native plants and a natural habitat pollinator garden. If these plants are native to our eco-region and if they are beneficial - even if considered weed in a veggie patch - I won't mind having a few of them. Thanks again for your help.
    Answer
    Dear SuchiKrishna, good afternoon. You have two different plants that you have submitted, so hopefully you will know which comment goes to which plant. The species with prominently lobed leaves is Ambrosia artemisiifolia (common ragweed). The taller species with prominently and sometimes irregularly toothed leaves is Erechtites hieraciifolius (American burnweed). Both are native to North America. Best wishes.
  • Question
    Hello - I found this plant for sale at a local Whole Foods in Washington DC and wanted to see if you could help identifying it. I’ve tried some plant identification apps/sites but all the matches seem to be incorrect (wandering Jew, peperomia, etc). Thanks in advance.
    Answer
    Dear rabscreez, the plant you have photographed does look like one of the species called "wandering Jew", a member of the genus Tradescantia. These are plants in the Commelinaceae. Best wishes.
  • Question
    I wonder if I got this plant ID correct -- I think it may be Consolida ajacis. Found Aug. 21, 2021 on Ashuwillticook rail trail in Cheshire, MA.
    Answer
    Dear Senna, you have certainly photographed a species of Delphinium (within the group of plants that have been formerly referred to as Consolida, but that genus is now included in Delphinium). Unfortunately, I can't see enough details to assist you with an identification further than this. Good luck and best wishes.
  • Question
    Another wildflower found on the Ashuwillticook Rail Trail in Cheshire, MA August 21, 2021 - only 1 image but it does include leaves. At first I thought it was Ragged-robin (Lychnis flos-cuculi) but the inflorescence more, thinner petals/petal divisions that appear equal in size and shape. Is this black knapweed -- Centaurea nigra?
    Answer
    Dear Senna, good morning. Unfortunately, I cannot see enough of the image to determine who this is in your photograph. You are looking at a capitulum (i.e., flower head), so it is a member of the Asteraceae (composite family). It is consistent with species of Centaurea (knapweed), but I would need images of the capitulum from the side to go further. Best wishes.
  • Question
    Can you confirm or correct the ID of a plant in my garden? It was labeled as Helianthus divaricatus when I bought it but the characteristics don't match. Stems and leaves are scabrous (think sandpaper); new leaves are sessile, but formed leaves are short petioled (<1 cm); involucral bracts are spreading, exceeding disk; 8-13 yellow rays; disks start yellow, get a bit darker; spreads aggressively by rhizomes. I was going to share with a friend but wish to confirm ID first. Thanks.
    Answer
    Dear Stephradner, good morning. Helianthus identification is quite difficult (as you know), even more difficult from images. Aspects of this plant are consistent with Helianthus divaricatus, but the short, stiff hairs on the stem are not (these plant are usually completely glabrous on the vegetative portion of the stem, in my experience). It suggests, but does not prove, there many be other genomes involved with these plants. If you want to mail me a specimen, I could be more confident. Best wishes.
  • Question
    Can you identify this plant?
    Answer
    Dear mossjulia, good afternoon. No, unfortunately I cannot. Go Botany is a website dedicated to wild plants of New England. If this is cultivated and/or outside of this region, it will be difficult for me to assist. I'm sorry I cannot help more.
  • Question
    I have this blue guava plant that I took over ownership for and it isn’t looking too good. I live in New Mexico and it is in a window. Any idea what is wrong with this plant and what I can do to help it live?
    Answer
    Dear eienhower50, good afternoon. I'm sorry I cannot help you with your cultivation question. Go Botany is a website dedicated to wild plants of New England, and cultivation sits (primarily) outside of my realm of expertise. I do wish I could assist, but you likely should seek a plant growing forum for assistance. Good luck and best wishes.
  • Question
    This looks parasitic, but I don’t find anything that quite matches its configuration. Central MA under a pine tree.
    Answer
    Dear Stonehill, you have photographed Hypopitys monotropa (yellow pine-sap). This is a native species found in the heath family. It is a parasite--on fungi (and it derives all of its food through mycoheterotrophy), so it does not produce chlorophyll. Best wishes.
  • Question
    Hello! I came across a Helianthus in central NY growing in a large patch in a partial opening in the canopy possibly caused by a landslide in the past. Lots of limestone around. It seems to have shorter involucral bracts (not exceeding the disk) of Helianthus strumosus, but its leaves had toothed margins, which I think would be more like Helianthus decapetalus. Leaves were very rough on both sides, stems with sparse hairs. Any ideas which Helianthus this might be? Thanks so much
    Answer
    Dear philterfeed, good morning. The involucral bracts are quite long and spreading loosely in your images, typical of Helianthus decapetalus. There are also evident petioles and glabrous stems (all typical of this species). The scabrous texture you note also points to H. decapetalus. It is hard to be confident from images, but the photographs are consistent with H. decapetalus.
  • Question
    I appreciate the previous answer to my question but I think it was misunderstood Does the description a dichotomous key entry gives for a plant in one state apply to the same plant in another state? For example if a key for Massachusetts on dandelions says its leaf is such and such a length in Massachusetts does that information also apply to Connecticut or might the environment make that same plant look different?
    Answer
    Dear lumboidong, the keys you see on Go Botany are written for New England (all six states). The measurements are meant to encompass all the material that we might encounter. Of course, there will always be individuals that are "freakish" for some reason and will have organs that are outside of the stated ranges. Generally, those individuals will be recognizable (e.g., stump sprouts for recently felled trees). Let me know if this doesn't answer your question. Best wishes.
  • Question
    I found this plant today grows only 6 foot and some short 2 or 3 foot has all stems on plant has a little yellow pom pom shape flower has no leaves gust stem and joint where stems grow outback Queensland Australia
    Answer
    Dear jomessam, good afternoon. There are no images associated with your question. Without an image I won't be able to assist you. If you are having trouble uploading images, feel free to email them to me at ahaines@nativeplanttrust.org and I can try to help. Australia is a long way from my region of expertise, but if I can't identify the plant, I may be able to direct you to folks who can. Best wishes.
  • Question
    Dear Botanist, In the area where I live, Salem Sound, Massachusetts, an oxalis plant that I always believed to be Wood Sorrel grows everywhere. On 8/25/21, I was Struck... an off-white Oxalis. To me it is clearly different, possibly a new species?? I am sure to have never come across this plant before. Both plants are in the second photo. Thank you for your help! SueLB
    Answer
    Dear SueLB, good morning. The species in the genus Oxalis sometimes produce very pale yellow flowers, but they are otherwise typical of the species. Given that Oxalis specimens are identified by micromorphological features (such as hair morphology on the stem) I can't identify the species you have in hand. Best wishes.
  • Question
    I have a question about how to use a dichotomous tree. Can I use a dichotomous tree for one state (such as California) for the same plant in another state or would the regional and environmental differences alter the structure of the plant?
    Answer
    Dear lumboidong, the answer is: it depends. The dichotomous keys were written for New England, and the farther away you get from this region, the more likely that there are additional plants that need to be included or excluded from the key to make it work properly. If, for example, New England and California have the exact same species in a genus, then the key should work just fine. The reality is more likely that they have different species (though some may be the same), so the key may not have all the species found in California (if written for New England) so that it will fail some of the time to correctly diagnose the plant in hand. Best wishes.
  • Question
    Found this in South Kingstown, RI today. Fatoua villosa.
    Answer
    Nice find Brian, this appears to be exactly as you identified it. I have sent an email to you to determine if this is a naturalized occurrence that should be mapped for VT. Best wishes.
  • Question
    I found this flower today, a lobelia. Is it Lobelia siphilitica? Thanks, Tom
    Answer
    Dear TomW, good morning. You have found flowers that are consistent with Lobelia, but I can't see enough of the plant to know who you have observed. If you can post an image of more of the plant, I may be able to assist you further.
  • Question
    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.
    Answer
    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.
  • Question
    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
    Answer
    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.
  • Question
    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.
    Answer
    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.
  • Question
    I don't know whether to love or hate this plant. Every year I just let it take over. Finally I used Google image. How u found you. Google image tells me it is Commelina diffusa. Is this true. I can get another photo or 2. Thank you.
    Answer
    Dear KateRI, good afternoon. This is much more likely Commelina communis (Asiatic dayflower). It can be an aggressive grower. It can always be used given that it is a well-known edible and medicinal plant. Best wishes.
  • Question
    Broad Cove Marsh, dighton, ma
    Answer
    mary0912, it is a species of tuber-bulrush (genus Bolboschoenus). I can't tell you which one with any confidence because I need to see a number of other features to determine the species. It looks much like Bolboschoenus robustus (sea-coast tuber-bulrish), but that is a hypothesis based on the spikelet shape and inflorescence architexture.
  • Question
    Botrichium in western Hillsborough County, NH. I was trying to determine if it was oneidense or dissectum? Thanks. Location: moist (but most years dry) acid hillside.
    Answer
    franklin, good morning. The leaf blade outline and coloration suggest this is Sceptridium dissectum. Sceptridium oneidense would almost certainly be associated with a forested wetland, stream shore, etc. This group of ferns (grape ferns) has been placed in a genus separate from Botrychium (moonworts). Best wishes.
  • Question
    Hello Dear Botonist, Is it possible to tell what type, Genus or species, of grass this is... without seeds or flowers? I would appreciate any information you are able to share with me! Thank you, SueLB
    Answer
    Dear SueLB, good morning. This grass is a member of the genus Dichanthelium (rosette-panic-grass). Without spikelets and ligule images, I can't go any further than genus. Best wishes.
  • Question
    I found this Pinesap at College Rock in Hopkinton MA on 9/7/21. Because it is red, and blooming in September, is it considered Hypopitys lanuginosa rather than H. monotropa? I read in some sources that they are not actually separate species, but the color changes later in the season, so somewhat confused. Thank you.
    Answer
    Dear pilcha, good morning. The two species of Hypopitys have been demonstrated through study to be different taxa. Not only are they are different color, but they also flower at different times (i.e., are reproductively isolated by phenology). Thank you for posting these wonderful images. Best wishes.
  • Question
    Found wild cucumber in full bloom with "hedgehog" in upstate New York. Since we are not truly a New England state, was wondering if it is Clementis instead.
    Answer
    Dear Kbidwell, Great image of Echinocystis lobata (wild cucumber). The long slender prickles on the ovary of the flower identify this as Echinocystis. Best wishes.
  • Question
    Hello! I'm trying to identify all the flowers that grow near my house. I found some chickweed that has me stumped on the exact species. I think it's either Giant Chickweed or European Chickweed. I live in the Boston area, and both plants seem to be found in Eastern Massachusetts. I would appreciate some help with how to tell these two apart.
    Answer
    Dear KumaAra, good morning. You appear to have a species of Silene (campion). Note the fused sepals that form the green cup at the base of the flower. This structure would not be present in species of chickweed (Cerastium) or stitchwort (Stellaria). The flowers look most like Silene vulgaris (bladder campion). Best wishes.
  • Question
    Hi there! I am curious what species of Grapefern this is. Habitat was excessively drained sandy, rocky soil on a roadside. Location was Ludlow, Windsor Co., VT. Perhaps Botrychium multifidum or B. rugulosum? Thanks, Grant
    Answer
    Dear dgessler, I do think you are correct with Sceptridium multifidum (synonym: Botrychium multifidum). This group of ferns (grape ferns) has been segregated to a genus distinct from Botrychium. This species is usually found in open habitats like fields, clearings, and roadsides. Best wishes.
  • Question
    Dear botanist: I think this is an orchid in the genus Spiranthes, but which one? S. ochroleuca? Found today in an upland area in Woburn, among bluestem grasses. Thanks, Tom
    Answer
    Dear TomW, good morning. Yes, there is high probability this is Spiranthes ochroleuca. If you look at the labellum (the lowermost petal) and examine the underside of this petal, it will be yellow in this species. This is a good field characteristic to identify the late-summer flowering species. Best wishes.
  • Question
    I live in Thomaston, Me. I bought native BEBB WILLOW from a wholesaler and later learned that these plants were apparently propagated in Virginia, possibly even further distances from Thomaston, Maine. Will native plants propagated a great distance from where they will be planted/grown have the ecological services/benefits to host native insects? Thank you.
    Answer
    cindylangnewlife, good afternoon again! I've seen a cultivar sold as Salix bebbiana that was clearly a different species. Yes, native plants from further south can be grown much north of where they were grown (they have cold hardiness built into them in some cases). Certainly, it likely has some value to the local insect life, especially if the shrub is native to North America. Best wishes.
  • Question
    Please help me identify what this is on PUSSY WILLOW leaves in Thomaston Maine. Thank you.
    Answer
    Dear cinylangnewlife, good afternoon. The yellow on your willow leaves appears to be a willow rust (genus Melampsora). While I'm not a mycologist, the morphology of the spots seems to fit well for this rust fungus. Best wishes.
  • Question
    Hello, I boxed in a maple tree while building a deck on a lake. I don’t want to damage the tree by filling the box with mulch, can you recommend a good alternative filler? Thanks - Mike
    Answer
    Mike, good afternoon. I'm not a horticulturist, so take my ideas with a grain of salt. It seems like some kind of mulch could be useful, especially because it can move as the tree grows. The mulch need not be something purchased (forest leaves could serve as the mulch, which are easy to replace as they break down). Best wishes.
  • Question
    Spiranthes, but not sure which one… found Sept 5, Bremen, ME, on edge of field that is bush hogged every late-September or October.
    Answer
    Dear JoanRay, good morning. As best as I can tell, this is Spiranthes ochroleuca (yellow ladies'-tresses). If you look, you will see the labellum (the lowermost petal) is yellow underneath. This is a very good characteristic to distinguish this species. Best wishes.
  • Question
    Hello, I have a question about if you can shape cucumbers while they are growing and to the extent of which they can be shaped. I recently misheard a friend pronounce their pickles as a sphere instead of spear and the image of spherical pickles has been in my mind since. Is shaping a cucumber into a sphere possible? Inquisitively, Meghan Davenport
    Answer
    Dear meghand, I have no personal experience shaping cucumbers. However, I did grow cucumbers one year and they matured orange and roughly spherical (even though the package showed typical elongated green cucumbers). I suspect they can be shaped, but I don't know the process to consistently produce a desired shape. Best wishes.
  • Question
    Thanks so much for your answer about Eutrochium ID! I wanted to ask a follow-up question: Is capitulum on Joe Pye one of the small floral structures that makes up the bigger corymb? Would I need to dissect this structure to see the number of flowers, or in the case of this mature one, count the number of seeds to reflect the number of disk flowers? What I'm guessing is the capitulum is the structure in the white below. Thanks again, Phil
    Answer
    Dear philterfeed, the capitulum is the flowerhead that makes up the array near the summit of the stem. In this genus, it includes tubular disk flowers (with five tooth-like lobes at the top) surrounded by flat, involucral bracts. You have pictured one capitulum in the photograph. The flower number is the best indicator, and yes, they do need to be dissected (usually) or counted from above. The seed-like fruits are a good estimate, but sometimes one or more might not mature, so you can get a slightly lower count than the flowers in each capitulum (but generally it works as well as the flowers). Best wishes.
  • Question
    Hello: I came upon this plant in a somewhat shady area of my large garden. (Albany NY). I'm guessing it is ageratum conyzoides. It's about 3' x 2.5'. Is it a good pollinator plant? Thank you for your help!
    Answer
    Dear akitalady, the plant looks like Ageratina altissima (white snakeroot), a species that was formerly included in the genus Eupatorium. It is common in rich, shady soils in the northeast. Best wishes.
  • Question
    Hello, Can you help me determine if this is Symphyotrichum cordifolium or S. ciliolatum? The bracts on the flowers look like cordifolium but it seems to have distinctly winged petioles like ciliolatum. Thanks
    Answer
    Dear abaldenweck, good morning. You are running into contradictions because this plant is not in the genus Symphyotrichum. Rather, it is a member of Eurybia (wood-aster). If you look at the involucral bracts, you will note they are very broad at the apex (rounded) and ciliate on the margin, not at all like the slender, pointed, and eciliate bracts of Symphyotrichum (American-aster). This is Eurybia macrophylla (large-leaved wood-aster). Best wishes.
  • Question
    This plant was found along the roadside in central Maine. It is the end of the summer and it looks like it’s going to seed!?
    Answer
    Dear MaineMimi, good morning. As best I can tell from the image, the plant looks like a species of Agalinis (which is also the common name), native hemiparasites in the Orobanchaceae. Given the long stalks on the flowers, it suggest this is Agalinis tenuifolia (slender-leaved agalinis). Best wishes.
  • Question
    This plant was also spotted along the road in central Maine and it looks like a sedum? We think it is Witches’ moneybags? Not sure! Maybe you can help!
    Answer
    Dear MaineMimi, as currently defined, there are no species of Sedum with flat, toothed leaves. This is, likely, a member of the genus Hylotelephium (common name: orpine). Hylotelephium telephium is one of the most common, naturalized members of this family in ME. I hope this is helpful.
  • Question
    Reference my previous (Sodaspop) question where you want more pictures of the leaves. 2 more attached. (Original photos have closer, detailed views of leaves)
    Answer
    Dear sodaspop, good afternoon. Thank you for getting additional images. I consulted a companion of mine who was able to get us pointed in the right direction. You have likely photographed a species of Ligularia (possibly Ligularia dentata or a hybrid with that species). These are members of the composite family related to genera such as Senecio (ragwort) and Packera (groundsel). Best wishes.
  • Question
    Are you able to identify this tree? It is planted in Groton, MA. Thank you for your consideration.
    Answer
    Dear plantlogo, good evening. No, I'm not able to identify it based on these images. However, if you want to try to acquire more images, including closer pictures of the flowers and leaves, I can try to ascertain its identity. Best wishes.
  • Question
    Hello I cannot remember planting this in my garden, no flowers or buds yet. The stems feel rough, and the leaves the same, not smooth.
    Answer
    Dear norskim, good evening. I'm sorry I cannot help you. I can't see enough of the plant to ascertain who it is. If it does flower, please try again with images of the flowers. Good luck with learning this plants identity.
  • Question
    Hi there. I just found several Persian silk trees growing on a sand/soil stockpile in Bridgewater, MA. I’m posting this because it looks to be outside the listed range on the Ho Botany website.
    Answer
    Hello maingrain, thank you for your post. Could you please get me a close picture of the leaflets that allows me to see the asymmetrical nature of the midvein. That would help me be confident of the identification and I would update the Go Botany maps based on your find. Thank you!
  • Question
    Not a question, but I wanted to share these iNat observations of Quercus montana from Fort Dummer State Park in Brattelboro, VT as I noticed this species is not listed as known from Windham County, VT on GoBotany. https://www.inaturalist.org/observations/65557971 https://www.inaturalist.org/observations/65558031 https://www.inaturalist.org/observations/65558073
    Answer
    Thank you gfessier, I've updated the Go Botany maps based on these observations and voucher specimens that are deposited in regional herbaria. Best wishes.
  • Question
    This grass was identified along a driveway. It was not there last year, but has appeared and is spreading very quickly this summer. It reaches about 18 inches high. My concern is that this is invasive stiltgrass. Can you give me ID on this plant? Thank you!
    Answer
    Dear LG Mona, good afternoon. I do wish I could help you, but the image is simply not sufficient. I need clear images of the leaves, stems, and sheaths at the base of the leaf blades to help you. If you can acquire these, please post them so I can try to assist you better with your question.
  • Question
    Hi. This plant is growing in a weedy area of my yard in Tolland County, Connecticut. I think it is either Anaphalis margaritacea or a species of Pseudognaphalium, and would appreciate your help in identifying it. If there are any other parts of the plant that you need to see to reach a judgment, I'd be happy to take more pictures. Thank you for your help!
    Answer
    Dear DavidJ, good morning. The plant you have photographed is most likely Pseudognaphalium obtusifolium (blunt-leaved rabbit-tobacco). This is a common species in the genus. I can see the leaves are not decurrent on the stem, so it is not Pseudognaphalium macounii (Macoun's rabbit-tabacco). Best wishes.
  • Question
    I saw this beautiful bush at Bedrock Gardens in Lee, NH. Unfortunately they do not label their plants. Is it a strawberry bush?
    Answer
    Dear akbrosnan, good morning. I'm sorry I cannot help you. Go Botany is a website dedicated to wild plant of New England. Certainly, there are many cultivated species I can recognize and assist with, but unforutnately not this one. I can share with you it is not Euonymus americanus (strawberry-bush), for whatever help that may be. Best wishes.
  • Question
    Hello! I wanted to ask if stem characteristics are a good way to tell apart Eutrochium maculatum and Eutrochium fistulosum. Does Eutrochium fistulosum have a very obviously smooth and glaucous stem with a waxy bloom, or can it sometimes have a kind of sticky texture, presumably caused by small sparse hairs? I am finding many Eutrochium plants with purplish-red, and usually hollow, stems with sticky texture. They are rarely more than 5 ft 7in tall. Location: Central and NE New York. Thanks!
    Answer
    Dear philterfeed, stem characteristics can be quite good to separate the two species you mentioned. Keep in mind that Eutrochium maculatum frequently develops a narrow central cavity, so we need to eliminate this one first before going to that "hollow stem" character. Eutrochium maculatum has more flowers per capitulum (i.e., flower head) than the other species in the northeast. Once this is learned, it is useful to distinguish this species from E. fistulosum. Hopefully this is helpful, but if more questions remain, feel free to ask.
  • Question
    This vine was growing on a bush in our backyard in Cape Elizabeth, Maine. It looks like a blackberry vine to me, but I was flummoxed by the pentagonal cross section of the woody stem. Your thoughts?
    Answer
    Dear JOANINMAINE, good morning. The plant is indeed a blackberry (Rubus subgenus Rubus). The angled stems are very common on the larger-stemmed species of this genus. I can't tell you for certain who this is exactly (i.e., which blackberry) without more information, but hopefully receiving confirmation of your hypothesis will be useful to you.
  • Question
    How common is this plant for Fisher Arkansas in the northeastern corner of Arkansas? My dad was spraying weeds and seen it made sure he didnt get it because he said he had never seen one before.
    Answer
    Dear nastyskinny, good morning. There are no images associated with your question, so I won't be able to assist you. If you are having trouble uploading images, feel free to send them to ahaines@nativeplanttrust.org and I will try to assist, though I should mention that Arkansas is a long way from my region of expertise (but I'm happy to try anyway). Best wishes.
  • Question
    In York, Maine are there plants in the Prunus genus that do not have serrated leaves? Or do newly emerged leaves sometimes have barely perceptible serrations? thank you!
    Answer
    Dear moadeeb, good morning. There are no images associated with your question. Unfortunately, without them, I won't be able to assist you. If you are having difficulty uploading images, feel free to send them to ahaines@nativeplanttrust.org and I will try to assist.
  • Question
    Found a patch of an unknown plant in a Barnstable clay soil field. Five yellow ray flower petals. Head is one half cm across. The single flower head tops a five cm tall stem which has 5 to 6 opposite linear leaves clustered along the length of the stem.
    Answer
    Dear JEllis, good morning. There is no image associated with your question. Without one, I won't be able to assist. If you are having trouble uploading images, feel free to attach them to an email and send them to me at ahaines@nativeplanttrust.org. Best wishes.
  • Question
    Have had a plant for a number of years that has large dark green, purple edged leaves, never had flowers until this year. Now has flowers, but I can't identify. I don't remember where I got the plant. Can you identify? I'm in Holyoke, Massachusetts Thanks
    Answer
    Dear sodaspop, good morning. Can you provide me with some images of the leaves so that I might have more to go on. I would like to help (if I can), but I can't see the leaves well enough to understand the morphology of this plant. Thank you.
  • Question
    please can you identify this rockery plant for me. I have had it in my UK garden for years but have lost it's name. As you can see from the Stanley Knife, it is quitec small
    Answer
    Dear thomas, good afternoon. I do wish I could assist you, but Go Botany is a website dedicated to wild plants of New England. The cultivated stonecrops can be very difficult (depending on the group). I would need close-up images of the leaves and flowers to have any chance of helping you. Best wishes.
  • Question
    I think that I have two different species of Eutrochium but I am having a difficult time identifying the species. Also on the gobotany key it mentions the # of flowers in the capitula. Having never heard this term, is it the smallest group of ray flowers on a stem (petiole?)
    Answer
    Dear reginar, the number of flowers in a capitulum is a very crucial character for identify the species of Eutrochium. This is assessed by taking one of the capitula (flower heads) and dissecting it, counting the number of flowers held within one involcre (i.e., one series of bracts that subtends the flower head). Without this information, it can be difficult to separate some specimens. Good luck.
  • Question
    Hello! I saw this plant in July of 2019, and have tried ever since then to identify it. It was growing along a woodland trail at Pelot's Point Nature Trail in North Hero, VT, near Lake Champlain. Disregard the catkin that had fallen on it. The violet colored stems are unusual, as are the bright green leaves. I wasn't there to see it flowering. Thanks for any help you can give. I enjoy following you on Instagram (@vtnaturalist)
    Answer
    VtGardens, good afternoon. I'm unable to identify this plant with confidence, though it does appear to be in the orchid family, and may be an odd seedling of Epipactis helleborine. I have seen this purple coloration before in that species, but it is not a consistent trait. Sorry I cannot be more helpful.
  • Question
    What is this stunning wildflower? Thanks so much. I love your GoBotany site. Rosemary
    Answer
    Dear Rocky, good afternoon. It appears you have photographed Physostegia virginiana (obedient false dragonhead). This is a member of the mint family that produces large, tubular flowers. Best wishes.
  • Question
    Hi. Was just reading through other questions, and am super glad to have actual botanists I can ask questions of...but I was astonished that this statement brought no response in another question: "I did some seed collection at Verona Beach State Park on a roadside beside pine-y woods." Wow. Would one not DISCOURAGE the collection of any organic material from a site owned by the public? It seems saying nothing might make people think that was ok.
    Answer
    Dear marianwhit, good afternoon. I am not familiar with all the sites that people collect from. I am not aware if each location is public, private, or otherwise, and if the person has permission to collect from a location even if the public is prohibited. My job here is not to police people, but simply to answer questions. Keeping in mind that many species of plants are not harmed by small collections of their material, I won't comment unless it is something very obvious and important for conservation. I do understand and appreciate your comment, but I hope that you understand my position (which is not to look up the ownership of each place people take images, collect plants, and post sightings from). Best wishes.
  • Question
    We have this unidentifiable plant located on side yard by the woodland area. Is this an American Burnweed? We are located in Auburn, Maine.
    Answer
    Dear Jcyr, good afternoon. Yes, you have photographed Erechtites hieraciifolius (American burnweed). This species often shows up in places where there id disturbance so that they are not too shaded. Best wishes.
  • Question
    While doing a botanical survey on private land in Reading, Windsor CO., VT I came across this Dryopteris individual. GoBotany and Flora Novae Angliae keys brought me to D. filix-mas. To me it appears to be a potential or close match. Looking to get a second opinion from someone who might be more familiar with this species than me. Habitat was dry mesic - mesic northern hardwoods.
    Answer
    Dear gfessler, good afternoon. The plants do look like Dryopteris filix-mas. Characters that I look to are the dimorphic scales (broad ones and very narrow ones, without much inbetween) and the short petioles with relatively many pairs of leaflets on the blade. Your plants do seem like a good fit. Best wishes.
  • Question
    Small mass of this plant growing near the shore in Brooklin, ME. Snapped a quick photo but didn’t investigate further as mosquitoes were relentless. ID appreciated! Thanks.
    Answer
    Dear Andrew, good afternoon. There are no images associated with your question. Without them, I can't assist. If you are having trouble uploading images, feel free to attach them to an email and sent them directly to me at ahaines@nativeplanttrust.org. Best wishes.
  • Question
    This Symphyotrichum is mixed in with S. cordifolium. Any idea what it might be? Thanks
    Answer
    Dear JuliaB, it is a possible hybrid with that species (Symphyotrichum cordifolium). Without knowing the other species and having a flowering specimen of the plant to observe, I'm not certain I could go any further. Interesting plants.
  • Question
    I just came across this observation (not my own, apologies if this is not the spirit of the website) of what I think might be a county record of Solidago squarrosa in Barnstable County, MA on iNaturalist. But I'm unsure of the ID; particularly whether the recurved phyllaries are really recurved enough to rule out other species. Anyway, I thought I'd share it here just in case it's a population of conservation interest at this location. https://www.inaturalist.org/observations/15435348
    Answer
    Dear ddennism, thank you for alerting me to this record. The plants do look like Solidago squarrosa to my eye--hard to imagine what else they could be. I will make the edit in Go Botany to reflect this discovery. Best wishes.
  • Question
    Hi I live in S Maine. I have one lindera benzoin on my property which is a "plant of special concern" in my area. (one that I have found) It has berries so my question is - how far away would the male plant be from this plant? The closest plants I know are maybe 800 feet away on my neighbor's property. Are those in range for providing pollination? Are they bee pollinated?? It's certainly too far for wind pollination. Any information you have would be of interest to me Thank you
    Answer
    Dear Tinuviel, good afternoon. In this case, I can't offer you much information. There are several flies and small bees that pollinate this species throughout its range. However, I've not seen research as to how far these pollinators fly between plants, though a several hundred meters may be within their range. I wish I could offer you more about the pollination ecology of this species. Best wishes.
  • Question
    Could this be a relative of the northern red park which prefers wetlands, or just a lead characteristic they develop along creek banks? It’s an unusually wide, symmetrical lead with somewhat shorter lobes pointed like a red oak would but very wide. Located along paint branch in a buggy wetland right along the bank. In the Silver Spring, MD area…
    Answer
    Dear SurferJohn1963, good afternoon. I would not be able to identify this oak without learning more of the characteristics that are needed in Quercus (oak) taxonomy. The leaf blades are highly variable and shape is correlated with sun (sun vs. shade leaves). Winter buds are critical for identification as there are several characteristics that help with leaf and acorn details. I'm sorry I can't assist without more information.
  • Question
    Neighbor asked me to identitfy two trees she wants to cut down. I think the first is a cherry though the younger leaves are splotched and the last photo, cannot identity. Live in Mass.
    Answer
    Dear Howard, good afternoon. There are no images associated with your question. without images, I won't be able to assist. If you are having a difficult time uploading images, feel free to attach them to an email and send them directly to me at ahaines@nativeplanttrust.org. Best wishes.
  • Question
    Hi Arthur, I've found Drosera intermedia (I'm fairly certain it's intermedia and not rotundifolia) along a seepy ledge along Muscongus Bay in Bristol, Maine. It gets occasional salt spray at this location. It seems like a very strange location to find this, but it's thriving - I first saw it last year and it seems even more numerous this year. Is this typically found in this type of location? (other images available if this isn't definitive...)
    Answer
    Dear JoanRay, Drosera intermedia will be located outside of the more usual bog/fen habitat. It does inhabit seepy ledges on rivershores and mountainsides, and even can be found in mossy areas in clearings away from peatlands. Great photograph.
  • Question
    Hi again. I took some measurements of fruits and seeds from the plantain stalk I collected, and here is what I found. The fruits consistently measured at roughly 5 mm, and the seeds consistently measured at roughly 2 mm (I've attached a photo of a representative of each). Based on what you've said, it seems likely then that this plant is Plantago rugelii. Thank you very much for your guidance!
    Answer
    DavidJ, good afternoon. Those measurements strongly support the plants as the native Plantago rugelii. Best wishes.
  • Question
    I found this plant many years ago in the Freeport area while hiking. I brought a small sample home and planted it in my yard. Only recently have I questioned what it might be. This sounds crazy but it looks and grows just like a lightning leaf jewel orchid. That shouldn’t be possible, they are tropical.
    Answer
    Dear Fred2995, good afternoon. You have photographed a species of Goodyera (rattlesnake-plantain), native species in the orchid family. It is most likely you have photographed Goodyera pubescens, the most common species in the genus within the northeast. Best wishes.
  • Question
    Hi again, this is a follow up to my plantain question I asked earlier. I examined a fruit as you suggested, and located what I believe is the line of dehiscence, which I hope I've adequately photographed here. The line is not exactly in the middle, but is this roughly where you would expect to find it in Plantago major? Comparing to pictures I've been able to find of the fruits of both P. major and P. rugelii, I'm still not totally sure. Thank you again for your help!
    Answer
    Dear DavidJ, let's add some characteristics that can help. The fruit of Plantago rugelii is 4 mm or longer (that of P. major is 4 mm or shorter). You could measure the length of the fruit to assist with your identification. Also, each fruit in Plantago rugelii has 4-9 seeds 1.5-2 mm long (P. major has 6-11 seeds 1-1.7 mm long). The length of the seeds is particularly useful. Do a few measurements if you can and report back so we can make an informed identification. The line of dehiscence suggests P. rugelii, but it will be nice to confirm with other characteristics. Thank you.
  • Question
    I have spotted what Might be creeping cinquifoil in my yard in Lee, NH (see photo). Please confirm? Thank you!
    Answer
    Dear HolmCedarHome, good morning. You do have a cinquefoil that is trailing, but there are several species that have this same habit. Without flowers, which we need to measure petal length, anther size, and so on, we cannot know with any certainty, which species you have. Potentilla simplex is the most common member of the genus with this growth habit in New England. Best wishes.
  • Question
    Hi. This plantain is growing at the edge of our driveway in Tolland County, Connecticut. I am wondering if it is Plantago rugelii. Is the reddish-purple color near the base of the petioles sufficient for distinguishing this species from P. major, or are there other traits I need to consider? Thank you for your help!
    Answer
    Dear DavidJ, good morning. Unfortunately, petiole color is not sufficient for a confident determination. There are differences in seed number per capsule and seed size, but the easiest way to tell Plantago rugelii from P. major is the where the pyxis (the fruit) splits open. In P. rugelii, the line of dehiscence is near the base of the fruit (rather than the middle in P. major). If you look at the little fruits (which you photographed) with magnification, you can see an horizontal line around the fruit itself where it splits open. Just identify if it is near the base or near the middle. Best wishes.
  • Question
    Great Meadows NWR, edge of pond. Persicaria pensylvanica?
    Answer
    Dear jfc, I think you are in the right ball park. Both Persicaria pensylvanica and P. lapathifolia have no bristles at the apical rim of the stipules. However, the long slender inflorescences that droop over at the apex are characteristic of P. lapathifolia. I can't see the tepals well enough, but I believe I can only see four per flower (also a characteristic of P. lapathifolia). Best wishes.
  • Question
    This Humulus plant is growing in the side a a road I walk. Is it native? How can I tell the difference between Humulus americanus and H.lupulus? I see some sites listing H. lupulus as native? Do we have a native hops in Maine? Thanks for your help.
    Answer
    Dear JoAnnaG@, Humulus lupulus is not native to North America, it is an Old World native. Treatments that consider it native include under it Humulus americanus as a subspecies (i.e., H. lupulus subsp. americanus). Separating these two species is difficult because most of the characteristics are micromorphological and rely on density of hairs and glands on the leaf surfaces. There is one macroscropic character and that is the hairiness of the nodes (H. americanus has densely hairy nodes where the leaves are produced from the stem and H. lupulus has sparsely hairy stems). Good luck with the identification.
  • Question
    aquatic .. opposite leaves and had red achenes .. co - habiting with pipewort... in Canada, Algoma District of Ontario
    Answer
    Dear Lison, you have photographed a species of Hypericum (St. John's-wort). However, I don't have enough of the plant and a clear enough image to identify it any further than the genus. Best wishes.
  • Question
    Sorry, no camera but i think the canopy was so dense it might not have worked. Thigh high bloom stalk. orchid-shaped light violet blooms, scattered randomly about the stem on a steep very rocky hillside in a deciduous forest in ne CT. no leaves associated with that blackish stem,,,,unless they were the leaves i often saw near the bloom stalk. The flowers are alternatei would say not a well filled out column like obedient plant.Reminded me of micrantha
    Answer
    Dear sziabrowska@yahoo.com, I'm sorry but without an image I won't be able to assist. I hope you are able to get one so that I might be able to help you with an identification.
  • Question
    Hello! I'm wondering if you might have any advice on how to tell the difference between a young Vaccinium corymbosum and Vaccinium angustifolium. I did some seed collection at Verona Beach State Park on a roadside beside pine-y woods, the very low plants were on the forest edge and the area is generally wetland-y, several Vaccinium species (including V. corymbosum and Gaylussacia grew there together. I keyed the plant out to angustifolium but the leaf didn't seem particularly "angust". Thanks!!
    Answer
    Dear philterfeed, good afternoon. The leaves would still be very different from each other in size--those of Vaccinium corymbosum and related species are much too large to be V. angustifolium. Best wishes.
  • Question
    My house came with a patch of 2 meter tall goldenrod. I don't know if it is wild or planted. It is starting to bloom in late July after a lot of rain earlier in the month.
    Answer
    Dear jfc, the plant is likely Solidago altissima. This is a species with triple-nerved leaves and pubescent stems. To confirm this, I would need to know about the pubescence of the underside of the leaf--if it is pubescent across the surface (not just on the veins), then it is mostly likely that species. The involucral bracts will also be longer than in S. canadensis (when the capitula are present). Best wishes.
  • Question
    I've keyed this plant observed today in Cheshire, Connecticut to either Polygala sanguinea or P. nuttallii (state threatened) and the key I'm using (Magee and Ahles) has the difference between them down to the calyx wings being either 3 mm or greater and exceeding the corolla (sanguinea), or 2.7 mm or less and equaling the corolla (nuttallii). I'm not exactly sure where to measure the wings from (is it the length of an individual sepal?). Any assistance would be greatly appreciated!
    Answer
    Dear mantill, good afternoon. The wing sepals are quite long on the plant you photographed (much longer than the corolla). Further, the racemes are quite thick (nearly 10 mm thick). This suggests the plant is Polygala sanguinea. Best wishes.
  • Question
    Here is a closer view of my Verbascum. The single flower in closeup is about 15 mm wide. The leaf is about 100 mm long.
    Answer
    Dear jfc, good morning. Thank you for taking the time to acquire additional images. The stigma morphology (capitate), decurrent leaf bases on the stem, and relatively small corolla size all support this being a diminutive Verbascum thapsus (common mullein). Best wishes.
  • Question
    Additional photo of previous sent question
    Answer
    Thank you Nannie. These images were helpful.
  • Question
    I sent a picture in last night of a plant for ID, thinking in the back of my mind that it may be Senna hebecarpa. Today, I returned and was able to pet a picture of the petiole and the emerging inflorescence. Am i correct in my assumption?
    Answer
    Dear Nannie, good morning. Yes, I agree with your determination--the plants look like textbook Senna hebecarpa. Great job, by the way, this is a special plant in MA (it is endangered). I will email you today about reporting your find to the Massachusetts Endangered Species Program. Best wishes.
  • Question
    Hello! First time to post but I'm looking for some help identifying some plants/vines in my backyard. We just rented an apartment in Brooklyn NY and found it to be overrun with vines. I'm concerned about the fuzzy looking vines attached to the tree and if they are poison ivy. I included a photo of the vines on the fence as well. Thanks so much!
    Answer
    Dear jessetheaviator, good morning to you. The lianas (i.e., woody climbing plants) that you have photographed is Hedera helix (English ivy), a member of the celery/ginseng family. The aerial roots are used to attach to substrate to aid in climbing. Best wishes.
  • Question
    I have a weeping spruce (picea engelmannii pendula) that I planted in the spring of 2020 in a large container with potting mix in Brooklyn, NY mostly shady. It has started dropping a lot of its needles. There are small white spots on the needles and a bit of browning. Could this be a fungus or árcale? What is the proper treatment? Is it possible to save the tree? The container receives mostly rain water and the soil seems consistently moist not wet. We have had many days above 90 degrees.
    Answer
    Dear ethelander, I'm sorry I cannot assist you with your question as I am not a plant pathologist. You might find some information here that could be of use: https://apps.extension.umn.edu/garden/diagnose/plant/evergreen/spruce/needlesdiscolored.html. Otherwise, I would contact a local university that has a tree pathologist on staff to assist you with your question. Good luck with your spruces.
  • Question
    Hello, Thank you for your help earlier with the goutweed identification; I think I have the confirmation (backwards-curving styles), but I still wanted to check again.
    Answer
    Dear ljalos, good afternoon. Yes, this helps confirm the plants as Aegopodium podagraria (bishop's goutweed). Thank for capturing the beautiful image of the styles in fruit. Best wishes.
  • Question
    Roadside, Lincoln, Massachusetts. Growing in a clearing where a tree fell down about two years ago. It reminds me of mullein except the mullein on my lawn has a much longer cluster of flowers.
    Answer
    Dear jfc, the plant you have photographed does look like a species of Verbascum, but I can't see details well enough within the flower that I need to in order to provide a determination. Could you provide me with a closer image of the flower and a measurement of the width of the open flowers? Thank you.
  • Question
    Looking to ID the alternate branching plant in the photo with compound leaves. Found in wetlands of south central Mass
    Answer
    Dear Nannie, good afternoon. The image you supplied is simply too far away from the plant for me to assist you. Could you try to gather a couple more images from different angles of the plant, but taken much closer to the subject so I can see necessary details? Thank you.
  • Question
    Is the uploaded image Blephilia ciliata or some confounding relative? Found in Dorset, VT in disturbed, dry habitat (roadside) on lower mountain slope.
    Answer
    Dear Wawamama, there are no images associated with your question. Without them, I won't be able to assist. If you are having trouble uploading images, please feel free to attach them to an email and send them to me at ahaines@nativeplanttrust.org and I will try to assist.
  • Question
    Just wondering if I’m correct in identifying this plant as as Melampyrum lineare and wondering about the variation in the leaf shape as they don’t appear to resemble the leaves from other pics I seen of this plant?
    Answer
    Dear Nannie, good morning. You are correct that the plant you photographed is Melampyrum linarea. This hemiparasitic species has tremendous variation in leaf shape, ranging from very narrow (linear) and without teeth or lobes, to the broad leaves with prominent lobes you have captured in the image. These are currently all considered variation represented by the species, though some of this variation does show geographical separation (in part). Best wishes.
  • Question
    This is a pic of the berries.
    Answer
    Dear Ravensdotter, thank you for getting images of the fruits. You likely have Swida stolonifera (synonym: Cornus sericea; red-osier dogwood). It will have bright red branches in the fall and winter season. If you were to cut one of the branches open, you should see white pith on the interior of the branch (if this were another common species--Swida amomum--it would have brown pith). Best wishes.
  • Question
    We recently transplanted some ferns near a creek deep in the woods to a NE facing side of the house. Some stragglers came with them. Can you ID? Leitchfield, KY
    Answer
    Dear MADudgeon, there are no images associated with your question. Without them, I will not be able to assist you. Kentucky is outside of the area of expertise, but I might still recognize the ferns. If you want to send me the images via email, feel free to attach them and mail them to ahaines@nativeplanttrust.org.
  • Question
    I'm stuck - I found this low-growing plant at the edge of a wetland just west of Albany NY, growing with sensitive fern, fringed loosestrife, and lots of sedges beneath an open canopy of quaking aspen, white pine, and oak. There were also lots of smaller single leaves scattered around. No flowers/flower stalks. It's the uneven leaf base that's the difficulty - all the leaves that I saw were the same, although I suppose I could be a single large clone.
    Answer
    Dear CathK, good afternoon. The plants in the image are likely Packera aurea (golden groundsel). This is a native, wetland species that is a perennial member of the composite family. It will have flowering stems later in the year with capitula that have yellow ray flowers. Best wishes.
  • Question
    Millinocket ME. Any idea?
    Answer
    Dear Revensdotter, good morning. You appear to have photographed a species of dogwood (genus Swida), but I can't tell you who you have captured in the image without additional pictures. I would need images of branchlets and flowers or fruits to help further. Hopefully knowing the genus will be useful to you.
  • Question
    Hello, I’ve been eying this little plant for a few weeks now and cannot identify it. It’s growing on a ledge outcrop in Newtown, CT. Other species around it include danthonia, aquilegia, heuchera, triodanis, and lots of hackelia. The plant is wet from rain in the pictures, so the tiny cream colored petals are a bit obscured, but hopefully that won’t matter. Thank you!
    Answer
    Dear chloect, I'm not certain who you have photographed, but it looks very much like Linaria canadensis (synonym: Nuttallanthus canadensis). The stems, leaves, calyx, and other features you show here are similar to that species. The only item I don't understand is the cream colored-petals that you mention. Perhaps you can post an image of the open flowers so I can examine them. Looking forward to solving this mystery with you. Best wishes.
  • Question
    Hi, I found this plant along the side of a dirt road in the NEK of VT, town of Westmore. I believe it is in the Pyrola family. There are a few possibilities ?
    Answer
    Dear bobysymeist, good morning. There is no image associated with your question. Without one, I won't be able to assist you. If you are having difficulty uploading images, feel free to attach them to an email and send them to ahaines@nativeplanttrust.org. I will do my best to help you.
  • Question
    Growing on my lawn in Massachusetts. The leaves are much yellower than the adjacent Pycnanthemum muticum. There are no flowers yet. A broken leaf has a strong mint smell. Melissa officinalis?
    Answer
    Dear jfc, good afternoon. It could be Melissa officinalis, but without flowers (which are distinctive in this species), I would not want to attempt a confident answer. The morphology is fairly consistent with this species, so hopefully it will flower and confirm your hypothesis. Best wishes.
  • Question
    Central MA, woodland, partial shade. About 2' tall (so far) and large leaves are ~9" long. No luck keying it out, and I'm concerned it could be toxic to my goats. Thanks for any help!
    Answer
    Dear Quinn, you have photographed Phytolacca americana (American pokeweed), a robust, native herbaceous plant that will produce (soon) small white flowers that mature into purple berries. The herbage is edible to humans early in the season when they are first emerging (and consumed widely in the southeastern United States, and to some extent in the northeast). The roots can be toxic (though they are used as medicine for staphylococcus infections, etc.) if eaten in too large a quantity. Best wishes.
  • Question
    I have a sedge I'm trying to ID, but I'm very bad at it. It's in inland Massachusetts, in an often damp but not truly wet area. I've only found a few. The example shows one seed head; another plant has multiples. The leaves have a deep groove along their spine and a sandpaper feel. I'm trying to decide what plants merit moving to a safer space come fall, when the area may be dug up.
    Answer
    Dear RosieRose, good morning. The sedge you have photographed looks like Carex lurida (sallow sedge). It is a relatively common, native species that grows in low areas and along shorelines. The very inflated perigynium (where the seed-like fruit will be found) tipped by a long beak is characteristic of this species.
  • Question
    hello sir these are the picture of the same plant in the field and in the lab kindly share its scientific name
    Answer
    Dear anwishabbasi, good morning. I do not know who this plant is. Can you share with me where the species was photographed. Location is a very important piece of information needed for identification. Without this information, it can be very difficult to narrow down the choices to make an identification. Thank you and best wishes.
  • Question
    Growing on my lawn in Massachusetts. Hypericum perforatum? (With some hawkweed mixed in.)
    Answer
    Dear jfc, good afternoon. The plants certainly look like Hypericum perforatum to me. This species has two decurrent ridges that run down the stem (and on those ridges are black glandular dots--and only on those ridges). This detailed little character helps to distinguish this species from some closely related species. Best wishes.
  • Question
    Hello, Do you know anything about the edibility of the various species that make up the genus Scirpus? While there seems to be a bit of information available about Scirpus microcarpus, there is little I can find about the others. Thank you.
    Answer
    Dear ljalos, good morning to you. Most of the species of Scirpus (bulrush) have such tiny fruits (the achenes) that the efficiency of processing such fruits means Indigenous Peoples often have selected for other plants that were in season at the same time. This appears not to be an issue of edibility (or toxicity) but of time spent vs. calories retrieved. Some related genera, Like Bolboschoenus and Schoenoplectus have larger fruits and there is more information on their use as food. Best wishes.
  • Question
    Hello, can you tell me what kind of Clematis this is and if it's native to the northeast?
    Answer
    Dear ellunu5, good morning. This isn't a species of Clematis that I recognize. I can at least let you know that it is not-native to the northeast, which is not to imply that it is "bad" or should be destroyed/removed/pulled. I'm sorry I can't help you further.
  • Question
    Hi, trying again with better photos of the flowers, which are quite small. See prior photos sent this weekend for leaves. Thanks!
    Answer
    Dear cwoodsr, good morning. Thank you for getting updated photographs, they are much better! The plant in your images is Digitalis lutea (straw foxglove), a species with relatively small yellow flowers (compared with the other naturalized species in New England). They are quite beautiful, thank you for sharing them.
  • Question
    I spotted this beauty yesterday, June 26, at Wilbur Preserve South in Dennis on Cape Cod. It was growing in sand next to the parking area along the edge of a marshy inlet mostly surrounded by beach roses & such. I haven't been able to ID it. I'd thought perhaps something in the clover family, but can't find any that are even close to this color. Can anyone help? Sorry I didn't get a better picture of the base of the plant, I didn't expect it to be this tricky. Thanks!
    Answer
    Dear jodinbruce, good afternoon. You have indeed found a species in the legume family and it is one of the very few genera that have small teeth on the leaflet margsins (e.g., Trifolium, Medicago, Melilotus). I am not certain who you have photographed as I haven't seen this morphology before. Some species of Medicago show the bristle-tipped leaflets displayed by the plants in this image. I will continue to study and try to locate a name for this plant. If you are able to return for additional images of stems and fruits, that would be very helpful.
  • Question
    I live in East Texas. This plant is growing along the edge of my backyard pond. no flowers. It has vine-like extentions that float on surface of the water.
    Answer
    Dear Trayburn, good morning again. It looks as though you were successful getting an image uploaded. While the plant is vegetative, it looks like a species of water-primrose(genus Ludwigia), member of the evening-primrose family. Our common species here in the northeast that looks like this is Ludwigia palustris (I am not familiar with all the species that occur in TX, but Ludwigia palustris is found there (this could be that species or one closely related to it). Best wishes.
  • Question
    I live in central province of New Brunswick , Canada. I took 2 cuttings from a Red Champlain shrub, and put them in a raw potato and this is what came out. Can't seem to find what it is..
    Answer
    Dear farseno@nbnet.nb.ca, good morning. The flowers are of a plant in the nightshade family (Solanaceae), to which potato belongs. Examining the leaves in the background, it appears you have a potato growing, which makes sense given the tuber you used. Best wishes.
  • Question
    I live in East Texas and this plant it growing along the edge of the pond in my backyard. It has vine like extensions that extend a few feet into the water. No flowers.
    Answer
    There are no images associated with your question. Without images, I can't assist you. If you are having trouble uploading images, feel free to attach them to an email and send them to ahainese@nativeplanttrust.org. I will do my best wot assist you, though I will admit that TX is a long way from my region of expertise.
  • Question
    you told me in June: Dear BOwers19+, good morning. The liana in the images you submitted is Vitis lubrusca (fox grape), a native member of the grape family. It has the largest and sweetest fruits of any of our native grapes. The vines have no fruit, flowers gone Is the vine fox grape?
    Answer
    Dear BOwers19+, good morning. There are no images associated with your post here. Without images, I can't assist you. If you are having trouble uploading images, feel free to attach them to an email and send them to ahainese@nativeplanttrust.org. I will do my best wot assist you.
  • Question
    Hi, sorry, I'm having some trouble for writing the floral formula of Olea Europaea, someone can help? Thank you in advance.
    Answer
    Dear sasino26, it would be: *Ca4Co4A2G2, the superscript 4 on the calyx would be circled as the sepals are connate. Likewise, the superscript on the corolla would have a circle around it because the petals are connate. A circle would be around the corolla and androecium because the stamens are epipetalous (adnate to the corolla). The gynoecium would have a circle around it because the carpels are connate and a line would be under the G symbol because the ovary is superior. I'm sorry that certain features of floral formulas are difficult to depict here. Best wishes.
  • Question
    I cannot identify what exactly are these, and they don’t seem to be that harmful but still they bother me and they seem to be sucking off the leaves. I tried once to spray some alcoholic disinfectant and they disappeared for quite a month or two. Now they are back again. I’m in Austria and this is a Dracaena
    Answer
    Dear Shehabmok, good morning. Unfortunately, the close-up images are not in focus, so it is difficult for me to see exactly what you are referring to. It appears to be some type of invertebrate (or its casing) that is attached to the plant. You might want to continue with a protocol that removes them without harming the plant. Best wishes.
  • Question
    This flower has appeared in my backyard near Boston (upland) next to a fence with our neighbor's yard that is unmown in the summer - lots of canada goldenrod there. I was not able to ID it using GoBotany. Individual flowers are quite small -- 1 cm at most. Any ideas? Thanks.
    Answer
    Dear cwoodsr, good morning. I would like to help you with your identification, but the images are not sufficient. In both cases, the plant is blurry while the background is in focus. Perhaps I could request that you try again to capture the plants in focus in a couple of days (the flowers are in bud, but will be open soon). Again, I really want to assist you. If you can get me a couple of images that are in focus, I would appreciate it. Best wishes.
  • Question
    I have a lot of this around my house in Massachusetts. I think it is a species of Pycnanthemum. It was probably originally planted as an ornamental so it might not be a New England native. A leaf has a strong mint smell when broken.
    Answer
    Dear jfc, you appear to have photographed Pycnanthemum muticum, a species with congested inflorescences and relatively broad leaves with a few teeth on each margin. This is a native species in New England (which is not to state the plants you are photographing weren't planted). Best wishes.
  • Question
    A grape vine growing over a smoke tree in Massachusetts.
    Answer
    Dear jfc, I can't identify this plant with certainty because I need to see more features to be confident of the genus. It may not be a Vitis (grape), but rather may be an Ampelopsis (peppervine). The latter has white pith on the branches and close (i.e., non-exfoliating bark). This compares with the pith of Vitis (brown) and exfoliating bark on older branches/trunks. Let me know what you discover (please).
  • Question
    I have a lot of this rush growing in a usually shaded area next to my house in Massachusetts.
    Answer
    Dear jfc, this looks like the upper part of the inflorescence of a species like Juncus tenuis or a relative. I would need to see more of the plant, and specifically the auricles (they are paired and are positioned where the leaf sheath and leaf blade join each other). Best wishes.
  • Question
    Hi Botanists, I found this Juncus specimen on the shore of a freshwater pond near the ocean in Newport County, RI. Can it be identified further? Thanks!
    Answer
    chickenparmesan24, I can only make educated cases because I would need to see the seeds (or learn about their morphology) in order to provide a more confident answer. It is likely a member of the septate-leaved group, and resembles is likely Juncus articulatus, which is supported by the capsule shape and color. This is a common species that would have pointed, but not tailed, seeds. Best wishes.
  • Question
    I hope that southern Quebec is not too far away from New England to post this question. I found this pink lichen growing on a cut log in a woodpile in Gore, Quebec. The pink colour surprised me, and a quick Google search for pink lichen turns nothing up. How can I identify it, document it and responsibly collect it?
    Answer
    Dear m_l_griffin, good afternoon. No, southern Quebec isn't too far away for most plants. We share tremendous similarity in our floras. However, lichens, as you likely know, aren't plants (but a symbiosis between an alga and a fungus). I'm not a lichenologist, so I can't help you with any confidence. That written, some lichens I do recognize, but not the one you have posted an image of. I'm sorry I can't assist you. I hope you learn who it is.
  • Question
    Im trying to grow purple sugarcane in Jacksonville Florida, and i've noticed parts of the leaves of my plant have been eaten. Along with this, my plants leaves have been wilting and becoming discolored. what plants/diseases are causing this?
    Answer
    Dear ProbablyHuman, good morning to you. I'm sorry, but I can't help you with your question. I'm not a horticulturalist or disease specialist. My area of expertise is taxonomy and conservation of northeastern wild plants. You might try reaching Ulrich Lorimer (ulorimer@nativeplanttrust.org) at our organization. He has expertise in these fields and may be able to assist you. Best wishes.
  • Question
    I'm doing the set dressing on a film that takes place in the 1920's and trying to figure out what this plant is in my reference photo. Any ideas?
    Answer
    Dear danipeltz, good morning. I would love to assist, but the uploaded image is so small that I can't make out any details of the plant on the right side of the room. If you have a larger resolution image, feel free to email it to me at ahaines@nativeplanttrust.org and I will try to assist you.
  • Question
    Is this an elm? What’s the growth on the leaves?
    Answer
    Dear MarkSaylor, yes, it looks like a species of elm, Ulmus glabra (Scotch elm) to be exact. The growths you mention are galls from an insect. I do not know which species of insect is creating the galls on the leaves, but you might be able to find out by searching for leaf galls under this species. Best wishes.
  • Question
    Hi, I found a plant today on a roadside in Putney VT. Reminds me of the Figwort family (which I believe has been re assessed and some genera are now placed elsewhere) Leaves: sessile, entire, alternate with parallel-ish venation. Flowers: lower lip white/cream with brownish upper lip, and brownish venation within, sepals hairy: 3 above upper lip and 2 under lower lip. My photo will not upload on this site... could you send me an email address so I can attach it directly? Thanks!
    Answer
    Dear rgrumbine, I'm sorry you are having trouble uploading images. Feel free to email me at ahaines@nativeplanttrust.org. I'm curious to learn who you have found. Best wishes.
  • Question
    I was sent this photo to id, but can't seem to submit it. Can I email it? To what address? The plant came up in a CT garden that is regularly watered. Submitter is concerned its an invasive. From photo, petioles and stems do not appear pubescent. Submitter confirmed. No flowers yet. I was thinking possibly Echinocystis lobata. Submitter then told me he applied purchased topsoil to garden. Perhaps seeds came in with soil. Any thoughts on id?
    Answer
    Dear cassiegirl, it does look like Echinocystis lobata to me. The leaf blade outline, habit of plant, and lack of pubescence all support this identification. It is native and it is not invasive. Best wishes.
  • Question
    I encountered this multi-stemmed woody plant on an open, western-facing talus slope in Rutland County, VT on May 7th. Is it possible to identify it from the photo?
    Answer
    Dear mmchugh, good afternoon. I've pondered over this image for some time and I don't know who this plant is. I've also shared the image with two other professional botanists who likewise are unable to identify the plant. Do you have other images? Please email me at ahaines@nativeplanttrust.org to discuss if you would like to.
  • Question
    I have Bidens frondosa growing out of a flowerpot that usually has standing water. (Identified based on the plants that grew nearby last year.) My question is, can Bidens seeds germinate underwater or do they require exposure to air?
    Answer
    Dear jfc, the short answer to your question is: I'm not certain. That written, many species of Bidens are wetland and aquatic plants that content with saturated soils (or standing water) on a regular basis. It would not be surprising that some species can germinate in standing water. Best wishes.
  • Question
    I think this is stinging nettle, which grows nearby, but some non-native Lamiaceae in the area also have opposite, toothed leaves with flowers growing along the stem. In a disturbed area in Massachusetts.
    Answer
    Dear jfc, yes, it appears the plants are a species of stinging-nettle (genus Urtica). I can't tell you which one for certain from the image. The native Urtica gracilis lacks long bristles on the stem (but has short hairs and stinging hairs) and has stinging hairs usually only on the lower surface of the leaf blades. That is who this likely is (but I would need close-up images to be certain).
  • Question
    Is this Campanula glomerata L. clustered bellflower? Non-native, correct? In Worcester, MA. Is it bad to let it stay in my garden if I have the correct ID? Thanks for your help.
    Answer
    Dear Lisabailey, good afternoon. The plant in the images does look like Campanula glomerata. While non-native and able to naturalize, this species does not invade forests. It tends to stay in cleared and disturbed areas around habitated areas. Best wishes.
  • Question
    Found in Alton, NH Is this the small whorled pagonia? Isotria medeoloides
    Answer
    Dear mariapoulos, good morning. The plants you photographed are Isotria medeoloides (Indian cucumber root). This is a native member of the lily family. It has two tiers of leaves on reproductive plants (only 1 tier of leaves in the orchid) and the stems have white hairs on them (stems without any hairs in the orchid). I hope this is helpful.
  • Question
    I'm trying to identify this plant. The location is in Berkshire County, MA. It's obviously in the Apiaceae family but i'm having a hard time identifying it. it's really common, grows along roads and trails, usually in somewhat wooded areas. My best guess is Cow Parsley or Bland Sweet Cicely.
    Answer
    Dear Sleet, good morning. I can't be certain due to the lack of close-up images of the flowers; however, based on the large bractlets beneath the umbellets, the leaf blade outline, and stem morphology, the plants you photographed appear to be Anthriscus sylvestris (wild chervil), a non-native member of the Apiaceae. It is frequently found along road edges. Best wishes.
  • Question
    Hello! Thank you for providing this service. This fast-growing suckering sapling is in full sun in my yard: disturbed glacial-lake plain, several feet of sand atop heavy clay till. I live in Webster NY, so not exactly New England, but would like to know whether this tree is native to the Northeast. Scale is in inches. Photos are portrait, not landscape. Trunk is exfoliating. Only young leaves are shiny. None of it smells of wintergreen. Is it a type of birch? -- Barb
    Answer
    Dear kotbe, good afternoon. The woody plant you have photographed has evidently double-toothed leaves (big teeth with smaller teeth on them). This fits well for a birch called river birch (Betula nigra), which is both native and introduced in the northeast (it is frequently planted and can escape cultivation). Best wishes.
  • Question
    Identification help? Location is Vermont (Chittenden county) by Lake Champlain. Flower picture from May 8, seed picture from end of May. Rocky cliffs above the lake. Maybe Boechera grahamii but rare in VT?
    Answer
    Dear tippeetop, good afternoon. There is no image associated with your question. If you are having trouble uploading images, feel free to attach them to an email and send them to me at ahaines@nativeplantrust.org. Best wishes.
  • Question
    Hello Dear Botonist, I am hoping that you can ID the Genus and species of this plant for me. Thank you, SueLB
    Answer
    Dear SueLB, good afternoon. The image that has been uploaded is very small, so I can't see the details that I need. The plant appears to be a species of Geranium (crane's-bill), but it is hard for me to be certain. If you have a larger image, feel free to email it to me if you are having trouble with the upload. Best wishes.
  • Question
    Hello Arthur (Ace!) - I need help distinguishing Eurybia divaratica from Symphyotricum cordifolium-- in spring time/now, before they are flowering or the plant has yet grown in height. Here are a few examples... maybe they are all same species, maybe not? Thanks much!
    Answer
    Dear limnjucy@gmail.com, good afternoon. I don't feel that I can assist you with confidence from the images. There does look like the possibility of both species present. Without the plants in hand, I don't want to lead you astray. I'm sorry I can't be of assistance.
  • Question
    We saw this Primula growing along a brook in Monroe State Forest, far from any homes/humans. The closest match I can find is a Primula laurentiana, but that does not seem correct. Thanks!
    Answer
    Dear jenkimar, good morning. The primrose you have found looks like much like a species that is known from New England as an introduction (Primula japonica), but that species usually has several whorls of flowers. In order to identify this primrose, I would need to know what the underside of the leaf looks like (i.e., does it have a grey coating from farina) and what the width of the flowers are. With that information, we might be able to determine who this is. Best wishes.
  • Question
    OK so this question is purely theoretical, but what would happen to plant life if clouds were at ground level instead of in the sky? If water was transmitted through absorbing condensation?
    Answer
    Dear rwalkwalk, good morning. I can't answer your question with confidence because I'm not a plant physiologist. However, there are lots of species that occur at high elevation or along the coast that are constantly inundated by clouds and moisture they contain. You might want to pursue your question by examining plants in those natural communities as a start.
  • Question
    My sister who lives in Cary, Maine, gave me this small mountain ash that she dug up near her home, which is in a large wooded area in Northern, Maine. She believes it’s a native mountain ash, but after doing some research I’m not so sure. Can you please help me determine if this is Showy mountain ash or European mountain ash? Pics attached. Thank you. Susan H.
    Answer
    Dear Susan, good morning. I can't tell you for certain because I need to see the branchlets and winter buds. However, the general hairiness of the leaves and petioles suggest this is Sorbus aucuparia (European mountain-ash). If you find that the branchlets and winter buds are very hairy, you can confirm the identification as the non-native. Best wishes.
  • Question
    Hello, I'm looking for suggestions for our local Tree Commission for native species trees that may be used as street trees - realizing there are limitations of course. Currently, they are only planting zelkova, pears, and honey locusts. Any directions to resources would be appreciated. Winthrop, MA - right by Logan, Chris Z.
    Answer
    Dear zikechristopher, good morning. Thank you for considering native plants in the street plantings being done in your town. In the rural ME town I grew up in, all the street trees were native (primarily sugar maple and American elm). Now, it seems that non-native is a requirement (or at least perceived as such). I suggest you contact Ulrich Lorimer (ulorimer@nativeplanttrust.org) to obtain lists of hardy, native plants that could be used. Best wishes.
  • Question
    Hello, I have often used the key and been confused by some of the distinctions in the "specific habitat" section-- particularly, the distinction between shores of rivers and floodplains, and between forests and woodlands, and I was wondering about how and why they are differentiated. Thank you.
    Answer
    Dear ljalos, good morning. Briefly, a river shoreline is an open natural community immediately adjacent to the river channel, while the floodplain is typically forested (at least in New England) and sits behind the open shoreline (if one exists). A forest is a closed canopy wooded setting with greater than 2/3 canopy closure. This contrasts with a woodland, which has trees more spaced out and usually with less than 2/3 canopy closure. If these explanations don't assist, let me know (please).
  • Question
    I have a young Amelanchier purchased last spring. For personal reasons, I haven't been able to get outdoors to look at it. It appears some animal has chewed on the tree--through the bark and into the sapwood. There are just a few leaves left on the tree. It's small—the diameter where the damage is is about 3/4" diameter. Do you think I can save it?
    Answer
    Dear Madeleine89, there are several herbivores that will chew the bark and young stems of trees, so wrapping them with some type of protective material is important early on (until the bark thickens). So long as the tree has not been girdled (i.e., the chewing damage is not all the way around the circumference) there is a chance the tree can be saved. This is especially tree if the damage is less than 1/2 the diameter. You may need to wrap the tree tightly with a durable outdoor wrap/tape to protect the tree from breaking in the wind. Good luck!
  • Question
    this vine is growing along the Lamprey River in the woods. I tried to ID it using Go Botany, but I am still not sure what it is. I want to make sure it is not an invasive vine. Please tell me what plant this is?
    Answer
    Dear BOwers19+, good morning. The liana in the images you submitted is Vitis lubrusca (fox grape), a native member of the grape family. It has the largest and sweetest fruits of any of our native grapes. Enjoy.
  • Question
    Another Rubus from my yard in Massachusetts. I transplanted it to its current location because it was in the way. When I moved it, I noticed the stems were growing roots where they bent down and touched the ground. Is that behavior typical of the genus or only found in a few species? Based on the contrast in stem color, maybe Rubus occidentalis?
    Answer
    Dear jfc, yes, this is most likely Rubus occidentalis. Two features should be present if correct. (1) the leaves will be whitened by hairs on the lower surface and (2) there will be small but firm prickles on the stalks to the flowers (which are absent in Rubus idaeus). Best wishes.
  • Question
    This is growing in my yard in Massachusetts. There are two thick stems, both with flowers. So assuming it is a Rubus, no primocanes. I don't know if it is wild or planted before I bought the house.
    Answer
    Dear jfc, good morning. You have photographed a blackberry in the section Alleghenienses (e.g., R. allegheniensis) or Arguti (e.g., R. pensilvanicus, R. frondosus). I can't tell you which group this blackgberry is from without seeing a close-up of the inflorescence axis and knowing whether stipitate glands are present or not. With that (and a mm measurement of the prickles), we should be able to identify this plant.
  • Question
    Growing at the edge of a lawn in Massachusetts. I don't know if it's an ornamental or a wild species.
    Answer
    Dear jfc, the image appears to capture Dactylus glomerata (orchard grass), a fairly common grass in New England with somewhat one-sided clusters of spikelets on short, stiff panicle branches. If correct, you would find this species to have a closed sheath (the edges of the leaf sheath is fused together into a closed tube around the stem, except at the very summit of the sheath).
  • Question
    Hello! Thank you so much for your generosity in helping people in the region identify and learn about the plants in their area. I have been looking at this plant species for a few years and was wondering what they might be. My suspicion is a species of Angelica, but I have not been able to confirm. The plant is on the side of a natural ditch, at the edge of a wet meadow, again in southwestern Vermont.
    Answer
    Dear ljalos, good morning. Yes, the plant you have photographed appears to be Angelecia atropurpurea. The large leaves with many segments and very inflated petiole bases that sheath the stem are good characteristics to identify this robust, native umbillifer. Best wishes.
  • Question
    Hello there, attached are more photos of the "wild parsnip" I was asking about. If you could tell me whether or not these are invasive and if I should pull them out, that would be very helpful. I've also uploaded photos of the lupine I have in my wildflower garden, but I'm concerned that they are of the blue lupine (Lupinus polyphyllus) type. Should I clear them out as well? It's concerning to me that there are places that are selling "native seeds" that are not really native. Thank you!
    Answer
    Dear ellenu5, good morning. The umbellifer with yellow flowers is Zizea aurea, a species native to New England. Thank you for getting images of the leaves. The legume is Lupinus polyphyllus, a native to western North America but planted (and sometimes escaping) in the northeast. Best wishes.
  • Question
    Hello. Is this Boechera missouriensis or Turritis glabra?
    Answer
    Dear immelmann, You appear to have Turritis glabra. Boechera laevigata would have arching flower stalks and occur in (typically) high quality sites with limestone and marble bedrock (or other bedrock with high pH qualities). Best wishes.
  • Question
    Is this wild parsnip? If so, I'm assuming I should get rid of it?
    Answer
    Dear ellenu5, good morning. I can't tell who you have taken an image of. There simply isn't enough of the plant shown for me to tell. Perhaps you could get an image of the lower leaves on the plant, that would help me identify this specie for you. As far as removal, that depends on your goals, which we can discuss further if you wish.
  • Question
    Identified as Fen Grass of Parnassus by Picture This. Location of plant is Bethesda, MD, a suburban city of the DC Metro area. I uncovered it today as I was clearing our backyard woodlands area. We backup to parkland. What is it doing here do you think?
    Answer
    Dear Riderr, good morning. I'm not certain who the plant is (it may be a Hosta seedling), but we can be certain it is not Parnassia glauca. That species has very specific habitat requirements (which are not forests and woodlands) and has a different vegetative morphology. I hope this is helpful.
  • Question
    Hello. I've noticed that there are several iNaturalist observations of Toxicodendron pubescens in New England and New York (northeast of the USDA database's range limit of New Jersey). Most of these look more like T. radicans (to my unexperienced eyes) however a few have larger rounded lobes on the leaflets, more like other images of T. pubescens. Do you have a sense of how reliable leaf shape is here? Is it likely this plant has populations in the northeast? Thanks!
    Answer
    Dear MatthewS, good morning. Thank you for this comment. I would be interested in discussing this with you further--perhaps we could initiate a conversation at ahaines@nativeplanttrust.org. We could examine specific posts and determine which species are actually being discussed. Best wishes.
  • Question
    Taken in Hampton, CT 5-17-21. What type of maple tree is this? The seeds are bright red.
    Answer
    Dear CT06226, I'm sorry, but the image was taken too far away for me to see any details. I can't make out the leaf outline, etc. If you are able to get a closer image of the leaves, I could help you. If you can't reach any, look for fallen leaves on the ground. Given the time of year, it is likely you have photographed red maple or silver maple, but that is only a guess based on phenology and fruit color.
  • Question
    Good day, I am interested in knowing more about this shrub. What Genus is it in? Are you able to provide any information on it's disease? Thank you very much, SueLB
    Answer
    Dear SueLB, good morning. This is a species of elm (genus Ulmus) that you have taken an image of. The light green projects are galls from an insect. You might be able to identify which specific gall this is by doing some internet research. Best wishes.
  • Question
    What is this plant? In Boise, ID outside year-round.
    Answer
    Dear Bmorawski, good morning. Boise, ID, is a long way from my region of expertise. Go Botany is a website dedicated to wild plants of New England. Sometimes I can recognize plants growing in other regions, but this time I'm sorry I cannot help you. Good luck with your mystery plant.
  • Question
    Hello! I found this plant in a Black Ash Swamp today (May 30) in Hanover, Grafton County, NH. It has no basal or other leaves. Using your guide, I believe it may be an early coral-root. Would you agree, or have other thoughts? Thanks for the help!
    Answer
    Dear kasmus.nh, yes, this plant fits well with Corallorhiza trifda. This species is frequent in swamps (and other locations, like seeps and streamsides where hydric soils are present for at least part of the year). Beautiful image.
  • Question
    This volunteer has been widespread in my dry Lexington MA yard for many years, particularly in sunny areas. It seems to be some kind of Lysimachia (quadrifolia or quadriflora?) Can you confirm?
    Answer
    Dear bkatzenberg, good morning. Your plant is most likely Lysimachia quadrifolia. This is a relatively common species that is most often found in dry soils. Lysimachia quadriflora is a very rare species that is found in wetter soils. It also has much narrower leaves. Best wishes.
  • Question
    I found this plant in NE British Columbia Bear Flat, BC Can you tell me what it is please?
    Answer
    Dear arleneboon, good morning. British Columbia is a long way from my region of expertise. The plant looks like a species of Clematis (virgin's-bower), vines in the crowfoot family. Except for the five petaloid sepals, it is reminiscent of our Clematis occidentalis (purple virgin's-bower), which typically shows four purple sepals. Good luck with your search for this plant's name.
  • Question
    I believe that I have cow parsley as an invasive alien in our hedgerows in West Boylston. It is blooming now (last week of May) and is about 2-3 feet tall. How can I be sure and differentiate it from other similar plants?
    Answer
    Dear WBoylGardener, it is important that we know the identification of species so we don't accidentally try controlling native populations. I really appreciate you taking the time to write. Here is the key from the Flora Novae Angliae manual, if you don't understand any of the terminology, feel free to contact me at ahaines@nativeplanttrust.org and I will try to help further. 1a. Umbel with mostly 50–150 primary branches, up to 50 cm wide; leaflets of principal leaves up to 130 cm long; schizocarp on a pedicel 15–40 mm long, with oil tubes 0.8 mm wide or wider that extend (50–) 65–75% of the way from apex to base of mature . . . . . H. mantegazzianum 1b. Umbel with mostly 15–45 primary branches, rarely exceeding 20 cm wide; leaflets of principal leaves 10–30 (–60) cm long; schizocarp on a pedicel 6–20 mm long, with oil tubes up to 0.5 (–0.8) mm wide that extend 50–60 (–70%) of the way from apex to base of mature fruit . . . . . H. maximum
  • Question
    Here's one more if you don't mind? My best guess is catalpa but the leaves look wrong. It has a single, woody stem with medium brown bark. South Hadley, MA. Thank you!
    Answer
    Dear matociquala, good morning. It does look like a species of Catalpa (catalpa) that is emerging from winter buds. I can't tell you which species without fully expanded leaves and (preferably) flowers/fruits. Best wishes.
  • Question
    Hello! Another small tree volunteering by my foundation in South Hadley, MA. Is this a hornbeam or something else? Thank you!
    Answer
    Dear matociquala, good morning. This is most likely a small Betula alleghaniensis (yellow birch). You should be able to confirm this by bruising a small portion of the bark and seeking a wintergreen odor. Best wishes.
  • Question
    I’m taking care of a plant and I’m just having some trouble identifying it/knowing how to care for it. I was told it only gets 2 cups of water a week but after only having it for a day it seems to be having problems and I’m not sure why; its leaves are turning a dry brown color, & I don’t know if it’s because it’s dehydrated or what since I was told to only water with 2cups/week.
    Answer
    Dear sgsg171717, I'm sorry I can't help you. Go Botany is a website dedicated to wild plants of New England. There are a great many cultivated species that I'm unfamiliar with. You may want to try a plant identification group on social media to assist you. Good luck.
  • Question
    This tree has me stumped. Prunus, yes? But what species? Location: residential property shoreline along Scarborough Marsh. The owners cut back a tall dense hedge of this last year. Resprouting from stems about 2 - 3 in diameter. The bark looks like an obvious cherry, but doesn't seem to be P. serotina or P. virginiana (of which there is a lot around the property). It never fruited or flowered according to the property owners, and the stems were very straight. Thank you!!
    Answer
    Dear Skytes, as I offered in an email to you, this is very likely the stump sprouts of Prunus virginiana (choke cherry). Stump sprouts often look unusual, often with larger leaves that have more exaggerated teeth or dense pubescence. Best wishes.
  • Question
    I'lm issing something. where do you have the coastal lupine that blooms all sorts of colors, listed? I see it from easatern Maineinto New Brunswick.
    Answer
    Dear sziabrowska, good morning. I'm not sure I understand your question. The species you are referring to is Lupinus polyphyllus (blue lupine), a plant native to western North America and frequently planted in the east. Its flowers come in a variety of colors. You might try looking at this page on the Go Botany website to see if it is the answer to your question.
  • Question
    Growing on an unmowed lawn in Massachusetts.
    Answer
    Dear jfc, this plant appears to be Plantago lanceolata (English plantain). It is not uncommon in certain areas of New England and, as the name might suggest to you, is native to Europe. Best wishes.
  • Question
    Hi! May I know is sandpaper vine flowers are edible?
    Answer
    Dear hc0996, good evening. Thank you for sharing the beautiful photograph. I cannot tell you about the edibility of this species. It is not a plant that grows in my region of expertise and I have no opportunity to learn about its uses. I'm sorry I cannot assist. Best wishes.
  • Question
    Found this plant on several hikes recently in the Pacific Northwest. Specifically near Sandpoint, Idaho and south of that, near Dworshak Reservoir. A long way away from it's range it seems? Thanks!
    Answer
    Dear nerdsontrails, you are a long way from my region of expertise. That written, it looks like Clematis occidentalis (purple virgin's-bower). This native member of the crowfoot family has eastern and western elements that are distinguished as infraspecific taxa (but are all grouped as one species). Best wishes.
  • Question
    Does this plant have a name and history?
    Answer
    Dear akkovacs10, assuming this plant was collected in the northeastern part of North America, it looks like Ornithogalum umbellatum (nap-at-noon), a member of the Hyacinthaceae (hyacinth family). This perennial is native primarily to Europe and northern Africa. Best wishes.
  • Question
    Request to identify this plant: Northbridge, MA, May 18, 2021
    Answer
    Dear mxi2018, this appears to be a species of Paeonia (peony), a cultivated plant that only rarely escapes the garden in New England. I do not know for certain which species of Paeonia this is, but hopefully knowing the genus will be useful to you.
  • Question
    Request to identify this plant: Northbridge, MA, May 18, 2021
    Answer
    Dear mxi2018, good morning to you. The plant you have photographs appears to be Rheum rhabarbarum (garden rhubarb). This plant occasionally escapes the garden setting in New England and is found as a naturalized species. Best wishes.
  • Question
    Does PlantShare use sightings to combat invasive species? I travel all across New England, and after years volunteering pulling invasives, I see them everywhere I look! I feel powerless watching new patches pop up along roadsides each year, knowing it's best to strike before they're established, but I can't dig up every lone garlic mustard or patch of knotweed I pass. I searched online but there doesn't seem to be any centralized effort. I could provide a lot of data if only I knew who to tell!
    Answer
    Dear Kamereone, good morning. You can certainly post sightings of non-native invasive plants on the Plant Share website and these can be used for tracking and potential management actions. Native Plant Trust does perform various management actions each year to try and assist native plants in their habitats, which includes non-native plant control. It is certainly frustrating to see the abundance of non-native species, but this is something likely to continue until we change our global travel and local land-use patterns. Best wishes.
  • Question
    Arthur, I saw a few of these last year but they are now taking over an area around a ledge and even growing out of stone walls. This is in Southeast MA (Dighton). It appears to be Hieracium maculatum but maybe a cultivar that spreads rapidly. Any thoughts? David
    Answer
    Dear David, good morning. Wonderful images--thank you for sharing them. Yes, this is the plant that would be called Hieracium maculatum (spotted hawkweed). What we have noticed in New England is that plants in the open have leaf blades with red blotches and those in deep shade are without blotches (and those with dappled sun have faint blotches). It calls into question this species as a valid entity. Based on our observations, it appears the correct name would be Hieracium lachenalii (common hawkweed). It would be useful to have your observations of this population (if plants occur in sun and shade). Feel free to email me at ahaines@nativeplanttrust.org.
  • Question
    Here are some more photos of the possible native cherry. Thank you
    Answer
    Dear cstock, good morning. As best I can tell, these appear to belong to Prunus serotina (black cherry). You will see a bit of white (later turning red-brown) hairs along the midrib on the underside of some leaves. It isn't found on all of them, but you should be able to find it on some. The bruised bark should also have the classic "bitter almond" odor that many cherries do. Best wishes.
  • Question
    There are 3 photos. 2 photos are of is a tree growing on my compost. I photo of a shrub with a pink flower that I have in my yard. I saw one like it at the Arnold Arboretum. Thank you
    Answer
    Dear cstock, good morning. The first plant (with two images) isn't possible for me to identify without additional images. It may be a native species of cherry (genus Prunus), but I would need a close-up of the underside of the leaf and the leaf stalk to be certain. The third image is a non-native honeysuckle. Again, I need additional images to be certain of its identity, but it is likely Tatarian honeysuckle (Lonicera tatarica) or its hybrid with Morrow's honeysuckle called Lonicera x bella. Best wishes.
  • Question
    Rattlebone13,
    Answer
    Dear Rattlebone13, good morning. Would you be able to provide some details on the image you shared? Location information is very important (I don't need the address, but the state or province is minimal information necessary). Were there any interesting features (such as odor) that you can share? What was the habitat like that this plant was found in? If you can supply a bit more information, we might be able to identify your plant. Best wishes.
  • Question
    Hello! This plant appeared in my parent's yard in Sherborn, MA a few years ago. It is in their backyard in a part-shade area; it popped up in the crack between the walkway and a flowerbed. It was pretty so they let it stay and after it got large they were able to divide it and give one to me. I'd like to know what it is before I plant it. The picture is of a division in a 4" pot; each flower is less than 1/2" diameter. Thank you!
    Answer
    Dear kblossfeld, it looks like a species of pink-flowered forget-me-not (e.g., Myosotis alpestris, Myosotis sylvatica). It would be very difficult for me to identify the species here without plants (both flowering and fruiting) in hand. I hope knowing the genus is useful to you. Best wishes.
  • Question
    Can you help me identify this plant? I have four of them. The leaves are long and have a white vein down the center.
    Answer
    Dear SNB96P, good morning. The plants look like a species of Oenothera (evening-primrose), native species in the Onagraceae. We can't tell exactly which species it is until it flowers, but Oenothera biennis is the more common species in the northeast. Best wishes.
  • Question
    What is this? NewYork 13796 Just seemed to appear one early spring. Will appreciate any help on this...coming up all over. Thnx.
    Answer
    Dear Rattlebone13, good afternoon. I would love to help you, but the image attached to this question only shows a small portion of the plant. I need images that show close-up but also the entire plant. If you can, please get more images and feel free to post them here or attach them to an email and send them to ahaines@nativeplanttrust.org. Best wishes.
  • Question
    Hi, I recently discovered this sapling growing at the edge of the woods behind my back yard, and I am wondering if it is Prunus persica? There is a compost pile nearby from which a seed could have plausibly traveled. This is in Tolland County, Connecticut. Thank you for your help!
    Answer
    Dear DavidJ, Good afternoon. The plant you have photographed certainly may be a species of Prunus. Identifying which one at this stage would be really difficult, especially from images. I'm sorry I can't help you more than this. Best wishes.
  • Question
    Hello there I am a new orchid moth mom. I am very worried of my plant because the roots look a bit brown in some greenroots. I have not repotted as of yet and i'm not sure if the plant medium is the correct one. I don't overwater my orchid and the one time that i gave it water I made sure the pot drained and then one of the baby leaves turned yellow. The tip of the orchid is starting to dry out after having so many nice blooms wither away. My plant is also in indirect sunlight per instructions.
    Answer
    Dear orchidmum, good morning. The orchids are beautiful--thank you for sharing an image. Go Botany is a site dedicated to wild plants of New England. I am not knowledgeable with the cultivation of orchids. Hopefully you can find some good information here: https://www.hyanniscountrygarden.com/taking-care-of-moth-orchids/. Good luck.
  • Question
    I believe this is a Hobblebush Viburnum. The leaves look more like an Arrowwood Viburnum to me, but the flowers look like a Hobblebush. The bush is 9-10 ft. tall.
    Answer
    Dear kplager, good morning. You have photographed a different species of Viburnum. It appears to be Viburnum plicatum (Japanese snowball), a species that sometimes has all of the flowers converted to enlarged, sterile flowers. If correct, this is an Asian species. Best wishes.
  • Question
    Good evening! How is it possible this cactus has a pup that looks like its surrounding cacti ? Thank you for your time .
    Answer
    Good morning. It looks completely appropriate to me. The young new growth (i.e., cladodes) are often of a different shape and color from the supporting plant. Looks wonderful.
  • Question
    Once again, no camera I travel this trail weekly dildn't expect a lesson. 4-5 inch flower stalks sometimes without visible leaves because they spring from an western facing rock face along the trail,,,the leaves are ?dentate? aboaut 4 at the base of the stem when visible,,,the flowers are 5-petalled off -white and perhaps pinkish towards the base ,sinble. . In bloom now. Multiple flower stalks, blooms perhaps 5 cm across if that much so you could go by them and not realize you see something.
    Answer
    Dear Sziabrowska, consider Micranthes virginiensis (synonym: Saxifraga virginiensis). This is a native saxifrage that flowers in the spring and is found on cliffs and rock faces. My email is ahaines@nativeplanttrust.org so we can discuss if this is not correct. Best wishes.
  • Question
    Haven't seen this before. There's a small cluster in the yard (semi grassy mossy area,) towards an area partially shrub-shaded A type of fleabane? Harmless good? Or bad
    Answer
    Dear Rodman, good morning. The plant in the images looks like Erigeron pulchellus (Robin's plaintain fleabane), a native species in the composite family. While we can't be 100% certain until it flowers, the shape of the leaf blades, hairs on stem, and flower head number all support this hypothesis. Best wishes.
  • Question
    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!!
    Answer
    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.
  • Question
    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.
    Answer
    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 ahaines@nativeplanttrust.org and let me know if you identified your plant.
  • Question
    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!
    Answer
    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.
  • Question
    My question is actually about weather to plant the non-native plant- Siberian Scilla in my home garden in central Vermont. Apparently it is considered an invasive plant in Minnesota, but not in New England. I love the flowers and would like to plant it here, but not if I would be introducing something harmful to the native flora. What is your input on this?
    Answer
    Dear Jlbvermont, good afternoon. Othocallis sibirica (Siberian squill) can escape the garden setting, but I've never seen it enter forested areas. Typically, it spreads across lawns and other similar human-disturbed or human-manicured areas. It certainly is a beautiful plant, though if you are concerned, you could likely find somewhat similar native species to plant. In either case, I hope you find something that works nicely for your location.
  • Question
    I have one Viburnum plicatum tomentosum 'Summer Snowflake Doublefile' planted a few years ago. It's in very good health but I get no berries for birds. I've researched a bit and understand that I need another one of same species for cross pollination. A few other kinds of V. plicatum tomentosum are 'Popcorn' or 'Opening Day' or 'Mariesi' or 'Shasta' (doublefile varieties). I just want to confirm that I am correct in needing to plant one of these. How close to my existing Viburnum should it go?
    Answer
    Dear Tracey4367, yes, as I understand, most species of Viburnum are self-incompatible, so more than one genetically different individuals are needed for successful fertilization. I cannot offer much guidance in planting distance except for using a logical placement such that pollinators can easily travel between the two plants so that they can carry pollen from one plant to another. Best wishes.
  • Question
    Can you identify this- growing in upland wooded area in CT?
    Answer
    Dear Grace121, the leaves look like those of Persicaria virginiana (jumpseed). It has relatively broad leaves for a species of smartweed and frequently shows the reddish chevrons on the leaf blades. Best wishes.
  • Question
    Hello again, ace botanists. Found these Myosotis plants poking up in some short grass (location: Barrington, RI). They have small flowers and are mostly gray except for the greenish leaves. I believe they could be blue scorpion-grass (M. stricta). Thanks!
    Answer
    Dear chickenparmesan24, good afternoon. Your plants in the photos do appear consistent with Myosotis stricta. The small flowers and very short pedicels (i.e., flower stalks) are typical of this species. It would be hard for me to be confident without measurements of the flower width (which is typically only 1-2 mm in Myosotis stricta). Perhaps you can measure and confirm.
  • Question
    Gardner, MA--Four years of only green ferns in a deciduous wooded, rocky portion of the west property line. We have been cautiously encouraging volunteers as we try re-wilding mostly the borders of our small property. Yesterday, I noticed some ruddy brown newbies, with one starting to unfurl a green frond (1st img). I am not sure if these are northern maidenhair fern [Adiantum pedatum L.] or something else? Please advise. Thank you in advance for any assistance with this ID.
    Answer
    Dear Lily_left_the_valley, good afternoon. These ferns are likely Athyrium angustum (northern lady fern). It has a well-known form with a red petiole and rachis of the leaf. You will notice that there are narrow, very dark scales on the petiole (a diagnostic character of this species). Best wishes.
  • Question
    This plant NEVER blooms nor does it have anything other than leaves. It has a purplish/pink stem that is rather translucent and reminds me of plants growing in wet areas. I have tried to take better photos with the hopes of someone being able to identify the plant or point in a genre that may contain related plants. It is growing under two 80 foot Pine trees and has been there for many years. It is truly a Spring plant because the it only lasts until mid-May or early June.
    Answer
    ShaineinVT, good morning. You can try to confirm the answer that we have discussed previously. If you unearth some of the soil around the stem (without completely excavating the underground storage organ), you should see something like what is found in this image: http://www.pacificbulbsociety.org/pbswiki/files/Lilium/Lilium_tsingtauense_bulb_PW1.jpg. The bulbs are made up of overlapping and crowded bulblets. If you can get an image we could confirm the genus as a starting place for study.
  • Question
    Here’s a closeup picture RE: Japanese yew tree. Taxus cuspidata? Posted yesterday What do you mean by “pollen-bearing and seed-bearing organs are on different plants”?
    Answer
    Dear Tracey4367, good morning. From what I can see in the image, the plants are consistent with Taxus cuspidata. However, there are so many forms and hybrids that are part of the horticultural trade that it would be difficult to be 100% confident of this identification. Dioecious plants separate the pollen-bearing structures from the seed-bearing structures on different plants (analagous to humans have male and female individuals). It is likely your plant won't ever produce seeds (assuming it is a staminate individual). Many species of gymnosperms have both organs on the same plant (they are monoecious, rather than dioecious). If you still have questions, look up those terms on the web and you will find more discussion about these plant strategies for reproduction. Best wishes.
  • Question
    Japanese yew tree. It’s large and wide spreading. I believe this is what’s in my front yard. moved in 2016 to this home in Warwick RI. But the tree has zero red berries. So I’m not sure if it really Taxus cuspidata after all.
    Answer
    Dear Tracey4367, good morning. Taxus cuspidata is a dioecious species, meaning the pollen-bearing organs and seed-bearing organs are on different plants. You may have a staminate individual so that no seeds will ever be produced. The pictures are not close enough for me to see details of the leaves. If you can take closer images I may be able to help. Best wishes.
  • Question
    Podophyllum peltatum L. Found a patch of May Apple in the woods in South East Pa How to care for them? Will the deer eat them? Thanks
    Answer
    Dear harraz, good afternoon. Yes, white-tailed deer will browse Podophyllum peltatum. If you were concerned about this, a short-term solution is to fence in the plants.
  • Question
    Is this cardamine maxima? South central Vermont, woodland slope. Photo taken today (4/26). Thank you!
    Answer
    Dear gardenkilter, good afternoon. I can't tell you for certain which species this is: Cardamine diphylla or C. maxima. The details I need are not present in the photograph. If you use the taxon page for Cardamine maxima on Go Botany, it will tell you how to distinguish this species from Cardamine diphylla. If you can get a close-up image of the leaf margin or an image of the rhizome (which you don't have to completely unearth), I could help more. Good luck.
  • Question
    Hello, I don't think this image uploaded yesterday. Does anyone know what this plant is growing in my garden? I live in Middlesex county next to wetlands and floodplain. I don't know if this is a plant that I forgot I planted or a wetlands plant? I have searched on the web and haven't found anything. Thank you for any help
    Answer
    Dear Cwinter, good morning. The image you sent isn't perfectly clear; therefore, I am having trouble seeing details of the plant. I would like to help you (if possible), but I will need an image that is in focus and (if possible) of the plant when it has opened up a bit more--that will allow me to see the leaves more clearly. If you are willing to get another image in a few days, that would be great. Best wishes.
  • Question
    Hello ace botanists. I have located another plant that I have been unable to identify. This was found on April 24 in the Great Swamp Management Area in Washington County, RI. More specifically, I found several of these tall, white-flowered plants in an area of "young forest", where the large trees were intentionally cut down to provide a different kind of habitat. This habitat is mostly shrubs and young trees, but with some tall holly trees as well. Thanks in advance!
    Answer
    Dear chickenparmesan24, good morning. You have photographed a species of Amelanchier (shadbush), native shrubs in the rose family. From what I can see, it is likely you have collected Amelanchier spicata (dwarf shadbush), a low, colonial species with small flowers and folded, densely pubescent leaves during flowering. Best wishes.
  • Question
    I know this is a site mostly associated with New England flora, so I understand if you can't help with this question. I'm curious what plants and flowers and trees grow naturaly in (and are commonly associated with) both the state of Veracruz in Mexico, and the state of Louisiana. Are there any such flora?
    Answer
    Dear mbsanz, good morning. Mexico is a long way from my region of expertise, but there are five museums (herbaria) that are located in Veracruz that should be able to assist you. If you follow this link: http://sweetgum.nybg.org/science/ih/herbarium-list/?AddPhysCountry=mexico&AddPhysState=Veracruz, you can see the five institutions and contact information is provided so you could present your question to them. Best wishes.
  • Question
    This plant has been coming up each Spring in my late husband's shade garden under two large Pine trees where Lily-of-the-Valley, Trilium, and Jack & Jills-in-the-Pulpit also grow. It usually comes up when the temperatures begin to stay around 40 F and then fades quickly once the temps approach a consistent 65 to 70 F. It has never flowered and I have never explored whether it is a bulb or root based plant. Can you identify it from the photos? Thanks!
    Answer
    Dear ShaneinVT, good morning. I cannot be certain who your plant is from the images supplied. It does look like a species of Lilium (lily), as they frequently have crowded leaves (like those shown in your image) with upward-pointing ones near the apex when they emerge in the spring. I hope this helps. If it flowers, please send me images so I can confirm the identification for you.
  • Question
    Found this randomly growing plant. It is such a pretty looking plant I'd love to know more about it.
    Answer
    Dear kburkett18, good morning. It appears there is a cultivated plant appearing in the location you photographed. It looks much like Foeniculum vulgare (fennel) that hasn't enlarged at the base yet. This species has the conspicuous, pale sheaths at the base of the leaves (as your image shows). Best wishes.
  • Question
    I figured I'd ask here too. Any ideas on what these are? Are they invasive and should they be destroyed (bagged up and left in the sun since we can't burn yet)? Located in multiple spots in a lawn in Eagle Bay, New York. I cut one open and thankfully it was a plant based thing and not a larva. Located in spots near deer poop. We didn't notice them last weekend when we were up. It looks like a root or a rhizome of some sort.
    Answer
    Dear Vbrazell, good morning. These look like a colony of plant rhizomes (underground, horizontal stems--though they sometimes are found close to the surface, such as the ones you located). I can't tell you who these are without seeing the plants themselves. If you could get some images when the plants appear, I should be able to assist. Best wishes.
  • Question
    This is a follow up from a question yesterday. Thank you for identifying the flower as bloodroot...I thought the flower for bloodroot had more petals and didn’t recognize it. My daughter-in-law sent me a new photo today after I told of your response and indeed it had grown out more to reveal the multi petaling. I also asked her to rip the leaf as you said and Sure enough, the latex oozed out. I’m sharing that photo. Thanks for all you do for all of “us” lifelong learners!
    Answer
    MaineMimi, I'm glad we were able to identify your mystery plant. Enjoy it.
  • Question
    Do you have any idea what this young tree or shrub is? It's volunteering in my back yard in Western Mass. The roots (I transplanted it since it was right beside the house) are a flat shallow disclike pattern. Each branch has two opposite terminal buds.
    Answer
    Dear matociquala, good afternoon. You appear to have photographed Cercidiphyllum japonicum (katsura-tree). This is a native of Asia that produces opposite, heart-shaped leaves. Best wishes.
  • Question
    This has appeared in my daughter-in-law’s garden and she didn’t recall planting anything there and wondered what it could be. It’s mid April in central Maine if that helps! Thank you!
    Answer
    Dear MaineMimi, it appears you have a couple of plants of Sanguinaria canadensis (bloodroot) emerging. This is a native member of the Papaveraceae. The solitary flowers (with white petals) are produced above the leaf that (at first) enfolds the stem, exactly as you can see in the image. If you tear a small piece of the leaf, you will see orange latex exude from the wound. Best wishes.
  • Question
    Dear all, In West Newbury, MA along the road there was about dozen white flowering trees located in very wet soils (noticeable skunk cabbage, iris nearby). The six petal white flower resembled sweet bay magnolia. I have included a photo of the flower, bracts, hopefully enough of the plant that an identification can be done. Is this possible for Essex County , MA? Thanks for your help! Best regards, Von
    Answer
    Dear Von, good afternoon. You have photographed a species of Magnolia, but I can't tell for certain who you have photographed from the images supplied. Maganolia virginiana (sweet-bay magnolia) is certainly known from Essex County, MA. However, these images don't seem to match that species. Would it be possible for you to send additional images to my email (ahaines@nativeplanttrust.org) so we can confirm the identification of this species. I need to see the color of the branchlets (and their diameter in mm) and also images of the underside of the leaves to identify if a bloom is present. This may be an undocumented species of magnolia occurring wild in New England. Thank you for your assistance.
  • Question
    Hello again, ace botanists. I apologize for the frequency of which I am asking these questions. If this violates any written or unwritten rule, by all means, please tell me as I would not want to annoy you with too many identification requests. I have located another plant that I cannot identify confidently, but I believe it may a spurge. I found it in a patch of deciduous forest in Hunts Mills, East Providence, RI. Thanks in advance!
    Answer
    chickenparmesan24, good afternoon. You are not violating any written or unwritten rule. I am happy to assist you whenever I can. You have photographed a spurge called Euphorbia cyparissius (Cypress spurge), a beautiful non-native that spreads in open environments (e.g., roadsides, lawn edges, sunny banks) quite readily. It flowers quite early, and would make sense that this is entering flowering in southern New England. Best wishes.
  • Question
    You tentatively identified my mystery plant as Othocallis sibirica but wanted to see flowers to confirm. I'm hoping the two here - one of how the flowers are held with blooms pointing downward and the other of an open bloom - will help. I was unable to get a closeup of the bloom to upload, but can try again if you need that. If it is this plant, it is not native. Would you advise removing it? I looked it up and found that there are no reported sightings of it in Maine. Is that correct?
    Answer
    Dear gailmcglamery, good afternoon. Thank you for acquiring these images. This helps confirm these plants as Othocallis sibirica, which is known from ME, but only as a cultivated plant that has spread onto lawns (i.e., it is not naturalized fully away from the cultivated setting). It is likely these are not yet fully naturalized given their proximity to a planting tub. I really appreciate (again) you acquiring these images. Best wishes to you.
  • Question
    This plant has been spreading in the woods for the last 2-3 years. It has white flowers. Please identify. Thank you, Carolyn
    Answer
    Dear cstock, good morning. Your plant may be Aegopodium podagraria (bishop's goutweed), a member of the Apiaceae. This is a non-native (to North America), perennial herb that is now found in many forested situations away from where it was planted.
  • Question
    this plant is in the backyard of a friend's house in Maryland. Does anyone know what plant it is?
    Answer
    Dear helianthus, there is no image associated with your question. Without one, I cannot assist you. If you are having trouble uploading images, feel free to attach them to an email and send them to me at ahaines@nativeplanttrust.org. I will be happy to try to assist.
  • Question
    Re my recent Carex question, I pulled back the scale and found the perigynium to be a little over 1mm, with the beak (if it is the skinny top part) somewhat less than .5mm. Some nearby clumps have started spreading. This is cleared land smothered in mulch, so life is just returning. I will watch it throughout the season. Thanks so much.
    Answer
    markfanty, thank you--we will need measurements from the fully mature perigynia (i.e., the ones that contain fruits, called achenes). If you can get a close-up image or two of the perigynia when they are mature and some measurements at that time, I should be able to give you a better guess. We will also need to search for carpellate spikes borne from the base of the plant (which I can explain what those are and how to locate them, if needed). Best wishes.
  • Question
    Hello again, ace botanists. Thank you for answering my previous question about the chickweed/stitchwort. I have located a similar plant (in fact, only about 35 feet from the other), but the grooves in its petals aren’t nearly as deep. It grows low to ground, popping up in between some bricks on the ground, with shorter stems that the stitchwort I observed before. This is in Bristol, Rhode Island. Could it be mouse-ear chickweed?
    Answer
    Dear chickenparmesan24, good afternoon. I believe I can count five styles in the close-up view of your flower, which would make for the genus Cerastium (rather than Stellaria, with three styles per flower). Yes, as you suggested, this looks like Cerastium fontanum subsp. vulgare (mouse-ear chickweed). This is a common introduction that is found on lawns and other human-disturbed and human-manicured sites. Best wishes.
  • Question
    This looks like Carex pensylvanica to me. If that seems right, can I tell for sure now? Photo from April 14 in central Ma. The flowers are our before the leaves in a good-sized clump in a fairly sunny location.
    Answer
    Dear markfany, good morning. I cannot identify this plant with confidence while it is in flower. Members of the Carex section Acrocystis (to which Carex pensylvanica belongs) have certain similarities in their spring habit that makes it difficult to rule out some species. With all that written, the plants certainly could be Carex pensylvanica, though this species is rhizomatous and tends to form large colonies. Carex tonsa is another spring-flowering species that often forms more compact colonies like you see here. This will require close examination of the perigynia to be certain. Sorry I cannot help further.
  • Question
    These come up every year at this time (late March /early April). Short bloom period. They are at the edge of an old tub/planter in the yard in Eastport. Quite short - around 5-6" at top of leaf and flower. I've looked through lists, tried to go through dichotomous keys, but have not had any luck. Admittedly, someone in past decades could have planted these so perhaps they aren't wild?
    Answer
    Dear gailmclamery, good morning. You have photographed a plant in the Hyacinthaceae (hyacinth family). It is likely Othocallis sibirica (Siberian squill), but I cannot tell for certain without seeing open flowers. If you could take a picture once the flowers open, I could provide a more confident answer. Best wishes.
  • Question
    This willow is on Lexington Town conservation land, possibly planted there. I am wondering if it is Salix caprea or another non-native. There are a few multistem trees that are about 10'
    Answer
    Dear bkatzenberg, good morning. From the images alone, I would not be able to tell you with certainty which willow you have. Careful measurements are needed of the styles and floral scales (the small, black-tipped scales at the base of each flower). From what I can see, this looks like Salix discolor, and early flowering willow with very large aments. Best wishes.
  • Question
    Hello ace botanists, I have a question about this plant, which I believe to be chickweed. I know there are multiple chickweeds, which all look exactly the same to me, so I am requesting expert assistance on its identification. I tried to get a close photo of a single flower, but they are quite small. Thanks in advance.
    Answer
    Dear chickenparmesan24, good morning. The plant you photographed looks like Stellaria media (common stitchwort), a member of the Caryophyllaceae. This species has petals with such a deep notch that they appear to be two separate petals (providing the illusion of ten total petals per flower). Stellaria media also has short stalks on the leaves (at least the lower ones), which isn't found in any of the other common species. Best wishes.
  • Question
    Hello, I found this succulent plant along a freshwater stream in southeastern CT. It is in a protected area with a history of human disturbance. Surrounding the plant is Rosa multiflora, skunk cabbage and Norway Spruce. I assume it it likely a nonnative species. The plant is 6 inches tall, light green with whorled leaves that are coarsely dentated.
    Answer
    Dear eehrlich11, You've photographed a species of Hylotelephium (orpine). It is most likely H. telephium, the most common species found in New England. This species will have purple flowers when it is reproductively mature, though many individuals in the forest won't flower (presumably they don't receive enough light). They are able to propagate via tuberous roots. Best wishes.
  • Question
    Good afternoon, I hope I am not breaking any etiquette by re-asking a question, or whether I should be using other means, but I wanted to clarify on the plant I wanted to make sure was Aegopodium podagraria, with its white summer umbels. The plant is found abundantly in the willow copse, although it is scattered all over the riverbanks: in a wood of boxelder and black locust, over a meadow of sedges and joe pye weed, and so on. For a more precise location: Mettowee Valley of S. VT. Thank you.
    Answer
    Dear ljalos, good afternoon. No, you are not breaking any etiquette. However, I won't be able to provide you an answer that is any more confident than the one I gave before. The young, expanding leaves do look like Aegopodium podagraria, but the only way to be certain would be to have a close-up of the fruiting arrays (the two styles at the tips of the ovary curve backward and down the ovary, a trait that is peculiar to this species). In the meantime, I can only state that your images are consistent with Aegopodium podagraria.
  • Question
    Hello. Can you tell me if this is Abies balsamea or Abies fraseri, please? I see the twig is hairy, which i think is fraseri, but not sure. I know fraseri is mostly in the south, but this area is a suburb and could have been planted on purpose. thank you.
    Answer
    Dear dcmmings, I would not be able to identify the fir in question without a specimen in hand. The pubescence on the branchlets is hard to utilize because both can have hairs (though Abies fraseri tends to have denser hairs). If you want to secure a specimen that I could examine, feel free to contact me at ahaines[at]nativeplanttrust.org. Best wishes.
  • Question
    Hello. I thought this plant was Cardamine hirsuta, but the leafs clearly have pointed projections at the leaf tips. What do you think? Thanks..
    Answer
    Dear dcmmings, good afternoon. The presence/absence of small projections (i.e., teeth) on the margins of the blade is not a diagnostic character for this species. They usually have something, especially on larger plants. These images show a species with abundant basal leaves, pubescent petioles, and flowers with four stamens. These are good markers for Cardamine hirsuta. Best wishes.
  • Question
    I see that the GoBotany range map has Spiranthes lacera in every Maine county, yet the MNAP rare plant sheets list S. lacera var gracilis as being possibly extirpated in ME. Is S. lacera var lacera currently extant in all or most Maine counties?
    Answer
    Dear Rick, Good morning. Yes, Spiranthes lacera var. lacera is far more common and is widespread in the state. I don't know if it is extant in every county, but the fact it has been collected from every county isn't a surprise. The interesting facet of this topic is that Spiranthes lacera var. gracilis has been collected quite a few times and over a lot of the state. It is surprising it has not been seen in recent years. I hope this is helpful.
  • Question
    Hello Arthur. This is in the Town Forest of Amesbury. Is it Beaked or American Hazelnut? The branchlets seem to have a few stipitate glands, but the catkins seem to be sessile. At other times of the year i have only seen the Beaked Hazelnut fruit.
    Answer
    Dear chaffeemonell, good morning. The plant in the photographs is Corylus cornuta (beaked hazelnut). Corylus americana would have abundant, stalked, red glands on the branchlets. Examine this image (and even the petioles have the stipitate glands: https://newfs.s3.amazonaws.com/taxon-images-1000s1000/Betulaceae/corylus-americana-fl-ahaines.jpg). Best wishes.
  • Question
    Does North America have a native flower that is semi-parasitic? The Brits have one called yellow rattle/Rhinanthus minor.
    Answer
    Dear cordelia, good afternoon. We have a number of plants that are hemi-parasitic, that is they photosynthesize but also create invasive connections to a host plant. The family Orobanchaceae has many such hemi-parasistic (and some holoparasitic) species, including Rhinanthus minor (also found here in North America), Euphrasia (eyebright), Agalinis (agalinis), Aureolaria (false foxglove), Castilleja (painted-cup), and Melapyrum (cow-wheat). These species are united in that they possess a phytochemical (orobanchin) that causes them to darken in drying. Best wishes.
  • Question
    Is this common flowering-quince? If so I've documented the species in Hartford County in the town of South Windsor, CT.
    Answer
    Dear Colin52, there are no images associated with your question, without them I won't be able to assist you. If you are having trouble uploading images, feel free to email them to me at ahaines@nativeplanttrust.org and I'll try to assist.
  • Question
    Do you know what kind of grass this would be? It was growing in Martin Burns WMA on the side of a gravel road right next to a slope. Thank you!
    Answer
    Dear Nicolas, good morning. The grass you've photographed looks like Schizachyrium scoparium (little bluestem). This is a very common native grass of dry, well-drained soils (such as sandy fields, roadsides, grasslands, etc.). Best wishes.
  • Question
    Good morning, These seeds were found in flower bed containing daylillies, evening primrose and doronicum; not able to identify. Can you help? Thank you.
    Answer
    Dear planttogo, good morning. The seeds look like those from genera such as Lilium (lily) and Iris (iris). These groups frequently have flatted seeds that occur stacked upon one another in each chamber of the capsule. If you have lilies or irises planted nearby, it may be from those. Best wishes.
  • Question
    Hello, Arthur. I think this is Broomsedge Bluestem, going mostly by the plant form and the habitat. I'm sending it to you in part because I don't see it shown as present in Orange County. It's under the power lines in Amesbury Town Forest, and I see other sightings a bit further south under the power lines in INaturalist. Chaffee Monell
    Answer
    Chaffeemonell, please keep me posted with what you learn this growing season so we can update the range maps for this species.
  • Question
    Hello, I found this plant covering a nearby floodplain, which I am strongly inclined to believe is Aegopodium podagraria. However, I am unsure on exactly how to differentiate them from Conioselinum plants, which seem to have a very similar description-- I would consider my identification fine if goutweed were not another plant of the carrot family and a plant I was planning on eating. Would you know of any good ways to differentiate them?
    Answer
    Dear Ijaloś, good morning. It is likely you plant is Aegopodium podagraria (bishop's goutweed). The leaflet shape in Conioselnium is different (and they occupy different habitats). That all written, I don't know where these plants were found (location is extremely useful), so I can't be certain. If you can share with me (generally) what part of the world these plants came from, I could offer more information. Best wishes.
  • Question
    Does Epigaea repens have a relationship with oak trees? Or with any other species in particular?
    Answer
    Dear Thokozile, I can't give you an answer that will be helpful. I see this species associated with an array of trees (and not always oaks), but oaks are common. It clearly is associated with a mycorrhizal fungus, and perhaps there is some relationship through that path (as both do seem to utilize well-drained, coarse, acidic soils that are not always rich in accumulated organic matter). These sterile, acid soils are known to be rich in a variety of heaths (and oaks), so it certainly appears they share adaptations to this substrate. Best wishes.
  • Question
    Hi there, I saw this tiny plant last week on moss-covered rocky outcrops on Mt Toby. The leaves were each about 1 cm long, and most were in a basal rosette like shown. Any ideas? Thanks!
    Answer
    Dear Emily, good morning. I'm not certain who your plant is, but the shape, dentition, and size reminds me of Campanula rotundifolia (round-leaved bellflower), which does produce a rosette of leaves that are very different in shape from the stem leaves (which are longer and very narrow). Perhaps this is a place to start your study. Best wishes.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Question
    Hi, this plant was left behind in a pot by a previous tenant. We don't know exactly what it is, but was told it might be elderberry. Photos are of the leaves and the base of the stem that seems to show it breads under the soil by rhizomes. We are in NYC, but not sure it's a native plant or bought online. Thanks in Advance.
    Answer
    Dear Saleekr, Good afternoon. I don't know who the plant in your photographs is, but I do know it is not any of the species of elderberry that grown in North America. The leaves are twice pinnately compound (those of elderberry are once pinnately compound). I wish I could assist you, but my expertise is wild plants of the northeast. Best wishes.
  • Question
    Hi there, I'm from Middlesex county, and I have seen Ilex opaca in a number of undisturbed forests as well as some forest fragments, however, I see that it is not listed as occurring in Middlesex county on Bonap data. The following individual is from the Hop Brook Natural Area in Framingham, where there are a couple of flowering individuals scattered throughout the red maple swamp, and which is the northernmost population I have found.
    Answer
    Dear Lucian, good afternoon and thank you for the report. These do appear to be Ilex opaca (as you determined). I will edit the county-level distribution map on Go Botany based on your sighting. Thank you again for providing this record.
  • Question
    Greetings, My name is Ruth I am writing to ask if you may recognize a plant that was brought to me from Mexico. I was told I can use it for tea. Please, if you can identify this plant it would be greatly appreciated.
    Answer
    Dear PRTLL52, good morning. There is no image associated with your question. Without one, I won't be able to assist. Mexico is a long way from my region of expertise, but I am happy to examine an image. If you are having trouble uploading an image, feel free to email it to me at ahaines@nativeplanttrust.org and I will try to help.