Your local wild plants

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A thread to talk about wild plants of interest. What’s native, introduced, wildly invasive, etc. that you see in real life.

circles, Sunday, 7 April 2019 18:48 (four months ago) link

I took a walk in the woods yesterday, and the Spring ephemerals were blooming. They haven’t hit their peak yet.

Prairie trout lily, I think

Cutleaf toothwort

Dutchman’s breeches

circles, Sunday, 7 April 2019 18:55 (four months ago) link

I also saw what I think was an American plum blooming. Bees were all over it.

Right now almost any shrub with green leaves is Amur honeysuckle, Lonicera maackii, which is the most invasive plant around here by a huge margin. I think it got planted as an ornamental in postwar subdivisions and took off from there, spreading into just about any wooded area and shading out the understory. Insects don’t eat it, though I think deer will browse it if they don’t have better options.

circles, Sunday, 7 April 2019 19:23 (four months ago) link

I live next to a city park which is located on a steep hillside. It was brutally logged off in the 1880s and was left to fend for itself since then. It is about halfway to healing itself. It has a lot of Douglas firs in the range of 60 to 90 years old, some big leaf maple trees and plenty of invasives alongside natives which re-established. I walk there almost every day.

The park is home to one extremely rare wildflower which has been federally listed as endangered. Its existence is a rather closely held secret, since there are shitheads who would happily destroy it out of hatred for the Endangered Species Act. But my favorite wildflower in the park is the giant purple wakerobin that is tucked off to one side of the trail I walk on, not visible unless you know where to look for it. It ought to be blooming again very soon, but I haven't seen it 'up' yet this year.

A is for (Aimless), Sunday, 7 April 2019 19:36 (four months ago) link

I see lots of Purple Loosestrife in the swampier parts where I walk. It is rather nice looking for a "noxious weed" and I love the name. And it's a nectar provider for bees - so fuck the haters.

calzino, Sunday, 7 April 2019 20:34 (four months ago) link

this past week i learned that the definition of a weed is "a plant that is out of place" which sounds innocuous enough, but invasive species have the ability to really wreak havoc on ecosystems

The immortal Hydra Viridisimma (outdoor_miner), Sunday, 7 April 2019 21:15 (four months ago) link

Prairie trout lily

Cutleaf toothwort

Dutchman’s breeches

these are all made up, right?

an incoherent crustacean (MatthewK), Sunday, 7 April 2019 21:50 (four months ago) link

I mean, someone at some point made them up.

circles, Sunday, 7 April 2019 21:56 (four months ago) link

Trout lilies are also called fawn lilies if you like that made-up name better.

circles, Sunday, 7 April 2019 22:00 (four months ago) link

I love how crazy the folk names for plants can be - here in Tasmania we have running postman, horizontal scrub, blackheart sassafras, filmy fern, guitar plant, biddy-widdy, she-oak, spreading sneezeweed, woolly tea-tree ...
(NB not made-up! for many more)

an incoherent crustacean (MatthewK), Sunday, 7 April 2019 22:11 (four months ago) link

"miner's lettuce" i.e. oxalis(?)
poison hemlock

Emperor Tonetta Ketchup (sleeve), Sunday, 7 April 2019 22:19 (four months ago) link

lol, there are sneezeweeds in North America too, but they're in a different genus it looks like.

circles, Sunday, 7 April 2019 22:27 (four months ago) link

Its existence is a rather closely held secret, since there are shitheads who would happily destroy it out of hatred for the Endangered Species Act.

Different dynamic, but I heard secondhand about a botanist in New Jersey who studied rare native orchid species and had to keep their location secret to prevent their getting stolen by crazy orchid people.

circles, Sunday, 7 April 2019 22:39 (four months ago) link

one month passes...

i saw some seedlings with interesting looking leaves last week and only later realized that they were definitely giant ragweed, lol. which is a native plant that is host to a whole suite of insects and provides food for other animals! just not great for people with pollen allergies. maybe two years ago there was a stand of it outside a window that i watched grow all summer long, and then one day in the fall a couple squirrels came and went nuts eating the seeds for a few hours.

circles, Tuesday, 14 May 2019 02:02 (three months ago) link

California has dudleya thieves, who harvest hundreds of the plants and ship them to Asia, where they sell for $40 or more each. When people on my facebook California native plant group posts pictures they're asked not to identify the location.

nickn, Tuesday, 14 May 2019 05:00 (three months ago) link

these are all made up, right?

PLants have all sorts of hilare older names like "pissabed" is a great one (the weed in question is a diuretic)

Stoop Crone (Trayce), Wednesday, 15 May 2019 03:58 (three months ago) link

I decided a couple of years ago while examining the plethora of different weed species in my yard that if there was a noxious weed called "toddlerbane" it would have to be lurking somewhere in there.

A is for (Aimless), Wednesday, 15 May 2019 04:09 (three months ago) link

my mother used to pick dandelions for salads when they were tender before they flowered, they were delicious

dudleyas can't be that prized can they? I see them everywhere in SF, aren't they easy to propagate? maybe there are some rare species

Dan S, Wednesday, 15 May 2019 04:33 (three months ago) link

I've never been able to propagate mine, and they do seem to be slow-growing.

nickn, Wednesday, 15 May 2019 05:04 (three months ago) link

one month passes...

all the elderberries blooming now convinced me to try some of the ikea elderflower drink, which was decent. i guess people don't agree whether sambucus canadensis is a subspecies of sambucus nigra or not, but it's kind of interesting that they're so common in both north america and europe.

circles, Saturday, 15 June 2019 22:33 (two months ago) link

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