WILD PLANTS OF EASTERN MASSACHUSETTS: QUESTIONS & ANSWERS
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Plant ID

Here are two better photos. Alternate leaves. I could not find any thorns or prickles. I also think it is a buckthorn except there are no thorns. I don't think it is a crab apple bc it grew so much since last year and apples don't tend to do that. No flowers.

Location: Plymouth
Submitted by Susan n
(2018-05-15T15:19:23.394-07:00)

All uploaded photos (not scaled): [1] [2]

Answer:

Prunus cerasifera (cherry-plum)
Now that I see the leaf teeth and have your comments, I don't think this is common buckthorn. In buckthorn leaves would be mostly opposite, teeth not as prominent, and besides the leaf shape of the large leaf at the front right (tip) does not match. This might be some exotic cherry, such as Prunus cerasifera. It is known to be present in Massachusetts as a naturalized plant or at least a waif.
Irina
(Fri May 18 16:54:25 PDT 2018)


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What is this small tree/ shrub

Location: Plymouth, MA
Submitted by Susan N
(2018-05-15T06:11:26.726-07:00)

All uploaded photos (not scaled): [1] [2]

Answer:

Rhamnus cathartica (common buckthorn)
As the closeup is out of focus and does not show if the leaves are opposite or alternate, I can only guess: in case the margin has tiny teeth all along, then this could be common buckthorn (an invasive small tree from Europe) or perhaps a crabapple sapling. If you could provide a better closeup and also check if there are any prickles, then perhaps we'd have a better chance.
Irina
(Tue May 15 08:43:08 PDT 2018)


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Native?

What are these tiny plants? They are cascading down a dirt road into the preserve.

Location: Eel River Preserve, Plymouth
Submitted by Sandy F
(2018-05-10T08:44:06.766-07:00)

All uploaded photos (not scaled): [1]

Answer:

Viola pedata (birdsfoot violet)
This is my favorite violet. Its leaves are divided into narrow lobes, looking very unusual for a violet, hence the name. It often grows on bare sand, like this, and it can sometimes flower for the second time in the fall (in September). It's certainly native.
Irina
(Thu May 10 16:04:46 PDT 2018)

Viola pedata (birdsfoot violet)
Wonderful! Thank you!
Sandy F
(Thu May 10 20:10:49 PDT 2018)

Viola pedata (birdsfoot violet)
One more striking fact about this violet is that it is very common in Myles Standish SF and generally rather common elsewhere in Plymouth and Plymouth County--and yet try and find it elsewhere in MA! This is almost like it is with Plymouth gentian. It could be named the Plymouth Violet! If choosing a Plymouth town plant were up to me, this would be my suggestion.
Irina
(Fri May 11 05:52:47 PDT 2018)


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Native?

Location: Jaye St., Plymouth
Submitted by Sandy F
(2018-05-10T08:53:28.858-07:00)

All uploaded photos (not scaled): [1] [2]

Answer:

Erigeron sp.
This seems to be one of native fleabanes.
Irina
(Thu May 10 15:52:21 PDT 2018)

Erigeron sp.
Great! I'll move it from the lawn to the garden.
Sandy F
(Thu May 10 20:14:07 PDT 2018)


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Native?

Would you kindly refresh my memory on this distinctive plant?

Location: Jaye St., Plymouth
Submitted by Sandy F
(2018-05-10T09:01:38.435-07:00)

All uploaded photos (not scaled): [1] [2]

Answer:

Polygonatum biflorum (giant Solomon's seal)
Giant Solomon seal is native in western Massachusetts, while in the eastern and central parts it is introduced.
Irina
(Thu May 10 15:59:46 PDT 2018)

Polygonatum biflorum (giant Solomon's seal)
Interesting, thank you!
Sandy F
(Thu May 10 20:11:47 PDT 2018)


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Native?

These ground-hugging plants are everywhere, should I pull them?

Location: Jaye St., Plymouth
Submitted by Sandy F
(2018-05-10T09:06:26.716-07:00)

All uploaded photos (not scaled): [1]

Answer:

Cerastium fontanum ssp. vulgare (common mouse-ear chickweed)
This is another common introduced weed from pink family. Yes, you should pull it.
Irina
(Thu May 10 15:49:38 PDT 2018)


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Native?

Is this wild lettuce or dandelion?

Location: Jaye St., Plymouth
Submitted by Sandy F
(2018-05-10T09:10:06.144-07:00)

All uploaded photos (not scaled): [1]

Answer:

Taraxacum officinale (common dandelion)
I am inclined more toward common dandelion.
Irina
(Thu May 10 15:46:33 PDT 2018)


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Native?

I believe this is a seedling from a non-native shrub I removed last year, what do you think?

Location: Jaye St., Plymouth
Submitted by Sandy F
(2018-05-10T09:12:21.189-07:00)

All uploaded photos (not scaled): [1]

Answer:

Scleranthus annuus (annual knawel)
Introduced weed from pink family with very modest greenish flowers
Irina
(Thu May 10 15:42:14 PDT 2018)


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Is this an alien hawkweed?

Location: Jaye St., Plymouth
Submitted by Sandy F.
(2018-05-08T17:50:18.004-07:00)

All uploaded photos (not scaled): [1] [2] [3]

Answer:

Arabidopsis thaliana (mouse-ear cress)
This is invasive mouse-ear cress; it is a relatively new invader, on the rise in our state. One interesting thing about it is that this is a standard plant for genome studies, the "Drosophila" of botanical research, one of those few plants whose genome has been fully sequenced. See, for example, here: https://genome.cshlp.org/content/15/12/1632.full
Irina
(Wed May 09 05:32:43 PDT 2018)

Arabidopsis thaliana (mouse-ear cress)
Interesting! Fortunately this is very easy to uproot and I'll be able to catch it before it goes to seed.
Sandy F
(Wed May 09 13:16:43 PDT 2018)


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What are these?

Location: Jaye St., Plymouth
Submitted by Sandy F
(2018-05-08T18:37:19.845-07:00)

All uploaded photos (not scaled): [1] [2]

Answer:

Ranunculus repens (creeping buttercup)
These seem to be rosettes of the invasive creeping buttercup, a plant of moist habitats, which can grow right in water producing large clumps in brooks. Yet it can also grow at drier spots then becoming more upright.
Irina
(Wed May 09 05:22:27 PDT 2018)

Ranunculus repens (creeping buttercup)
Thank you, this is so helpful! I will keep battling the invasives; the native plants are so much stronger and more prevelent this year.
Sandy F
(Wed May 09 13:15:18 PDT 2018)


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