WILD PLANTS OF EASTERN MASSACHUSETTS: QUESTIONS & ANSWERS
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Wild or Escaped?

Are these just balloon flours that escaped or is this something else? This was in an undergrowth area on the edge of a yard.

Location: Brattleboro, VT
Submitted by Neef
(2017-11-10T06:01:16.096-08:00)

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

Answer:

Campanula persicifolia (willow bellflower)
Peach-leaved or willow bellflower
Irina
(Fri Nov 10 09:59:46 PST 2017)


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Cool Yard Tree

This tree I saw a month ago had very course leaves, alternately arranged. I know what this is but I can't remember. I'm hoping the closeup of the seeds give it away.

Location: Brattleboro, VT
Submitted by Neef
(2017-11-10T06:06:35.478-08:00)

All uploaded photos (not scaled): [1] [2] [3] [4] [5]

Answer:

Hamamelis vernalis (Ozark witchhazel)
Ozark witch-hazel with flower buds
Irina
(Fri Nov 10 09:54:26 PST 2017)


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Which Aster?

This was a long a path by the CT river.

Location: Brattleboro, VT
Submitted by Neef
(2017-11-10T06:14:06.095-08:00)

All uploaded photos (not scaled): [1]

Answer:

Eurybia divaricata
White wood aster
Irina
(Fri Nov 10 09:50:10 PST 2017)


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Which oak?

Location: Jaye St., Plymouth
Submitted by Sandy F.
(2017-11-07T17:02:37.263-08:00)

All uploaded photos (not scaled): [1] [2] [3] [4]

Answer:

Quercus x jackiana
This seems to be a hybrid oak, most probably white oak x swamp white. Very interesting!
Irina
(Tue Nov 07 18:12:34 PST 2017)

Quercus x jackiana
To me as well! Strangely, it appears that none of the mature oaks here have acorns this year; even if they fruit only every three years, is that common?
Sandy
(Tue Nov 07 18:52:41 PST 2017)

Quercus x jackiana
I've seen a huge crop of red oak acorns this year, but that was in western Mass. I am not sure that mast years would occur in both red and white oaks and across the entire state at the same time. Maybe this is not a productive year for our oaks here. There is a big crop of Turkey oak (Q. cerris) at World's End in Hingham this year, but that's an introduced one, and I doubt it obliges to the schedule for the American oaks.
Irina
(Wed Nov 08 16:37:45 PST 2017)


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Is this invasive?

Location: Jaye St., Plymouth
Submitted by Sandy F.
(2017-11-07T17:21:49.904-08:00)

All uploaded photos (not scaled): [1]

Answer:

Vinca minor (periwinkle)
This is an evergreen European subshrub. It will spread (has been in use as a groundcover).
Irina
(Tue Nov 07 17:48:04 PST 2017)

Vinca minor (periwinkle)
Thank you. I will pull it and do my best to keep it from returning from the other side of the fence.
Sandy
(Tue Nov 07 18:46:10 PST 2017)


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Is this a different type of goldenrod?

Location: Jaye St., Plymouth
Submitted by Sandy F.
(2017-11-07T17:37:58.123-08:00)

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

Answer:

Solidago ulmifolia (elm-leaf goldenrod)
Yes, this is some goldenrod. There are about 20 different goldenrods in eastern Massachusetts, and their identification is a delicate process. The general views don't provide enough detail, so elmleaf goldenrod is only a guess.
irina
(Tue Nov 07 18:14:51 PST 2017)


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Is this an Eastern White Oak?

Location: Jaye St., Plymouth
Submitted by Sandy F.
(2017-11-04T14:06:43.19-07:00)

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

Answer:

Quercus alba (white oak)
Yes, it is.
Irina
(Sat Nov 04 15:01:08 PDT 2017)

Quercus alba (white oak)
Thanks for all your help :)
Sandy
(Sun Nov 05 06:18:03 PST 2017)


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Is this invasive?

These just started popping up.

Location: Jaye St., Plymouth
Submitted by Sandy F.
(2017-10-29T16:06:45.441-07:00)

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

Answer:

Cardamine hirsuta (hairy rock-cress, hoary bittercress)
This looks like that relatively new invasive, hairy bittercress--not yet officially black-listed, though quite nasty. In one of your photos, there are visible hairs on the petiole of each compound leaf, in their lower parts. This character gave this plant its name: "hirsuta" means having coarse stiff hairs. Yet, except for leaf petioles, there are no hairs. These rosettes may overwinter green and flower the next spring.
Irina
(Sun Oct 29 16:30:49 PDT 2017)


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Strange Northern red oak?

The largest leaves are bowed and crinkled like smocking, and the undersides are very hairy. Could it be a hybrid?

Location: Jaye St., Plymouth
Submitted by Sandy F.
(2017-10-29T15:54:27.91-07:00)

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

Answer:

Quercus bicolor (swamp white oak)
That's a sapling of swamp white oak. Lobes don't have stiff bristles at tips (instead there are only short and blunt points), so this cannot be a red oak. Also, red oak would be more deeply cut, and here the margin is only wavy. The largest leaves may have been damaged when still in bud. Leaves on mature swamp white oak are of two contrasting colors and textures on either side, hence the name "bicolor," but in young plants this contrast is not yet pronounced. The underside is already hairy, but not yet bright white.
Irina
(Sun Oct 29 16:15:08 PDT 2017)


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Is this Staghorn Sumac?

There is no seed head, could it have been eaten off or is this a different plant?

Location: Near Town Brook, Plymouth
Submitted by Sandy F.
(2017-10-28T18:41:06.519-07:00)

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

Answer:

Rhus typhina (staghorn sumac)
Yes, that is staghorn sumac. Must be a male plant, that's why there is no fruit. This sumac has separate male and female plants (dioecious).
Irina
(Sun Oct 29 12:44:29 PDT 2017)

Rhus typhina (staghorn sumac)
Ah! I've heard that American holly won't thrive unless there are both male and female in the area; is this true, and does the same hold for sumac?
Sandy F.
(Sun Oct 29 15:11:52 PDT 2017)

Rhus typhina (staghorn sumac)
Yes, that's true, although in natural populations of dioecious plants there are always both sexes present, so this remark probably referred to plantings.
Irina
(Sun Oct 29 16:01:09 PDT 2017)


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