WILD PLANTS OF EASTERN MASSACHUSETTS: QUESTIONS & ANSWERS
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Q. stellata

Location: 204 Long Pond Rd Plymouth
Submitted by Tim Simmons
(2017-09-21T09:53:55.84-07:00)

All uploaded photos (scaled): [1]

Answer:

Quercus stellata (post oak)
This would be a cool find! Did other leaves also look like it? Did it have stellate hairs on twigs and leaves?
Irina
(Thu Sep 21 12:38:14 PDT 2017)


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What is the name of this please?

Location: Springfield Ma
Submitted by Thomas
(2017-09-18T11:27:19.162-07:00)

All uploaded photos (scaled): [1] [2]

Answer:

Prunus sp.
I think this must be a non-native cherry. Hard for me to tell more precisely just by looking at the leaves.
Irina
(Tue Sep 19 11:18:05 PDT 2017)


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A Bush-clover or sweet clover

This looks something like Lespedeza virginica to me, but pics I find on line are more colorful

Location: Mashpee MA
Submitted by Doug Roberson
(2017-09-15T04:53:37.311-07:00)

All uploaded photos (scaled): [1]

Answer:

Lespedeza cuneata
This is Chinese bush-clover. It is taller than native bush-clovers, with a stout stem. It looks like it was deliberately introduced to conservation areas and MSSF, perhaps as a forage plant.
Irina
(Fri Sep 15 05:46:27 PDT 2017)


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Oak ID

I was out of my range of on this family vacation. I saw Willow Oaks and Paw-Paw trees, plus very cool wild sycamores, but this oak I'm looking for some help with.

Location: Potomac River, VA
Submitted by Neef
(2017-09-12T14:19:07.218-07:00)

All uploaded photos (scaled): [1] [2] [3] [4]

Answer:

Quercus margarettae
There are no acorns, and one leaf is not enough (other leaves are not quite in focus). This oak looks much like post oak, Quercus stellata , which is familiar to us here in MA, as it grows on the Cape. There, in VA it must be quite widespread. It has distinctive leaves shaped like Maltese cross, and some of those (with some imagination:) can be spotted in the crown. But actually the single leaf in the close-up looks even more like that of Q. margarettae, sand post oak. A while ago this one used to be counted a variety of Quercus stellata. This is an oak of disturbed poor sites, and those "Maltese crosses" are not really pronounced in its leaves.
Irina
(Tue Sep 12 16:05:14 PDT 2017)


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What is this plant? Name?

Thank you.

Location: Andover, MA
Submitted by Lisa Fortune Creeden
(2017-09-12T07:13:27.602-07:00)

All uploaded photos (scaled): [1]

Answer:

Verbena urticifolia
White vervain
Irina
(Tue Sep 12 15:17:49 PDT 2017)


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Is this a black or Norway spruce?

It may have been planted by the developer in the early 70's.

Location: Jaye St., Plymouth
Submitted by Sandy F.
(2017-09-08T16:57:57.849-07:00)

All uploaded photos (scaled): [1] [2] [3]

Answer:

Picea glauca
Youngest branches seem not to have any pubescence, they are shiny, their color pinkish/orangish, which excludes both black and red spruce with their pubescent, yellowish branches and shorter needles in black spruce. This leaves us with a choice between Norway and white spruce. This spruce seems to be old enough to develop pendulous branches in case it were Norway. It does not have any hanging down. It's hard to decide without looking at live tree if the foliage is glaucous (has bluish bloom). In that case this could be white spruce. Otherwise, this could be Norway with delayed formation of pendulous crown. Of course the cones would be very helpful, but apparently there are none. This also makes me think this isn't Norway, because any Norway spruce would have already started producing abundant cones when growing as a solitary tree in full light.
Irina
(Fri Sep 08 18:20:27 PDT 2017)

Picea glauca
Check the ground for cones that may be still present from last year or before. If they modestly sized (like maybe your thumb) and delicate then it's a White Spruce. If they are hard as a rock and possibly as big as your hand it's a Norway. I'm 99% sure it's a White Spruce though. These trees are great on cul-de-sacs because they are low maintenance and attractive. Plant 'em and forget 'em.
Neef
(Sat Sep 09 14:10:09 PDT 2017)

Picea glauca
The cones were raked away in spring, but I found one that could be from that tree and matches Neef's description! And a bluish-white coating on the needles. Thank you both!
Sandy F.
(Mon Sep 11 18:36:18 PDT 2017)


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Is it possible to ID this while still so small?

Location: Jaye St., Plymouth
Submitted by Sandy F.
(2017-09-01T07:53:31.505-07:00)

All uploaded photos (scaled): [1]

Answer:

Prunus serotina
Looks like a little black cherry to me. If you look at the leaf underside, you will see some "woolly" pubescence along a part of the midrib. That's in case this is a black cherry.
Irina
(Fri Sep 01 12:35:36 PDT 2017)

Prunus serotina
There is no wooly pubescence. The midribs are smooth, narrow and white, and the leaf undersides are lighter in color than the tops.
Sandy F.
(Fri Sep 08 16:04:48 PDT 2017)

Prunus serotina
Then it must be some other cherry. I am afraid you will have to wait until it gets a little older.
Irina
(Sat Sep 09 15:52:51 PDT 2017)


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New England Aster?

Might be New York not New England Aster. I'm trying to learn the difference between the two.

Location: Three Corner Pond, MSSF
Submitted by Neef
(2017-09-09T08:39:25.304-07:00)

All uploaded photos (scaled): [1]

Answer:

Eurybia spectabilis
This is neither of the two. New England aster is very tall, with pink-purple flowers; it does not occur in MSSF. New York is a wetland aster; in MSSF it can be found around ponds. The common aster in dry habitats in MSSF is showy aster, and that's what I believe this is. If you want a check, you should observe the green bracts underneath the flower head (they are very important for ID of any plant in aster family). In showy aster they are dotted with tiny glands.
Irina
(Sat Sep 09 10:53:18 PDT 2017)


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Purple Scrub ID

This seemed to be a common shrub in bloom last week. My pic doesn't do justice as there is no scale, but it was about 4 feet tall, maybe.

Location: MSSF Roadside
Submitted by Neef
(2017-09-09T08:42:02.785-07:00)

All uploaded photos (scaled): [1]

Answer:

Lespedeza thunbergii ssp. formosa
Japanese lespedeza once introduced to MSSF as a forage plant and now taking over open habitats and diminishing space available to native plants. This is a locally invasive plant, the problem specific to just MSSF.
Irina
(Sat Sep 09 10:46:17 PDT 2017)


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What do you think?

I found this beneath some invasive species. Some of the leaves have a point on one side. I don't know if it's a shrub or sapling.

Location: Jaye St., Plymouth
Submitted by Sandy F.
(2017-09-04T17:29:37.341-07:00)

All uploaded photos (scaled): [1] [2]

Answer:

Toxicodendron radicans
Poison ivy, be careful! I like to call it a useful native plant that protects other plants from us, humans;) But I'd try not to let it take root in my backyard. Best not touch it but sprinkle the leaves with Roundup.
Irina
(Mon Sep 04 17:54:49 PDT 2017)

Toxicodendron radicans
I have to laugh at myself over this one! I'd never seen one so big and woody, with berries. I should have known: leaves of three, let it be!
Sandy F.
(Mon Sep 04 19:01:48 PDT 2017)

Toxicodendron radicans
One unusual thing about your plant is that you said it was under some other plants. As any decent woody liana, poison ivy usually takes itself up to the full light before it produces flowers and fruits.
Irina
(Tue Sep 05 04:29:15 PDT 2017)

Toxicodendron radicans
I found it after pulling away a blanket of Oriental Bittersweet and what may be Virginia Creeper. Perhaps it had been poking up through them.
Sandy F.
(Fri Sep 08 16:16:00 PDT 2017)


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