WILD PLANTS OF EASTERN MASSACHUSETTS: QUESTIONS & ANSWERS
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What is this? It seems to like disturbed areas

Location: Jaye St., Plymouth
Submitted by Sandy F.
(2017-08-13T17:41:12.931-07:00)

All uploaded photos (scaled): [1]

Answer:

Polygonum persicaria
This is lady's thumb, an aggressive plant from Eurasia. Its more recent Latin name is Persicaria maculosa. "Maculosa" means "with a spot"--a reference to the large dark spot on every leaf, which is shaped as if someone has marked the leaf with his thumb, or rather her thumb, as it's supposed to be a lady:) There are many Persicaria species in MA, some of them native, others not. The native ones grow in wetlands.
Irina
(Mon Aug 14 04:37:01 PDT 2017)

Polygonum persicaria
Thank you; I have removed it and will pass the word along. :)
Sandy F.
(Wed Aug 16 19:51:06 PDT 2017)


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What is this non- descript shrub? I don't remember it blooming so far this year

Location: Jaye St., Plymouth
Submitted by Sandy F.
(2017-08-13T17:51:48.336-07:00)

All uploaded photos (scaled): [1]

Answer:

Elaeagnus umbellata
This is an invasive shrub, autumn olive.
Irina
(Mon Aug 14 04:19:30 PDT 2017)

Elaeagnus umbellata
Thank you, I will pull it.
Sandy F.
(Mon Aug 14 18:01:55 PDT 2017)


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what kind of wild flower

Location: Sharon,MA
Submitted by Karen
(2017-08-13T18:09:49.377-07:00)

All uploaded photos (scaled): [1]

Answer:

Linaria vulgaris
Another intruder from Europe, and a rather aggressive one, called butter-and-eggs
Irina
(Mon Aug 14 04:15:35 PDT 2017)


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What is it & is it native?

Location: Uplands, Jaye St, Plymouth
Submitted by Sandy F.
(2017-08-12T13:37:01.841-07:00)

All uploaded photos (scaled): [1]

Answer:

Lepidium sp.
This is a pepperweed, and I cannot tell if it's native, because more detail is needed to identify it to species. Among pepperweeds there are native and introduced ones. The tallest plant whose top reaches the upper left corner of the frame seems to be the native Canada toadflax (Nuttallanthus canadensis).
Irina
(Sat Aug 12 14:23:23 PDT 2017)

Lepidium sp.
Thank you. I will get some better photos. Thanks
Sandy F.
(Sun Aug 13 17:32:26 PDT 2017)


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Is this an American Mountain-ash? Does it out-compete pine barrens species?

Location: Uplands, Jaye St, Plymouth
Submitted by Sandy F.
(2017-08-12T13:55:26.05-07:00)

All uploaded photos (scaled): [1]

Answer:

Sorbus aucuparia
Yes, this is a mountain-ash, but the introduced European species. The American has become a rarity and seems to be completely absent from our part of the state. The European mountain ash occurs here and there not infrequently, though it does not seem to be that aggressive--at least not so far. You never know with alien plants when they accumulate enough biomass to start misbehaving.
Irina
(Sat Aug 12 14:12:46 PDT 2017)

Sorbus aucuparia
Thanks for your help :)
Sandy F.
(Sun Aug 13 17:30:40 PDT 2017)


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Which Salix?

I have never gotten a good ID on this common species of what I think is a willow species. It always grows in swampy soil and looks consistently "dirty".

Location: Lake Pankapoag, Canton
Submitted by Neef
(2017-08-12T10:16:44.274-07:00)

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

Answer:

Salix atrocinerea
Yes, this is a willow, an invasive one, originating from W Europe, called rusty willow. Unfortunately, it is now much more widespread in eastern MA than any native willow. Your photographs leave no doubt in its identity, and the one showing the bark is especially telling: none of the native willows have this kind of wavy (fluted), light-colored bark without cracks. You can identify this willow by the bark even in winter! (Only don't confuse it with the native shrubs/trees that also have fluted bark--hornbeam and smooth alder.) And I like your remark that it looks dirty: the leaves are in fact dirty-grayish-green and sometimes "rusty" on the underside with reddish hairs, hence the common name.
Irina
(Sat Aug 12 14:05:08 PDT 2017)

Salix atrocinerea
Finally, a definitive ID! Thank you! These trees are all over my favorite place to bird: Cumberland Farms Fields in Halifax. I was pretty sure they were invasive as they love disturbed soils and their neighbors are the dreaded Rosa Multi-Flora and Autumn Olive.
Neef
(Sat Aug 12 19:22:57 PDT 2017)

Salix atrocinerea
Interestingly, the rampant advancement of this willow went on for about a century completely unnoticed by botanists, as it was taken for a native (either Bebb's, Salix bebbiana or American pussy willow, S. discolor). It was only discovered less than 20 years ago. Now, when it has taken over so many ponds and other habitats, an effort has been made to clean at least some more valuable ponds. The problem is that it may have "swallowed" some native willows by hybridizing with them and forming an invasive complex involving these hybrids and back-crosses.
Irina
(Sun Aug 13 05:39:40 PDT 2017)


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Is this Dwarf Chinkapin Oak?

Shrub

Location: Uplands, Jaye St, Plymouth
Submitted by Sandy F.
(2017-08-12T13:40:18.454-07:00)

All uploaded photos (scaled): [1]

Answer:

Quercus prinoides
Yes, it is; it's also called dwarf chestnut oak--a counterpart of scrub oak from the white-oak group. A pretty shrub, isn't it?
irina
(Sat Aug 12 14:16:09 PDT 2017)


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What is it?

Location: Cherry Pond, MSSF
Submitted by Frank Werny
(2017-08-10T10:50:03.368-07:00)

All uploaded photos (scaled): [1]

Answer:

Spiraea tomentosa
This is steeplebush, one of the two native spireas (the other one has white flowers).
Irina
(Fri Aug 11 04:06:48 PDT 2017)


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White Flower ID With Beetle

Extra points for the insect. :)

Location: Blue Hills Ski Area
Submitted by Neef
(2017-08-06T16:52:16.796-07:00)

All uploaded photos (scaled): [1]

Answer:

Sericocarpus linifolius
Narrow-leaved white-topped aster (what a clumsy name! I 'd rather stick with the Latin name). I have to pass on the beetle, maybe someone else could comment.
Irina
(Sun Aug 06 18:04:21 PDT 2017)

Sericocarpus linifolius
That is a terrible name! lol Thanks! Typocerus velutinus: Flower Longhorn Beetle
Neef
(Mon Aug 07 11:10:17 PDT 2017)


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NOT Sweetwilliam Catchfly?

I thought I had this IDed correctly, but upon closer inspection the edges of the petioles don't seem broad enough to match, plus every pic I see of SW Catchfly shows them in bunches - not a singular flower.

Location: Blue Hills Ski Slope
Submitted by Neef
(2017-08-06T16:48:30.215-07:00)

All uploaded photos (scaled): [1]

Answer:

Dianthus armeria
Debtford pink (not sweetwilliam catchfly)
Irina
(Sun Aug 06 18:01:45 PDT 2017)


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