WILD PLANTS OF EASTERN MASSACHUSETTS: QUESTIONS & ANSWERS
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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 (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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What kind of oak?

The leaves look rounded and almost cross-shaped from a distance, but have tiny teeth. I've looked at many ID sites with no success!

Location: Jaye St., Plymouth
Submitted by Sandy F.
(2017-10-14T08:26:21.835-07:00)

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

Answer:

Quercus velutina (black oak)
I think this is another black oak. If you look closely, you can see bristles at the ends of lobes (those more intact), which means it does not belong to white oaks, the group with rounded lobes. As the color of the leaves and their shiny surface match the description of black oak. Such less lobed leaves are rather common in small, young black oaks. Yes, I agree, this is quite confusing, but black oak can produce very variable leaves.
Irina
(Sat Oct 14 17:54:28 PDT 2017)

Quercus velutina (black oak)
I should have said tiny bristles, not teeth. I think I have the difference down now.
Sandy F.
(Sun Oct 29 15:08:07 PDT 2017)


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What is this exquisite little beauty?

Location: Upland near Town Brook, Plymouth, MA
Submitted by Sandy F.
(2017-10-28T19:47:16.932-07:00)

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

Answer:

Aster lateriflorus (calico aster)
Symphyotrichum lateriflorum is a more current Latin synonym for Calico aster. Each of the central tiny flowers in each "dasy" has relatively large lobes and turns purple after the pollination (they are yellow at the beginning).
Irina
(Sun Oct 29 12:52:16 PDT 2017)


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Is this some sort of rose?

The third photo has a random leaf used to highlight some thorns.

Location: Jaye St., Plymouth
Submitted by Sandy F.
(2017-10-27T19:39:40.423-07:00)

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

Answer:

Rosa multiflora (multiflora rose)
This is the invasive Japanese rose. You identify it by looking at the stipules on the leaf petiole: they have conspicuous "teeth"--outgrowths along margins. What you call "a random leaf" is actually only a leaflet, a part of a compound leaf consisting of 7 leaflets. This compound leaf is attached to the stem with a stalk--a petiole. So look along the stalk connecting the entire compound leaf with the stem.
Irina
(Sat Oct 28 05:33:34 PDT 2017)

Rosa multiflora (multiflora rose)
Its very bad reputation precedes it! Glad to know how to identify it, thank you. Can't imagine how you knew that was a leaflet without seeing the plant it cane from. I'll have to start bringing along something better to use as a back drop.
Sandy F.
(Sat Oct 28 15:46:02 PDT 2017)


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What is it?

It seems to be slow-growing.

Location: Jaye St., Plymouth
Submitted by Sandy F.
(2017-10-23T19:57:43.188-07:00)

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

Answer:

Aralia nudicaulis (wild sarsaparilla)
Wild sarsaparilla (this is a single compound leaf connected with other leaves with a woody prostrate stem)
Irina
(Tue Oct 24 04:51:58 PDT 2017)

Aralia nudicaulis (wild sarsaparilla)
Great, thank you! Hoping to see more native plants every year as invasive ones are removed.
Sandy F.
(Tue Oct 24 09:08:12 PDT 2017)

Aralia nudicaulis (wild sarsaparilla)
I wish everyone scrutinized their backyards just like you! The natural situation in towns then could be so much healthier!
Irina
(Tue Oct 24 12:52:10 PDT 2017)


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What is this?

The underside is glossier that the top side

Location: Jaye St., Plymouth
Submitted by Sandy F.
(2017-10-23T19:17:25.382-07:00)

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

Answer:

Quercus velutina (black oak)
Seems to be black oak.
Irina
(Tue Oct 24 04:47:06 PDT 2017)

Quercus velutina (black oak)
Really! I will save this little guy, amazing to have such apparent diversity within species.
Sandy F.
(Tue Oct 24 09:11:35 PDT 2017)


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What is it? Can it be saved?

A previous resident evidently cut it down. Assuming it is native, any suggestions on how to help it regrow?

Location: Jaye St., Plymouth
Submitted by Sandy F.
(2017-10-23T19:48:43.529-07:00)

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

Answer:

Quercus bicolor (swamp white oak)
Swamp white oak. Just let it grow for a couple years, and then leave the best formed, straight stem and prune the rest.
Irina
(Tue Oct 24 04:57:34 PDT 2017)

Quercus bicolor (swamp white oak)
Thanks, I will take goodcare of it!
Sandy F.
(Tue Oct 24 07:33:19 PDT 2017)


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Which oak?

The leaves are whitish on the underside, and the plant has several branches coming from the ground and no central trunk.

Location: Jaye St., Plymouth
Submitted by Sandy F.
(2017-10-22T06:46:14.235-07:00)

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

Answer:

Quercus ilicifolia (scrub oak, bear oak)
Your description and photos match scrub oak. Notice there are only 2 lobes on each side of leaf blade--less than in tree oaks.
Irina
(Sun Oct 22 08:05:50 PDT 2017)

Quercus ilicifolia (scrub oak, bear oak)
Neat! Thank you
Sandy F.
(Sun Oct 22 18:43:16 PDT 2017)


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Black tupelo?

Takes today's prize for vibrant foliage

Location: ~5 yds from North River, Norris Res., Norwell, MA
Submitted by Sandy F.
(2017-10-16T17:47:53.986-07:00)

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

Answer:

Nyssa sylvatica (tupelo, black gum)
Entry repaired. It seems as though the apostrophe on your keyboard is not the same as the one at this page and corrupts it. Tue Oct 17 03:10
admin
(Mon Oct 16 17:53:43 PDT 2017)

Nyssa sylvatica (tupelo, black gum)
Yes, that's tupelo.
Irina
(Tue Oct 17 03:20:43 PDT 2017)

Nyssa sylvatica (tupelo, black gum)
Oh, dear! I will try to remember not to use any contractions. Thank you again for your help.
Sandy F.
(Tue Oct 17 06:08:22 PDT 2017)


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Which tree?

Sorry the fruit are out of focus. The closest match I can find is yellow birch, but I'm not convinced.

Location: Norris Reservation, Norwell, MA
Submitted by Sandy F.
(2017-10-16T17:19:35.92-07:00)

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

Answer:

Betula alleghaniensis (yellow birch)
Yes, that's yellow birch.
Irina
(Tue Oct 17 03:15:46 PDT 2017)


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