WILD PLANTS OF EASTERN MASSACHUSETTS: QUESTIONS & ANSWERS
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Which oak?

Every time I think I have a positive ID, I get to a characteristic that disqualifies it. Time for the expert!

Location: Jaye St., Plymouth
Submitted by Sandy F.
(2017-10-14T09:41:37.33-07:00)

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

Answer:

Quercus velutina (black oak)
Sandy, I believe this is black oak, because the leaves are shiny, dark green, yellowish on the underside, and the widest close to the apex. Do you see anything that speaks against Q. velutina?
Irina
(Sat Oct 14 18:01:08 PDT 2017)

Quercus velutina (black oak)
The USFS guide's description of pin oak buds seemed a better fit - ovoid with pointed apex and chestnut-brown scales. But other aspects of the pin oak didn't match. And the leaves look broader to me than either, though I don't know how much natural variation there is within species. Thank you for your help!
Sandy F.
(Sat Oct 14 22:33:56 PDT 2017)

Quercus velutina (black oak)
If this is a large tree, pin oak can be identified by its bark with only narrow cracks on the generally smooth gray surface and a beard of down-pointing branches at the lower trunk. These leaves do not appear to belong to pin oak. Pin oak is not native in eastern MA; it often spreads from plantings.
I
(Sun Oct 15 06:30:27 PDT 2017)


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Autumn Aster ID

This was everywhere a week ago in a disturbed farm field. This isn't more Fleabane, is it?

Location: Cumberland Farms Fields, Middleboro
Submitted by Neef
(2017-10-08T13:38:50.344-07:00)

All uploaded photos (scaled): [1]

Answer:

Aster pilosus (white oldfield aster)
This aster is called hairy white oldfield aster(fleabanes are gone by now). Its current Latin name is Symphyotrichum pilosum.
Irina
(Sun Oct 08 15:37:20 PDT 2017)

Aster pilosus (white oldfield aster)
Thank you for both IDs.
Neef
(Mon Oct 09 16:12:26 PDT 2017)


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Fall Flower ID

A had to search for anything unusual last week and this was what I came up with.

Location: Cumberland Farms Fields, Middleboro
Submitted by Neef
(2017-10-08T13:40:35.569-07:00)

All uploaded photos (scaled): [1]

Answer:

Chamaecrista nictitans (wild sensitive plant)
This plant is now on the rise, as it is included in seed mixes as a "native." However, it occurs only in places where those mixes have been applied and never in more natural situations.
Irina
(Sun Oct 08 15:35:26 PDT 2017)


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New England Aster (2nd Try)?

This was a tall plant on a walking path by a pond. It was more radiant than the photograph suggests - a real beauty.

Location: Mansfield, MA
Submitted by Neef
(2017-09-23T10:49:34.462-07:00)

All uploaded photos (scaled): [1]

Answer:

Aster novae-angliae (New England aster)
Yes, that's New England aster, whose more recent name is Symphyotrichum novae-angliae.
Irina
(Sat Sep 23 14:42:33 PDT 2017)

Aster novae-angliae (New England aster)
Thanks for both answers. I tried to fix the sideways pic but I think it's locked after someone responds.
Neef
(Sun Sep 24 06:47:33 PDT 2017)


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Goat's Beard?

I don't see bracts, but I must be close with this dandelion look-alike.

Location: East Bridgewater
Submitted by Neef
(2017-09-23T10:56:53.911-07:00)

All uploaded photos (scaled): [1]

Answer:

Hypochaeris radicata (hairy cat's-ear)
It could be a few different things. If the leaves were hairy, then that must have been the invasive cat's ear.
Irina
(Sat Sep 23 14:40:42 PDT 2017)


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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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