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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Would there be any interest in botany here? I figured that if there is, it probably belongs in this subforum, athough learning about wild plants is different.

I've been keeping a list of plants as I learn their names. The five I've learned to identify this year aren't scarce or particularly exciting, but since I keep running into them, I figured it would be good to learn their names. My current wildflower guide is "Newcomb's" (I don't have it with me right now); it covers wildflowers in northeastern and north-central United States and nearby Canada.

My Botany professor from back in the 1970s might cringe at this: I'm doing the latin names from memory and might have to come back and edit some of them:

Latin name; Common name; area it's found; botanical family

Agastache scrophulariifolia (Purple Giant Hyssop): Vermont and New York, west to Wisconsion and South dakota, south to NC and Mo; Mint family. (the common name makes me think of the Big Giant Head from "3rd Rock" for some reason)

Acalypha rhomboidea (3-seeded Mercury): Quebec to Minnesota, south to Fla and Texas; Spurge family.

Erigeron canadensis (Horseweed): United States and southern Canada, also tropical America; Composite family Okay- I had this one's name right- sort of. It's recently been re-named Conyza canadensis.

Malva neglecta (Common mallow; cheeses): native to Eurasia and North Africa, now also a weed in North America; mallow family
 

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Oh yes I am interested in botany, though I've made a serious stab at studying it. I've got lots of wild plants on my lot. I just recently learned about which ones are edible.

Any idea what this plant might be? The Monarch butterflies are all over it at the moment.



 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
SomebodyElse, that looks like a type of milkweed, or at least in the milkweed family. Milkweed is somewhat poisonous when it's fully-grown, but Monarch caterpillars eat it and absorb the toxin to protect them from predators who might eat them. It persists in their bodies and affords protection even after they pupate and become butterflies.

I've been letting milkweed grow around my house in the hopes that some monarchs would lay a few eggs, but no luck so far...

2steps, I also use what I know to add more variety to my rabbit's diet.
 

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Thanks Tom. You are right. It is Narrow Leaf Milkweed. I will definitely take care to get it to flourish. It grows along my creek bed, which has dried up now. They don't look like much from a distance, but the flowers are really beautiful. And I love the Monarch butterflies.


 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I went back and listed the areas of the world the plant is found, instead of whether or not it's native to my area.

I also identified a blue-green alga: Oscillatoria. It's more similar to bacteria in its cellular structure than to higher plants, but it's interesting: it slowly glides from the slime it secretes, and the cells form microscopic threads that actually twitch back and forth.
 
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