Fleabanes

Garden Weeds – I was surprised when these “asters” popped up around the garden June 2017 in areas where the soil has been disturbed in the past couple of years. I’ve fought shy of trying to distinguish asters as I know they’re difficult but was curious to see these so early in the summer, thinking of them as late summer or fall flowers. One has a basal rosette which is a bit straggly in this specimen although those leaves are somewhat rounder. Research showed I was correct in thinking of them as early, but wrong about them being asters – these are fleabanes.

I feel reasonably confident that the first one found is Erigeron philadelphicus and not similar spp E. annuus or E. strigosus, because the leaves partly wrap the stems, it is early and the flowers definitely pink. It is made more confusing because Common fleabane is used for both E. philadelphicus and E. annuus. They may also be known as Daisy fleabane….

A few days later I found another, obviously slightly different as much taller,the leaves have quite long stems, otherwise quite similar, both pioneers of recently disturbed ground and am reasonably confident it is Erigeron annuus.

I wonder if any others will appear?

Erigeron philadelphicus
Erigeron annuus

 

Aster – Erigeron philadelphicus

Aster Erigeron philadelphicus

Popped up around the garden June 2017 in areas where the soil has been disturbed in the past couple of years. I’ve fought shy of trying to distinguish asters as I know they’re difficult but was curious to see this one so early in the summer, thinking of them as late summer or fall flowers. It has a basal rosette which is a bit straggly in this specimen although those leaves are somewhat rounder.

I feel reasonably confident that it is E. philadelphicus and not similar spp E. annuus or E. strigosus, because the leaves partly wrap the stems, it is early and the flowers definitely pink. It is made more confusing because Common fleabane is used for both E. philadelphicus and E. annuus. They may also be known as Daisy fleabane …

Wild cucumber root

Wild cucumber root (Medeola virginiana)

Collected in the Arboretum

An eastern North American plant species in the family Liliaceae and the only currently recognized plant species in the genus Medeola. Grows in the understory of forests.and has edible rhizomes with a mild cucumber-like flavor.

Medeola virginiana shoots consist of two tiers of whorled leaves. The lower tier typically bears between five and nine (occasionally up to 12) lance shaped leaves. The upper tier bears three to five ovate leaves. The leaves have an entire (smooth) margin. Some individuals lack a second tier of whorled leaves. The second tier is produced when the plant flowers. When two-tiered, plants grow to 30 in (76 cm) high. The flowers have yellowish green tepals and appear in late spring. The fruit is a dark blue to purple, inedible berry above the top tier of leaves. Shoots arise each spring from an overwintering tuberlike structure. This structure produces a series of horizontal rhizomes at 45 degree angles which produces a clonal colony of plants in an octagonal pattern.

Virginia Waterleaf

Virginia Waterleaf (Hydrophyllum virginianum)

Collected in the Morgan Arboretum

The plant sometimes spreads by rhizomes to form large colonies in wooded areas and can also spread by seeds.. Flowers are blue, white, or purple, appearing in mid to late spring. Flowers exposed to sunlight bleach rapidly. Often the newer leaves are solid green with white spots appearing as they age and later disappearing in early summer. It prefers shade.

Blue form