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Sunday, July 11, 2010

No More Yellow Mysteries!

tufted loosestrife

Ha! I got it! I just kept getting stuck on those leaves, because they looked like leaves of the water willow, which has a pink blossom. They also resemble loosestrife leaves. But I couldn't find a blossom that was the right fit in the book I use most often.

So I headed for the rest of the stack, looking at pictures, and I finally managed to key it out in the Manual of Aquatic Plants, but Fassett. The fact that it was growing happily in standing water was a key environmental factor, which narrowed the choices considerably.

Of course, I didn't take good pictures of the plant. Actually, I didn't even LOOK at the plant. It was raining, remember. I was just trying to take a quick shot that showed the rain. That made it twice as hard to identify... Ready? (I know... only a few of you really care, but I care!)

The mystery plant is tufted loosestrife, Lysimachia thyrsiflora. It's native to the northern US and Canada- even circumboreal. Julia... it also grows out west, so maybe you know it. Since I'm supposed to be a wetland expert, I'm a little embarrassed that I didn't know this one, but I'd never run across it before. It's supposed to be not uncommon, but it's not even in most of the books that don't concentrate of wetland plants.

OK, I promise something that more of you can identify with for tomorrow.

See Two Yellow Mysteries


betchai said...

i don't think i have ran across this flower before, you just know exactly what to do in searching for the identity of the plant that it took you less than a day to identify it.

VanillaSeven said...

So much dedication for you to took this picture in the rain sharkie :)

AVCr8teur said...

It always amazes me when someone can identify all the flower names or know how to look up the ones they don't know. By the way, I have not heard of "A Hummingbird in My House". Thanks for the suggestion.

RNSANE said...

Was there ever any doubt that you would come up with the name of the mystery plant? I was confidant we wouldn't be kept didn't disappoint!

Lynne said...

For a quick shot, your photo came out very nice!

Pricilla said...

It's very pretty, quick photo or not.
Looks good enough to eat.

Ann said...

I knew you would figure it out. I don't think I've ever seen it before but then I don't go through many wetlands either

spinninglovelydays said...

Impressive! I knew you'd be able to identify it in no time :)

JOE TODD said...

Glad you figured it out. Sometimes I'm not even sure what is growing in my garden LOL

Sharkbytes said...

betchai- Well, I do know how to focus the searching, that is true. That just comes with a bunch of experience.

Vanilla- I just wanted to show how crazy we were, and the plant got caught in the shot! If I'd really noticed the new plant I'd have gotten much wetter!

AVCr8teur- hi! If you can find the book you will really like it.

Carmen- Oh, I still have a few mystery plants in my picture files. Maybe I should do a post with some of them.

Lynne- Thanks, but it's not really in focus. Sort of impressionistic though.

Priscilla- hey! do goats like to wade to eat? Maybe yellow tastes extra good.

Ann- It's all about what grows where you are looking, eh?

Ivy- Thanks for the confidence, but I think I should show you some of my mystery plants.

Hi Joe- Well, yes, there are so many varieties of garden plants that that is another whole level of difficulty.

Julia said...

Hmm. I've never heard of (got in my brain...) that genera. We've got Lythrum all over the place but I've never seen anything close to that. With the bigger pics I can see that the flowers dont even come close to a Brassicaceous plant species though. :)

Good sleuthing on you!

wiseacre said...

I don't remember ever seeing any, not that my memory is a good reference. Going through my field guides lead me astray, the flower 'clusters' are unlike other loosestrifes.

With your ID:
I did find a mention of tufted loosestrife in the Audubon wildflower guide (eastern) but no photo. They will freely hybridize with Swamp Candles (L. terrestris) producing plants with both terminal and axillary flowers. Talk about making an identification tough :)

Sharkbytes said...

Julia- Lysimachia is the other big loosestrife genus. We have quite a few of them here.

Wiseacre- yeah, way too many plants are promiscuous that way. Don't even think about ID'ing odd willows!

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