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Saturday, July 10, 2010

Two Yellow Mysteries


On the final two days of this hike, we saw two yellow flowers that were new to me. I've managed to identify the one above, but not the other one. Successes first! What kind of flower do you think this looks like?

Did you think of a hawkweed (often called Indian paintbrush in the east)? Maybe you thought of a small dandelion. Well, either of those would have been good guesses, because they are all relatives, in the Compositae or Asteraceae family. But look how tall it grows.


Wow... this was about 4 feet tall! I thought that it looked like something from the "wild lettuce" group, but the leaves weren't as toothed as I would have expected for that. Here come the leaves, but they were the reason I had so much trouble identifying this.


Plants often forget to read the field guide. Most of these don't look like they are supposed to, but I found a few that went to field guide school.


The ones with "nipples" are outlined in red. But most of them were like the ones outlined in yellow... no nipples. Notice that the leaf grows down the stalk, making it winged. Can you find another leaf with nipples?

It's Nipplewort, Lapsana communis, alien... native to Europe.

OK... we got that one. But here's a picture I took in the rain. The camera didn't really focus on anything, and I was paying more attention to the rain than to the flowers. Later, at home, I said, "What IS that plant?"

yellow flowers in rain

The simple answer is... I don't know. I've been hunting through my books... so far I haven't found anything with this combination of leaves and flowers that will grow in standing water. Dang, I hate being beaten by a plant. I'll have to keep hunting.


RNSANE said...

You'll figure out the mystery plant/flower....I know you're a terrific sleuth. You must have a gazillion books on plants, footprints, trees, etc. Nothing will elude you.

Ann said...

I have no idea what it is but I'm betting you will figure it out.

Josh said...

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Auntie E said...

I think it looks like some sort of Swamp Milkweed. Although the yellow throws me off. I've seen it in White and Purple. Maybe the yellow is a new variety. The leaves look like the Milkweed. Were they sticky?

Dennis the Vizsla said...

Beaten by a plant ... that's just how Seymour Krelborn felt!

betchai said...

i thought at first of a dandelion too, but after seeing the height, i did not see any dandelion that tall. the other one i could not identify as well, over here, there are many alien plants as well that are also threatening the existence of native plants.

Marg said...

I sure don't know what it is. It is kind of pretty and grows in water. Great pictures. I like the ones in the water the best.
Have a great Sunday.

Julia said...

I love a good plant guessing/id game. The first I knew was a Comp. But on the second, I'd have to guess something like watercress or Rorippa. But I don't know if it grows in your state. Hmm is right!

spinninglovelydays said...

Ooh, a mystery! I have no idea what they are, but I'll be eagerly waiting for the answer. I'm sure you'll find out soon and share. :)

VanillaSeven said...

How strange for that flower to grow in the water!

Sharkbytes said...

Carmen- what a complement from you! If I had enough lifetimes, I'd spend one of them in forensics. I'd love to hear more about your adventures.

Ann- you know I wouldn't be able to stand it.

Josh- I don't really do that stuff on this blog. Thanks.

Auntie- nope, not a milkweed... wrong shape

Dennis- you can't keep me down, even with a dead spud.

betchai- of course some of the aliens are really bad... we'll need that death spud from Dennis' blog yet.

Marg- yup, yellow in the water... it's quite distinctive, and I won't miss it again.

Julia- we have several Great Lakes Rorippa, but this isn't one of 'em!

Ivy- Good thing you like a mystery. I'm probably torturing everyone with all these plants. At least I'm trying to torture you with pretty ones.

Vanilla- Many flowers grow right in the water, but it does narrow the choices!

Duxbury Ramblers said...

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