Information

Can someone identify this flowering bush from the US?


This bush is in Tennessee, USA.:


Polygonum cuspidatum, common name Japanese knotweed. A notorious invasive species.

It's actually a herbaceous perennial (those stems grew in just one season, and will die back to the ground at the first hard freeze), not a shrub. The red things are ripening seeds, not flowers.


Flowering Plants and Non-Flowering, The Classification of Plants

Plants are one group of living being in the earth. There are so many plants that humans haven’t even finished counting yet. Now you’re going to learn the effective classification of plants according to their natural features and behaviors.

You can’t classify 2 plants which are similar to each other, but you can easily classify plants which are not similar such as love grass, jak or coconut. There are plants in the oceans which are really long about 100m and plants in the land that have bigger circumferences such as 10m.

This means without a proper classification, things could go amazingly complex. That’s where this natural classification method is suitable.


Legal status in King County, Washington

Public and private landowners are required by state law to eradicate this plant when it occurs on their property. Flowering-rush is a Class A Noxious Weed in Washington due to its limited distribution in the state and the potential for significant impact to state resources. It is on the King County list of Regulated Class A Noxious Weeds. For more information see Noxious Weed Lists and Laws.

This species is also on the Washington quarantine list (known as the prohibited plants list) and it is prohibited to transport, buy, sell, offer for sale, or to distribute plants or plant parts of this species, into or within the state of Washington. It is further prohibited to intentionally transplant wild plants and/or plant parts of this species within the state of Washington. For more information see Noxious Weed Lists and Laws.

Because of the difficulty in distinguishing this plant from native rushes and bulrushes, we recommend contacting the noxious weed program for a positive identification before removing. There are currently no records of this plant in King County, so if you do find flowering-rush in King County, please report the location right away.


Can someone identify this flowering bush from the US? - Biology

Gymnosperm means "naked seeds". They are called this because their seeds are open to the air with no covering such as the seeds of flowering plants. One of the major groups of gymnosperm plants is the conifer.

The word "conifers" means "bearing cones." Conifers are plants that use cones to house their seeds. Conifers are woody plants and most of them are trees such as pine trees, firs, cypresses, junipers, cedars, and redwoods.

Conifers reproduce using their cones. Some cones are male and some are female. The male cones release pollen. This pollen is carried by the wind. If the pollen lands on a female cone, then the female cone will produce seeds. The hard scales of the cone protect the new seeds as they grow.

The seeds of a conifer are winged seeds. When they are released by the cone, they will float on the wind until they reach the ground where they will germinate and grow.

There are some non-flowering plants that don't produce seeds. Instead, they use spores to reproduce. Spore producing plants include plants such as mosses and ferns.

Spores are tiny organisms that usually contain only a single cell. Plants that make spores produce huge numbers of them. Because they are so small and light, they can be dispersed by the wind to new locations where they can grow.

Mosses are soft and spongy plants that typically only grow a few inches tall. They tend to grow together in clumps. Mosses don't have flowers or seeds, but use spores to reproduce. They also don't have typical roots like most plants, but anchor themselves to rocks and soil with short growths called rhizoids.

Another type of spore producing plant is the fern. Ferns produce spore casings on the underside of their leaves. These look like brown spots. At some point the casings dry out and the spores are released into the air.


Pollination: Types and Agents | Biology

The transfer of pollen grains from the opened anther of the stamen to the receptive stigma of the carpel/pistil is called pollination. Each pollen grain grows and provides two male gametes for fertilisation of an ovule.

Depending upon the source of pollen grain, pollination is of three types:

1. Autogamy (Self-pollination):

It is the kind of pollination in which the pollen from the anthers of a flower is transferred to the stigma of the same flower, e.g., wheat, rice, pea, etc.

Autogamy is further classified as:

(i) Cleistogamy In some plants, flowers never open up and the anthers dehisce inside these closed flowers to ensure pollination. Thus, cleistogamous flowers are invariably autogamous as there is no chance of cross-pollination. These flowers produce assured seed sets even in the absence of pollinators, e.g., Oxalis, Viola, etc.

(ii) Homogamy In this method, both the anthers and the stigma mature at the same time, e.g., Mirabilis.

It is a kind of pollination where the pollen grains from the anther of the flower are transferred to the stigma of another flower borne on the same plant but at different branches. It usually occurs in plants, which show monoecious condition, e.g., Cucurbita.

3. Xeno-gamy (Cross-Pollination):

It involves the transfer of pollen grains from the flower of one plant to the stigma of the flower of another plant. This is the only type of pollination which brings genetically different types of pollen grains to the stigma during pollination, e.g., papaya, maize, etc.

Agents of Pollination:

The agents responsible for pollination in angiosperms have been grouped into two main categories.

Adaptations for Wind Pollination:

Wind pollination is also termed as anemophily and takes place through the wind.

i. Flowers are small, colourless, inconspicuous, nectar less and become arranged as inflorescence.

ii. The anthers are well exposed for the easy dispersal of pollen grains.

iii. Pollen grains are small, light, dry, dusty, non-sticky and sometimes even winged.

iv. The stigmas are large, hairy and feathery or branched to catch the air borne pollen grains.

v. Common examples of wind pollinated flowers are grass, sugarcane, bamboo and coconut, etc.

Adaptations for Water Pollination:

Water pollination is also termed as hydrophily and mode of pollination is water. It is quite rare in flowering plants and is limited to about 30 genera, mostly monocotyledons.

i. It is very common in plant groups such as algae, bryophytes and pteridophytes. Flowers are small, colourless, inconspicuous, odourless and nectar-less and pollen grains and stigmas are generally unwettable.

ii. The stigmas are long and sticky, e.g., Vallisneria, Hydrilla and Zostera.

iii. Not all aquatic plants use water for pollination. In a majority of aquatic plants, the flowers emerge above the level of water and are pollinated by insects or winds as in land plants, e.g., water hyacinth and lily.

iv. In Vallisneria, the female flower reach the surface of water by the long stalk and pollen grains are released on to the surface of water. They are then carried by the passive water currents.

v. In most of the water pollinated species, pollen grains are protected by mucilaginous covering.

Adaptations for Insect Pollination:

Inject pollination in also termed as entomophily.

Insect-pollinated flowers are large, colourful, fragrant and rich in nectar.

i. A number of flowers are clustered into an inflorescence to make them conspicuous.

ii. Flowers have nectar glands and are highly fragrant to attract insects.

iii. The surface of pollen grains is sticky due to exine layer and stigma is sticky due to mucilaginous layer.

iv. Nectar and pollen grains are floral rewards for the insect pollinators.

v. In some species, floral rewards are to provide safe place to lay eggs, e.g., for the tallest flower of Amorphophallus (about 6 feet in height).

vi. In plant Yucca, moth and the plant, cannot complete their life cycles without each other. The moth deposits its eggs in the locule of the ovary and the flower, in turn plant gets pollinated by the moth.

The larvae of the moth come out of the eggs as the seeds start developing.

Flowering plants have developed many devices to discourage self-pollination and to encourage cross-pollination. Because the majority of flowering plants produce hermaphrodite flowers and are likely to come in contact with the stigma of the same flower. The continued self-pollination leads to chances of inbreeding depression.

Devices to prevent inbreeding are:

(i) Receptivity of pollen release and stigma is not synchronized, i.e., either the pollen is released before the stigma becomes receptive or stigma becomes receptive before the release of pollen.

(ii) In some other species, the anther and stigma are placed at different positions, so that the pollen cannot come in contract with the stigma of same flower which will prevent autogamy.

(iii) Self incompatibility is the third device to prevent inbreeding, which is a genetic phenomenon of preventing inhibiting pollen tube growth on the stigma of the same flower.


Can someone identify this flowering bush from the US? - Biology

Are you still thumbing through hundreds of pictures to identify wildflowers?
That's the way I started learning plants, but now there is a much easier way!

Plants that are related to each other have similar characteristics for identification. Botanists have simply looked for patterns in plants and created groups called "families" according to those patterns. In the northern latitudes where there are hard freezes during winter, there are only about 100 broad patterns representing tens of thousands of plant species. Once you identify the family your wild flower belongs to then you can still use your color picture book to identify the species, but now you only have to look through a few pictures to find a match, not hundreds. Learn how right here:

Learning to Identify Plants by Families
It will forever change the way you look at plants

Grandma Josie always loved to walk her dogs down in the meadows, following cow trails through the thickets of willow and juniper along the creek. I loved to walk with her, and together we collected wild herbs for teas, such as yarrow, blue violets, peppermint, red clover and strawberry leaves. We drank herbal tea every day. When I was sick she gave me yarrow tea with honey in it, plus she buried cloves of garlic in cheese to help me get them down. Grandma kindled my love for plants. She taught me the plants she knew. Then I wanted to learn about all the rest.

We collected unfamiliar flowers on our walks, and paged through books of color pictures to identify them. It was not a fast process, but I was a kid and had the luxury of time. If I could not find the name of a specimen in our books, then I brought it into the herbarium at the university and asked for help. They keyed out the plant and gave me the Latin name for it. At home I researched the name through all of my books to learn anything I could about the uses for that species. In this way I learned most of significant plants of southwest Montana before I was out of high school, or so I thought.

Years later, I launched Hollowtop Outdoor Primitive School, LLC and hosted an herbal class at our place. I thought I "knew" most of the plants discussed in the class, but Robyn, the herbalist, used an approach I had never seen before. We happened across several members of the Rose family, and Robyn pointed out the patterns-- that the flowers had five petals and typically numerous stamens, plus each of them contained tannic acid and were useful as astringents to help tighten up tissues. An astringent herb, she told us, would help close a wound, tighten up inflammations, dry up digestive secretions (an aid for diarrhea) and about twenty other things. In a few short words she outlined the identification and uses for the majority of plants in this one family.

Some of my books listed the family names of the plants, but never suggested how that information could be useful. I realized that while I knew many plants by name, I never actually stopped to look at any of them! This may sound alarming, but it is surprisingly easy to match a plant to a picture without studying it to count the flower parts or notice how they are positioned in relation to each other. In short, Robyn's class changed everything I ever knew about plants. From there I had to relearn all the plants in a whole new way. I set out to study the patterns among related species, learning to identify plants and their uses together as groups and families.

My quest turned into a book Botany in a Day , to share with other people this "patterns method" of learning plants. On plant walks with a favorable selection of specimens to look at, I've been able to cover the critical patterns for identification and uses of seven or eight major families of plants, representing tens of thousands of species worldwide in just two hours.

I tell my students it is okay if they do not know the name of a single plant at the end of the walk, but I expect them to recognize family characteristics and be able to make logical guesses as to how those plants might be used. When we come to an unknown specimen in our walks, I don't tell the group what it is, they tell me, according to the patterns they have learned.

There are about 100 families of plants across the frost-belt of the continent, with at least 30 additional families occurring farther south where it never freezes. Through this article I will introduce you to seven of the largest and easiest-to-recognize families of plants, which are found worldwide. In the next hour or two you will learn the basic patterns of identification and many of the uses for more than 45,000 species of plants worldwide. Take a little bit of time to practice these patterns where ever you go-- in gardens or weed patches, botanical gardens, the nursery, the florist, or the wild. When you learn to instantly recognize these and other family patterns, the world of plants will never look quite the same again. The following pages are meant to be read in order, as new ideas are introduced on each page to prepare you for the following page. Some of these pages include lots of pictures and may take a while to load.

"Botany in a Day is hands down the best plant book I have ever come across. I wish I had this book years ago. Thanks for all the time and effort you put into it. You have made plant identification so much easier, compared to a lot of my other books."


Azaleas (Rhododendron spp.)

Azaleas (Rhododendron spp.) come in a variety of colors, including red, yellow, orange, and white. But lavender is one of the most popular colors. Choices in lavender include:

  • 'Purple Gem,' hardy in zones 4 to 8 purple flowers
  • 'Conlee,' hardy in zones 6 to 10 purple flowers
  • 'Robles,' hardy in zones 6 to 10 purple flowers on a dwarf (less than 3 feet) shrub
  • 'Bloom-A-Thon Lavender,' a 3 to 4 foot plant with lavender flowers that may rebloom in fall hardy in zones 6 to 9.

True blue flowers are rare with azeleas. Make sure to check local sources, as many cold-hardy varieties have been developed by regional arboretums. You can now find azaleas that survive nicely up to zone 3.


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Composite flowers are made up of inflorescences. Inflorescences are clusters of little flowers that seem like one big flower, but actually are many smaller flowers clustered together. Many composite flowers have two types of flowers. One type of flower is the ray part and the second type of flower are small tube-like flowers that are clustered together making a disc shape. The ray flowers surround the disc-shaped flowers.


Plant ID websites

An essential website is the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service Plants Database. This huge database includes a search function utilizing a common name or scientific name, photos and illustrations, geographic distribution maps, and links to other resources with even more information about a specific plant.

Although designated as a “weed identification guide” specifically for the southeastern U.S., this website by Virginia Tech includes detailed information with excellent supporting photos. The guide carefully notes similar looking plants and provides a link to the similar plant’s description. The “weeds” found in the southeastern U.S. can also be found in other parts of the U.S. and the world ( e.g. , dandelion, white clover, St. Johnswort, plantain).

The Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center, located at the University of Texas at Austin, has a wonderful Native Plant Database. By selecting some typical plant characteristics, you can obtain helpful search results — which reduces the number of plants to consider as you identify an unknown plant.

Southeasternflora.com utilizes a simple online key to identify plants in the southeastern portion of the U.S. Key characteristics include flower color, plant form, leaf type and leaf arrangement. You can also search on a plant’s common or scientific (species or family) name. Each featured plant includes numerous excellent photos along with basic information.

Missouriplants.com is an excellent resource when searching by the scientific name of a plant. The site includes detailed photographs with notes on stems, leaves, flowers, inflorescence, habitat, etc. — with an emphasis on plants found in Missouri (although the plant photos were taken throughout the U.S.).

The USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service “National Plant Data Center” includes interactive keys (polyclave key) and plant character data sets for some groups of plants. The data is available for grasses (Poaceae family) and legumes (Fabaceae family) — among other plant families — for each state in the U.S.

For an extensive list of Internet resources, visit the Vocational Information Center – Horticulture Basics and Plant Identification. I continue to review this list and will gradually highlight some of my favorites here. The description on this web page notes that the learning resources link to: “classification of plants, plant glossaries, plant cell basics, plant propagation, photosynthesis, biomes, habitats, hardiness zones, plant identification, plant images, endangered plants, and history of horticulture.” The links and information are global.

Dave’s Garden claims to be “the largest plant database in the world” and focuses on plants favored by gardeners. It’s a great resource for photos to confirm a plant’s identification.

Southwest Colorado Wildflowers focusses on wildflowers, ferns and trees in the Four Corners area (Colorado, New Mexico, Arizona and Utah). At this well-designed website, you can learn basic plant identification skills, pick up great tips for taking photographs of plants, and identify plants.

The Virtual Herbarium utilizes an interactive key to identify the family for a plant. Two sets of data are included on the site: (1) 248 species of trees in Miami, Florida and (2) flowering plants of Jamaica. In addition, there are links to other interactive keys available on the internet.