Plant ID forum: White-flowered plant, possible U.S. native

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Name: Susan
Vienna, VA (Zone 7a)
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Muddy1
Mar 28, 2017 8:33 PM CST
My apologies in advance for only having this one photo. I can take some more tomorrow if no one recognizes it.
It's blooming now in Northern Virginia (Zone 7a). So far, I've only seen it in roadside ditches.

Thumb of 2017-03-29/Muddy1/205d3c

Name: Mike
Long Beach, Ca.
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Calsurf73
Mar 29, 2017 7:45 AM CST
Possibly Pycnanthemum virginianum ??? (Common Mountain Mint)
edited for spelling
[Last edited by Calsurf73 - Mar 29, 2017 7:50 AM (+)]
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Name: Susan
Vienna, VA (Zone 7a)
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Muddy1
Mar 29, 2017 2:43 PM CST
It kind of looks like that, but Pycnanthemum bloom later in the year so that's not it. I'll post some better photos soon.
Name: Lin
Southeast Florida (Zone 10a)

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plantladylin
Mar 29, 2017 3:30 PM CST
It sure looks like Pycnanthemum to me, my first thought was Narrowleaf Mountain Mint (Pycnanthemum tenuifolium) but it would be odd for them to be blooming this time of year.

How about Plantain-Leaf Pussytoes (Antennaria plantaginifolia)
https://gobotany.newenglandwil... Well, forget that ... the leaves aren't right for that one.
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Name: Sue
Ontario, Canada (Zone 4a)
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sooby
Mar 29, 2017 4:28 PM CST
It looks to have four petals so I'm thinking maybe Brassicaceae, mustard family, if that helps anyone - so far I haven't come up with a match.
Name: Tiffany purpleinopp
Opp, AL 🌵🌷⚘🌹🌻 (Zone 8b)
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purpleinopp
Mar 29, 2017 4:33 PM CST
I object to Pycnanthemum for the same reason as Lin, timing, but there may be others that bloom much earlier, than the couple species I've spotted/ID'd in my area.
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Name: Sue
Ontario, Canada (Zone 4a)
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sooby
Mar 29, 2017 5:13 PM CST
It looks close to field pennycress - Thlaspi arvense - but I'm not sure it's an exact match. Here's a pic:

https://www.google.ca/search?q...:
Name: Susan
Vienna, VA (Zone 7a)
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Muddy1
Mar 30, 2017 7:54 PM CST
I think you might be right, sooby! Here are a few close-ups.
Thumb of 2017-03-31/Muddy1/d53d44

Thumb of 2017-03-31/Muddy1/f7fc78

Name: Tiffany purpleinopp
Opp, AL 🌵🌷⚘🌹🌻 (Zone 8b)
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purpleinopp
Mar 31, 2017 7:45 AM CST
The seed pods are the most recognizable feature of this plant, in my very not-expert opinion.
Field Pennycress (Thlaspi arvense)

If a consensus is reached that it is T. arvense, the entry in the database here could use your pics!
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Name: Sue
Ontario, Canada (Zone 4a)
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sooby
Mar 31, 2017 8:02 AM CST
The second picture shows the somewhat pointy margins that Thlaspi arvense should have and which I couldn't see in the initial picture, so I still think it's a potential ID. But, as Tiffany said, it should be a consensus determination because I don't know if there's anything similar that it could be confused with.
Name: Lin
Southeast Florida (Zone 10a)

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plantladylin
Mar 31, 2017 11:14 AM CST
I concur, it sure looks like Field Pennycress to me too. There are some great photos for comparison on these pages:
https://ipm.missouri.edu/IPCM/...
http://www.illinoiswildflowers...
http://fieldguide.mt.gov/speci...
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Name: Susan
Vienna, VA (Zone 7a)
Birds Echinacea Composter Foliage Fan Hummingbirder Bee Lover
Butterflies Region: Mid-Atlantic Critters Allowed Cat Lover Native Plants and Wildflowers Dragonflies
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Muddy1
Mar 31, 2017 7:15 PM CST
Thanks for all of the great research, everyone! I think it is Thlaspi arvense.

The Missouri.edu link above says that "Field pennycress plants may be confused with those of pepper grass (Lepidium densiflorum), but the leaves of pepper grass do not clasp the stem and the flower petals are shorter than the sepals."
The leaves on my plants definitely clasp the stem, so that rules out at least one look-alike plant.

Now that it looks like it's a non-native invader, I'll pull some up to get better photos, and I'll be happy to contribute them if people agree on the ID.
Name: Tiffany purpleinopp
Opp, AL 🌵🌷⚘🌹🌻 (Zone 8b)
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purpleinopp
Apr 1, 2017 6:25 AM CST
It can't invade unless/until it drops seeds. Waiting to get shots of the seed pods would be "safe."
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Name: Christine
North East Texas (Zone 7b)
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wildflowers
Apr 1, 2017 8:37 AM CST
It also looks similar to corn salad, which grows this time of year. Mine is just starting to flower. Corn Salad (Valerianella locusta)

https://www.google.com/search?...
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Name: Sue
Ontario, Canada (Zone 4a)
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sooby
Apr 1, 2017 9:21 AM CST
wildflowers said:It also looks similar to corn salad, which grows this time of year. Mine is just starting to flower.


It does but if you can blow up the top picture of the ID plant, and look at the flowers on the right hand side, one can just about see that they have four petals whereas corn salad has more:


Name: Susan
Vienna, VA (Zone 7a)
Birds Echinacea Composter Foliage Fan Hummingbirder Bee Lover
Butterflies Region: Mid-Atlantic Critters Allowed Cat Lover Native Plants and Wildflowers Dragonflies
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Muddy1
Apr 1, 2017 9:06 PM CST
[quote="purpleinopp"]The seed pods are the most recognizable feature of this plant, in my very not-expert opinion.
Field Pennycress (Thlaspi arvense)

You're right, those seed pods do stand out. I'll try to get photos of some, but the plants are growing in ditches that might be mowed soon.

In the meantime, here are a few more photos:

a close-up of some basal leaves
Thumb of 2017-04-02/Muddy1/64f107

clasping leaves further up the stem
Thumb of 2017-04-02/Muddy1/e71db2

and the roots
Thumb of 2017-04-02/Muddy1/a5c761

Name: Susan
Vienna, VA (Zone 7a)
Birds Echinacea Composter Foliage Fan Hummingbirder Bee Lover
Butterflies Region: Mid-Atlantic Critters Allowed Cat Lover Native Plants and Wildflowers Dragonflies
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Muddy1
Apr 16, 2017 7:06 PM CST
purpleinopp said:The seed pods are the most recognizable feature of this plant, in my very not-expert opinion.
Field Pennycress (Thlaspi arvense)


Here's a photo of the seed pods:
Thumb of 2017-04-17/Muddy1/9a32ef
They're fatter than the photos of Thlaspi arvense seed pods I've seen online, but perhaps they'll be flatter when they dry out. ......or maybe it's not the same species.

Name: Tiffany purpleinopp
Opp, AL 🌵🌷⚘🌹🌻 (Zone 8b)
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purpleinopp
Apr 17, 2017 12:10 PM CST
Take a look at this plant as well:
Shepherd's Purse (Capsella bursa-pastoris)
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Name: Sue
Ontario, Canada (Zone 4a)
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sooby
Apr 17, 2017 12:47 PM CST
Lepidium campestre is similar to Thlaspi arvense but has "fatter" seed pods although I'm not sure the plant habit is as close to the ID plant. I don't think it is shepherd's purse because that has seed pods that are more triangular.

Lepidium campestre:
https://www.google.ca/search?q...:
Name: Tiffany purpleinopp
Opp, AL 🌵🌷⚘🌹🌻 (Zone 8b)
Houseplants Organic Gardener Composter Region: Gulf Coast Miniature Gardening Native Plants and Wildflowers
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purpleinopp
Apr 17, 2017 4:24 PM CST
Yes, IDK if that shape develops as the pods age or they start that shape & just get bigger.
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