Plant ID forum: North Carolina woodland plant ID

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Woodlandbotanics
Oct 9, 2017 9:48 PM CST
HI everyone, I finally went to a thread where I can ask some plant questions. (I'll go to a local gardening center or plant conservatory and ask the horticulturist: do you know how long arisaema draconium seed's need to be cold tempered before germination, and if that species fruitescence contains calcium oxalate crystals? You won't believe the looks you'll get, especially when your only 13 years old. I don't wanna make people feel stupid but isn't it they're job to know this stuff?) Back to the question: this plant I will stumble across only every once in a while going on plant finds in the woods. (Seems pretty rare.) I live in the heart of North carolina, this was found in a temperate hardwood forest and I rarely if ever find large clumps or when it's in bloom. It's rhizomatous btw. Tried to I.D this thing EVERYWHERE and I mean EVERYWHERE! Forums, plant I.D. apps, Google, nc wildflower database you name it but I haven't been abLe to find an answer. Sorry for the long post, but answers will be appreciated! Green Grin!
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Name: Danita
GA (Zone 7b)
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Danita
Oct 10, 2017 2:40 AM CST
@Woodlandbotanics

Hi & Welcome! !

I started gardening and seriously investigating the native flora when I was around your age (long ago.) I asked complicated questions, too, so I certainly know those odd "looks" of which you speak! Hilarious!

What kind of texture does the surface of the leaf have?

Check out the Prenanthes and Nabalus genera for a possible match. The leaves are extremely variable in form which can make plants really difficult to identify. To be certain of the exact species, you'd likely need flowers and a dichotomous key.

These two genera seem to be in a bit of a taxonomic mess right now, so I'm including synonyms. Some sources claim one name is correct, while others claim the opposite.

You can do a state search on the USDA website.
https://plants.usda.gov/checkl...

A few possibilities:

Prenanthes alba a.k.a. Nabalus albus
Lion's Foot (Nabalus albus)
https://plants.usda.gov/core/p...

Nabalus altissimus a.k.a. Prenanthes altissima
Tall White Lettuce (Nabalus altissimus)
https://plants.usda.gov/core/p...

Nabalus trifoliolatus a.k.a. Prenanthes trifoliolata
Gall-of-the-Earth (Nabalus trifoliolatus)
https://plants.usda.gov/core/p...

We also have a Plant ID forum, which you may find helpful.
https://garden.org/forums/view...

There is also a Southeast Gardening forum. Smiling
https://garden.org/forums/view...

Edit: FYI, I see that your post got moved to its own thread in the Plant ID forum. You should get more answers here where your question won't get lost in the ongoing conversation. Smiling

[Last edited by Danita - Oct 10, 2017 11:39 PM (+)]
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Name: Rick R.
near Minneapolis, MN, USA zon
I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Garden Sages The WITWIT Badge Garden Photography Region: Minnesota Hybridizer
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Leftwood
Oct 10, 2017 7:31 AM CST
Good suggestions, Danita. I've lived in the Minnesota region most of my life and know the native flora here well, but elsewhere, not so much. I've never seen a Prenanthis/Nabalus species here grow in groups, nor have I ever dug one to examine root structure. Rhizomatous roots do tend to indicate a spreading, multiple crown plant, but not always.

But I want to say welcome to these NGA forums, too. You being so young and knowledgeable for your age, it's quite refreshing!
Yes a horticulturist ought to know a lot of stuff, and there are good ones and not so good ones. By comparison, doctor has to know one species (human) and more than a thousand of its ailments, and a horticulturist, well, 390,000 species and their characteristics and idiosyncrasies. No one can know everything, but they should know how to find out.
Name: Daisy I
Reno, Nv (Zone 6b)
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DaisyI
Oct 10, 2017 4:04 PM CST
Welcome!

I don't know what your mystery plant is but I'm curious. I hope someone figures it out.

I was going to respond to your questions about Arisaema dracontium. The Lady Bird Johnson Wild Life Center suggests cold stratification in damp moss for 60 days. But I would take exception to that because it is native from Quebec to Veracruz and I don't think Veracruz gets a lot of cold weather.

Arisaema dracontium also has a reputation for being difficult to germinate. When we germinate seeds, we usually plop them on a heat mat and wait. But maybe what these seeds really need is a couple months of cool, damp weather and that is all. Usually, a seed with a reputation is a seed with needs that are not well understood.

And yes, all parts of the plant contain calcium oxalate crystals, even the
inflorescence. I hope you aren't trying to poison your Botany teacher. I tried that once but he was smart enough to recognize Dumb Cane leaves substituted for the lettuce in his sandwich BEFORE he took a bite. Rolling on the floor laughing
Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and proclaiming...."WOW What a Ride!!" -Mark Frost

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Name: stone
near Macon Georgia (USA) (Zone 8a)
Plant Identifier Garden Sages Million Pollinator Garden Challenge
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stone
Oct 11, 2017 7:48 AM CST
Prenanthes aka Nablus is in full bloom at my house...
Couldn't you find a plant with flowers to post?

I agree that the leaves do look like prenanthes, but I don't recognize the root structure.

A lot of plants have similar leaves, and, I often have difficulty getting an identification of the local plants even with the pictures of the plant in flower.

Woodlandbotanics
Dec 11, 2017 10:06 PM CST
Okay, so I won't bother you with the reason why, and I am truly sorry I haven't got back to y'all sooner, but you tried to poison your botany teacher with DEIFFENBACHIA? I don't have a botany teacher, i'm self-taught, but goodness me I'm glad he didn't swallow the stuff! What you should've done is dosed his coke with some Carolina reapers, lol. Boy would that light 'im up! Prenanthes is kinda similar, but I really doubt it being the plant I found. Its winter now, so no hope of finding another til' around April probably. Thanks so much for all the help. Any more tips, I will answer them sooner!

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