Wild Plant to ID S.E. Michigan, USA

MarcPerr(5)August 16, 2014

This first wild plant is growing everywhere in town so it seems like it would be easy enough to id, but I can't find anything about it. It grows tall and has round, tiny berry-like flowers that crack open and show a purple inside. Unfortunately, I can't seem to upload more than one photo, so this is it.

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NHBabs(4b-5aNH)

To upload more photos, post a follow-up in this thread. You may need to change the title if you try to post two in a row.

    Bookmark   August 16, 2014 at 8:45AM
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dbarron(z7_Arkansas)

Scrophularia marilandica, though I may change my mind with next photo (lol)

    Bookmark   August 16, 2014 at 8:48AM
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MarcPerr(5)

dbarron, I don't think there's much need for a second photo. Your ID looks dead on! Thank you so much.

    Bookmark   August 16, 2014 at 5:09PM
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jekeesl (south-central Arkansas)(7b)

Your plant is more likely Scrophularia lanceolata. S. marilandica has reddish-orange flowers as shown in the following photo.

    Bookmark   August 16, 2014 at 5:47PM
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MarcPerr(5)

jekeesl, that may well be true but when I looked on the UM website it only shows Scrophularia marilandica as growing in this county. I know that doesn't mean everything, of course. At least I have a good start towards identifying it.

    Bookmark   August 16, 2014 at 8:45PM
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jekeesl (south-central Arkansas)(7b)

Here are the US species per BONAP.........

Here is a link that might be useful: Scrophularia BONAP Map

    Bookmark   August 16, 2014 at 9:15PM
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MarcPerr(5)

Great site! Looks like that map agrees with UM's in that the plant does not grow in this county. However, it does grow in the county over so it's hard to say it hasn't traveled. I am in Lenawee which is on the Ohio border. If I have time, I am going back to the park tomorrow to examine the stems. That might tell me something. If so, I'll post another photo or two. I appreciate your help, very much.

    Bookmark   August 16, 2014 at 9:22PM
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larry_gene

Those maps are an indication of where a plant species has been reported. Unless "the county over" has an extremely different climate, the same plant is likely to be there. Large changes in elevation or a sudden transition to desert, beach, swampland, forest, prairie, etc, could halt the continuous distribution of a plant.

    Bookmark   August 17, 2014 at 12:00AM
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dbarron(z7_Arkansas)

I wouldn't trust those maps except for general statewide info anyway :)

    Bookmark   August 17, 2014 at 12:00AM
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jekeesl (south-central Arkansas)(7b)

The BONAP maps, and site in general, are more up to date than USDA. But like others said, the maps should be used to indicate the likelihood of a plants existence in an area. If there are multiple reports of a species in that general part of a state, then it is likely to be found within the target county.

    Bookmark   August 17, 2014 at 7:15AM
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ken_adrian Adrian MI cold Z5

what park.. i am in raisin twnshp

add more pix.. by replying to your own post.. do NOT start a new post ... it gets too confusing ...

ken

    Bookmark   August 17, 2014 at 8:01AM
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pattidtm

By the sounds of these posts....this is bad? Does it have a common name please? Flint MI

    Bookmark   August 17, 2014 at 8:07AM
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lycopus(z5 NY)

The common name is figwort. Both species discussed in this thread are native. No reason to think they are bad.

    Bookmark   August 17, 2014 at 10:18AM
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MarcPerr(5)

ken_adrian, I took that photo at Island Drive Park in Adrian (which is where I live). Here's what it says about S. marilandica on the U of M herbarium site:

Not always easily distinguished from S. lanceolata, though frequently taller and more branched. The sides of the stem in S. marilandica are usually ñ grooved or channeled, while in the other species the sides are usually flat or slightly convex, and the leaves of the latter are often more irregularly toothed (even somewhat incised toward the base).

In this photo the stems do seem deeply grooved. I'm going back after the lawn guy leaves and take more photos.

    Bookmark   August 17, 2014 at 10:34AM
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jekeesl (south-central Arkansas)(7b)

Here is a photo of S. marilandica leaves, showing finely serrated margins typical of the species. The coarse leaf serrations of your plant are characteristic of S. lanceolata. In any case, they're both very cool plants, so just enjoy.

    Bookmark   August 17, 2014 at 4:27PM
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MarcPerr(5)

It's frustratingly confusing. The stems are clearly channeled but the leaves are more serrated.

    Bookmark   August 17, 2014 at 7:15PM
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lycopus(z5 NY)

Both species can have sharp teeth. Easiest way to tell them apart is to look for the sterile stamen along the inside of the upper lip of the flower. It is kind of fan-shaped at the tip. In S. lanceolata it is greenish-yellow and in S. marilandica it is brownish to red-purple. Here's what it looks like in S. lanceolata

    Bookmark   August 17, 2014 at 7:29PM
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MarcPerr(5)

Armed with the last information given by lycopus, I went back to the park today and tried to get a better photo of the flower. Unfortunately, very few flowers are still blooming. The stamen in the back is definitely dark.

    Bookmark   August 18, 2014 at 3:15PM
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