View Full Version : What are these?

04-01-2010, 10:56 PM
I think I know what a few of these are. I'd like to know what you all think. I have a few more.

04-01-2010, 11:02 PM
This is it. What do you think?

04-02-2010, 06:15 AM
I think I know what a few of these are. I'd like to know what you all think. I have a few more.

1- 2 > Garlic Mustard ( it's everywhere )

3 ? ( mark it and watch it grow )

4 i haven't seen any flowers yet

5 i see this everywhere, it's in my pictures files, just don't know it offhand

? ? ? for the last three

04-02-2010, 07:01 AM
The flowers are the only sure-fire way to tell. These are purely guesses. Best to mark them, and continue to watch them grow.

Part 1: 1, 2, &4 I am going to say are violets. They have basal leaves that are toothed, and usually heart shaped. 5 petaled irregular flowers, stamens are attached to the side petals in the corolla tube, and the pistil is recessed in the corolla. Pic 4 is what I'm basing this on.
3 looks like spurge nettle sprouts, but really can't say for sure without a flower.
5 I have absolutely no idea.

Part 2: 1, 2 resembles leeks, or maybe some wild turnip, still really hard to make even a remote guess without the flowers. could even be milkweed or dogbane.
3 looks like some fennel that's died back for the winter. I have some in my yard that looks similar.

Flowers are the most distinct characteristic of any plant. Write down where you saw them, and go back every few days to watch the plants grow. Or get some trail flagging tape and mark their location that way. There are a lot of plants that look similar to one another in their sprouting stage and the only way to know for sure is to dissect the flowers from the outside in.

04-02-2010, 08:16 AM
1+2 - looks like the same plant. Possibly really young colt's foot? Too small to tell. If it makes a big dandelion like flower later on, it porobably is. I doesn't look like the violets that grow around here. My first thought was gill over the ground, but at a second look I changed my mind.

3 - I should know what this is, but I cannot recall.

5 - Definitely wild mustard, cress, or something in the Brassica family. Hard to tell which one when it is that small. Most of the plants of this family are edible.

04-02-2010, 09:07 AM
CG it was your post that got me thinking about this one. #1 and 2 are Garlic Mustard, I now know this for sure. I had always thought this was wild violets myself because I never looked for the basal rosettes of Garlic mustard. I did not know that these can be gathered right thru the snow, but they can. Greens all winter long! I've been watching them take over an area of about 200+ acres over the past 5 years. They are displacing morels, wild violets, and just about everything else. The basal leaves have a slight onion/ garlic smell when crushed and can be eaten raw. The root tastes very much like horseradish and supposedly can be used that way. I like the leaves, they are just slightly bitter, but don't have a strong garlic or onion taste to me.

#3, YCC, I thought this was a type of nettle too, but after looking closer I'm leaning toward mint as it has a square stem. Perhaps Wild mint, Mentha arvensis. It had no apparent odor, but the old square stalk had the old shells of flower clusters in the leaf axils of the stems. I'll post a pic of that in a minute.

#4 looks much lighter than the violets I find and it's pretty early for them to bloom, but that's the only thing I can think it would be. It was neat seeing a flower in the woods though. All the little seed leaf plants you see around it, I believe are Garlic mustard. This must be one tough little violet, becuase the GM shoves out even the dandelions. One lone violet in a 200 acre sea of GM.

#5, PTW, I'm almost 100% sure this is Wintercress/ Barbarea vulgaris. I believe the old stalks and seedpods in pic# 8 belong to this same plant. It is fairly abundant, but does have a somewhat bitter taste. I didn't eat it, only tasted BTW.

#6, I am completely stumped. It has a clear sap and minute hairs on the top and bottom of leaves. The surface appears to have the chills, as it is bumpy in spots.

#7, is 99% likely the basal rosette of Evening primrose. I found it growing near the old dead stalks of it.

#8, like I mentioned is most likely the old stalks of #5.

I will be following them through the season. I identified the fall looks last year. The only one I'm going to eat is the GM, because I'm 100% certain of it.

04-02-2010, 09:30 AM
Here's the old flower stalk of #3, I don't know if it will help with ID, but you can see the old flower clusters in the leaf axils.

And the greens and roots of the GM I collected. http://s101.photobucket.com/albums/m50/shroomer69/Wild%20edible%20plants/?action=view&current=100_2014.jpg

04-02-2010, 02:53 PM
square stem and opposite leaves would indicate mint family.. still really hard to say. The basal leaves of 1,2, and 4 all look like the same plant to me, but #4 looks like Viola bicolor or Viola rafinesquii which is much paler than the common violet.

check this: http://www.wildflowers-and-weeds.com/Plant_Families/Violaceae.htm

and this: http://botany.csdl.tamu.edu/FLORA/cgi/gallery_query?q=violaceae

Just going off the notion that it's a violet.. still might be way out left field lol.

04-02-2010, 04:18 PM
a few pics from this morning
still have to learn how to do the closeups

a clump of garlic mustard


and now it's my clump


here's a few for ya





#3 - these guys are really small ( should have used a dime for scale )




#5 - this little guy is about 2-2.5 inches high


#6 - a threesome - garlic mustard is on the right


04-02-2010, 08:40 PM
Thank you guys for the help.

CG,I see trout lily, mayapple? and purslane?.

YCC, the thing I'm seeing is THe big difference between GM and wild violets, besides taste, is the veins in the leaves. THe violets are more parallel and smooth, and the GM is more like a spiderweb or as books say "mosaic".

1 and 2 are definitely GM and #4 is defintely wild violet. I should have taken a top down pic of the violet to show the veinage better. I found an area today that gets full sun and the wild violets, both light and dark purple are blooming everywhere. This is the first year I can recall seeing light colored wild violets and that's what threw me on the first one pictured above. The GM is huge in this area as compared tot he woods.

The GM when cooked was quite bitter. It tasted much better raw IMO. I horked it down, but bitter greens aren't my favorite. You might like em YCC. I'm hoping the shoot leaves will taste less bitter.

I see the japanese knotweed is starting and I ID'd my first curly dock and found yet another mint with it's flowers at the top of each stalk.

04-02-2010, 08:42 PM
Hey CG, how do you prepare the GM roots? Do you peel em or what?

04-02-2010, 09:14 PM
I think your #3 at the top is Motherwort (Leonurus cardiaca)
Looking at the flower stalk, I'm sure of it.

04-02-2010, 09:20 PM
Hey CG, how do you prepare the GM roots? Do you peel em or what?

i just wash'em down by hand and pull off any small tendrils
then i nuke'em for 6 minutes covered in water and freeze them
i want to try everything regarding storage
complete root freezing
chopped root freezing
use potato peeler for thin slices > freeze and drying ?

04-02-2010, 09:22 PM
CG, under your garlic mustard, image #3 looks like a cinquefoil, #4 is Sweet Woodruff (Galium oderatum), the little seedlings impossible to tell but probably something growing close by, #5 Trout lily (Erythronium sp.), #6 MayApple (Podophyllum peltatum)

04-02-2010, 09:46 PM
THanks CG.

04-03-2010, 09:39 AM
CG, under your garlic mustard, image #3 looks like a cinquefoil, #4 is Sweet Woodruff (Galium oderatum), the little seedlings impossible to tell but probably something growing close by, #5 Trout lily (Erythronium sp.), #6 MayApple (Podophyllum peltatum)

went back and added #'s to my pics

#1 - ?

#2 - my first thought was cleavers, but it could be woodruff
i'll have to work on my close-ups

#3 - ?

#4 - trout lily ( young leaves / roots - haven't seen any trout lily root pics that impressed me yet )

#5 - male(?) may apple ( female has 2 stems - flower/berry )

#6 - mullein(?) - some kind of thistle - GM

04-03-2010, 09:41 AM
THanks CG.

great sig

Knowledge without experience is just information

04-03-2010, 09:52 AM
# 7




#9 - 20 lashes with a wet noodle to whoever doesn't get this one








#13 - put a piece of paper behind for clarity


04-04-2010, 08:01 PM
#9 burdock, all the rest look familiar, but...no clue!!!

04-04-2010, 08:27 PM
A few more unknowns. Any idea what they are?

04-04-2010, 08:32 PM
#2 got shrunk down quite a bit. I believe it is the same as #6 in my first set of pics in this thread. I tried to show the racemes which are 3-5" long and remind me of the mustard family.

04-05-2010, 12:18 AM
CG, #3 is definately not cleavers. These are Cleavers

#6 doens't look like any mullien I have growing in my yard and I have year 1, 2, and 3 growths.

#13 looks an aweful lot like hemlock to me.
This is not for sure hemlock, but hemlock looks like this plant so I'm not messin around with it till I know for sure.

I'm still in the learning stage where I need the flowers to properly identify most plants. Sorry I can't be more help than that.

RWC in your latest set:
#1 also resembles hemlock, but could be a carrot.. Don't take any chances! I have them growing in my yard too, although the roots are much smaller. If the Extension Office ever gets back to me on it, I'll let ya know.

#4&5 the rings on the trifoliate leaves would indicate to me that it is some type of clover. The violet and yellow sorrels in my area don't have rings on the leaves. This is violet wood sorrel (Oxalis spp.)

Flowers are the only way to get a positive ID on an unknown plant. The reproductive parts are the most unique parts of the plants.

04-05-2010, 09:24 AM
CG, #3 is definately not cleavers. These are Cleavers

#6 doens't look like any mullien I have growing in my yard and I have year 1, 2, and 3 growths.

#13 looks an aweful lot like hemlock to me.
This is not for sure hemlock, but hemlock looks like this plant so I'm not messin around with it till I know for sure.

i'll go back for some close-ups on the woodruff/cleavers and possible mullein

whenever i see anything leafy, my first thought is of poison hemlock :smash:

so right now i'm just taking pics and marking locations for further study
i may put a leafy and lookalike catagories into my blog for this

04-05-2010, 10:19 AM
i may put a leafy and lookalike catagories into my blog for this

I think that's a great idea. Lookalikes can be deadly! and a side-by-side comparison would be priceless so that you can note the most obvious differences. When I see deeply dissected pinnate leaves like that an alarm goes off in my head. According to my literature, poison hemlock is not pubescent (fuzzy) and has purple mottles on the stem instead of stripes.

If I find any mullein sprouts from this year I'll take pics of them too. There's quite a few fuzzy plants around that are not necessary mullein. Stachys spp. comes to mind as one.

It'll be lots easier to tell what all these plants are once they flower.
I've been teaching my mom the names of plants and how to identify them and she bought me this book. It's pretty expensive, but it has great pictures of seedlings and mature plants in flower.
https://www.discountbooksale.com/store/productView.aspx?idProduct=1075245&ec=1&ProdId=112&AWTrck=1033312529&utm_source=google&utm_medium=cpc&utm_term=weeds%20of%20the%20south&utm_campaign=acc034-0839&b=GGL_DBS_112_acc034_0839_1075245_00_*GeoUSCA*__we eds%20of%20the%20south

04-05-2010, 10:28 AM
Mind if I put forth some plants for identification?



04-05-2010, 03:08 PM
B looks very much like the bullbrier greenbriers over at my parents house. definately monocotyledon. If it turns to a vining plant, that's what I'd say. Some greenbriers have thorns and some don't. Keep an eye on it for thorns and tendrils. Smilax spp.
The ears on the leaves look a lot like carrionflower. Keep an eye on the flower. 6 petals and stamens and a bad smell would convince me of carrion-flower.

Can't really see the flower of A well enough to look it up in my books but it looks very familiar. Maybe someone a little more experienced can give you better answers. Does it have a cluster of stamens and pistils in the middle, and are the stamens fused?
From what I can tell about it, there are a lot of possibilities. Where was it found? roadside / field / wasteground, or lawn, or wooded area?

04-05-2010, 08:24 PM
RWC in the last run of pics, if #1 is hairy and smells like carrot, it's carrot! If it stinks and isn't hairy ,go wash your hands! #4 white clover, #5 buffalo clover.

04-05-2010, 10:38 PM
Thanks YCC and Ted. I'll check out the ones you both mentioned. Some of the plants are starting to flower already. I did get elpel's book and will be trying to put plants to family as soon as they do.

04-06-2010, 04:36 AM
went back for some close-ups
still undecided about woodruff/cleavers ( do cleavers hairs grow later on ? )
on the left of the 3rd pic, does the stem look square-ish ?
gonna go back again and try for even more close-up-ness

i'll find a remote patch of this plant ( it's everywhere ) and follow it for growth observation

woodruff or cleavers, both are edible, and there's lots of it here




04-06-2010, 04:45 AM
not sure if this one is natural
or this tree has something wrong with it ?



04-06-2010, 04:55 AM
hairy V stems



04-06-2010, 04:59 AM
saw this beside a " natural preserve " building, good chance it's just ornamental


04-06-2010, 07:28 AM
went back for some close-ups
still undecided about woodruff/cleavers ( do cleavers hairs grow later on ? )
The cleavers in my yard have the prickly hooks even on the small plants. I would say you have woodruff instead of cleavers. The leaves on cleavers are also much longer
on the left of the 3rd pic, does the stem look square-ish ?
Yessir, the stem looks very much square to me.
gonna go back again and try for even more close-up-ness

not sure if this one is natural
or this tree has something wrong with it ?
Looks to be very similar to galls caused by parasites, but I can't say for sure as there are a few species of trees that have glands. Really looks like galls though, (something wrong with it ;) )

hairy V stems
Looking through my leaf pictures there are a LOT of possibilities for this plant. Mark this one for observation and we can figure it out much more easily when it has flowers

saw this beside a " natural preserve " building, good chance it's just ornamental

Willd guess on this one but it looks like Locust or possibly honeysuckle based on the woody stems and overlapping leaves. Many sensitive plants and pea family plants have similar leaf shapes also so that could be way off. Maybe Ted will recognize some of them. There are a lot of folks on here who've been studying plants much longer than myself and they have probably seen them as seedlings and know what they are right off.

again, I apologize for not being more helpful than that. You're turning into quite the cameraman. Those are some really nice pics and I've been following your photobucket albums. Good work my friend.

04-06-2010, 10:04 PM
CG, hairy V's probly cow parsnip, and your second one looks like crown vetch ,which is often used ornimentaly.

04-08-2010, 09:10 AM
I thought I'd take a minute to show the differences in some of the plants that have been asked about in this thread. Knowing what to look for is half the battle with identifying wild plants.

Sorrel vs clover:
sorrel has "shamrock" leaves (heart-shaped leaflets) and 5 petaled flowers,

while clover has pealike flowers in heads and usually a ring on the trifoliate leaves. most times NOT heart shaped leaflets.

greenbriers have many shapes, but always vining plants with waxy leaves and tuberous roots. Some have thorns, some don't, but all will have tender edible shoots, and most have tendrils

this picture includes 2 different species of smilax. Notice one has tendrils and thorns. I believe the larger leaved one to be carrionflower.. will be keeping an eye on it till it blooms.

I think all 6 species native to this area are in my mom's yard (bless her heart) and I'm trying to convince her to eat them out of existence lol

This is a mullein sprout that came up in recent weeks

the others I posted have been there for at least a year, the bigger ones 2 years, and the third year plant gets a HUGE basal rosette and the dense flower head. The flower stalk is useful for hand-drilling fire and the leaves have medicinal use.

It's all in the details. The best identifier for any plant is it's flower, especially if you want to get species specific.

04-08-2010, 11:21 AM
YCC, have you ever tried mullein as " nature's toilet paper " ?

04-08-2010, 03:52 PM
yessir I have. It works well. I recommend getting new leaves after use if you aim to smoke any of them or make tea. If you have a cough or congestion you can crumble it and smoke it or just set it afire and burn it like incense to alleviate symptoms. If you are allergic to the smoke, you can make a tea from the leaves that also helps, but I recommend using a filter because the hairs are irritant to the mouth and throat (don't ask..) Mullien is one of those miracle weeds I just can't stand to kill.
catalpa and mulberry leaves also work well for tp.
the yellow sorrel is a favorite sour treat. I like eating the yellow buds before they open or waiting until they make the seedpods. deliciously sour!

04-08-2010, 08:46 PM
I'm getting ready to have some mullein tea myself right now.

Thanks for the clarification on the clovers/ sorrel YCC.

I tried using Elpel's tips on flower families today when I found what looked like a cherry tree in bloom, but forgot which family that was. 5 sepals, 5 white petals, many stamens surrounding one pistil.?? I'll have to look it up and commit it to memory.

FYI, raw fresh basal rosette GM greens are great on pizza and bologna sandwiches. As long as you don't use too many the bitter is hidden and they are just plain refreshing. The flower buds of GM seem kinda sweet and not as bitter, I munched a few today while hiking. they were actually really good and I could've ate a bunch. The pointed new stalk leaves of GM seemed as bitter or more so than the basal greens did, but the jury's still out on that one. The flower buds of the Wintercress tasted great until the bitter kicked in. I think I'm getting somewhat used to the bitterness now though.

I'm seeing more greens now, several appear in the mustard family, but I'm waiting for flowers to see for sure. Evening primrose is starting to leaf out as well.

04-09-2010, 12:24 AM
The pistils are typically clustered and fused OR singular with numerous styles (ends of the pistil). Rose family (Rosaceae) and Plum subfamily.
did it look like these?

One is a fire cherry and the other is a plum. same family and subfamily :D

this one is also in the rose family, but it's the rose subfamily and has many simple fused pistils in a cluster. this is a common treat here in the south and I can't wait for them to fruit! Rubus occidentalis or dewberry or brambles

Keep an eye on the evening primrose, great medicinally and the stem is supposed to be a good source of cordage (did I say that already?) I have a few blooms under my porch that opened this evening after the rain. Quite something to watch them open.

04-09-2010, 09:14 AM
They were very similar, if i recall correctly the tree is pin cherry, unless it's an ornamental that escaped.

It is the sweetest of the wild cherries we have. bright red fruit with a big pit.

04-09-2010, 10:49 AM
some kind of lily ?


04-10-2010, 04:45 PM
Saturday 1-2 - these next 2 may be Horse Chestnut



Saturday 3 - saw this between a sidewalk and the street


Saturday 4


Saturday 5


Saturday 6 - this has spots on the leaves