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Old 07-23-08, 11:52 AM   #1
Tex_Arcana
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Wildflower Q&A

Okay, I've been working on a pictorial article for my website on Terry Hershey and George Bush MUPs. Part of the article involves some of the wildflowers seen along the MUP. I have found most of them (already knew most) but here are some that I didn't find. Maybe they are invasive ornamentals.
(A)Taken on a sunny grassy slope. Seen this lots of times.

(B)Not baby's breath, bishop flower, or yarrow, but it's really common.

(C)This was taken near (A).

(D)This is an uncommon ornamental tree I tend to think of as an acacia but it doesn't have th puffy flowers.


Anyone else have any clues?
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Old 07-23-08, 11:55 AM   #2
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b. appears to be a photinia in flower. Could also be a ligustrum.
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Phobias are for irrational fears. Fear of junk ripping badgers is perfectly rational. Those things are nasty.

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Old 07-23-08, 11:56 AM   #3
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Image #2 looks to be Queen Anne's Lace.
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Old 07-23-08, 12:01 PM   #4
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d. i would agree is a variety of accacia
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Old 07-23-08, 12:11 PM   #5
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How tall is 2?

To me it looks like Hogweed, - which is some nasty stuff!

It is invasive, native of Asia - brought over as an ornamental ---- sap causes blisters. I found a plot of it a couple years ago growing in a vacant lot in a town not far from here and called them. It was gone a couple days later.
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Old 07-23-08, 12:12 PM   #6
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a is silverleaf nightshade

http://uvalde.tamu.edu/herbarium/soel.htm
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Old 07-23-08, 12:40 PM   #7
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This is an outstanding book to key out flowers:

http://www.amazon.com/Newcombs-Wildf...dp/0316604429/

Houston might be pushing the SW range of what it covers but you should still get a lot of overlap.

This is a good local reference but the system for keying plants out is not as bombproof as Newcomb's:

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0395936128/
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Old 07-23-08, 12:50 PM   #8
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D could be a variety of Cassia as well. Desert Cassia looks a lot like that.
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Old 07-23-08, 01:49 PM   #9
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this is the weed you want to keep an eye out for.
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Old 07-23-08, 03:47 PM   #10
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is b) woody? Looks like our blue elderberry. But, not sure that elderberry grows that far south.
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Old 07-23-08, 03:50 PM   #11
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and, c) looks like a phlox or a penstamon flower--but my eyes could use closer look at those flowers and those leaves throw me off, too prickly from my experience, to be phlox or penstamon.
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Old 07-23-08, 09:56 PM   #12
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Jshar - I believe you hit the silverleaf nightshade on the head. I'm thinking it's the smooth leaf variety. An interesting plant now I know a bit more about it.

Tude - It may be your hogweed. It grows as high as 5 - 6 feet in some places. I haven't tested the sap, but I think Jshar might have been awfully close when ligustrum was suggested which is also native to Asia and is an invasive ornamental. Perhaps hogweed is a local name for ligustrum? That's one thing gardeners need to look out for. Invasive plants can be carried way out of your yard and do a lot of damage. Ligustrum is an example of that.

Flowerblossom - The flowers of C look very similar to lantana, but the leaves don't look anything like lantana. Also all the examples I've seen are very low growing plants no more then a foot high.

I'm impressed at the response I got on this. It's one of those what-the-heck-I'll-try-it posts. Some of you responded pretty quick too. Must have been a boring day at work.
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Old 07-23-08, 10:55 PM   #13
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Some of you responded pretty quick too. Must have been a boring day at work.
Most of them live for this sort of validation.

You made their century.
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Old 07-23-08, 10:59 PM   #14
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I made the mistake of starting a simulation this morning. Should have started it tonight, running in the background. I hate stopping simulations...


I'll believe you on the lantana, although, I have no idea what lantana is.

And, I'd like to withdraw my suggestion for penstemon. That one was waaaay off. Probably not a phlox, either. More like a verbena. But, again, I'm more familiar with northern species; could be a family I've never worked with. ( i.e., I'm hoping it's a family I've never worked with. :rolleyes)

Nice link, jsharr. The photos and organization are very nice. I especially like that they have close-ups of flowers and leaves. Good touch. And, pretty, pretty wildflowers. I love Tradescantias; you have a couple nice ones. Your Sisyrinchium are different from ours, from the pics, flowers look bigger than ours, but, definitely Sisyrinchium. Ooo, and the desert willow, I'd like to see that in bloom, especially if there are flowers covering the entire bush (tree?). Honestly, I'd like to see lots of these in bloom.
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Old 07-24-08, 05:15 AM   #15
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#2 definately is not giant hogweed. It is a type of elderberry (sambucus sp.) You can see the berries starting to form on the "spent" inflorescences on the right of the photo. Blue and possibly black elderberry blooms are slightly fragrant. Red elderberry stink.

Elderberry is a large shrub/small tree, the plants you named are all herbs. It appears from the photo that the plant is already five feet high, with somewhat thick stems.

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Old 07-24-08, 10:28 AM   #16
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Jasper Storm - Just read up on elderberry on Wikipedia. Maybe that's a possibility too. Turns out that elderberry does grow this far south Flowerblossom. There's even a species sambucus mexicanus but there wasn't any pics or information on it.
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Old 07-24-08, 10:39 AM   #17
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Do the flowers of B have any smell? Photinia Chinesis will have an almost rotten smell to them and the edge of the leaf is serrulate or "kind of toothed". Another possibility is a variety of laurel, like cherry laurel. If it is a laurel, there will be a dark spot at the end of the leaf where the stem is and it will be on either side of the stem.

On the cassia/ acacia possibility, do teh leaves fold closed when the plant is touched?

BTW, worked in the nursery trade for years and studied horticulture at Texas A&M.
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Old 07-24-08, 10:41 AM   #18
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Cherry Laurel in flower
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Old 07-24-08, 10:49 AM   #19
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Ligustrum lucidem

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Old 07-24-08, 11:20 AM   #20
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Cherry Laurel in flower
Grrrrrrrrrrrrrr. Me hates cherry laurel. It's invasive in these parts. I cut them down when I can. Grrrrrrrrrrrr.

Yep, elderberry. Nothing like it. Makes great jelly!!! Needs a bit of sugar, but, otherwise it's one of my favorites!
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Old 07-24-08, 11:21 AM   #21
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#2 definately is not giant hogweed. It is a type of elderberry (sambucus sp.) You can see the berries starting to form on the "spent" inflorescences on the right of the photo. Blue and possibly black elderberry blooms are slightly fragrant. Red elderberry stink.

Elderberry is a large shrub/small tree, the plants you named are all herbs. It appears from the photo that the plant is already five feet high, with somewhat thick stems.
The compound leaves + inflorescence were dead-give-aways.
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Old 07-24-08, 11:33 AM   #22
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Grrrrrrrrrrrrrr. Me hates cherry laurel. It's invasive in these parts. I cut them down when I can. Grrrrrrrrrrrr.

Yep, elderberry. Nothing like it. Makes great jelly!!! Needs a bit of sugar, but, otherwise it's one of my favorites!
Elderberries are great tincture for home made wines also. A lot of times, due to the fining agent, the volume of grape skins, or even the lack of grape skin contact, homemade wines can be rather pale and even lacking a great deal in tannins. Elderberries can really help with that and also add a little complexity to the flavor of the wine.
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