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Do different species show up in your area?

Posted: Sat Jun 11, 2011 10:25 am
by lily51
One thing that we notice is that a diferent species of plant will show up along the roads,in the fields "out of nowhere". Last year, it was mare's tail
that some were dealing with. It showed up due to unusually wet conditions some said. Haven't seen any yet this year.

Several years ago cardinal flower showed up along our farm's creek banks and has been there every year since.

This year there are two unusual species all over the area. One is golden ragwort. Everyone was noticing it and talking about where did it come from. The other i haven't ID'd yet, but it is a tall plant, gets a very thick stem like a tree and has a white flower with the fine looks of a Queen Anne's Lace, but definitely isn't. This one is not just around this county, but everywhere we have driven in Ohio this spring (north central and north) Any ideas on this one?

My question is, how do these plants seem to "appear" in such mass quantities, over such a large area, all at once? Seeds there just waiting for the right conditions? :?

Posted: Sat Jun 11, 2011 10:37 am
by rainbowgardener
I don't know the answer to why certain weeds just appear en masse, but I'm guessing that the Queen Anne's lace looking one is poison hemlock. I had one show up in my yard about three years ago. I thought it was QA lace when it was little, but then all of a sudden it got huge.

It is very toxic in all parts and can be toxic just on your skin, without ingesting it. When I had one, I looked it up and it was recommended not to compost it, I think because of the possibility of toxic oils spreading through your compost.

Posted: Sat Jun 11, 2011 2:32 pm
by tomf
I notice that wild flowers go in cycles one year lots of one then the next year lots of another one. There are places where one is so predominate that it rules every year.

Posted: Sat Jun 11, 2011 7:50 pm
by lily51
Rainbow..Thanks for the warning. That's a possibility as I was looking through my Peterson's wildflower book without having a specimen too look at up close. Now I'll be very careful when i go out and look at one in the field. Hope it's something else.

Posted: Sat Jun 11, 2011 9:11 pm
by tomc
Poison Hemlock (conium maculatum), should not be on even the family cow's menu. By all reports it doesn't taste good either.

One possible reason why your not seeing it every year, is it is a biennial.

Posted: Sat Jun 11, 2011 9:38 pm
by lily51
Drove down the road to a ditch to see the plant in person. All I'm sure of is that it is in the parsley family, so it is a biennial. could be poison hemlock, fools' parsley, wild chervil, wild parsnip to name a few. Base of plant thick, purple, but no purple stems. For now, won't be tasting it!

Back to other question....any ideas on why plants show up in mass over wide area when not there previously? Enemies dropping seeds from planes?

Posted: Sat Jun 11, 2011 10:51 pm
by ozark_rocks
Last year we had a tornado in April. One month later I noticed all kinds of plants coming up that I had not had before. It planted wild strawberries against my shed, and raspberries by my front steps. It planted petunias by the blown over persimmon tree, and purple basil came up by my well house. So maybe seeds get blown in by storm winds.

Posted: Sat Jun 11, 2011 11:06 pm
by tomc
One possible reason why a variety of providentially sown plants only show up on certain years has to to do with the things that prevent seeds from germinating.

Mike Dirr has an inciteful monogram on seed inhibitors in "Manual Of Woody Plants"

An inhibitor as Dirr outlines it doesn't nesisarily kill seeds, it delays germination untill things are right for that plant.

Deserts have many plants that set seed that can lay dormant for decades till there is a wet spring, for instance.

SE-OH certainly had a wet spring.

Maybe its space aliens, I dunno. But I think I'd go with providence over intentional seeding.

Posted: Sun Jun 12, 2011 2:45 am
by lily51
The extreme weather observation and the idea of seeds being there just waiting for right conditions both seem to make sense.
Just got back from a neighborhood club that meets once a month. No one there knew what the mystery plant was either, even the "old timers".
Mystery continues.

Posted: Sun Jun 12, 2011 9:33 am
by ButterflyGarden
We get wild rosemary everywhere. My kids come home from the park smelling like rosemary. It's so yummy.

Posted: Sun Jun 12, 2011 10:16 am
by rainbowgardener
take a few pictures of the mystery plant and post them here; someone is likely to be able to ID it for you.

Posted: Tue Jun 21, 2011 8:47 pm
by shadylane
I've noticed unidenified plants here as well.
That makes a lot of sense with the harsh winds spreading seeds and the right growing conditions for the seeds to germinate. I read that some seeds stay in the ground for up to 6 years then germinates once the ground is turned over. So perhaps by pulling up a weed could cause another to sprout.
Our feathered friends do their part spreading as well as wild animals by sticking to their fur.