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Help identifying a few plants  RSS feed

 
Frank Brentwood
Posts: 81
Location: Long Island, NY (Zone 7)
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Apologies in advance for crappy cell-phone pictures

Item #1: A yellow flower, similar in appearance to dandelion, but with multiple blossoms on a single stem and different foliage. I have a patch of it about 10 feet square in my front yard, almost as if it were planted intentionally.

Flowers:


Foliage:


Patch:




Item #2: Something in the mint family, I think. I have a large patch in the side yard where it has choked out the grass and is very thick, almost like a carpet. It smells wonderful when I mow that area but otherwise gets little traffic. Wondering what it really is and how it might hold up as a ground cover?

Patch:


Single plant:




Item #3: This one pops up nearly everywhere. Cracks in the cement patio. In a bunch of rocks that got piled up last summer. All over a garden bed that is laying fallow this year. Etc, etc, etc.

Group:


Single plant:


Leaf closeup:




I'm not necessarily looking to get these plants out of my lawn, especially the flowers and the "mint". I might even try to propagate them around if they are natives, non-invasive, and/or pollinator-friendly.

Any help in identifying any or all is greatly appreciated.
 
leila hamaya
pollinator
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Location: northern northern california
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#1 dandelion look alike, sorry not much help there, but theres a few look alike plants i have also tried to figure out , and i gave up and think of them all as
*not dandelion but close*

#2 does look like small leaf mint, similar to corsican mint. and yes people plant the low growing small leaf mint as a groundcover that smells good when you step on it, mint is so hardy you can walk on it.

#3 is definitely mugwort /artemisia. looks like the most common kind artemisia vulgaris aka common worm wood.
powerful medicinal, makes good tea though its an interesting flavor that might not be appealing to everyone.
at full growth it will get huge, very tall, and is perennial.
 
Denis Huel
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Picture 1 could be a hawksbeard (Crepis).
 
Peter Ellis
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Location: Central New Jersey
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hmm.. Pretty sure plant number three is all over my yard as well. I have been thinking about asking on here, and you have done it for me
 
Peter Ellis
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Location: Central New Jersey
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Leila, does the mugwort also have a very distinctive aroma when you crush the leaves? The plant in my yard has an aroma I cannot describe well, but that is very distinctive. Knowing a little bit about brewing, it smells like something that could be used in making beer or ale.
 
leila hamaya
pollinator
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Location: northern northern california
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yes, it has a very strong fragrance, i find it really pleasant. it is sometimes burned like a sage smudge.
and totally, it is used to brew beer and mead and other kinds of alcohol. or well it used to be- i dont think its common nowadays.

it's cousin, another artemisia properly called "wormwood", is the active essential ingredient in absinthe.
i like this whole family, which are all used in a similar ways though the potency varies. our west coast native artemisia are extremely potent.
here i enjoy artemisia douglasiana artemisia douglasiana, another one in close by areas, as well as grow a chinese species artemisia agryi.

it has a psychoactive property too, though only at extreme doses and preparations. though even in mild doses it is said to bring on strong visions and dreams.
mostly it used for digestive issues and against internal parasites and to repell insects.

this one pictured is sometimes called wormwood even though (i think) this one is mugwort (artemisia vulgaris)
 
Leila Rich
steward
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Location: Wellington, New Zealand. Temperate, coastal, sandy, windy,
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Number 1 is most probably something starting with 'hawk'-maybe 'beard', maybe 'bit'...
Whatever it is, the insects love it, but it's not tasty like dandelion-I tried, it's awful!
The second reminds me of oregano, but there's so many mints out there I wouldn't even want to guess.
I assumed 'chrysanthemum' when I saw the mugwort pic-I feel better after finding out it's often called 'chrysanthemum-leafed mugwort'
 
Frank Brentwood
Posts: 81
Location: Long Island, NY (Zone 7)
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Thanks for all the replies!!!

The yellow flower certainly looks like a variety of Crepis, though it doesn't exactly match any of the ones I have been able to find pictures of. The leaves of mine are spatulate in shape without the pinnate lobes that are shown on all the pics I am seeing. But I saw that there are around 200 species of Crepis, so I'm not going to lose sleep over not being able to match it exactly

The mint has a more delicate and more herbal scent than the other mints I have encountered locally. If I had to put a name on it, I'd say it smelled like a minty marjoram or oregano. Whenever I mow, I hit that area first because it makes the whole chore more tolerable when the yard smells that good!

Does the mugwort's fragrance get stronger as the plant matures? While there is a scent to the crushed leaves, it isn't very strong. But then the plants are all less than a foot tall at the moment.
 
leila hamaya
pollinator
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I'd say it smelled like a minty marjoram or oregano.

sounds like it could be oregano, now that you all say that- it does look like the common kind of oregano.
it also looks similar to some small leaf mints i have seen, so i'm sure if you tasted some it would be clear. when it flowers it should also be clear.

Does the mugwort's fragrance get stronger as the plant matures? While there is a scent to the crushed leaves, it isn't very strong. But then the plants are all less than a foot tall at the moment.

it does get more potent as it ages, and the flowers are one of the medicinal parts. the young leaves though are better for tea, less intense. but after it flowers it smells less strong and the leaves lose potency and it all dries up.
not so strong that if you walk by it you notice it intensely, but if you crush the leaves with your fingers you will smell it on your hands for a while.

actually i do that frequently, just walk by and grab a leaf and rub it on my skin, use it as a subtle perfume. it makes a good woods washcloth type leaf for rubbing on your body. i thought it was cool when i researched it and found out that a common use for it, as i already had intuitively figured out and just did sort of automatically....to rub it on your body or to clean and perfume oneself with the leaves- bonus it works as both an insect repellent and a preventative for poison oak/poison ivy. people also used to put it in their shoes and in their closets to perfume the clothes, another bonus it has some antimicrobial properties.

its very distinct, once you smelled one of the species you would always recognize it. our native left coast kinds are much stronger medicinally, and it has a much stronger smell than the right coast kinds (mostly vulgaris).

i am 99% sure that is some species of artemisia, anyway. if i could smell it that would be the other 1 %.

its actually really hard to get a positive ID on exact species of feral mugwort, theres a lot of related subspecies and it has localized forms, slightly different looking even within the same subspecies within the same locale.
the young leaves look much different than the older leaves and the plant has a lot of different kinds of leaves it can and does express at different times. sometimes it has short fat leaves with 3, 5, or 7 segments, though usually 5....sometimes it has spiky leaves, the native douglasiana has often one spiky leaf with none of the characteristic features of the other ones, then also produces leaves that look more like the "fingers" of mugwort leaves. looking at pictures online can actually be more confusing, cause it has a lot of variability in localized types within the same species. i think theres at least hundred plants in the artemisia family, and then a few subspecies in each of those species. ?

but the most common kind on the east coast is artemisia vulgaris, and especially if its growing in a feral way and wasnt intentionally planted. so thats why i am guessing that one, its most common over there.

 
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