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SW WA native flower or pretty "weed"?  RSS feed

 
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Location: SW Washington
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I couldn't find a continuous thread for plant ID purposes (I assume it would get too jumbled?) Here is my mystery plant. It's in the woods and garden, although I've not let it seed near the garden since it's quite prolific in the woods. It grows in all conditions but prefers sheltered wet areas.
 
pollinator
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I may be wrong, but after eliminating some look-alikes (sort of) like blackberries and strawberries, my next thought was that it looks like a member of the saxifrage family--specifically a native Heuchera, commonly known as Coral Bells or Alumroot. You can see from this map https://plants.usda.gov/core/profile?symbol=HEUCH that there are quite a few subordinate taxa to choose from. Many are in your area, but since this is a widely hybridized and selected plant for commercial nurseries as well, the number of variations in leaf form, color, etc. are amazing. It can get really confusing to find just which one is which. I'm thinking maybe Heuchera micrantha, but again, this is just a guess. I could be completely off on the ID. I'll keep looking though--I love a good plant mystery!
 
Sally Munoz
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Thanks Deb! The leaves do look like Heuchera micrantha but the flowers on mine are yellow (not flowering yet this year). It certainly could be some sort of Heuchera, hmmm..
 
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Might be Geum
 
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I agree with Wliiam above.  I suspect it's large leaved avens, Geum macrophyllum (though it might be a different species), a PNW plant with yellow flowers. 

Here's the listing at a native plant database: http://www.nwplants.com/business/catalog/geu_mac.html

And here is a pic of it flowering:


And here's a site with a lot more pics: http://www.botany.hawaii.edu/faculty/carr/ofp/geu_mac.htm

Note that the flower looks sort of like if you squished a buttercup flower in a book?  It's distinctive when the flower is fully open, how the petals don't touch each other.  The cultivated versions of the genus are much showier, bigger petals.

Here's a page from Mrs. Grieve's Herbal on the medicinal uses of the European avens, Geum urbanum, which I think has made it to the east coast of the US.  It looks a little different than the PNW one... Mrs. Grieve's A Modern Herbal - Avens
 
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I've got the same plant on my property. It likes to grow in the same places as buttercup, but it's a lot better plant than butter cup. Like Kim said, I'm pretty sure it's Avens.
 
Sally Munoz
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Thanks you guys, it must be avens/geum! How cool to read about its history and possible herbal uses.
I tried to post a picture yesterday of one I found that was flowering, but my post literally disappeared.
I'll try again.
 
Sally Munoz
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Kim Goodwin wrote:

Here's the listing at a native plant database: http://www.nwplants.com/business/catalog/geu_mac.html



Oooo,  I am LOVING this website! Thank you Kim!!
 
Deb Stephens
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Kim Goodwin wrote: I agree with Wliiam above.  I suspect it's large leaved avens, Geum macrophyllum (though it might be a different species), a PNW plant with yellow flowers. 

Here's the listing at a native plant database: http://www.nwplants.com/business/catalog/geu_mac.html


And here's a site with a lot more pics: http://www.botany.hawaii.edu/faculty/carr/ofp/geu_mac.htm

Note that the flower looks sort of like if you squished a buttercup flower in a book?  It's distinctive when the flower is fully open, how the petals don't touch each other.  The cultivated versions of the genus are much showier, bigger petals.

Here's a page from Mrs. Grieve's Herbal on the medicinal uses of the European avens, Geum urbanum, which I think has made it to the east coast of the US.  It looks a little different than the PNW one... Mrs. Grieve's A Modern Herbal - Avens



I agree with Kim and William. After seeing these pics (great links Kim!) it seems pretty much unmistakable.
 
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