Thursday, September 15, 2011

I Found Some New Plants!

   They're not "new", as in, just created, discovered, or purchased. But they are "new" to me, as in, I've never identified them before and I didn't know we had them on our property. I love finding new plants and going home and playing detective, trying to identify them in our books, which is not always easy. Over the course of this growing season, I've been periodically going through the landscape, trying to identify everything and either keep it if it's native or yank it out if it's not. (One of those jobs that'll never be finished) I've been coddling this first plant all summer, waiting for it to bloom so I could make a positive ID on it, guessing all along that it was a worthwhile plant. I had a pretty good feeling about it, it looked familiar. Well, it payed off...

It's White Snakeroot! Or, Eupatorium rugosum, or Ageratina altissima. It looks quite a bit like a Boneset, another Eupatorium, but with broader leaves. The pollinators were loving it, so I love it too.

Over at Dean, it's mixed in with all the Crownbeard which is also blooming now. We also have a lot more of it than I realized, which became obvious once it started blooming.

It seems to tolerate dry shady sites well, growing approximately 2-3 feet high. I read that it's poisonous, causing "milk sickness" when eaten by cattle. Maybe that's why the deer don't touch it?

I also found this little gem, identified as Sweet Everlasting, or Pseudonaphalium obtusifolium. It's another plant growing randomly in a wild area that I weeded around earlier. I left it since I didn't know what it was, promising to keep my eyes on it in case it was a non-native. It really is sweet, evidenced by the teeny tiny little ants on it.

I'll have to get back out there and keep looking, there may be more!


  1. I love Ageratina altissima. People look at me like I'm crazy when I collect it on rescues. But it is one of the latest blooming plants around and I cherish those! For the pollinators, of course.

    Keep looking!

  2. Youroldium HusbandiumSeptember 16, 2011 at 8:08 AM

    Pseudonaphalium're makin' that up, right?

  3. Ellen, it's nice to know I'm not the only one who gets excited over these sweet little plants!

    Y.H., no, I'm not making it up, the weird part is trying to translate it, it comes out as false...something...blunt leaf. But it has thin, pointy leaves! Makes no sense to me, but I know I Id'ed it correctly, see here:

  4. Love White Snakeroot! Featured it last week. It's such a great plant for disturbed sites, much better than invasives. But, because it's so common folks want to pull it out. I wonder if your everlasting is a host of the American Lady butterfly?

  5. Heather, I didn't realize the Everlasting was a host plant for the Lady. I went back and looked at my plants and sure enough, the leaves do look nibbled, and the Ladys are somewhat regular butterflies. Thanks for the tip, I'll have to make sure I protect those plants!