Herbaceous Plants Database

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Cyperus entrerianus (Deep-rooted Sedge)

Photo credit: Richard Carter, Valdosta State University, Bugwood.org

Deep-rooted sedge invades wetlands and disturbed areas throughout the southeastern United States. It grows in clumps which can reach up to 40” tall. It forms a thick mat of rhizomes. The leaves are glossy and flat or V-shaped. The terminal inflorescence has 5-11 rays which end in densely clustered spikelets.

Glechoma hederacea (Ground Ivy)

Photo credits (left to right): Leslie J. Mehrhoff, University of Connecticut, Bugwood.org; Richard Old, XID Services, Inc., Bugwood.org


Ground ivy was introduced for its medicinal properties and since has spread into moist forests and along streams in the eastern and northern United States. It spreads mostly from its stems, but also through seeds.

Ground ivy creeps along the ground, covering it with round or kidney-shaped round-serrated leaves (1 – 3” diameter). They are arranged oppositely along the stem. It is from the Mint family so leaves release a mint odor when crushed. And, like other mints, the stems are square. Blue violet flowers whorl around the leaf axils; these bloom in early spring.

PictureHedera helix (English Ivy)

Photo credit: Forest & Kim Starr, Starr Environmental, Bugwood.org


English ivy is a popular groundcover but it has spread beyond the garden and has overtaken forests, displacing native plant species across the United States. It forms both mats which cross the forest floor and woody vines which climb trees (up to 100'). These mats and vines block out sunlight, preventing native plant germination and killing trees. The plant spreads through runners and wildlife disperses its seeds.

In the shade, English ivy leaves are lobed (2 to 3 leaves per leaf), dark green with white veins, and waxy. In the sun, or on mature vines, the leaves can also be oval. Leaves are arranged alternately along the stem. Both groundcover and vines will produce clusters of small, dark purple fruits. During the summer, mature vines exposed to sun will also produce yellow flowers.

PictureHeracleum mantegazzianum (Giant Hogweed)

Photo credits (left to right): Terry English, USDA APHIS PPQ, Bugwood.org; Thomas B. Denholm, New Jersey Department of Agriculture, Bugwood.org

Giant hogweed has only been reported in Caldwell County, North Carolina but it has caused problems in both the northeast and the Pacific Northwest and is listed as a federal noxious weed. The plant’s sap is poisonous and can cause severe burns and blindness. It also produces a dense canopy which shades out native species. One plant produces many seeds which are dispersed by wind and water. It commonly invades open areas with moist disturbed soils, such as those in fields, along stream banks, roadsides, and ditches. It is much easier to control an invasive species if we can manage infestations when they are still small. So, please watch out for giant hogweed and report any infestations to the N.C. Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services Weed Specialist at 1-800-206-9333.
Giant hogweed is a massive plant; it usually only lives for 2 years but it can grow to a height of 15’ and has enormous leaves and flowers clusters. The large flat cluster, umbel, of small white flowers is reminiscent of Queen Anne’s Lace, but the Giant Hogweed’s umbel is much larger, growing up to 2½’ in diameter. It blooms in midsummer. Its leaves are compound and arranged alternately along the stem. Each leaf is made up of 3 deeply incised leaflets which can grow as large as 5’ wide. The leaflets near the top of the stem are less incised and not as large. The stems are ridged, hollow and have purple spots on them. Fine white hairs grow at the nodes in the stem.

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Info on Talinum

2003-07-03 13:22:27 by pro

Information I gleaned from the USDA plant database: plants.usda.gov/index.html Enter Scientific Name as Talinum
Talinum Adans. - gives you all varieties and maps of where they are present - click on a map to get information for that variety
- Talinum calycinum or parviflorum - most common varieties present in the central states from Texas to Minnesota/Nebraska.
- all varieties native to U.S.
Some common names:
Fameflower
Sunbright
Jewels of Opar (not common but a cool name, no?)
- Herbaceous Perennial, Shrub or Subshrub
- Native to the United States
- Talinum calycinum had a botanical illustration which showed a rhizhome (like an iris)
- Purslane family like Lewisia and Portulaca
- I doubt it is invasive. As a...


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Shallow rooted annual and perennial herbaceous plants can be planted closer to the drain fields since they do not have invasive roots. Turfgrass can be grown over the drain field and is beneficial since it helps hold the soil in place.

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