Outside of a very few states, Clitoria mariana (Butterfly Pea) and Centrosema virginianum (Spurred Butterfly Pea) are the only species in their respective genera most of in the United States. The Clitoria and Centrosema genera share a characteristic that is rare in Fabaceae – a twist in the pedicel turns the flower “upside down” – the largest petal – the “standard” is below the other petals (keel and wings) rather than above them as is the case with the rest of the family. These two species appear quite similar, so any confusion in the U.S. with identification is usually between these two species. There are a couple of key characteristics that can help.
I’ve been trying to identify this wildflower, photographed on the Kleinschmidt Grade in Adams County, ID, for nearly two years. I photographed it in June, 2011. Anyone able to help me out, here? Update 03/05/2013: @TheLifeBotanic (Twitter) identified it for me as a Vaccaria.
The photo I have been using as the main image for Low Hop Clover – Trifolium campestre – was actually a photograph of Black Medick – Medicago lupulina. While there are differences in the shape of the individual blossoms and of the overall plant, a key identifier is the small tooth at the end of the terminal leaflet on Black Medick.
In early September I did a Boundary Waters canoe trip with a couple of friends – great time with them, and great to get back after several years of absence. One of the plants I photographed was a large shrub with white berries. I hadn’t been able to identify it until recently, when I was browsing my copy of Idaho Mountain Wildflowers – A. Scott Earle and saw those white berries in a photo. Slapped my forehead – Dogwood! Red-osier Dogwood has WHITE berries! A bit more research on what Cornus species were found in Minnesota ensured that this was Cornus sericea. I like reducing that list of “Unidentified” in my photo catalog.
My Twitter friend OurLittleAcre tweeted for an assist in a species identification on a Hepatica photo a day or so ago. As we tweeted back and forth a few times about the species and color variation, it became clear that the subject was going to be difficult to discuss in 140-character messages, and since I wanted to record my thoughts and what I was learning as I researched the subjects, a post here on the USWildflowers Journal seemed to be in order.
False Solomon’s Seal, which has the “official” national common name of Feather False Solomon Seal, was listed in my old wildflower guide, the one I used when I first photographed and identified this plant five years ago, as Smilacina racemosa. I’ve subsequently discovered that classification has changed.
Back in 2004, when the only real wildflower identification guide I had was Audubon’s North American Wildflowers Eastern, I identified this flower as Fire Pink – Silene virginica. I was wrong.
I love this photograph of a cutleaf rosinweed blossom. As a nature photographer, I’m not an artist – I’m a reporter. The art is God’s business- “Nature is the art of God” (Dante.) My hope is that my photographs attractively portray God’s art. Initially I liked this photograph because it attractively portrays the beauty of a lovely bright yellow flower. But since I’ve been using it as my computer display background for about a month now and staring at it daily, I’ve also come to appreciate it for something else…
If you’ll recall something I said in a previous article, you’ll be able to guess that the above flower is a member of the Aster family. Most folks have seen fleabane along roadsides and in fields. This small, daisy-like flower is very common, spread throughout Canada and the United States, including Alaska and Hawaii. This photo is of Philadelphia fleabane, Erigeron philadelphicus, growing on our lot in northwest Georgia.