flower ID?

sluiceMay 4, 2011

Any ideas what this could be? It might have come from South Park. Thanks.

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Skybird - z5, Denver, Colorado

Does it have a latex/white/milky sap if you cut a stem?

    Bookmark   May 4, 2011 at 1:32AM
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digit(ID/WA)

dodder?

The one beside it is Achillea, I believe.

Steve

Here is a link that might be useful: Cuscuta (Dodder) - Wikipedia

    Bookmark   May 4, 2011 at 8:55AM
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dan_staley(5b/SS 2b AHS 6-7)

Kind of early for a Euphorb, skybird & petals/bracts in 5s(but that's what makes it such a wonderful genus, isn't it?).

Bracts/tepals in 4 & I can't key it out with Weber...hmmm...any chance of a macro with just the reddish flw parts?

Dan

    Bookmark   May 4, 2011 at 10:48AM
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Skybird - z5, Denver, Colorado

You reading my mind again, Dan??? Stop that or I'll report ya to the Mind Stalking Police---or the Fortune Tellers Association!!! ;-)

I agree it's not quite right for a Euphorbia (that's why I didn't suggest it right off the bat), but that was the closest thing I was coming up with. The stems look way too heavy (based on what I remember!), and, my biggest problem--once you get out of the Poinsettia Department, there are VERY few with pink/red flowers. (I don't think the opposite leaves are "right" either--at least for the ones I'm thinking of!) Not really necessarily too early. I have a volunteer Euphorbia (have NO idea what species) that was a seedling when I moved in here that's big now. It's blooming now--insignificant flowers (with millions of seeds!), but I keep it because it has pretty purple/red foliage most of the time. A lot of the cultivated varieties bloom in spring too--polychroma, amygdaloides, dulcis, a few of them, so it is possible based on that. Whatever species I have does have 5 leaves in the bracts, but when I was googling images and found the cushion spurge pic below (polychroma) it looks like it has just 3 leaves right below the flower---but I sure don't know of any that come in red! At least, since you knew what I was "thinking of," I'm not the only one seeing that resemblance in it! [Great minds think alike!!!]

"Wonderful genus!!!"
OMG! I couldn't believe what all was included in that genus when I started to learn a little (very little!) more about it! Really quite unbelievable all the (seemingly totally dissimilar) species in that genus!

What Dan says, Sluice! Any chance we can get a close up of the actual flower--just the red part at the vey end of the stem? Where is it growing? Out in the wild somewhere, or in your or somebody else's cultivated yard? Did it "just show up," or was it intentionally planted? And I'd still like to know what the "fluid" looks like if you cut a stem---and is there any scent to the foliage??? And when was the pic taken? (AND--the dead "wiry" stuff is coming from a different plant, like the grass in the background, isn't it?)

I wasn't at all familiar with Dodder, Digit, so I googled images, and I don't think that's it. I couldn't find any pictures that looked like it had a bract. Any more guesses? Dan and I sure aren't coming up with anything helpful at this point!!! The one in the foreground is definitely a yarrow.

I hope somebody can come up with an answer, 'cause when somebody posts an ID picture, I just keep thinking about it if we can't figure it out!

Out, out of my head, Dan!

:-)
Skybird

P.S. I just looked at the pic again, and I was counting 3 leaves in the bract immediately behind the flower, thinking the bigger one on the top/right was "below" them, but if you count that one, AND the tiny little one right in front of it, there IS 5! Like I said above! I won't stop thinking about it!!!

Here is a link that might be useful:

    Bookmark   May 4, 2011 at 1:49PM
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dan_staley(5b/SS 2b AHS 6-7)

Well it looks from here like the bracts/tepals are in 4s. But I can't count stamens to rule out some sort of Gentianaceae (similar to Fraser), but stamens would help key, as would ovary position & if wild-collected or in the wild...

Dan

    Bookmark   May 4, 2011 at 3:27PM
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sluice

Thanks Skybird, Steve, and Dan! The pics were taken yesterday and today. It's growing in my yard (Arvada), I think it might have hitched a ride on a spruce I collected near Como.
The dead wiry stuff is a different grass plant. The fluid is clear. I'll have to check scent on the foliage tomorrow.

cut stem

red flower part

    Bookmark   May 4, 2011 at 10:45PM
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dan_staley(5b/SS 2b AHS 6-7)

Como is much better than South Park, as that ecosystem doesn't support that kind of plant unless its on one of those hills. Scent may be a key to ID.

The BH can't get to family either so I don't feel so bad!

Dang Weber.

Dan

    Bookmark   May 5, 2011 at 12:10AM
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Skybird - z5, Denver, Colorado

"(similar to Fraser)"
Dan, what's Fraser? You're way over my head on that one! (I'm short! That's easy to do!!!)

And, the only thing I'm at all familiar with in the Gentianaceae family is the gentians/Gentiana. I have a couple different species of gentian (LOVE those blues!), but they don't even vaguely resemble that plant. Is there something in that family that looks like that?

AHA! I was just checking out the genera in the Gentianaceae family, and I found Frasera! The first mystery solved! Googled some pics and I see what your driving at, but they don't look right--at least not the ones that turned up in the search.

The new pics aren't helping me! The foliage near the bottom in the "cut stem" pic looks a lot like oxeye daisy, but it's obviously not that. With no latex sap, a euphorbia is clearly ruled out now! The close-up of the flowers isn't helping me at all! When I look at the very first pic, I get this strong feeling like I've seen it before and should know what it is---but I don't!

Sluice, I thought of something else that could possibly help--more likely Dan than me at this point! Can you dig down in far enough to see if it has a tap root or if it seems to have a "normal" root system? Dan has actually studied this stuff--as opposed to me--and that could be one more hint that could help him think of something.

Anybody else want to venture a guess?

Skybird

    Bookmark   May 5, 2011 at 1:39AM
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digit(ID/WA)

So, it was recently transplanted with a spruce from the mountains.

Any chance that the flower buds are trying to open into something that resembles an orchid?

Steve

    Bookmark   May 5, 2011 at 9:38AM
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dan_staley(5b/SS 2b AHS 6-7)

The close-up of the flowers isn't helping me at all! When I look at the very first pic, I get this strong feeling like I've seen it before and should know what it is---but I don't!

Yup, me too. I'm embarrassed I can't even get down to family. The BH gave it about 4 milliwatts of energy & couldn't get it either.

Orchid flw parts are in 3s or 6s. But surely if that stuff in the center is going to open, it will do so soon, as flowers up that high move quickly.

I wonder if this aftn I should get down some books about the Siskiyous, there are spruce in those mountains & the keys are more usable.

Dan

    Bookmark   May 5, 2011 at 10:02AM
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sluice

Wow! Thanks much for the efforts!

Unfortunately I was busy today, and didn't have time to stop and smell the ... um, whatever this is ;)

I'll keep an eye on the flower as it continues to grow, and check out the roots if I can get to them.

    Bookmark   May 6, 2011 at 12:04AM
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Skybird - z5, Denver, Colorado

Definitely let us know if the --um, whatever it is--smells!

LOL!

Thanks for the laugh tonite!

Skybird

    Bookmark   May 6, 2011 at 1:34AM
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sluice

Here is an update on the mystery flower, it seems to have been enjoying the rain. Does this help with ID?

And here's another ID question, for extra credit. Thanks!

    Bookmark   May 13, 2011 at 11:22PM
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Skybird - z5, Denver, Colorado

Penstemon??? Dan?????

I've sure never seen one with buds that look like that, but there are all kinds of Penstemon that I know absolutely nothing about! The flowers are right, the leaves are right, and I'm sure there are Penstemon out around Como!

What does the foliage on the other one look like?

Skybird

    Bookmark   May 14, 2011 at 12:05AM
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dan_staley(5b/SS 2b AHS 6-7)

Ooh. Might be Penstemon virgatus but hard to say for sure without being there. Third maybe some type of Bellium if in some shade - if leaves very tight and low to the ground maybe B. minutum...

Dan

    Bookmark   May 14, 2011 at 5:56PM
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Skybird - z5, Denver, Colorado

For the last pic, Dan, the first thing that came into my head was maybe some species of Erigeron---dozens if not hundreds of different species to pick from. But with a daisy-like flower, there are so many possibilities it's really hard to pick something without at least seeing the basal foliage. I think it could conceivably be some species of aster too---again, lots to choose from!
Erigeron foliosus

If the first one really is a Penstemon, I don't think we'll ever know for sure what species it is. is a possibility.

Can you get more pics of the foliage and the plant as a whole on the second one, Sluice? How big are the flowers, and how tall is the overall plant? And is it from the same place?

Skybird

    Bookmark   May 15, 2011 at 2:04AM
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dan_staley(5b/SS 2b AHS 6-7)

Penstemons are very hard to ID! Part of the keying exercise is habitat - e.g. Rydbergs are generally found in wet alpine meadows. I remember the day when backpacking/botanizing with an old GF, and we had too many ID books to carry around for three days, that we maybe should be content with just getting to genus with some fls and Penstemon pushed us over the edge.

Speaking of over the edge, I'm growing P. strictus from seed so I can have a drift in the new treelawn perennial bed; not only did the fam have to put up with the container of seeds in the crisper drawer in the fridge and my collecting snow to keep a cool temp on the bucket outside, but now I have to monitor seedlings every day because some just keel over for no apparent reason. I seem to have a stable population now & hoping they hurry up so I can plant them out by end of June...

[/penstemaniac]

wrt Erigeron, I thought that too but the ray fls are too few and ~wide for my taste...another case where you have to be there.

Dan

    Bookmark   May 15, 2011 at 12:57PM
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dan_staley(5b/SS 2b AHS 6-7)

OK, last one and I'll calm down. I'm leaning toward P. procerus now.

Dan

    Bookmark   May 15, 2011 at 1:26PM
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Skybird - z5, Denver, Colorado

ROFL!

I wasn't gonna stop to post right now--need to finish cleaning the house for the swap, but when I just saw your second post I cracked up and HAD to!

I can just see you trekking around out in the hills and plains with your library! The couple times I took a (small) reference book of some sort with me, I was always so busy going from thing to thing to thing, and always spotting the next thing to oooo and ahhhh at that I never stopped even once to stick my head in the book! No more book carrying for me! I'm really glad for digital cameras now, and took a bunch of pics on one of my hikes last September in Capitol Reef--planning to "identify" them when I got back home, but never even got around to that!!! Maybe I'll post pics some day! And last June when I was up at a couple Natl. Monuments in Nebraska I was playing flower lookie loo, and then when I went into one of the Visitor's Centers I found a WONDERFUL book one of the Rangers had put together with descriptions and pictures of all the local flowers, and I was able to definitely identify some of them down to the species. But I way agree with you! Getting as far as the genus definitely satisfies me most of the time! (But it's still fun wondering what species they might be!)

The reason I was so cracking up about your two posts above, Mr. Penstemaniac, is because I immediately thought of the SEPARATE Penstemon germination guide on the Tom Clothier site! There aren't TOO many species of Penstemon, are there? A-J and K-Z! And I'm absolutely, positively certain this isn't ALL the species of Penstemon!

I found the rydbergii last nite when I was looking to see if I could find pics of a Penstemon BUD that looked like that one! Discovered that while a LOT of people post pics of the flowers, the leaves, the plants, NOBODY posts pics of the BUDS! But while I was looking, I ran into the rydbergii, and it looked pretty close. Actually, we used to sell that one, but I don't remember ever seeing in in bud or bloom! I'm not familiar at all with procerus, so I googled it and found , and it sure looks like a good possibility to me! I think maybe you get the gold star on this one!

I FINALLY got some of the Penstemon seed I collected a couple years ago along a fun little road called the Burr Trail just east of Boulder, Utah to germinate with my winter sowing this year! Based on pictures and where I got it, I THINK it may be P. utahensis, but will never know that for sure either. I really, really think winter sowing, where they get a lot of temperature variation, is better for seeds that need stratification than sticking them in the fridge where they get a bunch of cold all at once, and then warm up and stay warm. Had tried germinating this stuff with the fridge method a couple times, and it hadn't worked! Now I have the situation you have with the strictus! Tiny, tiny little seedlings that I'm trying to keep not-too-wet---and not-too-dry at the same time! Terrible balance to try to maintain till they get a little bit bigger and you can let them dry out almost the whole way before watering again. If these things make it, it'll be really interesting to see how they do as a cultivated plant! Good luck with your strictus! I have one, and they're pretty when they bloom, but they sure don't bloom for long. If you're gonna have a whole patch of them, it should be real pretty when they're blooming! Interestingly, I've never had any seedlings come up around mine---and seed very definitely does drop around it!

I agree with you about the size/quantity of petals on most Erigerons, and was a little bit surprised to find that species, and a couple others, that looked closer to the pic than I was expecting. I think of Bellium as having wider petals than the pic shows, and the stems look too long for what I'd expect to see on minutum, but it's really hard to tell what the scale is in the pic. It'll be interesting to see if we can figure that one out with more pics!

Laugh break over! I need to finish cleaning the house NOW while it's cold and icky outside, because if it gets nice outside again the house will be dirty for the swap! Back to work!

Skybird

    Bookmark   May 15, 2011 at 3:03PM
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sluice

Thanks much Skybird and Dan, this is really helpful! I'll try and get pics of basal foliage.

    Bookmark   May 15, 2011 at 3:18PM
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sluice

It finally stopped raining long enough to get out for a pic. Not that I'm complaining!

    Bookmark   May 19, 2011 at 9:31AM
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dan_staley(5b/SS 2b AHS 6-7)

Do you think this came in on the wood or is this just something in the landscape?

Dan

    Bookmark   May 19, 2011 at 10:57AM
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sluice

Thanks Dan. This one came from somewhere due south of Como, due west of Fairplay. At the base of Reinecker Ridge South, east side.

    Bookmark   May 19, 2011 at 11:19PM
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dan_staley(5b/SS 2b AHS 6-7)

OK, just making sure. Might be able to key it out, but might be a day or two. Not a Bellium.

Just for grins, I was looking at the EFlora for Erigeron because Wildflowers West was making me sad, and I had flashbacks to field trips in undergrad in California: Erigeron Linnaeus, Sp. Pl. 2: 863. 1753; Gen. Pl. ed. 5, 371. 1754.

Fleabane, �rig�ron, vergerette [Greek eri, early, or erio, woolly, and geron, old man, perhaps alluding to pappus, which becomes gray and accrescent in some species, or to solitary, woolly heads of some of species]

Guy L. Nesom

Achaetogeron A. Gray; Trimorpha Cassini

Annuals, biennials, or perennials [subshrubs, shrubs, trees], (0.5�)2�90(�100) cm (taprooted, fibrous-rooted, or rhizomatous and fibrous-rooted, sometimes with simple or branched caudices, sometimes stoloniferous). Stems erect to ascending, decumbent, or prostrate, simple or branched, glabrous or hairy, sometimes glandular (hairs 2-seriate, minute, sometimes stipitate). Leaves basal and/or cauline (basal persistent or not to flowering); alternate; sessile or petiolate; blades 1-nerved (3-nerved), linear to lanceolate, oblanceolate, or spatulate (bases sometimes clasping), margins entire or � dentate to pinnatifid, faces glabrous or hairy, sometimes glandular. Heads usually radiate, sometimes discoid or disciform (erect, nodding, or arching-pendent in bud), borne singly or in loose, corymbiform or paniculiform arrays. Involucres turbinate to hemispheric, 5�35 mm diam. Phyllaries 30�125(�150) in 2�5 series, 1- or 3-nerved (nerves golden-resinous; usually flat, rarely broadly keeled to convex), narrowly elliptic- to linear-lanceolate, unequal to equal, margins scarious or not, faces hairy or glabrous, sometimes glandular. Receptacles flat to conic, pitted, epaleate. Ray florets 0 or 12�350 in 1(�2+) series, pistillate, fertile; corollas usually white to bluish or purplish to pink, less commonly yellow (coiling from apices, reflexing at tube/lamina junction, or remaining � straight and spreading). Peripheral florets (disciform heads) 50�200 in 1�4 series, pistillate. Disc florets 25�450, bisexual, fertile; corollas yellow (nerves orange-resinous), tubes shorter than usually tubular, sometimes strongly inflated and indurate throats, lobes 5, erect to spreading, deltate; style-branch appendages mostly deltate (papillate). Cypselae (tan) oblong to oblong-obovoid, compressed to flattened, 2(�4)-nerved, or subterete, 5�14-nerved (sect. Wyomingia and some other species), faces glabrous or strigose or sericeous, eglandular; pappi persistent or readily falling, usually of outer setae or scales (0.1�0.4 mm), sometimes connate, plus 5�40(�50), stramineous, barbellate bristles, sometimes pappi only on ray or only on disc cypselae, or 0. x = 9.

Species ca. 390 (173 in the flora): nearly worldwide, mostly in temperate regions.

My eyes have an owie. You want to be a taxonomist, do you? ;o)

Dan

    Bookmark   May 20, 2011 at 6:27AM
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dan_staley(5b/SS 2b AHS 6-7)

OK. So I had an Aurora weed class last Saturday and the instructor - excellent - teaches taxonomy, and out of the air she mentioned how hard the composites are to ID, and some of the Erigeron are hardest, some ID depends on angle of...well. Unnnh. Anyway, love that ridge and valley and I look at it every time we go down to Chaffee County (often).

Fascinating journey, best guess just on fotos trying to ID a composite at a distance: Erigeron vetensis, early bluetop fleabane. I'm going to go be productive now. No, really.

Dan

    Bookmark   May 24, 2011 at 1:25AM
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sluice

Dan, early bluetop fleabane works for me. Thanks again for your help!

    Bookmark   May 25, 2011 at 11:16PM
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