Plants – edible, medicinal, etc.
As an experiment to determine if restorative farming works with plants, as is the primary reason for the name, one way to determine this is to see if the soil has the potential to support a wide variety of other native plant life. Some plants do well in dry aired soil (cactus) while other plant life requires consistent dampness (ferns). This property has a couple of springs as well as deep gullies where water can be found even in the driest months as well as some hard packed sun baked soil. Thus, there is a comprehensive selection of plants available for the extremes and many examples in-between. Some of these are known to be quite nutritious as well as to help with Parkinson’s and Hepatitis B diseases. This list as well as the photographs made are from the actual plants found on the property.
American pokeweed – Phytolacca americana
Phytolacca americana, also known as American pokeweed, pokeweed, poke sallet, dragonberries, and inkberry, is a poisonous, herbaceous perennial plant in the pokeweed family Phytolaccaceae. This pokeweed grows 1 to 3 meters. It has simple leaves on green to red or purplish stems and a large white taproot. If washed properly, the leaves may be used in a salad.
Bitter Dock – Rumex obtusifolius
Bitter Dock is a perennial plant, a highly invasive species in some zones, resulting from its abundant seed dispersal, adaptability to reproduce, aggressive roots, ability to tolerate extreme climates, and hardiness. It is easily recognizable by its very large oval leaves with cordate bases and rounded tips, some of the lower leaves having red stems. The edges of the leaves are slightly “crisped” or wavy, the upper surface is hairless and the under surface may be papillose. The leaves of this plant can grow to about 12 in in length and 5.9 in wide. The taproot is large, with numerous branches extending to a depth of 59 in, with tough stems, often reddish, and unbranched until just below the inflorescence. Leaves of the plant can be used as salad, to prepare a vegetable broth or to be cooked like spinach. They contain oxalic acid which can be hazardous if consumed in large quantities. Dried seeds are used as a spice. In Romania and Greece the leaves are sometimes used as an alternative to other plants in the making of sarmale. A tea prepared from the root was thought to cure boils. In Ireland and the United Kingdom, the plant is often found growing near stinging nettles and if stung, the dock leaf, squeezed to extract a little juice, can be rubbed on the skin to counteract the itching caused by brushing against a nettle plant.
Common Dandelion – Taraxacum officinale subsp. ceratophorum
This plant species is edible in their entirety. The common name dandelion from French dent-de-lion, meaning ‘lion’s tooth’, is also given to specific members of the genus. The plant has several culinary uses: the flowers are used to make dandelion wine, the greens are used in salads, the roots have been used to make a coffee substitute (when baked and ground into powder) and the plant was used by Native Americans as a food and medicine. Dandelions are harvested from the wild or grown on a small scale as a leaf vegetable. The leaves (called dandelion greens) can be eaten cooked or raw in various forms, such as in soup or salad. They are probably closest in character to mustard greens. Usually the young leaves and unopened buds are eaten raw in salads, while older leaves are cooked. Raw leaves have a slightly bitter taste. Dandelion salad is often accompanied with hard-boiled eggs. The leaves are high in vitamins A and C, as well as iron, phosphorus, and potassium. Dandelion flowers can be used to make dandelion wine, for which there are many recipes.
Muscadine – Vitis rotunifolia
Vitis rotundifolia, or muscadine, is a grapevine species native to the southeastern and south-central United States. The growth range extends from Florida to New Jersey coast, and west to eastern Texas and Oklahoma. It has been extensively cultivated since the 16th century. The plants are well-adapted to their native warm and humid climate; they need fewer chilling hours than better known varieties, and thrive in summer heat.
Purple dead-nettle – Lamium purpureum
Lamium purpureum grows with square stems to 5–20 cm (rarely 30 cm) in height. The leaves have fine hairs, are green at the bottom and shade to purplish at the top; they are 2–4 cm long and broad, with a 1–2 cm petiole (leaf stalk), and wavy to serrated margins. The flowers are bright red-purple, with a top hood-like petal, two lower lip petal lobes and minute fang-like lobes between. The corolla shows a line of hairs near the base of the tube. They may be produced throughout the year, including mild weather in winter. This allows bees to gather its nectar for food when few other nectar sources are available.
It is also a prominent source of pollen for bees in March/April, when bees need the pollen as protein to build up their nest. Young plants have edible tops and leaves, used in salads or in stir-fry as a spring vegetable. If finely chopped it can also be used in sauces. Undyed, the pollen itself is a red color and is very noticeable on the heads of bees that frequent its flowers. Folk herbalists use purple dead nettle in many herbal remedies. One of these is purple dead nettle salve that can be used on irritated, itchy, or sore skin.
Sawtooth blackberry – Rubus argutus
Second-year plants are capable of growing the fruit which gives the plant’s common name, the blackberry. The fruits are compound drupes which change from bright red to black at maturity. Each section (drupelet) of a blackberry contains a single seed. Second year plants die after bearing fruits, but regrow from the underground portion of the plant. There are many species of blackberries, which are edible and differ by size.
Wild Garlic – Allium vineale
Wild garlic (onion grass, crow garlic or stag’s garlic) is a perennial, bulb-forming species of wild onion. All parts of the plant have a strong garlic odor. The underground bulb is 1–2 cm diameter, with a fibrous outer layer. Each individual flower is stalked and has a pinkish-green perianth 2.5 to 4.5 mm (3⁄32 to 3⁄16 in) long. While Allium vineale has been suggested as a substitute for garlic, there is some difference of opinion as to whether there is an unpleasant aftertaste compared to that of common garlic (Allium sativum). It imparts a garlic-like flavor and odor on dairy and beef products when grazed by livestock.
Woodland sunflower – Helianthus divaricatus
Commonly known as the rough sunflower, woodland sunflower, or rough woodland sunflower, is a North American species perennial herb in the family Asteraceae. It is native to central and eastern North America, from Ontario and Quebec in the north, south to Florida and Louisiana and west to Oklahoma and Iowa.
Black-eyed Susan – Rudbeckia hirta
North American flowering plant in the family Asteraceae, native to Eastern and Central North America and naturalized in the Western part of the continent as well as in China. The plant is thought to be an herbal medicine by Native American for various ailments. The roots but not the seed heads of Rudbeckia hirta can be used much like the related Echinacea purpurea with unsubstantiated claims to boost immunity and fight colds, flu and infections. The Ojibwa people used it as a poultice for snake bites and to make an infusion for treating colds and worms in children.
Carolina Geranium – Geranium carolinianum
Geranium carolinianum is a species of geranium known by the common name Carolina crane’s-bill, or Carolina geranium. This species is native to North America, where it is widespread and grows in many types of habitat. The plant has erect stems covered in spiky hairs. The color of the stem is typically pink to red. There are two leaves per node on each stem, called opposite leaves. The stem is not succulent and not nutrient-rich as a source of calories for herbivores. There is potential for this plant to fight Hepatitis B. The ethanol extracted from the plant has been effective in treating inflammatory issues as well. The presence of the anti-HBV compounds in the geraniin, ellagic acid and hyperin in G. carolinianum L. might account for the effectiveness of this folk medicine in the treatment of HBV infections. Bobwhite Quails as well as Mourning Doves are known to eat the seeds of the plant. It is also a preferred winter forage for White-tailed Deer in the Southeast, with an average of 19 percent crude protein in the vegetative state.
Common Mullein – Verbascum thapsus
It grows in a wide variety of habitats, but prefers well-lit, disturbed soils, where it can appear soon after the ground receives light, from long-lived seeds that persist in the soil seed bank. It is a common weedy plant that spreads by prolifically producing seeds, and has become invasive in temperate world regions. Although commonly used in traditional medicine, no approved drugs are made from this plant. It has been used to make dyes and torches.
Dogfennel – Eupatorium capillifolium
North American perennial herbaceous plant in the family Asteraceae, native to the eastern and south-central United States. It is generally between 50 cm and 2 meters tall with several stems that fork from a substantial base. The stems and base are covered in leaves so dissected that they resemble branching green threads coming out of the stem in fractal patterns. When crushed, the leaves and flowers smell rather unpleasant. Dogfennel contains pyrrolizidine alkaloids which can cause liver failure. Eupatorium capillifolium is extracted into an essential oil and has anti-fungal properties.
Maypop – Passiflora incarnata
(Purple passion flower) One of the hardiest species of passionflower, it is both found as a wildflower in the southern United States and in cultivation for its fruit and striking bluish purple blooms. Passiflora incarnata fruit contain many seeds, each surrounded by an aril holding edible juice, and this juice can be consumed fresh or used to flavor processed products. The Cherokee in the Tennessee area called it ocoee; the Ocoee River and valley are named after this plant, which is the Tennessee state wildflower. For thousands of years the maypop was a staple food and medicinal plant for the Cherokee and to this day it is a revered piece of their heritage.
Blue Mistflower – Conoclinium coelestinum
Carolina buckthorn – Frangula caroliniana
A deciduous upright shrub or small tree native to the southeastern, south-central, and mid-western parts of the United States, from Texas east to Florida and north as far as Maryland, Ohio, Missouri, and Oklahoma. The most striking characteristic of this plant are its shiny, dark green leaves. The flowers are very small and inconspicuous, pale yellow-green, bell-shaped, appearing in leaf axils in late spring after the leaves. The fruit is a small (1/3 inch or 8.3 mm) round drupe; at first red, but later turning black with juicy flesh. It ripens in late summer.
Chinese bushclover – Lespedeza cuneata
This plant is native to Asia and eastern Australia and it is present elsewhere as an introduced species and sometimes an invasive plant. It was first planted in the US in North Carolina in 1896. It was used to control erosion and to revegetate abandoned mine sites and was used as forage for livestock. It was useful in areas susceptible to drought because its deep roots can keep it alive. Grazing may be a way to control the plant, especially by goats. When it invades a habitat it reduces the abundance and diversity of native plants and can make the area less attractive to wildlife. It may inhibit the growth of tree seedlings. It may be allelopathic, producing substances that chemically inhibit the growth of other plants.
Poison Ivy – Toxicodendron radicans
Commonly known as eastern poison ivy or poison ivy, is an allergenic Asian and Eastern North American flowering plant in the genus Toxicodendron. The species is well known for causing urushiol-induced contact dermatitis, an itchy, irritating, and sometimes painful rash, in most people who touch it. The rash is caused by urushiol, a clear liquid compound in the plant’s sap. Vines growing on the trunk of a tree become firmly attached through numerous aerial rootlets. The vines develop adventitious roots, or the plant can spread from rhizomes or root crowns.
Trumpet honeysuckle – Campsis radicans
The flowers are very attractive to hummingbirds, and many types of birds like to nest in the dense foliage. The flowers are followed by large seed pods. As these mature, they dry and split. Hundreds of thin, brown, paper-like seeds are released. The trumpet vine grows vigorously. In warm weather, it puts out huge numbers of tendrils that grab onto every available surface, and eventually expand into heavy woody stems several centimeters in diameter. It grows well on arbors, fences, telephone poles, and trees, although it may dismember them in the process. Ruthless pruning is recommended.
Virginia Creeper – Parthenocissus quinquefolia
The flowers are small and greenish, produced in inconspicuous clusters in late spring, and mature in late summer or early fall into small hard purplish-black berries 5 to 7 mm (3⁄16 to 1⁄4 in) diameter. These berries contain toxic amounts of oxalic acid and have been known to cause kidney damage and death to humans. The berries are not toxic to birds and provide an important winter food source for many bird species. The plant should be trimmed regularly to keep it from growing into areas where it is not wanted. If allowed to penetrate into the wall of a frame house, it will grow upward within the wall until it finds a place to emerge. The roots can penetrate a rock foundation and grow into the basement of an old house, extending long distances in search of moisture, and growing into floor cracks or drains.
Bermuda grass – Cynodon dactylon
The blades are a grey-green color and are short, usually 2–15 cm (0.79–5.91 in) long with rough edges. The erect stems can grow 1–30 cm (0.39–11.81 in) tall. The stems are slightly flattened, often tinged purple in color. The seed heads are produced in a cluster of two to six spikes together at the top of the stem, each spike 2–5 cm (0.79–1.97 in) long. It has a deep root system; in drought situations with penetrable soil, the root system can grow to over 2 meters (6.6 ft) deep, though most of the root mass is less than 60 centimeters (24 in) under the surface. The rhizomes are reported to act as a diuretic in humans and the grass juice can act as an astringent. It has been observed that Cynodon dactylon may be selectively eaten by dogs to swiftly induce vomiting when they have gastrointestinal problems.
Johnson grass – Sorghum halepense
The plant has been introduced to all continents except Antarctica, and most larger islands and archipelagos. It reproduces by rhizomes and seeds. Johnson grass has been used for forage and to stop erosion, but it is often considered a weed because: Foliage that becomes wilted from frost or hot, dry weather can contain sufficient amounts of hydrogen cyanide to kill cattle and horses if it is eaten in quantity. The foliage can cause ‘bloat’ in such herbivores from the accumulation of excessive nitrates; otherwise, it is edible. It grows and spreads rapidly, it can ‘choke out’ other cash crops planted by farmers. Johnson grass that is resistant to the common herbicide glyphosate (RoundUp).
Little bluestem – Schizachyrium scoparium
Grows to become an upright, roundish mound of soft, bluish-green or grayish-green blades in May and June that is about two to three feet high. In July, it initiates flowering stalks, which reach four to five feet in height. In fall, it displays a coppery or mostly orange color with tints of red or purple. Sometimes it displays in some places, as in sandy soils, a redder fall color. It becomes a more orangish-bronze in winter until early spring, when it becomes more tan.
Marsh bristlegrass – Setaria parviflora
This grass is a perennial with small, knotty rhizomes. It produces stems 30 centimeters to well over one meter tall. The leaf blades are up to 25 centimeters long and under a centimeter wide. The leaves are whitish-green. The inflorescence is a compact, spike like panicle up to 8 or 10 centimeters long. Surrounding each spikelet are up to 12 yellow or purple bristles. The bristles stay on the stalk after the seeds drop away. This grass grows in moist habitat. It can grow in salty habitat such as salt marshes.
Roughleaf ricegrass – Oryzopsis asperifolia
Perennial bunchgrass that forms loose, circular tufts in sparsely vegetated, rocky soils. Leaf blades are flat, broad, rough, and taper at both ends with open sheaths. The large seeds of roughleaf ricegrass can be gathered and cooked or ground into a pleasant-tasting meal or flour. Its sparse distribution and tendency to shed its seeds early makes it difficult to harvest in quantity.
Box elder – Acer negundo
A species of maple native to North America. It is a fast-growing, short-lived tree with opposite, compound leaves. It is sometimes considered a weedy or invasive species. It often has several trunks and can form impenetrable thickets. The typical lifespan of box elder is 60 – 75 years. Under exceptionally favorable conditions, it may live to 100 years. Several birds and some squirrels feed on the seeds. A protoxin present in the seeds of Acer negundo, hypoglycin A, has been identified as a major risk factor for, and possibly the cause of, a disease in horses, seasonal pasture myopathy.
Bradford pear – Pyrus calleryana
A species of pear tree native to China and Vietnam, in the family Rosaceae. It is most commonly known for its cultivar ‘Bradford’ and its offensive odor, widely planted throughout the United States and increasingly regarded as an invasive species. Easily identified with the thorns along the branches that may reach 3 inches in length and inflict pain. They can present a problem when a tractor runs across a young tree flattening the tires. The trees were introduced to the U.S. by the United States Department of Agriculture facility at Glenn Dale, Maryland, as ornamental landscape trees in the mid-1960s. They became popular with landscapers because they were inexpensive, transported well and grew quickly. Lady Bird Johnson promoted the tree in 1966 by planting one in downtown Washington, D.C.
Common persimmon – Diospyros virginiana
The tree grows wild but has been cultivated for its fruit and wood since prehistoric times by Native Americans. The fragrant flowers are pollinated by insects and wind. Fruiting typically begins when the tree is about 6 years old. The fruit is high in vitamin C, and extremely astringent when unripe. It is eaten by birds, raccoons, skunks, white-tailed deer, semi-wild hogs, flying squirrels, and opossums. The ripe fruit may be eaten raw by humans, typically once bletted, or cooked or dried. The fruit pulp can be made into pie, pudding, jam, molasses, and candy. A herbal tea can be made from the leaves and the roasted seed is used as a coffee substitute.
Loblolly pine – Pinus taeda
The wood industry classifies the species as a southern yellow pine. U.S. Forest Service surveys found that loblolly pine is the second-most common species of tree in the United States, after red maple. For its timber, the pine species is regarded as the most commercially important tree in the Southeastern U.S. The common name loblolly is given because the pine species is found mostly in lowlands and swampy areas. Loblolly pine is the first among over 100 species of Pinus to have its complete genome sequenced. As of March 2014, it was the organism having the largest sequenced genome size. Its genome, with 22 billion base pairs, is seven times larger than that of humans.
Mimosa – Albizia julibrissin
Known by a wide variety of common names, such as Persian silk tree and pink siris. It is also called Lankaran acacia or bastard tamarind, though it is not too closely related to either genus. The species is called Chinese silk tree, silk tree or mimosa in the United States. It has become an invasive species in the United States. The sweet-scented flowers are a good nectar source for honeybees and butterflies. Pink silk tree can be used to treat the effects of stinging nettle (Urtica dioica) by rubbing the leaves in hand and then applying to the rash area. Relief is almost instantaneous.
Mockernut hickory – Carya alba
The most abundant of the hickories, common in the eastern half of the US, it is long lived, sometimes reaching the age of 500 years. A straight-growing hickory, a high percentage of its wood is used for products where strength, hardness, and flexibility are needed. The wood makes excellent fuel wood, as well. The leaves turn yellow in Autumn. The nut is distinctly four-angled with a reddish-brown, very hard shell 5 to 6 mm (0.20 to 0.24 in) thick containing a small edible kernel.
Red maple – Acer rubrum
One of the most common and widespread deciduous trees of eastern and central North America. Red maple’s maximum lifespan is 150 years, but most live less than 100 years. The tree’s thin bark is easily damaged from ice and storms, animals, and when used in landscaping, being struck by flying debris from lawn mowers, allowing fungi to penetrate and cause heart rot. Acer rubrum is one of the first plants to flower in spring. The leaves of red maple, especially when dead or wilted, are extremely toxic to horses. The toxin is unknown, but believed to be an oxidant because it damages red blood cells, causing acute oxidative hemolysis that inhibits the transport of oxygen. Red maple is also used for the production of maple syrup, though the hard maples Acer saccharum (sugar maple) and Acer nigrum (black maple) are more commonly utilized.
Shagbark hickory – Carya ovata
A common hickory in the Eastern United States. It is a large, deciduous tree, growing well over 100 ft tall, and can live more than 350 years. Mature shagbarks are easy to recognize because, as their name implies, they have shaggy bark. This characteristic is, however, only found on mature trees; young specimens have smooth bark. Shagbark hickory nuts were a significant food source for the Algonquins. Red squirrels, gray squirrels, raccoons, chipmunks, and mice are consumers of hickory nuts. Other consumers include black bears, gray and red foxes, rabbits, and bird species such as mallards, wood ducks, bobwhites, and wild turkey. The nuts are edible with an excellent flavor, and are a popular food among people and squirrels alike. Hickory nuts were a food source for Native Americans, who used the kernel milk to make corn cakes, kanuchi and hominy. Shagbark hickory wood is used for smoking meat and for making the bows of Native Americans of the northern area. The lumber is heavy, hard, and tough, weighing 63 lb/ cu ft when air-dried, and has been employed for implements and tools that require strength. These include axles, axe handles, ploughs, skis, and drum sticks. The bark of the shagbark hickory is also used to flavor a maple-style syrup.
Tulip popular – Liriodendron tulipifera
It can grow to more than 50 m (160 ft) in virgin cove forests of the Appalachian Mountains, often with no limbs until it reaches 25–30 m (80–100 ft) in height, making it a very valuable timber tree. The tallest individual at the present time (2021) is one called the Fork Ridge Tulip Tree at a secret location in the Great Smoky Mountains of North Carolina. Repeated measurements by laser and tape-drop have shown it to be 191 feet 10 inches (58.47 m) in height. This is the tallest known individual tree in eastern North America. Nectar is produced in the orange part of the flowers. The species is a significant honey plant in the eastern United States, yielding a dark reddish, fairly strong honey unsuitable for table honey but claimed to be favorably regarded by some bakers.
Water oak – Quercus nigra
Minimum age for flowering and fruiting is 20 years and the tree produces heavy crops of acorns nearly every year. Water oak is not recommended as an ornamental due to being short-lived, disease-prone, and extremely messy. Water oak has been used for timber and for fuel by people in the southern states since the 17th century. The wood is generally sold as “red oak”, mixed with the wood from other red oaks.
White oak – Quercus alba
It is a long-lived oak, native to eastern and central North America. Specimens have been documented to be over 450 years old. The acorns are much less bitter than the acorns of red oaks, but are small relative to most oaks. They can be eaten by humans but, if bitter, may need to have the tannins leached. They are also a valuable wildlife food, notably for turkeys, wood ducks, pheasants, grackles, jays, nuthatches, thrushes, woodpeckers, rabbits, squirrels, and deer. White oak has tyloses that give the wood a closed cellular structure, making it water- and rot-resistant. Because of this characteristic, white oak is used by coopers to make wine and whiskey barrels as the wood resists leaking. It has also been used in construction, shipbuilding, agricultural implements, and in the interior finishing of houses.
Willow oak – Quercus phellos
The acorns are eaten by squirrels and other wildlife. Economic uses are primarily as an ornamental tree and the wood for pulp and paper production, but also for lumber; it is often marketed as “red oak” wood. The willow oak is one of the most popular trees for horticultural planting, due to its rapid growth, hardiness, balance between axial and radial dominance, ability to withstand both sun and shade, light green leaf color and full crown. Despite being heavily used in landscaping in the Southern US (in cities such as Washington, D.C., Raleigh, Charlotte, and Atlanta) around malls, along roads, etc., the trees tend to grow larger than planners expect, which often leads to cracked sidewalks.
Schizophyllaceae – Schizophyllaceae
The Schizophyllaceae are a family of fungi in the order Agaricales. The family contains two genera and seven species. Species cause white rot in hardwoods. The most common member of the genus Schizophyllum is Schizophyllum commune, a widely distributed mushroom. It looks like an oyster mushroom, but is one-fifth the size.
Canada goldenrod – Solidago canadensis
Solidago canadensis is sometimes browsed by deer and is good to fair as food for domestic livestock such as cattle or horses. It is visited by a wide variety of insects for its pollen and nectar, including bees, wasps, flies, beetles, butterflies, and moths. It is especially strongly favored as a nectar source by bumblebees and paper wasps. It not only seeds a great deal, but also spreads rapidly via running rhizomes.
Chinese privet – Ligustrum sinense
The fruit is subglobose, 5–8 mm diameter, and considered poisonous. It was introduced to North America to be used for hedges and landscaping where it has now escaped from cultivation and is listed as an invasive plant in southeastern states. It is estimated that Chinese privet now occupies over one million hectares of land across 12 states ranging from Virginia to Florida and west to Texas, with detrimental effects to biodiversity and forest health.
Christmas fern – Polystichum acrostichoides
It is one of the most common ferns in eastern North America, being found in moist and shady habitats in woodlands, stream banks and rocky slopes. The common name derives from the evergreen fronds, which are often still green at Christmas. Christmas fern is popular in cultivation as an ornamental plant for gardens, including natural gardens, as it is easy to cultivate in a range of environments and soils. Being evergreen, it sometimes used in winter-oriented garden design.
Creeping woodsorrel – Oxalis corniculata
This species probably comes from southeastern Asia. It is now cosmopolitan in its distribution and is regarded as a weed in gardens, agricultural fields, and lawns. The leaves of woodsorrel are quite edible, with a tangy taste of lemons. A drink can be made by infusing the leaves in hot water for about 10 minutes, sweetening and then chilling. The entire plant is rich in vitamin C. Any woodsorrel is safe in low dosages, but if eaten in large quantities over a length of time can inhibit calcium absorption by the body. As a hyperaccumulator of copper, it can be used for phytoremediation. The 1491 Ming Dynasty text, Precious Secrets of the Realm of the King of Xin, describes how to locate underground copper deposits by extracting trace elements of copper from the plant.
Ebony spleenwort – Asplenium platyneuron
Ebony spleenwort is a small fern with pinnate fronds, growing in tufts, with a shiny reddish-brown stipe and rachis. The ebony spleenwort is sometimes grown as a terrarium or garden plant. It can be cultivated in sandy peat, subacid garden soil, other gravelly, sandy or gritty soils, or potting mix under moist to dry conditions. Both acid and alkaline soils are acceptable. Good drainage is essential, and the species will grow even in dry soil. Partial sun or low to high light is recommended, although full shade is tolerated. Plants are said to be easy to maintain once they have become established. Protein extracts from A. platyneuron have been shown to deter insect predation on soybeans to a significant extent.
Frost aster – Symphyotrichum pilosum
Symphyotrichum pilosum (formerly Aster pilosus), commonly called hairy white oldfield aster or frost aster, is a flowering plant in the family Asteraceae native to central and eastern North America. It is a perennial, herbaceous plant that may reach 8 to 47 inches tall. Its flowers have white ray florets and yellow disk florets.
Goldenmane Tickseed – Coreopsis basalis
Coreopsis basalis, the golden-mane coreopsis, is a North American plant species in the sunflower family. It is native to the southeastern and south-central United States from Texas to the Carolinas. It is a bushy annual up to 60 cm (2 feet) tall with finely cut foliage and showy round flower heads. Plants grow in sandy soils in open areas, often in disturbed ground.
Green foxtail – Setaria viridis
Setaria viridis is a species of grass known by many common names, including green foxtail, green bristlegrass, and wild foxtail millet. This is an annual grass with decumbent or erect stems growing up to a meter long, and known to reach two meters or more at times. Foxtail Millet was cultivated in China by 2700 BC and during the Stone Age in Europe. Setaria viridis has been proposed as a model to study C4 photosynthesis and related bioenergy grasses. It has a short life cycle (6–8 weeks), is transformable and is currently being sequenced.
Lobed Tickseed – Coreopsis auriculata
The lobed tickseed or mouse-ear tickseed, is a native to the southeastern and east-central United States plant species of the family Asteraceae. The leaves have petioles 1–6(–10+) cm long, with simple leaf blades or they sometimes have 1 or 2, or more lateral lobes. The basal leaf blades are suborbiculate or ovate-elliptic to lance-ovate and typically 15–55 mm long and 9–25 mm wide. Flowers bloom April to June. Cypselae or the fruits containing a single seed are 1.5–2.5 mm long and brown black with no wings. Plants are found growing along roadsides and in openings in woods with mixed hardwood trees and pine barrens especially with calcareous soils in the south eastern USA. Coreopsis auriculata ‘Nana’ is commonly grown as a blooming ground cover in garden settings. An orange to red/orange dye produced from the flowers and stems has been used in the past.
Nodding thistle – Carduus nutans
A biennial plant in the daisy and sunflower family Asteraceae. It is native to regions of Eurasia. Mature plants reach 9 feet in height with multi-branched stems. It has sharply spiny stems and leaves. The stem is cottony/hairy. The plants develop a rosette, with large leaves up to about 16 inches long. The plant bears showy red-purple flowers. The flower heads commonly droop to a 90° to 120° angle from the stem when mature, hence its alternate name of “nodding thistle”. Each plant may produce thousands of straw-colored seeds adorned with plume-like bristles. They are 4 to 6 cm across, with purple-red bracts. C. nutans is an invasive species in various regions around the world, including in disturbed and agricultural settings.
Oriental false hawksbeard – Youngia japonica
Native to eastern Asia, it is now found as a weed nearly worldwide. It is an annual that produces yellow flowers. In tropical areas, it can bloom year round, while in temperate areas it blooms in late spring and early summer. it is spreading rapidly, although it is largely restricted to areas in the Southeast. It grows well in response to human disturbance, and is found in areas such roadsides, cultivated fields and in lawns. In China, it is found in a variety of natural and disturbed habitats.
Perennial sowthistle – Sonchus arvensis
S. arvensis often occurs in annual crop fields and may cause substantial yield losses. It produces conspicuous yellow flowerheads about 3–5 cm (1 1⁄4–2 in) wide, which are visited by various types of insects—especially hoverflies of the genus Eristalis. The young leaves, when less than a few inches long and not bitter in taste, can be mixed with other greens to make salad. They can also be boiled in a small quantity of water, changed once. The plant can contain toxic nitrates.
Philadelphia fleabane – Erigeron philadelphicus
Philadelphia fleabane is a plant in the family Asteraceae. Also known as common fleabane, daisy fleabane, frost-root, marsh fleabane, poor robin’s plantain, skervish. A herbaceous plant growing to about 1⁄2–2 1⁄2 feet tall. The leaves are alternate, simple and up to 6 inches long, on hairy stems. The middle to lower leaves are heart shaped. The plant is native to North America and found in nearly all of the United States and Canada. It is considered an invasive weed in many places. It grows on roadsides, in fields, in thickets, and in open woods
Purpletop vervain – Verbena bonariensis
Verbena bonariensis is a member of the verbena family cultivated as a flowering annual or herbaceous perennial plant. In USA horticulture, it is also known by the ambiguous names purpletop. It is native to tropical South America where it grows throughout most of the warm regions, from Colombia and Brazil to Argentina and Chile. It can be grown as an annual in areas where it is not winter hardy and will bloom in the first year when grown from seed. Its long internodes give it a sparse appearance but allow it to intermingle and coexist with other plants. The flowers which appear in mid- to late summer, are very attractive to butterflies, and provide nectar for native bees and many beneficial garden insects.
Yellow crownbeard – Verbesina occidentalis
The common names for Verbesina occidentalis are yellow crownbeard and stick weed. It is often considered a weedy plant of disturbed areas, due its presence in managed agricultural areas such as hayfields. The yellow flowers are sparse and are not evenly arranged around the head of the flower. This makes the plant looks like it is uneven or off balance. Yellow crownbeard can be used in the home garden for insect control. The plant attracts the soldier beetle which is attracted to the plant for two reasons. It is believed that the soldier beetle is attracted to the plant due to its coloration. The soldier beetle is also yellow and can hide among the flowers. The soldier beetle will also drink the nectar from the plant. When the soldier beetle drinks the nectar it does not harm the plant. Both the adult and larva of the soldier beetle will prey on other insects. The legume and hay field farmers seem to be some of the most negatively affected by yellow crownbeard due to competition. In some severe cases farmers will see a reduction in crop yields. In the past natural forms of control has been used. The use of goats for control of Verbesina occidentalis is unsuccessful since the goats will not consume the plant.
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Updated 13 January 2023.