Plant Talk 4 Botany in a Day Online Class Pages 58-79

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Hello there plant enthusiasts!





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A photo album of plants related to this class can also be found by clicking the link below.

What’s Blooming


Plants in the Asteraceae represent the majority of species that have started blooming recently in Appalachia. This is really their time to shine and members from this family make up collectively a large part of the food supply that bees and other wildlife use to get through winter. Click on the scientific genus name for more information on these plants from the USDA. Members of the Aster family i have noticed in Appalachia recently include

Sochane (Rudbeckia laciniata)

Ironweed (Vernonia noveboracensis)

Cup Plant (Silphium perfoliatum)

Indian Plantain (Arnoglossum atriplicifolium)

Marigold (Tagetes spp.)

Sow Thistle (Sonchus spp.)

Goldenrod (Solidago spp.)

Tickseed (Coreopsis spp.)

Eupatorium spp

Zinnias (Zinnia spp.)


Black eyed Susans (Rudbeckia spp.), Chickory (Cichorium intybus), Echinacea (Echinacea spp.) and Sunflowers (Helianthus spp.) have already been blooming for quite some time now. So many things have similar yellow flowers in this family that they are sometimes known collectively as darn yellow composites (DYCs)

Other plants that are currently blooming include

Virgin’s Bower (Clematis virginiana)                         Buttercup family Ranunculaceae

Rose pink (Sabatia angularis)                          Gentian family Gentianaceae

Glory bower (Clerodendrum trichotomum)                Mint family Lamiaceae

Mountain Mint (Pycnanthemum spp.)                        Mint family Lamiaceae

Devil’s Walking Stick (Aralia spinosa)                       Spikenard family Araliaceae


Several members in the Bean and Pea family (Fabaceae) are blooming as well including Groundnut (Apios americana), Atlantic Pigeon Wings (Clitoria mariana) and several clovers (Trifolium spp.).

Sourwood (Oxydendrum arboreum) in the Blueberry family (Ericaceae) is currently blooming and bees make a specialty honey from this tree that is famous in Appalachia. Cockscomb (Celosia argentea) and Globe Amranth (Gomphrena spp.) in the Amranthaceae provide everlasting flowers that can be dried and preserved. These flowers are also beloved by bees and other insects.

Crepe Myrtle (Lagerstroemia sp.) Lythraceae, Black Eyed Susan (Rudbeckia spp.) Asteraceae, Sages (Salvia spp.) Lamiaceae and Roses (Rosa spp.) Rosaceae continue to provide beauty in the landscape even since two mailings ago.

Commonly held fruits that are currently available mostly come from the Rosaceae family. These include Apples (Malus spp.), Plums (Prunus spp.) and Blackberries (Rubus spp.). Other choice fruits coming on include Figs (Ficus carica)  in the Moraceae and Elderberries (Sambucus nigra L. ssp. canadensis) in the Caprifoliaceae or alternatively the Adoxaceae or Sambucaceae.

Other prevalent fruits that people often think of as vegetables include Peppers (Capsicum spp.), Tomatoes (Solanum lycopersicum) and Eggplants (Solanum melongena) all from the Solanaceae family. Potatoes (Solanum tuberosum) are another crop from this family that is appreciated worldwide. However, in this instance for the tubers rather than the fruit. Ashwaganda (Withania somnifera) is the only other plant i can think of from this family where the roots are readily used.

Many incredible events have happened since the last mailing including the

Firefly Gathering,

Wild Herb Weekend,

Cullowhee Native Plants conference

Green Scene gathering at Ken Crouse’s by Deep Gap, NC.

Much crucial learning occurred at each one of these occasions for sure. Hopefully, we will see even more of yall at these great opportunities next year.

Coming up is the Permaculture Gathering which is full for this year and dedicated to Frank Cook. Beyond that is an

Ethnobotany Intensive i will co-teach with Mycol Stevens at the Hostel in the Forest

The True Nature Country Faire,

Falling Leaves Gathering

LEAF festival


Now we will dive into the families covered by last time’s suggested reading. Some sections are covered in brief but i would be happy to expound to anyone looking for more specific info.

Pages 58 – 79

i have taken to including the current orders that families are ascribed to as defined by the Angiosperm Phylogeny Group 2 (APG2) and presented in three sources <!-->

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