Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Plant Quiz Solved: Prairie Valerian (Valeriana ciliata)

Congratulations to Michael Fitts and Bob Glotzhober for correctly identifying this mystery plant as the very rare and state-endangered swamp valerian (Valeriana ciliata).  This late-spring bloomer only occurs in two fen meadows in the west-central part of Ohio and that's it statewide.  Its leaves are reminiscent of an elaborate trident-like weapon with silvery margins that really stand out on sunny days.  The small, nondescript flowers won't be quick to catch the eye but upon closer inspection, one might recognize them as similar to the large-flowered valerian (Valeriana pauciflora).

Thanks to all those who played along on here, on Facebook, and though email!  Keep your eyes out for another plant quiz in the future; maybe one not so tricky!

Prairie Valerian flowers
Prairie Valerian leaf

Time for another plant quiz!  Take a gander at the accompanying photograph of the plant in question and leave your answers/responses in the comment section below.  Note: the plant is the yellow/green specimen in the foreground on the right.  Thanks to all those who decide to play along and best of luck!

Do you recognize the plant in the foreground on the right?