09 de mayo de 2021

Differentiating Keys/Hints for Tricky Species

horseweed Erigeron canadensis vs fireweed Erechtites hieraciifolius

Arisaema dracontiyn and Arisaema triphyllum differences https://anps.org/2015/05/15/know-your-natives-jack-in-the-pulpit-green-dragon/

Greater celandine and celandine poppy

Iris versicolor vs Iris virginica (northern vs southern blue flag)
It is difficult to differentiate as both have similar growth habits, floral colors, and bloom times; often sold interchangeably as blue flag iris. One major differentiator may be native range, but as these overlap, this can't be the primary distinguishing factor. The signal (the colorful patch on the sepal) may be different: Iris versicolor is greenish-yellow, rather flat, with few to no hairs and surrounded by a background of dark purple veins against a more or less white background. Iris virginica tends to be bright yellow, usually with a lot of obvious soft hairs with veining not as prominent as in Iris versicolor. Another differentiator: height of leaves along the flower-stem (cauline leaves) (1). I. virginica: typically extend above the flowers; I. versicolor usually shorter or similar in height to the flowers. https://hgic.clemson.edu/factsheet/rain-garden-plants-iris-versicolor-and-iris-virginica/ (lightly edited)

Resource from U of M Herbarium: https://michiganflora.net/genus.aspx?id=Viola

Genus Russula
Russula sanguinea was described from a European mushroom and therefore probably isn't here in North America at all. The name has been applied to many red Russula in N. A. adding to the confusion. Out west where it may be sorted it is being called Russula rhodocephala which itself is a lookalike for Russula americana but under different trees according to Danny Miller http://www.alpental.com/psms/ddd/Russula/index.htm. Mushroomexpert's Kuo and Mycoquebec say that a lookalike under oaks in the east is Russula tenuiceps or R. sanguinaria under conifers/pines, but it is probably a group of species, and also not the same as the European one in the case of R. sanguinaria. We are trying to downvote these identifications for this reason. Hopefully, any people interested in identifying mushrooms will pitch in and help to vote any Russula that is being called Russula sanguinea in the eastern US back to genus level anyway, but we are concerned with a few other species too. Read fungee's journal post https://tinyurl.com/y9qqjf3z. Check out the master list https://tinyurl.com/y72e7fsb. Another thing that is daunting for Russula ID, there are well over a hundred known red Russula in the east, many are not named yet, and, if they are, the name is not in use

  • fungee disagrees this is Russula sanguinea Bloody Brittlegill

    Identifying Canada Bunchberry species

Info courtesy of Dennis Rousse
C. canadensis Leaves- one small pair then a whorl at top. Veins prominent & arched arising from lower part (not base) of midrib. vs
C. suecica Leaves- 3 pairs (or more) below top, which is less whorled, all lateral veins originate from (or near) base.

Differentiating Langloisia setosissima ssp setosissima vs ssp punctata

Rough list of differentiating factors: Needs to be confirmed

-Petal pattern Stripes/very pale spots, no yellow
-Flower color Lavender, white, no dark center
-Stamens Stamens grey/light purple
-Leaf shape Center lobe with 2ndary minor lobes
-Bloom period Blooms Jan - June

-Petal pattern Strong spots, often w/ yellow; may have stripes
-Flower color Lavender, white, Dark center
-Stamens Stamens grey/light purple; c/b white
-Leaf shape Center lobe with 2 pronounced secondary lobes
-Bloom period Blooms Feb - June

Virginia Creeper vs Thicket Creeper
Parthenocissus inserta vs P. quinquefolia

P. inserta (aka P. vitacea) Virginia Creeper (American ivy) has aerial roots, hairy leaf stalks and new stems, and tendrils with up to 10 short branches (1½ inches long or less) that eventually develop flat adhesive disks or pads at the tip;

Less consistent:
Virginia Creeper tends to be high-climbing, though may sprawl when there is nothing to climb; flower clusters usually have a well-defined central stalk (not always an obvious trait) and often 150+ flowers in a cluster; leaflets are usually dull green, though may be shiny when young.
Both surfaces of Virginia Creeper leaflets are usually stiff hairy, especially along the veins,

P. quinquefolia, Woodbine (false virginia creeper, thicket creeper) lacks aerial roots, has hairless stalks and stems, and its tendrils branch only 2 or 3 times, the branches more than 1½ inches long and not normally developing disks at the tip, but wedge themselves into cracks and expand to hold themselves in place (this expansion may appear to be a disk, but is not adhesive, and per Welby Smith's “Trees and Shrubs of Minnesota”, Woodbine may actually develop the disks on occasion).

Less consistent:
Thicket creeper is more often sprawling but does also climb up trees, fences and other structures; forked branches without a central axis and tends to be fewer flowered, only to 75 flowers per cluster; leaflets tend to be shiny but can lose their sheen with age, and are more often hairless, especially along veins on the upper surface, though the lower surface of leaflets can be short-hairy.

All of these traits are variable, so any one of them should not be taken individually, but in combination with each other and the more obvious differences. Look first for the aerial roots, hairs on stems and stalks, and number and length of tendril branches. Go from there.

Sources: Minnesota Wildflowers https://www.minnesotawildflowers.info; iNat; Michigan Wildflowers app for Android;

Publicado el mayo 9, 2021 11:16 TARDE por kitkestrel kitkestrel | 0 comentarios | Deja un comentario

09 de septiembre de 2020

Complex Hyla versicolor Info

Discussions about Complex Hyla versicolor culled from various threads on iNat:

@ryanbaldwin1 the more recent (as of the past year) IDs and comments I've seen on iNat are saying that genetic studies are suggesting that Hyla versicolor and H. crydoscelis in the field are basically indistinguishable, save for different male mating calls. They have different numbers of chromosomes, perhaps due to polyploidy, but obviously that isn't a field characteristic. The two have been lumped into the complex, which provides an ID that is more granular than just genus level.

There was a great conversation on one of @ken-potter 's observations a while ago about the difficulty of distinguushing Cope's from eastern grey tree frog. @sandboa suggested that, unless there is good call data and historical confirmation, all of these should go into the new Hyla versicolor Eastern Tree Frog Complex.
These two species cannot be separated visually/physically. Lots of people have looked at lots of specimens over the years and no one was able to find a consistent series if visual characters to distinguish them.
Posted by sandboa about 1 year ago

Publicado el septiembre 9, 2020 10:32 TARDE por kitkestrel kitkestrel | 3 comentarios | Deja un comentario

10 de agosto de 2019

Identifying and Differentiating Impatiens capensis and Impatiens pallida

In looking at field specimens, and reading monographs and identification books and sites, there are a number of characteristics that are suggestive of Impatiens capensis vs I. pallida. There does appear to be one characteristic that (at least based on everything I've observed thus far) may differentiate the two definitively, which is the observation by Justin Thomas from the Institute of Botanical Training, stating that:

On LARGER leaves of I. capensis, there are fewer teeth, typically no more than 9
On LARGER leaves of I. pallida, there are more teeth, typically over 9 up to 14.

I have put together a comparison table, along with the references I used, and stored it here: https://1drv.ms/u/s!AlrG7LkZ19f5kbcg_FDbsKuyp8N7dw?e=mxbCCq

My own observations are mostly from southern Michigan, and I welcome comments, additional characteristics, and especially if there are populations that don't follow the tooth number pattern.

Publicado el agosto 10, 2019 03:25 MAÑANA por kitkestrel kitkestrel | 3 comentarios | Deja un comentario

23 de junio de 2019

Observations that may be useful

Red smut on maple leaves: Eriophyes calaceris. ...

Publicado el junio 23, 2019 01:55 MAÑANA por kitkestrel kitkestrel | 0 comentarios | Deja un comentario

01 de junio de 2019


*UK Sep2002 (in Lex)

*Amazon Jul2003

*Bruce Penninsula Sep2004
*California Ernest&Everell Apr2004

*California? Jan2005
*Death Valley (partial) Mar2005
*Sharon Hollow (partial) May2005
*Random 2005
*NJ Botanical Garden 2005
*Park Jun2005
*Caribbean Jul2005
*UK Jul2005

*Muir Woods Mar2006
*Sharon Hollow Apr2006
*New Zealand (partial) Nov2006
*Sharon Hollow Aug2006

*Death Valley Mar2007
Galapagos Jul2007 (done)
*Sharon Hollow Apr2007

*UK Paddy Jul2008

*Evergreen Park Mar2009
*Hollywood Park Mar2009
*Bird Hills May2009
*Evergreen Park May2009
*Hollywood Park May2009
*Missing Hesperia MI camping trip 2009

*Bermuda 2010
*Matthei Botanical Gardens 2010
*DC Botanical Gardens 2010
*Thailand 2010
*Huron Kayaking 2010
*Arboretum 2010
*Pleasanton 2010

*Vancouver Botanical Garden May2011
*UK Kew Botanical Gardens Apr2011
*Hollywood Park May2011
*Evergreen Park May2011
*Barton Nature Preserve et al Aug2011

*Poss Gallup 4Feb2012
*Hollywood Park May2012
*Home 2012

*Saugatuck Jun2013
*Beijing Botanical Gardens Jul2013
*Flying Squirrel Oct2013
*Hollywood Park 2013
*Evergreen Park 2013

*Hansen Nature Reserve 8Jul2014
*Costa Rica Aug2014 (partial)

Georgian Bay Jul2015 Done
Indiana Dunes Aug2015 Done
*Prophetstown Park Indiana 29Sep2015
*Huron Pkwy Nature Area Oct2015

*Death Valley Apr2016
*LBJ Austin Jun2016
*Hawaii Aug2016

Mojave Mar2017 Done
Curtiss Aug2017 Done
nr Rodman Park Aug2017 Done
Wilderness Park Aug2017 Done
LBJ Austin Aug2017 Done
Trinkle Marsh Sep2017 Done
Devine Park, Sep2017 Done
Furstenberg Oct2017 Done
Uganda Oct2017 (done)
Melbourne Dec2017 (done)

Washington Deception Pass May2018 (done)
*Michigan UP Aug2018
Toyko Japan Nov2018 Done
Egypt Dec2018 (done)

*Anza Borrego (in progress - Apr 6-9 complete)
Furstenberg CNC Apr2019 Done
Bird Hills CNC Apr2019 Done
Miller Nature Area CNC Apr2019 Done
Bruce Penninsula Jul2019 Done
*Huron Mills Metropark 7Sep2019

Redbud Nature Area 23Feb2020 done
Scio Woods 8Mar2020 done
Creekshead Preserve 15Mar2020 done
White Oak Park 26Mar2020 done
Scio Woods Preserve 11Apr2020 done
Goodrich Preserve 19Apr2020 done
Rose Dr CNC 24Apr2020 done
Nan Weston Preserve CNC 25Apr2020 done
Goodrich Horner Woods CNC 26Apr2020 done
Evergreen Park 11May2020
Rose Dr 15May-08Jun2020
Eberwhite Woods 6Jun2020 done
Rose Dr 28Jun2020
Rose Dr 5-6Jul2020 done
Rose Dr 16Jul & 03Aug2020
UP Ironwood Area 17-23Aug done
17Aug done
18Aug done
19Aug done
20Aug done
21Aug done
22Aug done
23Aug done
2020 08 30 Pool n Goldenrods done
2020 09 Rose nature misc part

Reichert 2015
22Aug & 23Aug done

*Reichert 2016
23Mar has 1 Done
17Apr has 10
23Apr has 9
26Jul has 3?
31Jul has 22 pix
2Oct has 8

*Reichert 2017
9Apr Done
7May Done

*Reichert 2018
8Sep Done
2Jun Done

*Reichert 2019
11Aug done

Reichert 2020: 16May done; 30May partial (most in PlantID folder); 08Aug; 08Aug Flowers

*=not done yet

Publicado el junio 1, 2019 07:05 TARDE por kitkestrel kitkestrel | 0 comentarios | Deja un comentario

21 de abril de 2019

Additional Homonyms

Additional homonyms that I haven't seen elsewhere

Genus Antimima (prominent moths and dicot/stone plants/cactus-type)

Publicado el abril 21, 2019 08:06 TARDE por kitkestrel kitkestrel | 0 comentarios | Deja un comentario

28 de marzo de 2019

Resources for IDing in a Bunch of Places

Courtesy of @citizen1 's profile
California Plant Names: Latin and Greek Meanings and Derivations
BC Wildflowers app (with multiple links to plant photos and identification keys)
E-Flora BC: Electronic Atlas of the Plants of British Columbia
Illustrated Flora of British Columbia, 8 Volumes
Vascular Plants of the Pacific Northwest, 5 Volumes, 1955-1969
Flora of the Pacific Northwest: An Illustrated Manual, 2nd Ed. 2018
Keys to Identification of Alberta Vascular Plants
BC Flora Checklist: B.C. Conservation Data Centre
Consortium of Pacific Northwest Herbaria

And courtesy of @sea-kangaroo 's profile

*United States & Canada


  • The Online Guide to the Animals of Trinidad and Tobago https://sta.uwi.edu/fst/lifesciences/animals-trinidad-tobago
  • Birds of the West Indies (Raffaele, Wiley, Garrido, & Keith)
  • Reef Fish Identification: Florida Caribbean Bahamas (Humann & DeLoach)
  • Reef Creature Identification: Florida Caribbean Bahamas (Humann & DeLoach)
  • Reef Coral Identification: Florida Caribbean Bahamas (Humann & DeLoach)

*Hawai'i specifically

*other tropical Pacific islands (including general area references that cover Hawai'i)

  • Birds & Bats of Palau (Pratt & Etpison)
  • The Birds of Hawai'i and the Tropical Pacific (Pratt, Bruner, & Berrett)
  • Reptiles and Amphibians of the Pacific Islands (Zug)
  • Reef Fish ID: Tropical Pacific (Humann & DeLoach)
  • Reef Creature ID: Tropical Pacific (Humann & DeLoach)


*New Zealand


Courtesy of Millie Basden's profile
http://www.sdplantatlas.org/ (iNat Photo Guide for Plants is under "Misc Info" tab)
http://sdplantatlas.org/pdffiles/SDCoChecklist5ed2014.pdf (Checklist of San Diego Plants)
Checklist of Vascular Plants of Mission Trails Regional Park
https://borregowildflowers.com/index.html (Desert wildflowers)
https://dn.com.au/Dean_Nicolle_galleries.html (Eucalyptae)
https://forum.inaturalist.org/t/how-to-identify-grasses/8538 (Grasses)
San Diego County Mammal Atlas (sold in SDNHM Gift Shop)
https://www.inaturalist.org/people/50920 (Susan Hewitt's photo guidelines)
https://sites.google.com/view/flyguide (Diptera)
https://cjai.biologicalsurvey.ca/mw_41/mw_41.html (Ambush Bugs)
http://nathistoc.bio.uci.edu/ (Natural History of Orange County)
https://forum.inaturalist.org/t/identification-etiquette-on-inaturalist-wiki/1503 (ID Tips)
https://www.sdnhm.org/education/community-science/ (has link to "Quick Guide" pdf)
https://forum.inaturalist.org/t/identification-quality-on-inaturalist/7507 (ID Quality Study)
https://forum.inaturalist.org/t/how-to-use-inaturalists-search-urls-wiki/63 (Search URLs on iNat)

Publicado el marzo 28, 2019 10:40 TARDE por kitkestrel kitkestrel | 0 comentarios | Deja un comentario