Thursday, July 31, 2008

Whorled or Fringed? See?

Once I saw the difference between Whorled loosetrife (Lysimachia ciliata) and Fringed loosestrife (Lysimachia quadrifolia), it was clear there could be no confusing them.

Fringed Loosestrife

I leap to a lot of conclusions when I am trying to identify things. I do it less with birds, because I have learned that I need to see or hear certain things for a positive id of a given species.

But if I am wholly unfamiliar with the species, I may go out on a limb. With plants, I know the name of things, but I don't know the why of it. So when I see a plant out of context, mis-identifications are frequent. It seems the more I understand, the less I know. Fleabanes, for example. I gave myself credit for being able to identify something as a fleabane, but then learned that there are over a 170 species of fleabane in North America alone. It means I need to learn to see differently - something I need to take the time to do.

Whorled loosestrife

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