Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Calling All Amateur Botanists

I found this wildflower growing on the bank of the creek running through my backyard: 
It's got small, star-shaped white flowers with a cluster of short yellow stalks in the center; almost like a narcissus, only with very different stem and leaf structure. (See, it's got one stem, with all the leaves coming off of it, and two flowers at the top).
Its leaves are kind of weird-looking, too --- they're much larger than the flowers, longer than they are wide, with edges that I'm not sure whether to call serrated, because the "points" are so rounded. 
Here's a close-up of the flower: this picture isn't as clear as the others, because I had to move closer to the plant to take it, and the flower is growing out of a fairly steep creek bank. Thus I was in an unstable position when I took it, and wasn't really able to steady the camera. 

(I notice, though, that while the flower in that picture might be out of focus, the thorns on the stem show up beautifully. Auto-focus can be a very strange thing.)

So, does anyone know what this is?


Saia Sikira said...

I don't know the flower, but I googled it and found some answers: it is a Solanum (Nightshade). Maybe Solanum Furcatum, Solanum Nigrum or Solanum Americanum.

phoenix house painter said...

I have them all over my place. It just gives color to the place.

Anonymous said...


I found your site via Shakesville, through Fannie's Room.

I've only read 2 of your posts so far, but I will be a repeat visitor, because

1) I enjoy well-written pieces and

2) my nephew was diagnosed as being on the spectrum (PDD-NOS) about 1 yr. and 1/2 ago, and I'm trying to learn as much as possible about all things autism.

Re your botanical query: Looks like jimson weed to me; it's poisonous, and I recommend eliminating it.


Hope this helps.


Lindsay said...

Hi, Seitan_Worshiper!

I'm glad you like my writing, and wish you and your nephew luck. PDD-NOS is what I was diagnosed with, and because I had understanding teachers and autism-specific, outside-of-school special ed workshops that I went to to help with specific things that gave me trouble, like switching from one task to another, fine motor skills etc., and that my teachers also went to to learn about what autistic students are like in the classroom, I still did well in school.

I went to two different school districts as a kid, and weirdly the "better" one in terms of test scores, reputation and mainstream academics was a lot worse when it came to autism. My earlier small-town school was great, but for some reason this huge, wealthy, award-winning suburban school district couldn't match it. Even their "autism specialist" (a position I'm not sure my old school even had) was baffled by me. :|

Lindsay said...

And thank you to everyone who tried to answer my question!

It's weird; my flower (which I admittedly did not take the best pictures of ... I am no photographer) looks exactly like jimsonweed as far as the foliage is concerned, but its flower is more like black nightshade.

I guess whatever it is, I'd better not eat it!