11 thoughts on “Winter botany quiz #1

  1. Hi Ted,

    Nice pics.

    I suspect that they are all species that have been introduced to USA: all will grow happily in wettish soils.

    I believe they are:
    Beech – these are native to UK
    Paperbark maple – Native to China
    Eucryphia (possibly glutinosa) _ Native to Chile or Australasia depending which species this one is

  2. Great Fun! Here are my guesses.

    1. Alnus serrulata
    2. Ostrya virginiana
    3. Corylus americana
    4. Carpinus caroliniana
    5. Betula nigra

    Commonality; as Tom gleaned, they are all in the Family Betulaceae.

    Bonus: Rhododendron roseum (aka R. prinophyllum)

  3. Hmmm…the species involved here depends on geographical region, but givern where you live….

    1-5 are all Betulaceae, and look like 1) Alnus serrulata, 2) Ostrya virginiana, 3) Corylus americana? 4) Carpinus caroliniana, 5) Betula nigra. #6 is a Rhododendron, possibly R. priniphyllum…

    Love this sort of challenge, it was fun trying to pin them down!

  4. I have some pretty sharp botanists among my readership!

    The results: Justin and Huckleberry got perfect scores (Justin also correctly noted the current nomenclature for R. roseum, while Huckleberry gets kudos for correctly identifying everything despite residing in far-away British Columbia). Tom and Hilly did pretty well, considering they don’t live in the area.

    I’ll discuss the collective significance of these plants in a post tomorrow.

    Thanks for playing — ted

  5. Hurray! It was fun. This could be a great new way to sharpen ID skills. Re the Rhodo….The ITIS (International Taxonomic Information System) report for Rhododenron prinophyllum says it is the accepted name, and R. roseum is the synonym. That status is based on the work by John Kartesz. There is no on-line treatment from Flora North America, though, so I don’t know if this has changed. What source are you using?

  6. See, there’s the problem with an entomologist trying to masquerade as a botanist – he makes silly mistakes. Yes, R. prinophyllum seems to be the current name. Double bonus points for Huckleberry!

  7. No fair! Justin shouldn’t be allowed to play the winter plant game! You should have seen the doozies he brought for juncus identification game at the resources conference! He stumped everyone. Maybe not Paul McK. I only got a few of yours right, but I wonder if you did what I do when I see Ostrya? Grab it firmly, flexing, and say under your breath “musclewood…” Every time.


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