2013/05/20 Mystery Plant ID's

Mystery Plant With Tiny Flowers

When it comes to plant identification, I generally try to look up a new plant using the Advanced Search features of the  NRCS Plant Database or the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center's Native Plant Database.  Both sources of plant data are extensive but unless you have some practice at plant identification and some knowledge of the plant's phenology and distribution, getting good matches to the search criteria you have selected can be a little frustrating.

Such was the case when I noticed this small plant and its tiny white blooms.

Mystery Plant With Tiny Flowers

Mystery Plant With Tiny Flowers
The small speckles of white on the tops of the plant are tiny little blooms measuring approximately 1mm in diameter. This specimen is about 3.5" tall but other specimens nearby were 8-9" tall during our continuing drought conditions May 20, 2013. (Photo: Dusty Reins)

Tags: 

I collected the top of a branch and took a closer look at the bloom. I placed the tip of an ink pen close to the bloom to gave you a better perspective on the size of the bloom.

Tiny Bloom Perspective

Tiny Bloom Perspective
These tiny blossoms are about the size of the tip of an ink pen.(Photo: Dusty Reins)

Tags: 

 

Here, we take a closer look inside the bloom.

Tiny White Bloom Macro

Tiny White Bloom Macro
Looks like a simple structure showing five petals and anthers. And is that a green slime on the glass-like hairs? What organisms or factors help to pollinate a flower this small? (1mm across) (Photo: Dusty Reins)

Tags: 

Both the web sites above allows a selection criteria of single stemmed and multiple stemmed plants. If these two plants are the same species, can it have both types of stems? If so, what would cause the difference?

And by looking at the root, is this an annual or a perennial?

Two Plants, Same Species?

Two Plants, Same Species?
I pulled up two specimens growing near each other within a much larger patch of what I am assuming is the same species. Do they look like the same species to you? (Photo: Dusty Reins)

Tags: 

 

After consulting a couple of field guides to plants found in our area and the online resources mentioned above, I am still stumped.

So when those plant identification resources are not helpful in identifying a plant or is taking too long (days) to find a match, it is time to see if someone else can either provide an ID or point me in the right direction to help narrow the search options down. :-)

I hope you will use some of these resources to make some plant identifications on your own! Those plant names will tend to stick in your memory next time you spot them the wild.

If you would like to try your hand at plant identification please take a look at our Adopt A Species Project. Our goal is to identify and publish information on this web site about every living thing discovered on our property.  I hope this resource will become useful for plant and animal identification in our region.

UPDATE:

When all else fails, post your post your plant and animal photos on our Wildcat Bluff social page on Facebook when you want to ask for an ID. I posted a link to this article and Burr Williams, botanist and founder of Sibley Nature Center in Midland, TX suggested looking at the members of the Cryptantha genus.

I finally decided Species: Cryptantha crassisepala – Thicksepal Cryptantha seems to be a good match until I learn different.

 

Tags: