Eriogonum spergulinum, the Spurry Buckwheat

Wandering around sandy highlands of the southwest United States, you may encounter a sparse, wiry weed growing between five and forty centimetres in height. This is the spurry buckwheat Eriogonum spergulinum. Spurry buckwheat Eriogonum spergulinum, copyright Dcrjsr. Members of the buckwheat family Polygonaceae are found worldwide but tend to be easily overlooked as low, scrubby… Continue reading Eriogonum spergulinum, the Spurry Buckwheat


Parrot’s feather Myriophyllum aquaticum, copyright Harry Rose. Belongs within: Hamamelidaceae. The Haloragaceae are a group of often aquatic plants that are most diverse in the Southern Hemisphere (Hickman 1993). Characters (from Hickman 1993): Annuals, perennials or shrubs, generally monoecious, generally aquatic. Leaves cauline, opposite, alternate, or whorled; submersed blades with pinnate, thread-like divisions; aerial leaves… Continue reading Haloragaceae

Epilobium section Lysimachion

Epilobium cinereum, copyright Krzysztof Ziarnek, Kenraiz. Belongs within: Onagraceae. The section Lysimachion of the genus Epilobium includes annual and biennial willowherbs in which the calyx is more or less tubular and the corolla is regular. <==Epilobium sect. Lysimachion A61 |–E. ser. Dermatophyllae A61 |    |–E. brevipes Hooker 1855 non E. nummularifolium var. brevipes Hooker 1852 A61… Continue reading Epilobium section Lysimachion


Mountain hard pear Olinia emarginata, copyright H. Robertson. Belongs within: Melastomatineae. Olinia is an African genus of trees and shrubs bearing paniculate inflorescences with branches ending in clusters of three flowers. <==Olinia [Oliniaceae] |  i. s.: O. acuminata SB09 |         O. cymosa SB09 |         O. emarginata SB09 |         O. ventosa SB09 |–O. capensis SB09 |–O. micrantha… Continue reading Olinia


Estuary seabliteSuaeda esteroa, photographed by Anthony Valois. Belongs within: Chenopodiaceae. Suaeda, seablites and seepweeds, is a cosmopolitan genus of herbs and shrubs found growing in saline and alkaline soils (Hickman 1993). Characters (from Hickman 1993): Annuals, perennials, or shrubs, glabrous to hairy. Leaves generally alternate; blade entire, sometimes cylindric or upper surface flat, fleshy, generally… Continue reading Suaeda


Greater plantainPlantago major, copyright Robert Flogaus-Faust. Belongs within: Plantaginaceae. Plantago, plantains, is a cosmopolitan genus of wind-pollinated herbs. Characters (from Hickman 1993): Annual or perennial. Stem decumbent to erect. Leaves simple with longitudinal ribs; stipules absent. Inflorescence a spike; flowers each subtended by a bract. Flowers generally bisexual; calyx deeply four-lobed; corolla radial, sometimes bilateral,… Continue reading Plantago


Celery Apium graveolens, copyright Adam Grubb and Annie Raser-Rowland.Belongs within: Apiaceae. Contains: Mulineae, Bupleurum, Pleurospermeae, Perideridia, Scandiceae, Smyrnieae, Aciphylla, Anisotome, Pyramidoptereae, Heracleum, Peucedaneae, Cymopterus, Lomatium. The Apioideae are a major subgroup of apiaceous plants in which the flowers are pedicelled in umbers, with styles arising from stylopodia, and fruits are distinctly ribbed (Allan 1961). <==Apioideae… Continue reading Apioideae


I’m sure I’ve noted before that there are a number of plant families that form significant components of the world’s flora but tend to glide under the radar of popular representation owing to their largely tropical distributions. One of the prime examples is the Melastomataceae, an assemblage of over 5000 known species that represents one… Continue reading Leandra


Pohutukawa Metrosideros excelsa, photographed by Ed323. Belongs within: Myrtaceae. Metrosideros is a genus of trees, shrubs and lianes found between Malaysia, Australia, New Zealand and islands of the Pacific. Characters (from Allan 1961): Aromatic shrubs, trees or woody lianes with simple, opposite, gland-dotted, exstipulate leaves. Flowers in usually terminal cymes or racemes; receptacle adnate to… Continue reading Metrosideros


Mt Lassen draba Draba aureola, copyright John Game. Belongs within: Brassicaceae. Draba is a genus of often cushion- or mat-forming herbs found in the Northern Hemisphere and mountains of South America (Hickman 1993). Characters (from Hickman 1993): Annual to perennia, often cushion- or mat-forming; hairs often branched. Leaves basal and sometimes cauline, entire or shallowly… Continue reading Draba