Wildflowers on the RailTrail

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Anyone know a botanist?

31 August

After revisiting the aster I mentioned in last post, I realized it was the same grouping of asters I tagged as Forked Aster in 2016.  This is an aster that was identified and stored in the Michigan Herbarium as a Midland County plant and was thought to be extinct in the county.  It is listed as threatened in Michigan and Wisconsin.  In 2014, the botanists cataloging the Averill Preserve for Little Forks Conservancy, found and identified this plant.

The DNR for Wisconsin shows a good picture of Forked Aster (Eurybia furcata):

http://dnr.wi.gov/topic/EndangeredResources/Plants.asp?mode=detail&SpecCode=PDASTEB0H0

According to Wikipedia, this flower is a Great Lakes and Ozarks flower only.

The Whorled Wood Aster ( Oclemena acuminate) is listed in Newcombs Wildflower Guide (p 456) as an Ontario and east coast US flower.  The Ontario Wildflower website has a good description of this plant.

http://ontariowildflowers.com/main/species.php?id=17

Since the plant I saw seems to have heart shaped basal leaves (very hard to see because of the mass of leaves at the top and the surrounding plants), I have to conclude that it is indeed a Forked Aster.

Sorry for the misinformation.  This is one of the pitfalls of identifying wild flowers.  Not only do many look very similar, but there are subtle differences that push identification one way or another.

We would love to add a botanist to our group so that we can do a better job of identifying the plants.  Let us know if you have a friend or relative that could help.

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