Botany: linden (basswood) tree

Self-tutoring about trees: the tutor mentions a linden he’s noticed.

In the northwest corner of a local sports field is a hardwood tree, perhaps 70 ft tall. Its trunk is oval; its max diameter might be 18 inches. The bark is gray.

The leaves are heart-shaped, around 5 inches long and wide. Round nutlike green fruits hang underneath, each bunch accompanied by a single oval leaf, completely unlike the tree’s typical leaves.

The tree, from my sources, is either an American basswood or a European linden. Based on leaf size, I suspect it’s the American basswood, which is also of the linden family.

Neither of those trees is native here.

When I was a kid, we had a new linden tree planted in our front yard on the base. I’ve always wondered when I’d encounter another:)

Source:

forestry.ohiodnr.gov

Brockman, Frank C. et al. Trees of North America. New York: Golden Press, 1968.

Little, Elbert L. and Susan Rayfield and Olivia Buehl. The Audobon Society Field Guide to North American Trees. New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1986.

Jack of Oracle Tutoring by Jack and Diane, Campbell River, BC.

Red elder tree flowers and fruits simultaneously

Self-tutoring about botany: the tutor shares an observation about a red elder.

I know of few trees that produce new blooms while their fruit is on. Yet, I (and now you, too) can witness a red elder doing so.

In the picture below, see the fruit at top left, the bloom at bottom right, on the same tree.

red elder tree with both berries and flower

Source:

Pojar, Jim and Andy MacKinnon. Plants of Coastal British Columbia. Vancouver: BC Ministry of Forests and Lone Pine Publishing, 1994.

Jack of Oracle Tutoring by Jack and Diane, Campbell River, BC.

What does feverfew look like?

Self-tutoring about plant identification: the tutor identifies the daisy-like plant growing in the backyard.

Identifying this one took some time, but I believe it’s feverfew (Tanacetum parthenium). The non-pointed, lobed leaves seem to be decisive, as many plants, apparently, have flowers like daisies.

Apparently feverfew can take hold pretty quickly, though it’s not native here. I’ve not seen it in the yard before, but numerous are present now.

Source:

wikipedia.org

www.seasonalwildflowers.com

Pojar, Jim and Andy MacKinnon. Plants of Coastal British Columbia. Vancouver: BC Ministry of Forests and Lone Pine Publishing, 1994.

Jack of Oracle Tutoring by Jack and Diane, Campbell River, BC.

Gooseberries: Ribes uva-crispa vs Ribes hirtellum

Self-tutoring about botany: the tutor wades into the distinctions between the European gooseberry and the American one.

Ribes uva-crispa is the old world gooseberry. Its berries can be an inch (2.5cm) across – its leaves, 6cm. However, its nodal spines typically max at less than a cm.

The gooseberry bush I’ve been observing has berries 1cm across, and leaves about 3cm. However, its nodal spines are easily over a cm long. It’s Ribes hirtellum, the American gooseberry.

Source:

gobotany.newenglandwild.org

gobotany.newenglandwild.org

wikipedia.org

Jack of Oracle Tutoring by Jack and Diane, Campbell River, BC.

Are dandelions an invasive species?

Tutoring English, one is interested in definitions. The tutor examines the definition of invasive species in connection with the common dandelion.

The common dandelion (Taraxacum officinale) is from Europe, rather than native to North America. Although it seems to be virtually everywhere, is it an invasive species? Perhaps not.

An invasive species is able to enter nature and displace native species. Yet, the dandelion grows in the human footprint. Some wonder if, truly, the dandelion lives in wild nature, outside of human influence. If not, it’s not invasive.

Source:

bangordailynews.com

Pojar, Jim and Andy MacKinnon. Plants of Coastal British Columbia. Vancouver: BC Ministry of Forests and Lone Pine Publishing, 1994.

Jack of Oracle Tutoring by Jack and Diane, Campbell River, BC.

Pearly everlasting

Identifying plants means constant self-tutoring. The tutor shares another find: pearly everlasting.

I know I’ve seen pearly everlasting elsewhere; it grows very commonly on the west coast. Yet, I’ve never thought to identify it.

The flowers really are pearly white, though the centres are darker. The leaves are long, thin, and lance-shaped, and may even gain in prominence as the stem ascends. The blossoms are many, and can last a long time.

Source:

Pojar, Jim and Andy MacKinnon. Plants of Coastal British Columbia. Vancouver: BC Ministry of Forests and Lone Pine Publishing, 1994.

Jack of Oracle Tutoring by Jack and Diane, Campbell River, BC.

Plant identification from field guide: mayweed

Self-tutoring about plants I notice: the tutor shares a recent find.

I think this is mayweed; I noticed it as I crossed a field.

What caught my eye was the flowers – specifically, their large yellow centres surrounded by white petals that are small, compared to what a daisy might have. Moreover, the yellow centre is conical rather than flat; it’s much deeper than a daisy’s.

Mayweed grows on disturbed sites, and one assumes it flowers in May. Although I didn’t have time to revisit it, guide in hand, I believe the identification.

Source:

Pojar, Jim and Andy MacKinnon. Plants of Coastal British Columbia. Vancouver: Lone Pine Publishing and BC Ministry of Forests, 1994.

Jack of Oracle Tutoring by Jack and Diane, Campbell River, BC.

Botany: trees in Victoria: live oak

Tree idenitification leads to self-tutoring: the tutor describes a find in Victoria.

Victoria’s assortment of trees is amazing. Last fall I mentioned seeing a gingko biloba as well as an amur corktree there.

I’ve read a few times that there is a live oak on Dallas Road, near the breakwater. Yesterday I decided to drive by to check.

Indeed, there is one, I’d say: it’s across Dallas Road from the breakwater, a bit closer to downtown. It’s really noticeable right now, being the only tree around with leaves.

The tree leans out to the road. I left the car and walked by it, then back, not really stopping. The house owner (my assumption) was sitting in the yard, so I didn’t want to intrude by stopping and staring at the tree. He gave me a friendly nod; I think he knew I was examining the tree. I think people commonly do.

Thanks, Vic!

Jack of Oracle Tutoring by Jack and Diane, Campbell River, BC.

English, botany: what is a pomologist?

More self-tutoring: the tutor shares a term he discovered today.

pomologist (noun):
one engaged in pomology, which is the science occupied with fruit itself, and/or its production.

Source:

modernfarmer.com

www.collinsdictionary.com

www.w3schools.com

Jack of Oracle Tutoring by Jack and Diane, Campbell River, BC.