Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Pre-Christmas Plant Quiz

Here is a quick plant quiz for those whose minds are already wandering to spring and green things. Unlike most quizes, this one has the gift of flowers.

This plant occurs from the Chicago Region south.


Scott said...

I'll take a guess. Without seeing the leaves, and not really knowing the plant, I'm guessing Orbexilum pedunculatum v. pedunculatum.

Justin said...

I should have know that there is no stumping the blog when Scott is on the prowl. This is indeed Orbexilum pedunculatum. You may also wish to call it Psoralea psoralioides.

In Missouri, Psoralea psoralioides is commonly encountered in acidic woodlands. And by woodland I mean a forested area with an open understory that is, or was, maintained by a rather frequent fire interval. It also is commonly encountered in the Osage Plains (unglaciated prairie) Natural Division (basically SW MO). In unburned prairies it often grows under the shade and loose thatch of prairie grasses. In this situation the plants remain small, are sparely leaved and rarely flower. However, following a burn, it rises like a phoenix from the ashes and blooms profusely.

According to Gray's Manual of Botany (8th ed.), the name Psoralea comes from the Greek "Psoraleos" which means "scabby" in reference to punctations/dots that are found on the fruits (and leaves in the case of P. psoralioides).

The once old name, now "new" name, Orbexilum pedunculatum is now in common usage.

Scott said...

Sweet! What flowers do I get as my gift for getting the quiz right??

Justin said...

You get Frost Flowers. I have hidden them somewhere in Potato Creek SP. Follow the Shrike if you get lost.