Monday, December 5, 2011

Plant Quiz Solved - Oenothera laciniata!!

Good call Nick! It is Oenothera laciniata, Ragged Evening Primrose, a common native plant of bare sandy soil. These leaves seem a bit too large, but basal leaves often are noticeably different, and so are winter leaves. On a side note, I have never even thought about tasting this plant! What does it taste like?

Exploring the dune country of Lake County, Indiana last weekend, I was surprised at the many subtle colors in the winter leaves of this plant.

9 comments:

spacetimejunkie said...

a cirsium...

Nick said...

I will suggest maybe Lactuca hirsuta or Lactuca canadensis

Keith said...

Both good tries, but it is not a Cirsium or Lactuca!

Nick said...

Could be an odd Oenothera laciniata. Doesn't look quite right for that though. Then if were Oenothera you might expect it to have red fall color. What does it taste like?

Nick said...

I haven’t seen Oenothera lacinata with such long leaves, that is what threw me about it I think.

Often I taste a little tiny bit of a plant to help get an idea of what it is, obviously have to use caution about it though. The common evening primrose Oenothera biennis has a distinctive mild peppery taste and also when you chew it it has a slight muciliaginous okra-like quality. Not sure but I would guess Oenothera laciniata would have a similar taste.

Keith said...

Which reminds me of something Thoreau once said. Something like "There are enough things which I have chewed that I could lecture against."

Nick said...

I chewed some tobacco one time and that was it for me. I wonder what it was that Thoreau had been chewing that he could compare to tobacco. I wouldn't think chewing evening primrose would be habit forming. Lactuca maybe possibly.

ruben said...

Hello, i saw you were playing a family game and keeping score or something.. what's that exactly?

Scott Namestnik said...

Ruben,

The family game we were playing is not currently being played. The idea was to find the first flowering member of a family, photograph it, and report it. It started several years ago, and we used email and attachments for a couple of years, then Ben started this blog. The blog purpose has since changed, and we no longer play the family game.