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Recently Updated Plant Articles

American Tuliptree

American Tuliptree (Liriodendron tulipifera)

Updated April 18th, 2024

A large deciduous tree native to eastern North America, with distinctive four-lobed leaves and tulip-like blossoms.

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Robin's Plantain

Robin's Plantain (Erigeron pulchellus)

Updated April 17th, 2024

A perennial favoring slightly dry sites of low soil fertility in open woodlands.

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Money Plant

Money Plant (Lunaria annua)

Updated April 12th, 2024

An annual, widely planted in gardens, that has become invasive at some localities across North America.

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Recently Updated Ecoregion Articles

flat landscape with tree-lined suburbs in the foreground and scattered cropland in the distance, under a blue sky
North America » Great Plains » South Central Semi-Arid Prairies »

Texas Blackland Prairies

Updated April 11th, 2024

A heavily-populated and intensively-farmed region in East-Central Texas, once covered mostly in tallgrass prairie.

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a flat landscape of sparse marshland and mud flats, a body of water behind, forests and then mountains in the distance
North America » Marine West Coast Forest »

Cook Inlet

Updated February 29th, 2024

Lowlands in Alaska around a body of water opening to the Pacific, and the region in which Anchorage is located.

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Recently Updated ID / Comparison Guides (See All)

collage of Narrow-leaved Spring Beauty and Northern Spring Beauty

Narrow-leaved Spring Beauty (Claytonia virginica) vs. Northern Spring Beauty (Claytonia caroliniana)

Updated April 7th, 2024

These two native spring ephemerals are visually similar and easily confused where their ranges overlap. They are easily told apart by leaf shape, and there are some other subtle differences which are less reliable for identification. C. virginica ranges much farther south and west, and ranges farther into sunnier and more upland habitats, whereas C. caroliniana ranges farther north, to higher elevations in the Southern Appalachians, and prefers shadier habitats.

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collage of Prairie Fleabane and Annual Fleabane

Prairie Fleabane (Erigeron strigosus) vs. Annual Fleabane (Erigeron annuus)

Updated March 14th, 2024

These closely-related species are visually similar and can occur together in the same habitats, tend to bloom around the same time, and their flowers are nearly indistinguishable. E. annuus favors moister, more disturbed habitats with richer soil, and tolerates more shade, whereas E. strigosus ranges farther west and south, prefers drier, sunnier, slightly less disturbed habitats, and is more tolerant of alkaline soil.

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collage of Atlantic White Cedar and Northern White-Cedar

Atlantic White Cedar (Chamaecyparis thyoides) vs. Northern White-Cedar (Thuja occidentalis)

Updated February 20th, 2024

These two species only overlap in the wild in a small part of New England, but both are widely planted in landscaping. Both have scale-like foliage and seed cones releasing wind-dispersed seeds. They can be told apart by their foliage arrangement, density, and color, seed cones, and shape. Some trees can be distinguished by bark. Both prefer moist conditions, but Atlantic white cedar is more restricted to wetlands. The two species have no overlap in soil pH, with Atlantic white cedar limited to sites with acidic soils (pH <5.5), whereas Northern White Cedar is most likely on more calcium-rich soils (pH > 5.5.)

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