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Recently Updated Plant Articles

Tuliptree

Tuliptree (Liriodendron tulipifera)

Updated July 20th, 2021

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

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Staghorn Sumac

Staghorn Sumac (Rhus typhina)

Updated July 20th, 2021

A thicket-forming shrub or small tree native to eastern North America; a pioneer species preferring rocky soils.

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Black-eyed Susan

Black-eyed Susan (Rudbeckia hirta)

Updated July 20th, 2021

An annual, biennial, or short-lived perennial. One of several species bearing the name Black-eyed Susan. Native to a wide range across North America, mostly in the Eastern half of the continent.

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Recently Updated Ecoregion Articles

Adirondack High Peaks
North America » Northern Forests » Atlantic Highlands » Northeastern Highlands »

Adirondack High Peaks

Updated April 9th, 2021

Mid-elevations (1,500-2,800 feet) in the Adirondacks, covered in a more conifer-rich variant of northern hardwood forests.

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Berkshire Transition
North America » Northern Forests » Atlantic Highlands » Northeastern Highlands »

Berkshire Transition

Updated April 9th, 2021

A hilly, geologically diverse transition between the Berkshire mountains and lower elevations of coastal New England.

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St. John Uplands
North America » Northern Forests » Atlantic Highlands » Northeastern Highlands »

St. John Uplands

Updated April 9th, 2021

A mostly unpopulated, hilly upland region at the northern border of Maine, extending into Quebec and New Brunswick.

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Recently Updated ID / Comparison Guides

collage of Greater Celandine and Celandine Poppy

Greater Celandine (Chelidonium majus) vs. Celandine Poppy (Stylophorum diphyllum)

Updated May 24th, 2021

These two plants, one native to North America and the other introduced and invasive in many regions, have superficially similar leaves and flowers. With effort, they can be told apart by leaves and flowers. They are easiest to distinguish by their seed pods or the arrangement of leaves along stems. Although their habitats overlap and both can occur together in the same habitat, Chelidonium is shorter-lived and more likely in sunnier, disturbed habitats whereas Stylophorum is longer-lived and more likely in shadier habitats, especially intact wild areas.

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collage of Red Maple and Sycamore Maple

Red Maple (Acer rubrum) vs. Sycamore Maple (Acer pseudoplatanus)

Updated April 28th, 2021

These two species are sometimes confused, especially when people do not know to check against Sycamore maple. Both have serrated leaf margins and frequently have reddish-tinged petioles, samaras, and other features. The flower structure and timing is radically different, but the species can also be distinguished by leaves and buds with relative ease if you know what to look for. In North America, red maple is widespread and common, whereas sycamore maple is uncommon in the wild, and usually most common in and near urban areas.

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collage of Sweetscented Joe Pye Weed and Spotted Joe Pye Weed

Sweetscented Joe Pye Weed (Eutrochium purpureum) vs. Spotted Joe Pye Weed (Eutrochium maculatum)

Updated April 23rd, 2021

These two species are occasionally confused where their ranges overlap in the northeast and Midwest. They are usually easily distinguished by their stems, inflorescence shape, and number of florets per head. They also have average differences in bloom color, leaf texture, and number of leaves per whorl, but these characteristics have more variability and overlap. E. purpureum prefers drier, shadier habitats, whereas E. maculatum is usually found in sunnier wetlands. The two species can hybridize, so it may not be possible to identify all individuals.

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February 9th, 2021

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