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Recently Updated Plant Articles

Yellow Nutsedge

Yellow Nutsedge (Cyperus esculentus)

Updated September 7th, 2023

A native, weedy, perennial flatsedge of moist, sunny areas, spreading by rhizomes and edible tubers.

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Southern Red Oak

Southern Red Oak (Quercus falcata)

Updated August 10th, 2023

A medium to large red oak with, as the name suggests, a more southerly distribution than the northern red oak (Quercus rubra), although their ranges overlap considerably.

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Pin Oak

Pin Oak (Quercus palustris)

Updated July 26th, 2023

A fast-growing, short-lived red oak of poorly-drained sites, with a large, heavy central trunk and numerous small side branches.

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Recently Updated Ecoregion Articles

A gray river with sparse shrubs in its floodplain, barren slopes rising to coniferous forest in the background
North America » Northwestern Forested Mountains » Western Cordillera »

Chilcotin Ranges and Fraser Plateau

Updated September 28th, 2023

An interior region in British Columbia, formed as a plateau disrupted by recent and abruptly-ending glaciation.

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A dramatic mountain pass with barren, steep cliffs on both sides and a broad conifer-filled valley below
North America » Northwestern Forested Mountains » Western Cordillera »

Sierra Nevada

Updated September 19th, 2023

A long north-south mountain range in interior north-to-central California, high in biodiversity and endemic species.

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Grass and scattered trees in foreground with forest and then mountains in the background
North America » Northwestern Forested Mountains » Western Cordillera »

Southern Rockies

Updated September 19th, 2023

The southeastern most portion of the Rockies, a rugged mountainous region with diverse vegetation cover.

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Recently Updated ID / Comparison Guides (See All)

collage of Japanese Clover and Korean Clover

Japanese Clover (Kummerowia striata) vs. Korean Clover (Kummerowia stipulacea)

Updated September 11th, 2023

These two species, both invasive in North America, are visually and ecologically similar. They can be told apart by their stipules, orientation of hairs on the stem, leaf shape, and often by hairs on the margins of new leaves. Their ranges overlap, but K. striata ranges farther south and is more tolerant of acidic soil, whereas K. stipulacea ranges farther north and tolerates slightly drier conditions as well as being more tolerant of rocky or gravely soil.

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collage of Yellow Nutsedge and Straw-Colored Flatsedge

Yellow Nutsedge (Cyperus esculentus) vs. Straw-Colored Flatsedge (Cyperus strigosus)

Updated August 30th, 2023

These two flatsedges are easily confused, mostly overlap in range in North America, and can occur in the same habitats, both natural and anthropogenic. They can be distinguished by the base of the stem, root system, and flower/seed spikes. C. esculentus is more common in anthropogenic habitats and ranges into slightly drier (mesic) conditions, and has more of a preference for loose-textured soils, whereas C. strigosus is more likely in natural habitats, more restricted to moist or wet habitats, and more likely on heavy, muddy soils.

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collage of Pale Touch-Me-Not and Jewelweed

Pale Touch-Me-Not (Impatiens pallida) vs. Jewelweed (Impatiens capensis)

Updated August 17th, 2023

These similar species are usually easily told apart by bloom color and examination of the spurs on each flower. With difficulty, they can be reliably distinguished by leaf characteristics. ID can sometimes be challenging as all of these traits are variable and some individuals may have one or more characteristics outside the typical range for its species. Although they can occur together in the same habitat, Impatiens pallida ranges into slightly drier conditions and tolerates soil with less organic matter, but requires more nitrogen and phosphorus. Impatiens capensis is usually more common, and also ranges farther in all directions; it is also more tolerant of acidic soils. Although they overlap greatly in height, Impatiens pallida is more likely to be taller (to 6 ft vs. 5.)

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