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Horse Nettle - Camilla Fox

Jul. 31st, 2004

02:24 am - Horse Nettle

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Continuing in the theme of plants that I haven't found lately but only just identified, I bring you Horse Nettle, (Solanum carolinense).

I had found it at the Norman Bird Sanctuary, Middletown, RI. It was my last few pictures of the day, and it was in the middle of a thicket, and it smelled really horrible, so I wasn't being very careful about taking the pictures.

I would not have found it in the Peterson's guide, because it's sorted under "blue" flowers there; I wouldn't have found it in the keying guide, because the one I was looking at had six petals. I was flipping though the Audubon plant guide, and grumbling at that guide's uselessness, when I had an "oh, I've seen that" moment.

But wait, six petals vs. five? Aren't all the Solanaceae five-petaled? I guess not. The only two other flowers that showed clearly in my three shots of the plant both have five, and I got enough of a look at the leaves that they fit the identification too.

I've really been enjoying the Vascular Plant Family Access Page provided by a Professor Carr at the University of Hawaii. I keep needing to look up terminology, but I know just enough local examples that being shown the patterns is immensely satisfying (and his pictures are often gorgeous).