#303 Hobblebush (Viburnum lantanoides)

31 December

Viburnum lantanoides (commonly known as hobble-bush, witch-hobble, alder-leaved viburnum, American wayfaring tree,[2] and moosewood) is a perennial shrub of the family Adoxaceae (formerly in the Caprifoliaceae), growing 2–4 meters (6–12 ft) high with pendulous branches that take root where they touch the ground. These rooted branches form obstacles which easily trip (or hobble) walkers – hence the common name.

The shrub forms large clusters of white to pink flowers in May–June. The flowers on the outer edge of the clusters are much larger (3–5 cm across). The whole cluster is typically 10 cm across. It has large, cardioid leaves which are serrate, 10–20 cm long. The bark is gray-brown and warty and the fruit is a red drupe, which turns to black when ripe.

The flowers provide nectar for the Celastrina ladon (Spring Azure) butterfly. Mammals and birds feed on its fruit, twigs, and leaves. The large showy flowers along the edge of the cluster are sterile, while the small inner flowers have both male and female parts

#302 Red Baneberry (Actaea rubra)

30 December

A poisonous herbaceous flowering plant in the family Ranunculaceae, native to North America.

These open woodland plants grow 40 to 80 cm (16 to 31 in) tall.

The leaves are coarsely toothed with deeply lobed margins. Plants commonly have hairy veins on the undersides of the foliage. Each stem will have either three leaves that branch near the top, or will have three compound leaves and one upright flowering stalk from one point on the main central stem.

Plants produce one to a few ternately branched stems which bear clusters of flowers having 3 to 5 sepals that are petal-like and obovate in shape and remain after flowering. The petals are deciduous, falling away after flowering is done. They are clawed at the base and 2.5 to 4 mm (0.10 to 0.16 in) long and spatulate to obovate in shape. Flowers have numerous stamens and they are white in color.

After flowering green berries are produced. The fruits are ellipsoid shaped berries containing several seeds. In mid to late summer, the berries turn bright red, or white in forma neglecta. The berries also have a black dot on them.

#301 Fringed Loosestrife (Lysimachia ciliata)

29 December

Lysimachia ciliata, the fringed loosestrife, is a species of flowering plant in the family Primulaceae. It is an erect herbaceous perennial growing to 120 cm (47 in) tall and 60 cm (24 in) broad, with opposite, simple leaves, and smooth green stems. The star-shaped yellow flowers are borne in midsummer. It is native to North America, including most of southern Canada and most of the United States except for the southwest. This plant is notable in that it is one of the few species of Lysimachia to bear elaiophores, that is, to offer oil instead of nectar as a reward to pollinators.

It is also cultivated as an ornamental plant.

#300 Common Selfheal (Prunella vulgaris)

28 December

Prunella vulgaris (known as common self-heal, heal-all, woundwort, heart-of-the-earth, carpenter’s herb, brownwort and blue curls).

Self-heal is edible: the young leaves and stems can be eaten raw in salads; the plant in whole can be boiled and eaten as a potherb; and the aerial parts of the plant can be powdered and brewed in a cold infusion to make a beverage.

#299 Pointed-leaf Tick Trefoil (Hylodesmum glutinosum)

27 December

A species of flowering plant in the family Fabaceae. Common names include large tick-trefoil, clustered-leaved tick-trefoil, large-flowered tick-clover, pointed tick-trefoil, beggar’s lice and pointed-leaved tick-trefoil. It occurs in eastern Canada, the central and eastern United States, and northeastern Mexico.

#297 Deer Mouse (Peromyscus maniculatus)

26 December

MERRY CHRISTMAS to all “Speciesists” … This is a rodent native to North America. It is most commonly called the deer mouse, although that name is common to most species of Peromyscus, and thus is often called the North American deermouse[2] and is fairly widespread across the continent, with the major exception being the southeast United States and the far north.

Like other Peromyscus species, it can be a vector and carrier of emerging infectious diseases such as hantaviruses and Lyme disease.[3][4]

It is closely related to Peromyscus leucopus, the white-footed mouse

#298 European Robin (Erithacus rubecula)

25 December

It wouldn’t be Christmas without the appearance of a REAL Robin … unfortunately they are not native to North America and not actually to be found here at all. Nevertheless, I trust I will be forgiven for slipping this delightful fellow … this particular specimen is a Scottish Robin observed in Glencoe.

The European Robin (Erithacus rubecula), known simply as the robin or robin redbreast in the British Isles, is a small insectivorous passerine bird that belongs to the chat subfamily of the Old World flycatcher family. About 12.5–14.0 cm (5.0–5.5 inches) in length, the male and female are similar in colouration, with an orange breast and face lined with grey, brown upper-parts and a whitish belly. It is found across Europe, east to Western Siberia and south to North Africa; it is sedentary in most of its range except the far north.

The term robin is also applied to some birds in other families with red or orange breasts. These include the American robin (Turdus migratorius), a thrush, and the Australasian robins of the family Petroicidae, the relationships of which are unclear.

The American Robin (Turdus migratorius) is a fine bird but it’s still a Thrush and hence an imposter.

#295 Chicory (Cichorium intybus)

23 December

Common chicory (Cichorium intybus) is a somewhat woody, perennial herbaceous plant of the dandelion family Asteraceae, usually with bright blue flowers, rarely white or pink (White form photo below). Many varieties are cultivated for salad leaves, chicons (blanched buds), or roots (var. sativum), which are baked, ground, and used as a coffee substitute and food additive. In the 21st century, inulin, an extract from chicory root, has been used in food manufacturing as a sweetener and source of dietary fiber.

Chicory is grown as a forage crop for livestock.[6] It lives as a wild plant on roadsides in its native Europe, and is now common in North America, China, and Australia, where it has become widely naturalized.”Chicory” is also the common name in the United States for curly endive (Cichorium endivia); these two closely related species are often confused.

#294 Common Purslane (Portulaca oleracea)

22 December

An annual succulent in the family Portulacaceae, which may reach 40 cm (16 in) in height. Approximately forty cultivars are currently grown.[2]

Its specific epithet oleracea means “vegetable/herbal” in Latin and is a form of holeraceus (oleraceus).[3][4]

There are likely thousands of names for the purslane plant in various languages from the many human cultures that ate this plant as a nutritious herb throughout human history on the planet.