Landscaping: Is It Native?

There are things growing in my yard, and I don't know what they are or if they're native to East Baton Rouge Parish.

  1. Mystery
  2. Solved


Plant #18: Serrated lance leaf

It's got a woody stem, and its edges are "serrulate" and not just serrate. Prunus serotina perhaps?
Send your guess

Plant #17: Round serrated leaves

I wondered if this was a Callery (Bradford) pear, but those have alternate leaves. This has opposite leaves. Current guess is rusty blackhaw.
Send your guess

Plant #16: Bramble

At first glance, I would assume this is a blackberry. Or at least related to it.
Send your guess

Plant #13: Pink flower, no leaves

From time to time, these flowers pop up with no obvious leaves.

HINT: These are pink rain lilies (Zephyranthes rosea maybe?), but it's looking like they're more tropical: Caribbean or Central America. Not sure yet.

Plant #10: Fluffy flowers

I've seen these around forever and have never known what they are. The leaves have rounded tips.
Send your guess

HINT: This is some kind of cudweed. When I see it again, I'll take a closer picture.

Plant #8: Violet flower

Ignore the baby camphor at the bottom. It's the middle guy that's of note. It tends to run flat along the ground.
Send your guess

HINT: This is a wild petunia (Ruellia caroliniensis) of some sort. Not sure which one, but it definitely has petunia qualities. Most likely native.

Plant #7: Tri-leaf thing

This was the first and only time I've seen this little guy come up. Before too long, it disappeared.
Send your guess

HINT: It's some kind of Oxalis. Maybe Oxalis drummondii?

Plant #1: Grass thing

I decided to let these clumps grow during 2012. I've come to like them and their clumpy shape. I just don't know what they are. They could be native, but are they? If you're thinking liriope, think again: its flowers are unimpressive and bloom in the spring. It is very likely a type of sedge. Since there are so many species, it will be hard to identify. But these are now all over the yard.
Send your guess


Plant #2: White spring flowers


In the spring, these flowers pop up all over the place. They're pretty. But are they from 'round these parts?

SOLVED: This is fleabane (Erigeron philadelphicus), a native. Woot.

Plant #3: Chinese/white mulberry

I first noticed this woody thing when the weather turned warmer in 2013. It looked like a muscadine to me at first, but now it looks nothing like one. It grew straight and tall the first year, looking a bit like a papaya. Now at around 8 feet and in its second year, the leaves are looking more mulberry-esque. The main stem branched into three in the spring (2014) with one dominant by late summer, and no leaves have grown in on the original, first-year stem.

SOLVED: I compared the veins underneath the leaves to what I found online: they are white. Even thought the leaf shape is all over the place, I believe this is in fact a white mulberry (Morus alba), the highly invasive exotic. I will replace it with a couple red mulberry (Morus rubra) if I can ever find some.

Plant #4: Trashy vine

These vines grow everywhere: on fences, on other plants, in the middle of the lawn. What gives? They flower in late summer or so. The flowers are white/cream.

SOLVED: They have lovely white flowers which make me feel like it's worth it that they've taken over my fences, but they are exotic invasives: Autumn Clematis (Clematis terniflora). Screw them.

Plant #5: Round wetland thing


These are annoying and pop up in spring, dying back in the summer heat. They seem to like wet areas. They are hard to weed because they run just under the dirt and break off when you pull on them. The runners are thin and white.

SOLVED: This is dollarweed (Hydrocotyle umbellata) and is quite native. Too bad it's also quite obnoxious. On a positive note, they are edible and taste a bit like carrots.

Plant #6: Woody twigs


I'm not sure how I feel about these. In the morning during the summer, they have tiny orange flowers, but they close during the midday heat.

SOLVED: This is probably Cuban jute (Sida rhombifolia). If so, then it is native, but I'm not really a fan of it.

Plant #9: Rusty seedhead grass


I think this is the first time I've seen these growing. They got tall and made pretty awesome flowers/seedheads.

SOLVED: This is surely Cladium mariscus. It's native enough. (It's also a sedge, not a grass.)

Plant #11: Bamboo-like mini-grass


I've been wondering if these are a type of local bamboo.

SOLVED: This is variable panicgrass (Dichanthelium commutatum) and native.

Plant #12: Tiny yellow flowers


These run all over. I wouldn't exactly say they are taking over, but pretty close to it.

SOLVED: This is straggler daisy (Calyptocarpus vialis) and native.

Plant #14: Tiny white flowers


These dainty guys grow anywhere between 6 inches and 2 feet tall. Their leaves are carrot-esque. Their seeds ripen inside what looks like a pod.

SOLVED: This is Chaerophyllum tainturieri and is native. And yes, it is in the carrot family.

Plant #15: Corn-like with orange seeds

This wide-leaved grass appeared in summer and is fruiting in fall. The leaves are wide and look like corn, but the seeds are on a stalk above the plant.

SOLVED: Somehow, it seems sorghum has found its way into my garden. It's probably from somebody's bird feeder. I did buy a bag of whole sorghum in 2014 and could have thrown some out at some point, but I'm pretty sure it wasn't raw.