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Fragments from Floyd

Name This Plant: I Know What it Isn’t


I’ve not seen so many honeybees in a long while as the number I found on the tall white lilies behind Zion Lutheran–a plant that until I took a closer look at it just now, I’d identified in error as Fly Poison. (Link is to Google Images of that plant for comparison to the image above.)

It isn’t, I now admit to my systematic botanical horror. And with the wife still asleep and me leaving for work soon, I can’t sneak upstairs and find my Newcombs Field Guide to steer me back in the direction of a correct ID.

So take a look at the larger version of this shot (with the bee hovering in the middle) and if anybody knows what this plant is, I’m ready to be humbled. I think I know it, but can’t retrieve a name. Flowers are a bit like a meadow rue, but everything else is wrong. I can’t remember what the leaf looks like, but I don’t think there were basal like Fly Poison.

For scale, the tallest plants of pure white flowers stand taller than my head (> 6 feet).

UPDATE: The big DUH: the flower is Black Cohosh. Common. Familiar. Forgotten. Early botanical dementia. So sad.

3 thoughts on “Name This Plant: I Know What it Isn’t”

  1. It’s Black Cohosh – very prominent on the Blue Ridge Parkway at this time of the year. The best stand ( a B&W photo with the right light) is just north of the turnoff to Morrisette Winery on the BRP

    Cimicifuga racemosa

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