Day: May 7, 2020

Back to the Herbarium, Part I: Eupatorium is a MESS

Travel and work restrictions have been relaxed just a bit here, so the human female has lost no time in going back out to the herbarium to do whatever it is she does with plants.  She SAYS she’s working on a book, but from what I’ve seen, someone else is doing the writing and she’s just making incomprehensible scribbles on the manuscript with a red pen.

Sigyn and I are with her today.  How far has she gotten in checking the herbarium sheets against the database and the manuscript?

E.  She’s only made it as far as E?!

To be fair, I’ve heard that Eupatorium IS a morphological and nomenclatural quagmire.  She’s got a lot to sort out.

Apparently, E. glaucescens is E. semiserratum now.


Tch!  Botanists.  They like to change names around just to sound smart and to confuse people.

Hmm.  Here’s a sheet she annotated back in 1994.


And the person who wrote the treatment of the genus for the Flora of North America mostly agreed with her!  Well, except that var. lancifolium has been raised to be its own species now.  And see that erasing right above the 2004 annotation?  That’s the human female thinking they’d both been wrong and that it was actually something else, and then changing her mind.  This is why she often does her annotations in pencil, so she can remove them and not look stupid if she was wrong.

The species in the southeastern U.S. can be very similar.

another different

She says this one is E. leucolepis because the leaves are folded along the midrib and widely spaced.  Also, “the phyllaries are acuminate.”  Whatever THAT means.

She’s annotated this one, too.

different species

So let me get this straight.  The first one IS E. semiserratum but this one ISN’T?  Honestly, woman, I think it probably only matters to another Eupatorium

Here’s another one:

filed wrong

Idunn’s little apples!  This is the one!  I recognize this!  It’s the tall, weedy thing I’ve been scattering seeds for all over the human female’s flower beds and lawn!  It goes all poofy in the fall and one plant soon becomes hundreds!  She’s spent countless hours yanking it up.  It feels good to finally have a name for my mischief!

She’s been at this for hours now, and she’s carefully recorded all the changes in green in the giant, many-thousand-rowed spreadsheet that keeps track of it all.  It would be a shame if anyone, say, accidentally…


poked this delete button and made it all disappear

Will I?  Won’t I?   Time will tell.

Time will tell.

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