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Additions to the 1st edition of Wild Plants of Greater Seattle


In an effort to keep current on the wild plant population of Greater Seattle, the following corrections and additions to the flora are presented. If you desire to suggest any new information, please feel welcome. Thanks. Now (April 2008) that I released the updated 2nd edition, more changes have been made in the book than are reflected below . . .

1) Additional data for plants already in the Annotated Checklist of 1,270 plants in Wild Plants of Greater Seattle:


Ambrosia artemisiifolia L. Ragweed. A fourth waif of this species was collected in 2005 in Seattle.

Apocynum androsæmifolium L. Spreading Dogbane. Change "extirpated" to "extant" because Vashon Island has at least one clump on a roadside.

Asclepias speciosa Torr. Showy Milkweed. A third location of this species was noted in 2003 in Seattle; it was poisoned.

Ballota nigra L. ssp. meridionalis. Black Horehound. Peter Zika thinks its status should be upgraded from reseeding weedily to naturalized.

Brasenia Schreberi J. Gmelin. Water Shield. The range of this species is global except for Europe.

Cardamine occidentalis (Wats. ex Robins.) T.J. Howell. Western Bittercress. A specimen was found wild in Discovery Park, thus it can be called extant rather than extirpated.

Cardamine penyslvanica Muhl. ex Willd. Pennsylvania Bittercress. Evidently most if not all the specimens so-called locally are really C. flexuosa With. (Wavy Bittercress), from Eurasia, naturalized here. Whether truly named Cardamine penyslvanica is extirpated from the Seattle area or merely rare remains to be determined.

Carex macrocephala Willd. ex Spreng. Bighead Sedge. Besides the saltwater beach population at Golden Gardens Park, this has been found in a similar habitat on Blake Island.

Castilleja hispida Benth. Harsh Indian-Paintbrush. Change "extirpated" to "extant" because Vashon Island has at least a few specimens on a bluff.

Ceanothus sanguineus Pursh Northern Buckbrush; Redstem Ceanothus. Seward Park still has it living there.

Centaurea Biebersteinii DC. Spotted Knapweed. In 2003, this species was reported to exude an herbicide from its roots. Also, the name Centaurea Biebersteinii may be as misapplied as the name C. maculosa. Possibly its proper name is C. stoebe L. ssp. micranthos (Gugler) Hayek.

Chrysothamnus nauseosus (Pallas ex Pursh) Britt. Gray Rabbit-brush. This really should be called Ericameria nauseosa (Pallas ex Pursh) G.L. Nesom & G.I. Baird

Cotoneaster divaricatus Rehd. & Wils. Jeanette Fryer thinks specimens so-called in the Seattle area may actually be C. nagaensis G. Klotz.

Cotoneaster Franchetii Bois. Jeanette Fryer thinks specimens so-called in the Seattle area may actually be an undescribed species.

Cotoneaster frigidus Wall. ex Lindl. Jeanette Fryer thinks specimens so-called in the Seattle area may actually be C. Gamblei G. Klotz

Cotoneaster lætevirens (Rehd. & Wils.) G. Klotz. Jeanette Fryer thinks specimens so-called in the Seattle area may actually be the sp. nov. C. tebbutus ined.

Cotoneaster Sternianus (Turrill) Boom. Known wild only at Vashon Island where it is merely reseeding, not naturalized.

Erechtites minima (Poir.) DC. Australian Fireweed. Two populations were found of this species in 2003 in Greater Seattle, so it should be noted as sparingly naturalized rather than a mere waif.

Erigeron Karvinskianus DC. Santa Barbara or Mexican Daisy. This is common naturalized in Pioneer Square.

Eriophyllum lanatum (Pursh) Forbes Oregon Sunshine; Woolly Sunflower. Change "extirpated" to "extant" because Blake Island has at least two specimens in the sand.

Juncus effusus var. gracilis Hook. Dwarf Pacific Rush. Plants in the Seattle area called by this name are best regarded as a distinct species: J. hesperius (Piper) H.L. Lint.

Lathyrus nevadensis S. Wats. Purple Pea. Change "extirpated" to "extant" because SW Seattle has at least a few specimens on a bluff.

Madia gracilis (Sm.) Keck & J. Clausen ex Applegate Tarweed. Plants in the Seattle area called in my book by this name are best regarded as having been extirpated by 1908, while the species currently weedy and wild in Seattle is a distinct species introduced from elsewhere in Washington: M. glomerata Hook.

Medicago arabica (L.) Huds. Spotted Medick. A third waif of this species was noted in 2003 in Seattle.

Prunus emarginata hybrid (Prunus emarginata x Prunus avium). Hybrid Bitter Cherry. The reference to Phantom Lake should read Larsen Lake. Moreover this hybrid has also been found on Vancouver Island, in Tacoma, and in Snohomish County.

Rupertia physodes. California Tea. Has been found extant at a second location in the Seattle area.

Solanum rostratum Dun. Buffalo Bur. A third waif of this species was collected in 2002 in Seattle.

Woodwardia fimbriata Sm. Giant Chain-fern. Change "extirpated" to "extant" because the west side of Blake Island, on steep slopes above high tide, has hundreds.



2) Plants to add to the Annotated Checklist of 1,270 plants in Wild Plants of Greater Seattle:


Agastache urticifolia (Benth.) Kuntze. Nettleleaf Giant-Hyssop. LABIATÆ (LAMIACEÆ); Mint Family. An aromatic West North American short-lived perennial wildflower reseeding in Seattle.

Aralia elata (Miq.) Seem. Japanese Angelica-Tree. ARALIACEÆ; Ginseng Family. An E Asian spiny shrub or small tree, cultivated. Naturalized in Juanita.

Bidens amplissima Greene. Vancouver Island Beggar-ticks. One of the herbarium specimens that was collected decades ago in Seattle as Bidens cernua has been re-examined and judged to be really Bidens amplissima. Hence we add this taxon as an extirpated species to the Seattle area flora.

Cerinthe major L. Honeywort. Blue Shrimp-Plant BORAGINACEÆ; Borage Family. Annual/biennial garden flower from the Mediterranean reseeding in Seattle --even in dry unirrigated gardens.

Citrullus lanatus (Thunb.) Matsum. & Nakai. Watermelon. CUCURBITACEÆ; Cucumber Family. An annual from South Africa, cultivated as a garden vegetable. Collected as a waif near the Fremont Bridge in 2002.

Coreopsis tinctoria Nutt. Calliopsis. An annual from eastern North America, cultivated as a garden flower, was collected reseeding in a sidewalk crack of Medina in 2002, and in Seattle in 2003.

Cortaderia jubata (Lemaire) Stapf. Purple or Andean Pampas Grass. A clump has been found naturalized in Seattle.

Cotoneaster conspicuus Marq. A specimen wild at the U.W. and previously identified as Cotoneaster integrifolius (Roxb.) G. Klotz is really C. conspicuus. (The true Cotoneaster integrifolius does grow wild by Interstate 5.)

Cotoneaster 'Hybridus Pendulus' (Cotoneaster salicifolius x C. Dammeri). Noted reseeding or sparingly naturalized in one N Seattle location.

Cotoneaster Svenhedinii --a yet-to-be-published name proposed by Jeanette Fryer. Noted reseeding or sparingly naturalized in Washington Park Arboretum; a 1947 accession previously called C. tomentellus Pojark.

Cotoneaster vestitus (W.W. Sm.) Flinck & B. Hylmö. A specimen wild at the U.W. Medicinal Herb Garden and previously identified as Cotoneaster pannosus Franch. is really C. vestitus. (The true Cotoneaster pannosus does grow wild at the Nordic Heritage Museum.)

Cratægus altaica (Loud.) Lange. Altai Mountain Hawthorn. ROSACEÆ; Rose Family. An Central Asian spiny shrub or small tree, cultivated. A specimen found naturalized in Seattle.

Cratægus Suksdorfii (Sarg.) Kruschke. Shortspine Black Hawthorn. Seattle has two native species of black-fruited hawthorn trees: Cratægus Douglasii Lindley, and this one, which was originally described in 1907 as a mere variant of C. Douglasii. Besides its shorter spines, it is a diploid rather than a polyploid species, has 20 rather than 10 stamens, and is smaller in size and in leaf. It grows only in the Pacific Northwest, whereas C. Douglasii extends to the Great Lakes.

Cystopteris fragilis (L.) Bernh. Fragile Fern. DRYOPTERIDACEÆ; Wood Fern Family. A tiny native fern, found in a small patch at Seward Park on a cool, mossy, shady cliff.

Digitalis lutea L. Straw Foxglove. A perennial from Europe & N Africa, cultivated as a garden flower, was noted reseeding in a sidewalk crack of Seattle in 2005.

Eburophyton (or Cephalanthera) Austiniæ (Gray) Heller Phantom or Snow Orchid. ORCHIDACEÆ; Orchid Family. Perennial orchid; extant; collected in Seattle in 1937; still here in 2005 and on Cougar Mountain.

Echium plantagineum L. Purple Viper's-Bugloss. BORAGINACEÆ; Borage Family. Biennial garden flower from the Old World reseeding in Seattle.

Epilobium Komarovianum H. Lév. (E. inornatum Melville). Bronzy Willowherb. A New Zealand perennial weed collected wild in the Kruckeberg Botanic Garden.

Epilobium montanum L. Broad-leaved Willowherb. A perennial weed from Europe collected at a Seattle garden.

Epilobium obscurum Schreb. Short-fruited Willowherb. A perennial weed from Europe collected at two Seattle gardens; it may actually be common and get passed over as a variant of our native E. ciliatum.

Erodium moschatum (L.) L'Hér. Musk Stork's-bill. Large-leaved Filaree. A lone specimen was found wild as a weed in Seattle in 2002; in 2003 the same location had three.

Euonymus europæus L. Common Spindletree. CELASTRACEÆ; Bittersweet Family. A Eurasian shrub or small tree, cultivated. A specimen found naturalized in Seattle.

Gymnocarpium Dryopteris (L.) Newm. Oak Fern. WOODSIACEÆ (DRYOPTERIDACEÆ); Buckler or Wood Fern Family. A colony-forming native deciduous fern of moist shady woods. Scott R. Atkinson remembers it from Lake Forest Park in the 1970s and it is likely still wild there; it is also on Blake Island.

Impatiens capensis and Impatiens ecalcarata have hybridized in Bellevue. The hybrid is being named Impatiens pacifica by Peter Zika.

Inula Helenium L. Elecampane. Horse-Elder. COMPOSITÆ; Sunflower Family. A stout perennial herb from C & W Asia, reseeding or naturalized at the U.W.

Juncus effusus var. solutus Fern. & Wieg. Common Rush. This varietas, from eastern North America, is naturalized in Union Bay and Mercer Slough.

Lathyrus Aphaca L. Yellow Pea. A European annual weed favoring dry sites. A waif noted in 2007 at Seward Park.

Lepidium heterophyllum Benth. Smith's Peppercress. CRUCIFERÆ (BRASSICACEÆ); Mustard Family. A perennial weed from the Old World naturalized in West Seattle.

Ligustrum obtusifolium S. & Z. Border Privet. OLEACEÆ; Olive Family. A deciduous Japanese shrub naturalized sparingly in Seattle.

Lobelia Erinus L. Garden Lobelia. CAMPANULACEÆ; Bellflower Family. An annual garden flower from S Africa that often reseeds in Seattle.

Matthiola incana (L.) W.T. Aiton. Stock. CRUCIFERÆ (BRASSICACEÆ); Mustard Family. A perennial garden flower from the Old World naturalized in West Seattle.

Medicago polymorpha L. Toothed Medick or Bur Clover. A European annual weed. Some noted in 2005 on Blake Island.

Melica ciliata L. Melick. Some specimens of this Mediterranean/SW Asian grass were found wild in Seattle in 2003; it may be the first wild collection for North America.

Mentha suaveolens Ehrh. Round-leaved Mint. LABIATÆ (LAMIACEÆ); Mint Family. An aromatic European perennial garden flower naturalized in Juanita.

Moenchia erecta (L.) P. Gaertn., B. Mey. & Scherb. Upright Chickweed. CARYOPHYLLACEÆ; Pink Family. A minute annual European weed naturalized at the U.W.

Perilla frutescens (L.) Britt. var. crispa (Benth.) W. Deane. Red Shiso. Beefsteak Plant. LABIATÆ (LAMIACEÆ); Mint Family. An aromatic eastern Asian annual garden herb reseeding in south Seattle.

Rosmarinus officinalis L. Rosemary. LABIATÆ (LAMIACEÆ); Mint Family. A widely cultivated Mediterranean evergreen shrub reseeding sparingly in Seattle.

Setaria verticillata (L.) P. Beauv. Rough or Bristly Foxtail. Rough Bristlegrass. A specimen of this Old World annual weed was found wild in Seattle in 2002.

Smilax glauca Walt. Wild Sarsaparilla. Sawbrier. SMILACACEÆ; Smilax Family. An eastern U.S. scrambling deciduous shrub with prickles; a clump naturalized at the U.W. campus.

Sutera cordata (Thunb.) Kuntze. White Bacopa. SCROPHULARIACEÆ; Figwort Family. A South African perennial garden plant often used in hanging baskets; it has reseeded, even in unirrigated gardens.

Torilis japonica (Houtt.) DC. Upright Hedge-Parsley. UMBELLIFERÆ (APIACEÆ); Carrot Family. An annual weed from the Old World naturalized in south Seattle.

Verbesina alternifolia (L.) Britt. ex C. Mohr = Actinomeris alternifolia (L.) DC. Wingstem. Yellow Ironweed. COMPOSITÆ; Sunflower Family. A perennial from eastern North America, reseeding or naturalized at the U.W. Medicinal Herb Garden.

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Arthur Lee Jacobson plant expert
Arthur Lee Jacobson plant expert
Arthur Lee Jacobson plant expert
Arthur Lee Jacobson plant expert
Arthur Lee Jacobson plant expert
Arthur Lee Jacobson plant expert
Arthur Lee Jacobson plant expert
Arthur Lee Jacobson plant expert
Arthur Lee Jacobson plant expert
Arthur Lee Jacobson plant expert
Arthur Lee Jacobson plant expert
Arthur Lee Jacobson plant expert
Arthur Lee Jacobson plant expert
Arthur Lee Jacobson plant expert

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