Asclepiadaceae / Milkweed
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Similar Species: As you can see from the list in the "More info" section below there are many other
species in this genus found in our area. They all have flowers that emerge from the nodes of the paired, heart shaped
leaves. Some have dark purple or red-brown flowers and some have yellowish or green flowers. Most species tend to
have a fairly limited range. They all have hairs on the stem and leaf stalk that are visible with the unaided eye mixed with
smaller glands visible only with a magnifier. Vines in the genus Cynanchum are also similar and sometimes
confused. Our species of Cynanchum have very narrow leaves. Technically the distinction between
Matelea and Cynanchum is that in the first the pollen masses extend horizontally and in the latter they hang
One of the best general guides to wildflowers of the North Eastern and North Central United States. Newcomb's key is an excellent, simple method for identifying plants. Newcomb has drawings for almost every plant mentioned that are excellent aids to identifying the species. Though only the more common plants are covered this is often the first book I pick up when trying to identify a wildflower.
This is perhaps the best of many field guides covering this region. Featuring 446 excellent color photographs (located with the text) and mentioning as similar to those illustrated are another 800 or so species for a total coverage of over 1,200 species. The start of each family section includes line drawings of some of the species showing important features. The text includes the usual description, bloom season, range, habitat and additionally includes information such as medical uses and lore and how the species was named. This is the official field guide of the Tennessee Native Plant Society.
Angiosperms / Flowering Plants
Dicots / Two Seed Leaves