Taiwan Wildflowers and Weeds

Thanks a lot. And here’s another wildflower that I see all the time here in Miaoli County:

Does anyone know the name for this one?

[quote=“Mark Nagel”]Thanks a lot. And here’s another wildflower that I see all the time here in Miaoli County:

Does anyone know the name for this one?[/quote]
God, an equally bad weed, Lantana http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lantana

Edit: The thread title “wildflowers” should be changed to “invasive weeds.”

That one is also very common, but I don;t know the name. I only do veggies and shrooms.

In Changhua county the sow the rice fields in winter with flowers. It looks quite nice come spring and makes the place seem reasonably livable.

[quote=“Okami”]
In Changhua county the sow the rice fields in winter with flowers. It looks quite nice come spring and makes the place seem reasonably livable.[/quote]

this is in Miaoli county.

Thanks a lot, Almas John. That’s two mysteries solved. I don’t regard them as weeds. I regard them as wildflowers. One man’s trash is another man’s treasure.

I also often come across a strange plant that has tiny fern-like leaves which are so sensitive that if you touch any of the leaves, then all of the tiny leaves on that stem close up and stay closed for about 2 or 3 minutes. Here’s a picture of a whole patch of the “sensitive plant”:

And here’s a close up of one of them:

Does this plant have a name, other than just calling it the “sensitive plant”?

one of several species of Mimosa. Perhaps a prostrate mimosa, like Mimosa strigillosa, or the larger Mimosa pudica or Mimosa sensitiva. None native to Taiwan as far as I know.

Another choice is Chamberbitter (Phyllanthus urinaria). The true Mimosas have small purple pom-pom type flowers, the niruri or chamber bitter has greenish white, minute flowers that appear at axils of the leaves, with the seed capsules found under the leaves. The leaves are also sensitive.

The presence of thorns on the previous photo makes me think of a true Mimosa instead.

Mimosa pudica - I don’t know the common name. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mimosa_pudica

As for liking weeds, yes, many are pretty but they are bad for the environment - decrease biodiversity greatly, not just by replacing local flora but also affect the fauna.

Urodacus and Almas John, thank you very much for identifying the “sensitive plant”! I’m surprised that they aren’t native to Taiwan because I have seen them all over the west coast of Taiwan, and they’re probably on the east coast, too.

Also there’s a wild plant that looks like wheat. It’s all over the place here in Miaoli County, but it isn’t as common south of Taizhong. I don’t know if it ever has flowers because I always just see a brown stalk with lots of seed pods at the top. Here’s a picture:

Does anyone know the name for this wild plant?

By the way, I have changed the title of this thread from “Taiwan Wildflowers” to “Taiwan Wildflowers and Weeds”.

Silvergrass (Miscanthus spp.)

Morning Glory (Ipomoea spp.)

Thanks a lot, Chris! Another mystery solved!

Here’s the last one for today:

This wildflower / weed is as ubiquitous in Taiwan as clovers in America. It’s everywhere!

I have always thought this was a daisy, but then I noticed that the petal arrangement is very different from daisies which are in Europe and North America. Look at a picture of a European daisy here (Bellis perennis):

You can see that the European daisy has about 30 or 40 petals, but the “Taiwanese daisy” always has only 5 petals. Also, the leaves are different, too. So now I’m confused about whether or not the “Taiwanese daisy” is really a daisy.

[quote=“Mark Nagel”]Thanks a lot, Chris! Another mystery solved!

Here’s the last one for today:


[/quote]
Bidens pilosa, a kind of aster

Then again, daisies, chrysanthemums and sunflowers are also asters.

In Taiwan that’s most likely to be Bidens pilosa a plant with several significant Chinese medicine uses (and now shown to be a potential anticancer drug).

In Europe, that would be Bidens alba.

Both have horrible little black seeds with two teeth that cling to clothes, etc.

Damn you’re fast, Chris.

Chris and Urodacus, thanks a lot!

I knew they weren’t really daisies!

That was my last question for today. Thank you very much everyone for answering all of my questions about wildflowers and weeds in Taiwan.

I’ll go hiking again next week (probably Tuesday or Wednesday) and if I see any other unidentified wildflowers or weeds, I’ll post the pictures here.

Mark

[quote=“urodacus”]In Europe, that would be Bidens alba.

Both have horrible little black seeds with [color=#FF0000]two teeth[/color] that cling to clothes, etc.[/quote]
Hence “bi-dens”.

indeed! pilosa, of course, meaning a bit hairy.

I’m interested in learning to identify local plants and flowers that can be used for dyeing wool, cotton, silk and linen. I know how to handle mordants and the like; I just need to find the plants locally, and preferably free for the gathering, rather than importing madder root etc…

I haven’t had time to start my homework on this one yet, but just thought I’d throw the topic out there, since we already have this thread, to see if anyone knows this kind of stuff. :pray:

How are you identifying these… and so quickly?
Thanks about the asters! They overgrow my garden, look lovely until they die off and muck the place up. And are hard as hell to pull out at the roots, so invasive…

Some are well-known and common worldwide (Lantana, Morning Glory).

As for Bidens pilosa, I saw right off the bat that it was of the aster family, so I googled 菊科 (Chinese for “Asteraceae”) and 台灣 (“Taiwan”), checking Google Images for plants that looked like the one posted. That led me to a page with the scientific name of the plant.

I think it is actually called a daisy, it’s just one of the daisy family or aster in Scientific terminology. Even daisies in Europe have more than 5 petals (the old she loves me, she loves me not rhyme).

Miaoli county is full of wild and weedy flowers at the moment following the final rice harvest this year. Some are deliberately sown to fertilise the soil, others are simply weeds. In some parts of Miaoli you will also see Chrysanthemums being grown for tea.