Thursday, August 13, 2009

Agrimonia sp.

[Photo: flower spike of some kind of Agrimonia.]Agrimonia spp., known in English as "agrimony" and in French as aigremoine, is a genus of about a dozen herbaceous perennials native to the temperate northern hemisphere, generally with spikes of yellow five-petalled flowers. There are four species found in Ontario, according the USDA's PLANTS database, all of them native:
  • Agrimonia gryposepala (tall hairy agrimony, aigremoine à sépales crochus)
  • Agrimonia parviflora (harvestlice, aigremoine parviflore)
  • Agrimonia pubescens (soft agrimony, aigremoine pubescente)
  • Agrimonia striata (roadside agrimony, aigremoine striée)

The agrimonies of Ontario look virtually identical, and Peterson's guide1 says they can only be distinguished by "technical characters" so I don't feel too bad about not being able to precisely identify this one (though if any of you reading this know which one it is, please let me know!).

[Photo: leaves of some kind of agrimony.]The leaves of agrimony are compound, and have distinctive mini-leaflets between some of the larger leaflets.

I photographed this plant in my local ravine.

1. Peterson, Roger Tory and Margaret McKenny. A field guide to wildflowers: Northeastern and northcentral North America. Boston: Houghton Mifflin Company, 1968.

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