help me identify this plant i found by the river

Ive been living in missouri for a while now, I sell medicinal herbs and teas for a living and for the last few years my interest in identifying native herbs and food plants has grown. Every weekend I venture out into the trail system that is my back woods ( seriously, walk into my back woods and Ive got 12+ miles of river trails to hike and bike. its pretty awesome) to identify new plants. I take pictures of them and come home and look them up. This morning however, I went out to the river and found shrub that was taller than I am, so taller than 6 foot 6. I went back to the spot later and found several other of the plant plants ranging in size to young and small to older and tall. How ever I can not identify them. So hopefully You, the lovely folks who seem to know EVERYTHING there is to know about everything, and i love that about you, can help me identify this plant.

heres a link to my flickr, with the plants and a few pictures of the river!


Looks a lot like a young Horse chestnut.

Try Ohio Buckeye.

I believe closely related to horse chestnut
Actually, my one source implies they are the same thing

im feeling good about the possibility it might be a buckeye. I will go down to the river over the next few days and see if the buds open up into flowers and take pictures and post them if they do.

Ohio buckeye is* Aesculus glabra*. Horse chestnut is* Aesculus hippocastanum*. The burrs are very different. Buckeyes do like wet places. I’m not sure about horse chestnuts.

Was it living in a van?

no it was not living in a van, but volunteers did just pull 14 cars out of this river yesterday during a clean up day

Isn’t ‘buckeye’ one of the forbidden words on the SDMB?

Only when coupled with “Hi Opal”.

So your post plus my post equals forbidden post? I quake, awaiting my half of the coming chastisement.

It looks like Aesculus sylvatica, by the yellowish flowers, size, and habitat. That’s my local buckeye, but not found in Missouri according to the USDA map, so, most likely Aesculus glabra, Ohio Buckeye, as said above.

It’s quite toxic, but is in the Eclectic Materia Medica, reprinted here on Henriette’s Herbal website.

I really love the spring buckeye leafout… take a look at the new growth now. Some of the tight buds are probably still apparent. In one week, that bud opens, and all that new growth shoots out like a Jack-in the-Box, and will double the size of the young plant quickly, pretty unique to have that big burst of growth. If you look at the flowers as they develop, you’ll see they are tailor made for a hummingbird’s beak, and the bloom coincides with the hummer’s migration North.

Sigh, I loves the buckeyes.

Me, too. And here in NE Ohio, we are weeks away from being anywhere close to what Analogue’s pictures show. :frowning:

Are there Aesculus species which are herbs (as opposed to trees or bushes) in habit? If not, what are common herbs with a compound-palmate form (as opposed to the simple-palmate form of Cannabis or the unrelated lookalike wildflower that was called “ditchweed” before that term was coopted by stoners for low-grade marijuana [the reason I’m not giving its actual name here – Google search was extremely useless])? I’ve seen plants with the buckeye/horse chestnut leaf form but herbaceous, not woody, in nature.

Polycarp, your question is kinda wide, and not ringing any of my Bot bells from your description. A palmate leaf is a good way to be plantwise, so many species have it. Ie: it’s structurally successful: good way to utilize light. If you are trying to ID a plant, the flower always helps immensely.

Otherwise, your question is vague to me.

The best speaker introduction I ever heard was for a bald guy from Ohio. The host said he always wondered why people from Ohio were called “buckeyes”. He looked it up in the dictionary and discovered that it described the speaker precisely, to wit: “A hairless nut, with no commercial value.”

True. It’s been a couple of years since I saw them, in the woods behind our former home here in rural NC. I guess my question is, “What plant is it that has leaves closely resembling those of buckeye/horse chestnut trees, but which is a ground-hugging herb rather than a tree or bush? Is it a taxonomic relative of them, or just something with similar leaf shape?” Location, of course, would be forest understory in the Carolinas. I didn’t see them flowering, so have no clue there; the unusual leaf shape was what made me take notice of them.

There are many woody shrub cultivars avail of the genus Potentilla but are also many herbaceous varieties as well.

I had learned one of the herbaceous ones as the common name Cinquefoil, it grew as a weed in my parents garden out front (in Michigan).
Back in our high school days, many referred to this as “fake pot”.

AKA cinquefoils.

I had always heard the shrub varieties referred to by their genus name Potentilla, (which do not have a palmately compound leaf, btw.)

Now I see from the wiki link that they are all Cinquefoils, like Squink says. Common names can vary much from region to region.

“You say crawfish, I say craydad, I say crayfish, you say crawdad…”

~decides to call the whole thing off and figure a way out of this corny joke attempt, it just didn’t go as expected~ :o

Oh! I live in Missouri, where might I find this?