BYGLQuests: Viburnum Victors and Leaf Lessons

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  Without knowing it, bygl-alerts have started a new feature – a weekly plant quiz.  

  Last week’s BYGLQuest was: What puts the “nudum” in Viburnum nudum? [not pictured]

  We received a number of excellent responses, but the best botanical answer was from Mary Jo Vesper:

  I understand that the specific epithet was given because, unlike many Viburnums, with V. nudum the leaves (and stems) are glabrous.  One might expect this Viburnum to be "nude" since it can live in swampy conditions.

  But then other folks have said the name comes because of the entire margins on the leaves. I guess with both the glabrous surface and entire margins, the leaves look pretty nude.  This Viburnum is top notch and beautiful in the landscape at this time of year here in SW Ohio.

  Being rather glabrous  myself, especially topside, the un-hirsuteness of Viburnum nudum is the key. My daughter Sara’s entry of “because it was discovered in a nudist colony” was good, and Lois Rose’s erudite reference from Gray’s Manual of Botany was as well, but a late entry that is deemed most clever came from: 

  Jane Baessler:

  This lovely shrub was first identified in the Garden of Eden.

  Their prizes, two books: For Jane, The Botany of Desire by Michael Pollan {image from Google} and for Mary Jo Delira and Excira: Visions of the Flowers of Spring by Stephen Tomasko.  


Botany of Desire book from Google

 Delira and Excira cover photo

And now, for this week’s BYGLQuest: From the leaves in the pictures accompanying this bygl-alert - identify all the plants.  All were taken by me in the last few days in northeast Ohio.  Send your answers to me at


kerria foliage in late November


fallen leaves of sweetbay magnolia and winged euonymus


sweetbay magnolia leaves


Finally: for your plant information pleasure: Remember that the Ohio Turfgrass Conference and the OSU Green Industry Short Course are coming soon (December 6-8), and are preceded by the OSU Trees on Tap program on December 5. Check it out:

The program schedule is at:

Register at:


oxalis leaves