Lambs Quarters

Lambs_Quarters_jpgThis large family (Asteraceae), commonly called the Aster Family, consists of 1,314 genera and 21,000 species of herbs, shrubs, climbers and a few trees is found chiefly in temperate and subtropical regions.  The plants are of value to man as ornamentals; a few are insecticides and fish poisons. The shrub was dedicated to Bacchus, the mythological God of wine, with leaves of Halimus. In South Carolina Groundsel Tree was used to treat consumption and cough, hence the common name Consumption-Weed.  In Texas oil has been found by drilling in many of the flats where this bush is abundant, thus the common name Oil-Willow. Groundsel Tree can be found on the boarders of the Salt Marsh community, as well as on the Bayshore and is a major component of both. Marsh wrens and other small birds frequently nest in these communities. Groundsel Tree is sometimes confused with the similar appearing Marsh Elder (Iva frutescens). Distinguishing between the two can be aided by the an acronym:   “MOGA”, referring to the orientation of the leaves, “Marsh Elder Opposite and Grounsel Alternate”.

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