Tom Brown Jr.
The spring is the best time of the year to learn the various
plants as they pop through the soil and begin their growth. At this time, they
are very hard to identify and. few books show what these baby plants look like.
The difficulty lies in the fact that, these baby plants lack the flowers or
seeds that help in identification; also, the tiny leaves may be far different
than the ones on the full-grown plant.
At first try to identify the plant by thumbing through a
Peterson's or comparable book, trying to pick out what family the plant may be
in. If you still don't get it, then draw or take a picture of the tiny plant and
mark it with a popsicle stick with the date and time you found it. Come back
frequently through the spring and into the summer until it flowers, then make
your identification positive.
You can do the same with trees by reading their bark and
twigs, then going back in the summer for positive identification. This way, by
next spring you will know a large assortment of tiny plants to add to your table
fare. Be careful, however, because many baby plants look deadly similar.