I discovered the 100 Species Challenge from Melissa Wiley's blog.
Here are the rules:
The 100-Species Challenge
1. Participants should include a copy of these rules and a link to the original challenge in their initial blog post about the challenge.
2. Participants should keep a list of all plant species they can name, either by common or scientific name, that are living within walking distance of the participant's home. The list should be numbered, and should appear in every blog entry about the challenge, or in a sidebar.
3. Participants are encouraged to give detailed information about the plants they can name in the first post in which that plant appears.
4. Participants are encouraged to make it possible for visitors to their blog to find easily all 100-Species-Challenge blog posts.
5. Participants may post pictures of plants they are unable to identify, or are unable to identify with precision. They should not include these plants in the numbered list until they are able to identify it with relative precision. Each participant shall determine the level of precision that is acceptable to her; however, being able to distinguish between plants that have different common names should be a bare minimum.
6. Different varieties of the same species shall not count as different entries (e.g., Celebrity Tomato and Roma Tomato should not be separate entries); however, different species which share a common name be separate if the participant is able to distinguish between them (e.g., camillia japonica and camillia sassanqua if the participant can distinguish the two--"camillia" if not).
7. Participants may take as long as they like to complete the challenge.
Sounds like great Nature Study fun, right?
1. Callicarpa Americana (American Beautyberry) - found on the local trail
Has the same irritating scent of its cousin, Shrub Verbena, also known as Lantana.
Callicarpa is Greek for "beautiful fruit," however they are not tasty berries. They are an emergency food source for birds and deer, saved for consumption in the coldest times when nothing else can be found. This is because the berries are very tart. Callicarpa is apparently effective in repelling mosquitoes and ticks. If only I wasn't allergic to it, I would surround my house with these plants.
2. Zephyranthes Atamasco (Rain Lily) - found in neighbor's yard
The genus name comes from Zephyros, the Greek of the West Wind. These bulb plants often appear in the yards in my neighborhood. The petals turns pale pink when the flower is pressed.
Sometimes, we are lucky to find a patch of Rain Lilies.
3. Erigeron quercifolius (Southern Fleabane) - found throughout my neighborhood
These tiny asters are said to repel fleas. They often grow near my mailbox.
The genus name erigeron is derived from the Greek (eri = early; geron = old man), a reference to the appearance of the white hairs of the fruit soon after flowering. Quercifolius means oak leaf. Another name for this flower is "oak-leaf fleabane".