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I’ve never learned much about plant identification. I’d like to know more about the plants on our property, and I don’t have many good resources to help me with plants which are specific to Central America.

I am starting to work on this, however, and I figured it would make sense to start with plants which have very unique characteristics, so that they would be more easily identifiable. The other day I found one of these plants growing as a weed in the vegetable garden:

Of course I pulled out the plant growing amongst the vegetables, but then I brought it inside to look it up on the internet. Now that we’re watching for them, we’ve found many more of this same type of plant growing around the place. I believe these are a type of Chinese Lantern Plant. Check out this page, and see if you think I’m right:

http://www.swallowtailgardenseeds.com/perennials/chinese_lantern.html

I don’t expect that our “lanterns” will get as bright orange as those in the seed catalog, but I’m pleased to know the name of at least one of our wild plants. With the name, I can find out more about the plant, like with this page:

http://www.herbcompanion.com/garden-gnome/discovering-chinese-lantern-plants-physalis-alkekengi.aspx

Next on my list to identify is a weed we have all over our lawns, with spiky thorns growing out of the tops of the leaves. It is a scary looking plant – don’t go around barefoot at my place!