Identify weeds, are they eadible?

alejzp

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Hello all at the TF,

I own a sulcata that is around 1 to 2 years. She eats a lot and have found some weeds that she loves, but at the end of my backyard, the grass died under some trees and instead I've gotten weeds grown galore and I have tried to identify them using the Google picture identification and this is what I found. I want to know if any of you know them, if Google really identified them correctly and more important, if they can be fed to my sulcata. I checked on the "toxic or poison plants list" thread here and couldn't find the common names so if any of you know these weeds I will appreciate if you could help me knowing if they are safe for my sulcata. We are in Costa Rica.

IMAGE #1: It was identified as Bidens pilosa with common names such as: black-jack, beggarticks, farmer’s friends and Spanish needle, but most commonly referred to as cobblers pegs
Black-jack.jpg

IMAGE #2: This one was identified as Crassocephalum crepidioides, with common names such as: ebolo, redflower rag leaf, thickhead, fireweed, Okinawa Spinach
redflower.jpg

IMAGE #3: This one was identified as Rumex brownii, with common names such as hooked dock, Browne's dock or swamp dock.
Curly dock.jpg
 

Lyn W

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Dock is definitely classed as Do Not Feed on the tortoise table

I see you have ferns there - these are also Do Not Feed

Boston Fern is OK though

I can't find anything on the ebolo and cobblers pegs under any name.
 

alejzp

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Dock is definitely classed as Do Not Feed on the tortoise table

I see you have ferns there - these are also Do Not Feed

Boston Fern is OK though

I can't find anything on the ebolo and cobblers pegs under any name.
Thank you very much, at least now I know that the dock is a no no... hope I can find something about the other two.
 

TisMary

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Hello all at the TF,

I own a sulcata that is around 1 to 2 years. She eats a lot and have found some weeds that she loves, but at the end of my backyard, the grass died under some trees and instead I've gotten weeds grown galore and I have tried to identify them using the Google picture identification and this is what I found. I want to know if any of you know them, if Google really identified them correctly and more important, if they can be fed to my sulcata. I checked on the "toxic or poison plants list" thread here and couldn't find the common names so if any of you know these weeds I will appreciate if you could help me knowing if they are safe for my sulcata. We are in Costa Rica.

IMAGE #1: It was identified as Bidens pilosa with common names such as: black-jack, beggarticks, farmer’s friends and Spanish needle, but most commonly referred to as cobblers pegs

IMAGE #2: This one was identified as Crassocephalum crepidioides, with common names such as: ebolo, redflower rag leaf, thickhead, fireweed, Okinawa Spinach


IMAGE #3: This one was identified as Rumex brownii, with common names such as hooked dock, Browne's dock or swamp dock.
Hi @alejzp - nice job looking up these plants! Thank you! I hope it was fun (or at least, informative! 🤓) I can't argue with any of your identifications.

Off the top, let's dismiss #3 the Rumex brownii. Tortoise Table Plant Database lists all species of this genus as Do Not Feed. Fun fact: when you see the abbreviation "spp." as on that page, it means "multiple species"; so this advice holds for any species of the genus Rumex.

Both plants #1 and #2 appear to be from the Sunflower (Asteraceae) Family, but from different "Tribes" (it's a big Family - second only to Orchids!) I can't see the details of the centers of the flowers in either picture, so maybe you can take a closer look.

The yellow center of the flower in image #1 .- does it look like this? (lots of tiny little yellow flowers? I never get tired of that!) If so, and if it has 6 white petals, then I think Bidens pilosa it is! Family: Asteracea, Tribe: Tickseed (Coreopsideae), Genus: Bidens. While TTT doesn't list the pilosa species specifically, it does list two related plants which are at least OK to "Feed in Moderation".
Bidens_pilosa-center closeup.jpg
image courtesy of Wikipedia


The center of the flowers in #3 - does it look like this? Makes me think of a water fountain display!
Crassocephalum_crepidioides_by_kadavoor closeup of center.jpg
image courtesy of Wikipedia. This plant is a little different story that the Bidens above. It is also in the Sunflower Family, but in the Groundsel (Senecioneae) Tribe; it is in the Genus Crassocephalum ("thick head"). It looks kinda like a thistle, but it's soft and squishy.

TTT doesn't list this plant specifically, but does list a couple of species of the Genus Senecio - same Tribe as DO NOT FEED, so I guess I'd not let him eat this plant.
 

alejzp

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Hi @alejzp - nice job looking up these plants! Thank you! I hope it was fun (or at least, informative! 🤓) I can't argue with any of your identifications.

Off the top, let's dismiss #3 the Rumex brownii. Tortoise Table Plant Database lists all species of this genus as Do Not Feed. Fun fact: when you see the abbreviation "spp." as on that page, it means "multiple species"; so this advice holds for any species of the genus Rumex.

Both plants #1 and #2 appear to be from the Sunflower (Asteraceae) Family, but from different "Tribes" (it's a big Family - second only to Orchids!) I can't see the details of the centers of the flowers in either picture, so maybe you can take a closer look.

The yellow center of the flower in image #1 .- does it look like this? (lots of tiny little yellow flowers? I never get tired of that!) If so, and if it has 6 white petals, then I think Bidens pilosa it is! Family: Asteracea, Tribe: Tickseed (Coreopsideae), Genus: Bidens. While TTT doesn't list the pilosa species specifically, it does list two related plants which are at least OK to "Feed in Moderation".
View attachment 330306
image courtesy of Wikipedia


The center of the flowers in #3 - does it look like this? Makes me think of a water fountain display!
View attachment 330308
image courtesy of Wikipedia. This plant is a little different story that the Bidens above. It is also in the Sunflower Family, but in the Groundsel (Senecioneae) Tribe; it is in the Genus Crassocephalum ("thick head"). It looks kinda like a thistle, but it's soft and squishy.

TTT doesn't list this plant specifically, but does list a couple of species of the Genus Senecio - same Tribe as DO NOT FEED, so I guess I'd not let him eat this plant.
Wow thank you @TisMary that was a great and thorough answer, thanks for taking the time, tomorrow morning I will take a better picture of the flower and will let you know. Hopefully my phone will be able to take a nice macro picture of the flowers.

Greetings from Costa Rica, alejzp
 

MichaelL

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We have Spanish needle here in Florida. It grows heavily in my russian tortoise enclosure. It is edible to humans and tortoises alike, though my russians don't like it. I don't like it much either as the seeds stick to my clothes! Lol, my russians hide under it though.
 

Diane771

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Hello all at the TF,

I own a sulcata that is around 1 to 2 years. She eats a lot and have found some weeds that she loves, but at the end of my backyard, the grass died under some trees and instead I've gotten weeds grown galore and I have tried to identify them using the Google picture identification and this is what I found. I want to know if any of you know them, if Google really identified them correctly and more important, if they can be fed to my sulcata. I checked on the "toxic or poison plants list" thread here and couldn't find the common names so if any of you know these weeds I will appreciate if you could help me knowing if they are safe for my sulcata. We are in Costa Rica.

IMAGE #1: It was identified as Bidens pilosa with common names such as: black-jack, beggarticks, farmer’s friends and Spanish needle, but most commonly referred to as cobblers pegs
View attachment 330281

IMAGE #2: This one was identified as Crassocephalum crepidioides, with common names such as: ebolo, redflower rag leaf, thickhead, fireweed, Okinawa Spinach
View attachment 330282

IMAGE #3: This one was identified as Rumex brownii, with common names such as hooked dock, Browne's dock or swamp dock.
View attachment 330283
Do you have Foxgloves in your garden. Tortoises can't eat that. Get rid of it Please.
 

RosemaryDW

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The first looks like one of the bidens to me as well, maybe bidens pilosa. Can you get a cleaner picture, away from the other plants? At any rate, safe enough, if your tortoise will eat it.

Second one does look like redflower rag weed—all those other names are for the same plant. This is a plant a bit far down in the sunflower family. It’s a little iffy to me on the safety issue. Tortoise Table says NOPE to ragweeds but only based on what might happen to horses; I don’t consider that very good science. I doubt your tortoise would like it but a nibble probably wouldn’t hurt. As it’s invasive and many people are allergic to ragweed you might consider getting rid of it.

Don’t bother feeding dock.
 

alejzp

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San José, Costa Rica
The first looks like one of the bidens to me as well, maybe bidens pilosa. Can you get a cleaner picture, away from the other plants? At any rate, safe enough, if your tortoise will eat it.

Second one does look like redflower rag weed—all those other names are for the same plant. This is a plant a bit far down in the sunflower family. It’s a little iffy to me on the safety issue. Tortoise Table says NOPE to ragweeds but only based on what might happen to horses; I don’t consider that very good science. I doubt your tortoise would like it but a nibble probably wouldn’t hurt. As it’s invasive and many people are allergic to ragweed you might consider getting rid of it.

Don’t bother feeding dock.
Thank you very much for your answer, I won't feed the dock and will just try to get rid of the redflower rag weed...
 

alejzp

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San José, Costa Rica
Hi @alejzp - nice job looking up these plants! Thank you! I hope it was fun (or at least, informative! 🤓) I can't argue with any of your identifications.

Off the top, let's dismiss #3 the Rumex brownii. Tortoise Table Plant Database lists all species of this genus as Do Not Feed. Fun fact: when you see the abbreviation "spp." as on that page, it means "multiple species"; so this advice holds for any species of the genus Rumex.

Both plants #1 and #2 appear to be from the Sunflower (Asteraceae) Family, but from different "Tribes" (it's a big Family - second only to Orchids!) I can't see the details of the centers of the flowers in either picture, so maybe you can take a closer look.

The yellow center of the flower in image #1 .- does it look like this? (lots of tiny little yellow flowers? I never get tired of that!) If so, and if it has 6 white petals, then I think Bidens pilosa it is! Family: Asteracea, Tribe: Tickseed (Coreopsideae), Genus: Bidens. While TTT doesn't list the pilosa species specifically, it does list two related plants which are at least OK to "Feed in Moderation".
View attachment 330306
image courtesy of Wikipedia


The center of the flowers in #3 - does it look like this? Makes me think of a water fountain display!
View attachment 330308
image courtesy of Wikipedia. This plant is a little different story that the Bidens above. It is also in the Sunflower Family, but in the Groundsel (Senecioneae) Tribe; it is in the Genus Crassocephalum ("thick head"). It looks kinda like a thistle, but it's soft and squishy.

TTT doesn't list this plant specifically, but does list a couple of species of the Genus Senecio - same Tribe as DO NOT FEED, so I guess I'd not let him eat this plant.

Hello @TisMary , sorry I haven't been back before but I underwent surgery and until now I'm back on track trying to get updated on everything, I did take a closer picture of the flowers with my phone hope they are good enough...

As of the first image the one we said it was Bidens pilosa, this is the picture:
IMG_5446.jpeg

As for the 2nd image, the redflower rag leaf, this is a closer picture of the flower that as you can see it becomes somehow like a dandaleon, because it goes into that fuzzy white ball:

IMG_5448.jpeg

Hope this helps a little more to identify them, but I guess from your message we have already done so. I will write another entry here with some new weeds I found on my backyard to see if you or any other can help me as well.

Thanks,
 

alejzp

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Hello everybody, I found some other weeds on my backyard and I'm trying to identify them as well... Hope what I have found is good enough:

First two pictures, were identified by Google as Cat's ear (smooth) or Flatweed with the scientific name Hypochaeris radicata, but I also found as a possibility hypochaeris glabra it has a yellow flower:
IMG_5442.jpeg IMG_5443.jpeg

The other weed I found a lot is this one that was identified by Google as bitter lettuce, prickly lettuce and even common sowthistle, if it is bitter lettuce it goes under Lactuca virosa and these are two pictures:
IMG_5444.jpeg IMG_5445.jpeg

Then I found this other one that Google identified it as West Indian Lantana under the name Lantana camara and here it is:
IMG_5451.jpeg

Finally this weed has started to grow where the grass is and it is taking over: I found several names: miner's lettuce, spring beauty, winter purslane or palsingat, under the name: Claytonia perfoliata, Drymaria cordata, Dichondra repens, but I feel that the closer one is the Drymaria cordata, because it has this little flowers in the middle and has some "seeds" that stick on the cloths of dogs fur:
IMG_5467.PNG IMG_5468.PNG

Hope the info is of any help to try to identify these other weeds. Thanks in advance to anybody that can help me.
 

TisMary

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Hello @TisMary , sorry I haven't been back before but I underwent surgery and until now I'm back on track trying to get updated on everything, I did take a closer picture of the flowers with my phone hope they are good enough...

As of the first image the one we said it was Bidens pilosa, this is the picture:
View attachment 331192

As for the 2nd image, the redflower rag leaf, this is a closer picture of the flower that as you can see it becomes somehow like a dandaleon, because it goes into that fuzzy white ball:

View attachment 331193

Hope this helps a little more to identify them, but I guess from your message we have already done so. I will write another entry here with some new weeds I found on my backyard to see if you or any other can help me as well.

Thanks,
Hi @alejzp - glad you're back from your surgery. Hope you keep feeling better every day.

I think we are correct about the 2 plants here. The white one has the tiny florets in the center, which is what we were looking for, so I vote "Bidens pilosa"! As for the salmon-colored one, glad you got a close-up of the white "hair". Its purpose is to make the seeds airborne (or stick to an unsuspecting passerby!) so the plant can reproduce in another location. You are right - it is like a dandelion which is in the same Family, but in the Chicory Subfamily. The "pappus hair" of the Groundels (like yours here) are softer and silkier than those of the dandelion.

I'll have to take a look at the other plants you've posted. The flowers are drop-dead gorgeous whatever they are! You have done a lot of work taking a first stab at these. If you find you're getting interested in botany, you might enjoy this book Botany in a Day: The Patterns Method of Plant Identification It's written for regular folks and is what got me started on all this!
 

alejzp

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Hi @alejzp - glad you're back from your surgery. Hope you keep feeling better every day.

I think we are correct about the 2 plants here. The white one has the tiny florets in the center, which is what we were looking for, so I vote "Bidens pilosa"! As for the salmon-colored one, glad you got a close-up of the white "hair". Its purpose is to make the seeds airborne (or stick to an unsuspecting passerby!) so the plant can reproduce in another location. You are right - it is like a dandelion which is in the same Family, but in the Chicory Subfamily. The "pappus hair" of the Groundels (like yours here) are softer and silkier than those of the dandelion.

I'll have to take a look at the other plants you've posted. The flowers are drop-dead gorgeous whatever they are! You have done a lot of work taking a first stab at these. If you find you're getting interested in botany, you might enjoy this book Botany in a Day: The Patterns Method of Plant Identification It's written for regular folks and is what got me started on all this!
Thank you for the answer @TisMary , yes we were right with the Bidens pilosa as for the other one, the red one that goes into a dandelion like white fluffy head, that is not good for feeding? do you know?

And thank you for looking into the other ones I posted, I will really like to know if I can feed my Lola with them because I have a lot of them... however I kept reading about the West Indian Lantana under the name Lantana camara and I believe that one cannot be given to them, however I will love your comment on it if possible...

take care and have a good weekend...
 

Lyn W

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Lots of plants have fluffy seed heads for seed dispersal by wind but they may not be the same or as safe as dandelions for torts to eat, so good that you're checking ID to be sure.
Another good tip I was given here was that anything that grows from bulbs is probably toxic so I never feed any of those.
 

TisMary

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Thank you for the answer @TisMary , yes we were right with the Bidens pilosa as for the other one, the red one that goes into a dandelion like white fluffy head, that is not good for feeding? do you know?

And thank you for looking into the other ones I posted, I will really like to know if I can feed my Lola with them because I have a lot of them... however I kept reading about the West Indian Lantana under the name Lantana camara and I believe that one cannot be given to them, however I will love your comment on it if possible...

take care and have a good weekend...
I think "no" on the red flower with the white fluffy head (reasons in my post above).

Agree with you on the Lantana. I found Lantana (Shrub Verbena) in the TT Plant Database (they have several pictures which look to be what you have). They say Do Not Feed because "All parts of the plant are highly toxic. Contains lantanin, which is a triterpenoid." This seems to be corroborated in scientific literature such as this A Review of the Hepatotoxic Plant Lantana camara - they say "Both ruminants and nonruminant animals such as guinea pigs, rabbits, and female rats are susceptible to the hepatotoxic action of lantana toxins" so I'm thinkin' no on the Lantana!

I think you are right on the Cat's Ear. Think we're definitely looking at the Genus Hypochaeris; just not sure which species. Check out North Carolina Extension Gardener Plant Toolbox for a nice description and good pics.
 

alejzp

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Lots of plants have fluffy seed heads for seed dispersal by wind but they may not be the same or as safe as dandelions for torts to eat, so good that you're checking ID to be sure.
Another good tip I was given here was that anything that grows from bulbs is probably toxic so I never feed any of those.
Thank you for the advice, I'll try to check on the roots to see if there is any bulb-like so to be careful with that...
 

alejzp

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I think "no" on the red flower with the white fluffy head (reasons in my post above).

Agree with you on the Lantana. I found Lantana (Shrub Verbena) in the TT Plant Database (they have several pictures which look to be what you have). They say Do Not Feed because "All parts of the plant are highly toxic. Contains lantanin, which is a triterpenoid." This seems to be corroborated in scientific literature such as this A Review of the Hepatotoxic Plant Lantana camara - they say "Both ruminants and nonruminant animals such as guinea pigs, rabbits, and female rats are susceptible to the hepatotoxic action of lantana toxins" so I'm thinkin' no on the Lantana!

I think you are right on the Cat's Ear. Think we're definitely looking at the Genus Hypochaeris; just not sure which species. Check out North Carolina Extension Gardener Plant Toolbox for a nice description and good pics.
Hello, yes I think the cat's ears are safe, found more about them and looks that they are good... as for the bitter lettuce, prickly lettuce and even common sowthistle, if it is bitter lettuce (Lactuca virosa) looks very similar to the other ones I am giving, but I am not sure if they can be fed to them, I haven't found about them...

As for what I found on Google as miner's lettuce, spring beauty, winter purslane or palsingat, under the name: Claytonia perfoliata, Drymaria cordata, Dichondra repens, but I feel that the closer one is the Drymaria cordata, I really want to know because when I look for chickweed that I found can be given to sulcatas looks very similar and even has those tiny flowers you see on my pics, but the difference is that the leaves on my weed are round and chickweeds are with pointy leaves, but Google sort of thinks they are chickweeds, when I did further search was when I get as possible names miner's lettuce, spring beauty, winter purslane or palsingat, but I am not sure if Google is correct, because I have tons of that on my yard, actually it is taking over the grass and I believe that when she gets bigger if I put her on my backyard she will find tons of that so that is why I need to know if she can eat that, because if not I will have to see how to get rid of it and if it can be given to them then I have tons to start giving right now.

Take care,
 

alejzp

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Hello, yes I think the cat's ears are safe, found more about them and looks that they are good... as for the bitter lettuce, prickly lettuce and even common sowthistle, if it is bitter lettuce (Lactuca virosa) looks very similar to the other ones I am giving, but I am not sure if they can be fed to them, I haven't found about them...

As for what I found on Google as miner's lettuce, spring beauty, winter purslane or palsingat, under the name: Claytonia perfoliata, Drymaria cordata, Dichondra repens, but I feel that the closer one is the Drymaria cordata, I really want to know because when I look for chickweed that I found can be given to sulcatas looks very similar and even has those tiny flowers you see on my pics, but the difference is that the leaves on my weed are round and chickweeds are with pointy leaves, but Google sort of thinks they are chickweeds, when I did further search was when I get as possible names miner's lettuce, spring beauty, winter purslane or palsingat, but I am not sure if Google is correct, because I have tons of that on my yard, actually it is taking over the grass and I believe that when she gets bigger if I put her on my backyard she will find tons of that so that is why I need to know if she can eat that, because if not I will have to see how to get rid of it and if it can be given to them then I have tons to start giving right now.

Take care,
As an update to my previous message I kept reading and I think I found the one weed I have the most is know as tropical chickweed (Drymaria cordata) and seems to be even safe for human consumption... but have not found anything regarding feedable to sulcatas or tortoises though chickweed in general is good to feed... I am leaving a link to a good reference to the tropical chickweed in case anybody knows if it can be fed to sulcatas:

https://weeds.brisbane.qld.gov.au/weeds/tropical-chickweed

I am attaching again the picture for reference.

Thanks in advance... IMG_5468.PNG
 
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