A World Apart: The Eastern Asian – Eastern North American Floristic Disjunction January 27, 2016

Figure 2. Similar and identical species found in eastern Asia and eastern North America suggest that these two regions were once part of one continuous plant and animal distribution.

Figure 1. Similar and identical species found in eastern Asia and eastern North America suggest that these two regions were once part of one continuous plant and animal distribution.

Figure 1. There are many similarities between the wildlife of eastern Asia and eastern North America

Figure 2. There are many similarities between the wildlife & plantlife of eastern Asia and eastern North America

The eastern Asian – eastern North American floristic disjunction is a curious phenomenon that has fascinated botanists for over 250 years: the existence of an entire catalog of plant genera shared by these vastly separated regions but found nowhere else in the world. It has inspired generations of researchers and given impetus to such fields as biogeography and paleobotany.





Rose Pagonia -- Pagonia ophioglossoides


The feature photo shows Pogonia ophioglossoides which is one such plant.

Rose Pogonia is native to bogs in much of Eastern North America.  Pogonia japonica (formerly known as Pogonia ophioglossoides var. japonica) is a very similar looking species native to Japan & parts of China





Charles Darwin

Charles Darwin

Scientists now recognize many different disjunct patterns around the world, but the eastern Asian – eastern North American pattern was the first to be discovered, and remains the classic disjunction.

How did it come to be?  Learn how Charles Darwin & Asa Gray discussed this at length & Asa presented the theory to his North American colleagues.

Asa Gray

Asa Gray

Campis radicans American Trumpet Creeper

Campis radicans American Trumpet Creeper

What are the plants involved?  David will show us pictures and explain the relationships of Asian & American Genera & species.  One such is our native Trumpet Creeper…  We’ll look at beautiful woody and herbaceous plants from both sides of the disjunction.  David’s Arnoldia article on Land Bridge Travelers (linked below) will prepare you for his presentation Wednesday, January 27th, 2016.

Campis grandiflora Chinese Trumpet Creeper

Campis grandiflora Chinese Trumpet Creeper

We meet at the Solomon Welles House at 220 Hartford Avenue in Wethersfield Connecticut.   7pm we gather for refreshments and catching up with each other & our horticultural endeavors.  @ 7:30 we have a short meeting, announce future meetings and events, have a plant & horticultural items raffle &/or auction.  Our speaker generally begins by 7:45 with wrap-up at 9pm or so….   Please join us.

David Yih is an amateur botanist and vice president of the Connecticut Botanical Society.

David Yih Connecticut Botanical Society Vice President

David Yih CBS Vice President

He writes about plants, natural history, and history of botany for publications such as Arnoldia, the magazine of Harvard University’s Arnold Arboretum.

1) Chimonanthus praecox: A Redolence of China

2) Mark Catesby: Pioneering Naturalist, Artist, and Horticulturist

3) 2012 article by David Yih: Land Bridge Travelers of the Tertiary: The Eastern
Asian–Eastern North American Floristic Disjunction published in Arnoldia, Harvard

Currently, he is writing a book about rust fungi and the story of white pine blister rust. White pine blister rust

As an aside…  David is a musician also…  David Yih Conjunto Antillano

Which insect has these eggs?

Charley Eiseman’s Blog “BUG TRACKS”

By on October 21, 2015

Charley is a freelance Naturalist based in Western Massachusetts and working throughout New England.  His passion is to continually deepen his connection with natural surroundings and help others to do the same.  He is presenting “Native Plants as Insect Habitat:  Signs of Insect Use & Insect Facts” to the Hardy Plant Society of New England, Connecticut Chapter on Wednesday, October 28th, 2015.



Here is one of his blog postings for us to enjoy.   To see others follow his blog @

Bug Tracks Blog….

This linked posting (above link) on Virginia Creeper Miners is indicative of his current project for a book on Leaf-Mining Insects….

Enjoy this preview of Charley’s photos…

Evening Primrose Moth

One evening at the end of July, I went out to get the mail and met a beautiful pink and yellow moth resting on an evening primrose flower by the mailbox.

IMG_3244 IMG_3247

I guessed that it was one of the 126 or so species of “flower moths” in the genus Schinia (Noctuidae; not to be confused with members of the family Scythrididae, which are also known as “flower moths”). Browsing through the species on BugGuide.net, I arrived at a clear match: Schinia florida, whose larvae are known to feed on evening primrose flower buds. Unfortunately, someone has given this species the common name “primrose moth,” despite the fact that evening primroses (Onagraceae: Oenothera) have nothing to do with primroses (Primulaceae: Primula).

The next evening I encountered what I took to be the same moth resting on a different flower, but comparing the photos now, I see that it was a different individual with less distinct yellow stripes within the pink area.

IMG_3520 DSC_8976

I kept an eye on the plant for signs of these moths’ offspring, and two weeks later I spotted this caterpillar, which had bored a hole into a bud and was busily converting the unopened flower into a pile of yellow mush behind it.


This caterpillar had been busy.



There is plenty of evening primrose to go around, and I certainly don’t mind losing a few flowers later in the season if it means I get to have these moths around.

Variegated Plants-Part 1

By on September 15, 2015

Tom Cox is our speaker on Wednesday, September 16th, 2015  Here is a blog posting of his on Variegated Plants…  to whet your whistle about his talk on “Pendulous Plants and Variegated Plants” Variegated Plants Part 1 Like the Japanese,

hellebore double Sunshine Farms

Barry Glick is our speaker for Sunday March 22nd. He will be presenting on Hellebores. This Blog posting is a composition of his writings.

By on March 16, 2015

Barry Glick is known for his “Sunshine Selections” of Helleborus x hybridus… No matter where you live, whether you make your home in the snowy American Heartland, warm subtropical Florida, the frozen mountains of Maine, sunny southern California, or the

Toadshade logo

January seed growing tips & news from Toadshade Wild Flower Nursery

By on February 15, 2015

 Dr. Randi Eckel has shared her newsletter as a blog post to start off our Hardy Plant Society Blog.   It may be January, but we’re busy, busy, busy!Folks often ask us what we do all winter… They are often surprised to find

Our Next Event

By on February 7, 2015

February 25, 2015 Having a workshop is a new feature this season—location is the Wethersfield Academy of Arts – <http://www.wethersfieldarts.org/> Dr. Randi Eckel “Making More of a Good Thing! Propagation of Native Plants” Lecture & Workshop @ Wethersfield Academy of