Ranking All the Plants You'll Hear About on the U.S. Open Broadcast

Pinehurst has many varieties of native vegetation on its sandy soil. Let's rank their names.
Katie Goodale-USA TODAY Sports

With less than 48 hours before the first competitive tee shot flies at the U.S. Open, the clock is ticking for on-course reporters to bone up on the diverse native vegetation growing on Pinehurst No. 2. And they'd better hit the books with some seriousness because it's a tall task keeping all 75 varieties catalogued by researchers at North Carolina State University.

NBC Sports' Smylie Kaufman, who will be walking the course this weekend, shared some in-house research provided by the network so we can all be on the same page. He also envisioned a scenario where an errant drive becomes a dream come true for botany enthusiasts.

We'd caution that this could be a dangerous game. Golf has a rich history of viewers at home calling in when something seems amiss, rules-wise. Throw in a newly engaged audience watching with an eagle eye in case any plant is misidentified and we could be looking at apex mountain for Well, Actually ....

The comprehensive list features some truly great names. We will try to rank the top 65 varieties who survived the cut as best as scientifically as possible. Which is not at all scientific.

65. Purple Coneflower

64. English Holly

63. Bush Clover

62. Bahiagrass

61. Lemon Mint

60. Red Poppy

59. Broomsedge

58. Butterfly-pea

57. Annual Ragweed

56. Sassafras

55. Carolina Wiregrass

54. Rose Mallow

53. Pineweed

52. Butterfly Weed

51. Red Sorrel

50. Large Crabgrass

49. Scarlet Sage

48. Purslane

47. Common Mullein

46. Chinese Forget Me Not

45. American Pokeweed

44. Pale Smartweed

43. Golden Aster

42. Cutleaf English-primrose

41. Black-eyed Susan

40. Goosegrass

39. Rough Buttonweed

38. Plains Coreopsis

37. Blue Sandhill Lupine

36. Mexican Clover

35. Morning Glory

34. Siberian Wallflower

33. Wild Bergamot

32. Yellow Lantana

31. Carolina Falsedandelion

30. Henbit-nettle

29. Woolly Croton

28. Wild Geranium

27. Spotted Spruge

26. Tall Goldenrod

25. Winged Sumac

24. Eastern Pricklypear

23. Spotted Beebalm

22. Indian Blanket

21. Yellow Woodsorrell

20. Sicklepod

19. Stemless Ironweed

18. Hare's Foot Clover

17. Horseweed

16. Wandering Cudweed

15. Dogfennel

14. Slender Vervain

13. Common Fleabane

12. Blue Toadflax

11. Sulphur Cosmos

10. Sulphur Cosmos

9. Yellow Nutsedge

8. Common Lambsquarter

7. Virginia Creeper

6. False Foxglove

5. Four O'Clocks

4. Spiderwort

3. Stiff Aster

2. Venus' Looking-grass

1. Wild Cosmos sensation mix

So many good band names on this list. Or tea flavors.

Once again, good luck to anyone on-site trying to keep all of these straight. Feels like they'll have to keep a yardage book in one pocket and a field guide in the other.

Kyle K