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Mystery flowers--anyone know what these are?

hazelrunpack
July 18th, 2008, 11:14 PM
I've got some flowers that come back year after year but that I can't identify. I'm hoping someone else can. :D Preferably before they succumb to hazel's moldy thumb. :o

This one grows wild just to the south of our property. It came up last year, too...it looks a bit like a picture I found of a rough hedge-nettle, but I'm not sure...

It gets pretty tall--a yard (or a meter) or so.

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This one grows year after year in the hummingbird garden. I thought hazel's moldy thumb had gotten it last year, but after I thinned out some of the denser weeds last fall, it found enough room to come back again this spring. It's fairly short--less than a foot high--and has tiny leaves.

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And finally, this one also returns year after year in the well garden. There's more in the front lawn and even a couple of plants out by the mailbox. I'm pretty sure this one is not a wildflower, but I have no idea what it is. It, too, is fairly short--maybe a foot or so (no taller than half a meter).

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Can anyone shed any light on identities? :fingerscr

otter
July 18th, 2008, 11:29 PM
OooooOOOOOoooooooohhhhh, pick me http://bestsmileys.com/waving/3.gif I know what the middle one is (I think)......


Jacob's Ladder

I have one in my garden too. :D

I have two varieties... one is white, it's pretty big, maybe 2.5 feet at its peak, the other, like yours, is purplish and is only about a foot high - I think it's a mini version.

So far it has survived my black thumb and the wrath of my marauding herd of chickens :thumbs up Looks like it might be spreading this year. Definitely a hardy little plant.

hazelrunpack
July 19th, 2008, 12:32 AM
Jacob's ladder, eh? I'll have to look that up! I've heard of it, but thought I'd never seen it :thumbs up Cool! Thanks, otter. :thumbs up

(now I want to get one of the bigger varieties, too :D)

JanM
July 19th, 2008, 12:41 AM
I have no idea what your plants are - but they are pretty!

hazelrunpack
July 19th, 2008, 12:46 AM
Thanks, JanM!

Every year it seems I learn what more and more of the flowers are around here. But these three have stumped me for two years now. :shrug:

I have a really good field guide for wildflowers...or I did anyway. I left it out on the deck yesterday during our thunderstorms... :rolleyes:...but it's no good for the horticultural specimens. :D And since yesterday's rain, it's not too good for the wildflowers anymore, either! :laughing:

chico2
July 19th, 2008, 07:49 AM
Hazel,I have no idea either,but they are pretty,maybe our plant/cat person 14+ can help..

Frenchy
July 19th, 2008, 10:05 AM
Hazel , you're not going to believe this but I think I have some here like the ones in your third pic ... and I actually like them :laughing: I'll take a picture later.

otter
July 19th, 2008, 01:36 PM
Hee, hee, I actually had the card from the plant still in the garden

Yup, i'm pretty sure the middle one is this:

otter
July 19th, 2008, 01:40 PM
Quite unlike the "original" version of Jacob's ladder like this (i'm not sure if the chickens help with scale... it's about two feet tall):

otter
July 19th, 2008, 01:44 PM
there is one more version in my garden, the "miniature Jacob's ladder" but my picture didn't work out.. i'll get another one. It's green part is only about 8" high but it shoots out taller "stalks" with dark purple flowers, quite pretty.

And here is the creeping one after the flowers are gone (oddly enough it was one of the earliest to flower..)

Stacer
July 19th, 2008, 04:27 PM
The first one looks like Motherwort. A roadside weed that has some medicinal properties.

I was going to say that the second one looks like a variety of Campanula, but Otter's probably right.

And the third one is a mystery.

hazelrunpack
July 19th, 2008, 05:16 PM
Hee, hee, I actually had the card from the plant still in the garden

Yup, i'm pretty sure the middle one is this:

That sure does look like it...not sure why it's called "creeping", though. Mine is sure not spreading! :shrug:

The first one looks like Motherwort. A roadside weed that has some medicinal properties.

I was going to say that the second one looks like a variety of Campanula, but Otter's probably right.

And the third one is a mystery.

I used to have motherwort when I was in the city. This isn't quite that robust. Not nearly as many flowers, nor are the stems as robust. The leaves are different, too--none of them are tri-lobed like motherwort. They look a lot like the picture of hedge-nettle leaves in my poor late lamented field guide :rip:, but the flowers aren't as big as they show in the book. :shrug:

14+kitties
July 19th, 2008, 09:34 PM
That sure does look like it...not sure why it's called "creeping", though. Mine is sure not spreading! :shrug:

I think you have the Polemonium carneum which is a Jacob's Ladder but it is a clumping one, not a spreading. That's the nearest I could get to guessing. Your last one looks like a mallow of some sort. Not sure though. Could be Lavatera like Frenchy's. :shrug: The first one I thought at first glance was Guara but it's not. Guara has a more delicate flower stalk and lower leaves. I am stumped. Got a headache looking at all my books though. :D

otter
July 19th, 2008, 09:48 PM
That sure does look like it...not sure why it's called "creeping", though. Mine is sure not spreading! :shrug:


Hmmmm, mine isn't "creeping" either, just one bushy plant. I didn't read the back of the card when I took the picture, maybe it says something about how it grows... when it's light again i'll go take a look. Maybe it only "creeps" in certain conditions :shrug: Maybe it "creeps" by the roots and send up shoots elsewhere? Mine is all surrounded by other plants so any "creeping" might be curtailed. Who knows! It's all a mystery to me :shrug:

hazelrunpack
July 19th, 2008, 11:41 PM
I think you have the Polemonium carneum which is a Jacob's Ladder but it is a clumping one, not a spreading. That's the nearest I could get to guessing. Your last one looks like a mallow of some sort. Not sure though. Could be Lavatera like Frenchy's. :shrug: The first one I thought at first glance was Guara but it's not. Guara has a more delicate flower stalk and lower leaves. I am stumped. Got a headache looking at all my books though. :D

I had guara last year...grew up near the cistern...but this year it seems to have been smothered out by the grasses and the shrubs that are filling in over there. But this is definitely not guara. The guara was much taller and looked like:

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Hmmmm, mine isn't "creeping" either, just one bushy plant. I didn't read the back of the card when I took the picture, maybe it says something about how it grows... when it's light again i'll go take a look. Maybe it only "creeps" in certain conditions :shrug: Maybe it "creeps" by the roots and send up shoots elsewhere? Mine is all surrounded by other plants so any "creeping" might be curtailed. Who knows! It's all a mystery to me :shrug:

Mine is surrounded, too...towered over by phlox and crowded by impatiens... So maybe that is why it's not 'creeping'... :shrug: But then again, we may just have the kind that Polemonium carneum variety that 14+ mentioned... I'll have madame hazel check her crystal ball in the morning... :p

The thing I like best about the plant (besides it being pretty) is that I haven't managed to kill it yet! :laughing:

14+kitties
July 20th, 2008, 05:28 AM
Nah, if it's gonna creep it'll find a way. Usually over something you don't want it creeping over.
I would think you are probably right about the first one being hedge nettle. I have guara too which is why I knew after looking again that is wasn't that. Mine is just starting to set buds. I will take some pics of it when it opens. My brain gets a little fuzzy on what plants look like after a year of not seeing them. :o
Is it possible it is one of the many varieties of wild flowers that are out there?

hazelrunpack
July 20th, 2008, 09:17 AM
The first one at the very least is a wildflower...the other two I think are cultivars. The last one, the white one, competes well with other plants, though. We're allowing part of the front yard to grow wild and there are few of the white ones out there, still doing well. :thumbs up

Any ideas on how I might propagate it? Would seed be best, or transplanting, or even rooting (not that hazel has ever had any success at rooting anything! :rolleyes:, do you think? Once it goes to seed, it seems to melt into the surrounding foliage and disappear, so I'm not sure I can get seed. If I do, though--what's your guess on the best way to keep it viable till next spring?

14+kitties
July 20th, 2008, 11:42 AM
gee hazel, make my brain work :rolleyes: :D

If you can find the seedheads watch them carefully, like every day, to see when the seeds look ripe. Don't get impatient because then you'll end up with seeds that are no good. Ask me, I know. I have collected tons of seed over the years and still tend to grab before seed is ready in the newer plants. The more established ones I have learned. Can't fool me. ;)

Do you know if it is the original plant that comes back up or are they new plants? If they are new plants then they are an annual which reseeds itself. You know that though. In that case seed is the only way it will come back.

I'm assuming you want to propagate to put them in a new area of the garden? If that is the case if they are perennials the best thing to do is to wait till they are finished flowering and move a few plants . Or do it in the spring before the buds form. If you are adventerous you could try doing rootings. Those are best done now and then planted before fall to give them a good chance to get established.

If you want to go the seed route when you collect the seed broadcast them in the spot you want them to come up next year. Don't worry about covering them because if they have been reseeding themselves then they obviously aren't covered. They obviously need cold stratification. You live in a cold area. I would think if you want to keep them viable the freezer is your best bet.
:laughing::laughing: Long explanation for a simple question.

14+kitties
July 20th, 2008, 11:50 AM
or even rooting (not that hazel has ever had any success at rooting anything! :rolleyes:,

How do you do rootings hazel? Could I recommend a book to you? "Success with Cuttings" by Chris and Valerie Wheeler is the one I have used in the past. They have some very good hints for cuttings. It's $13.00 in the States. Of course I paid $20. :rolleyes: Sometimes having a "how to" manual beside you works wonders.

hazelrunpack
July 21st, 2008, 10:24 AM
:thankyou:, Geri! Is that book still in print? Maybe I can find it in town. Or is it only available on-line?

Do you think it would be better to store seeds in the freezer over winter, then broadcast in spring, or broadcast in fall? And would it need to be in the freezer the whole time, or would the refridgerator be okay?

14+kitties
July 21st, 2008, 10:59 AM
I got the book at Chapters hazel. You can probably order it on line though.

If seeds are normally from a plant that reseeds itself I am of the opinion they do much better if broadcast in the fall. That way they go through the normal ebbs and flows of the seasons before growing. Much better than trusting them to a freezer or fridge.

Again, without knowing for sure what kind of flower they are for sure it's hard to give you a pat answer as to freezer all the time, fridge part time. Some seeds need 2 to 3 months of freezing temps in order to grow properly. Others only need a week or so. Your safest bet because you have such a cold winter is to put them in the freezer for the whole period.

My first choice - broadcasting the seeds as soon as you collect them or before the fall.
My second choice - freezer.

hazelrunpack
July 21st, 2008, 04:17 PM
Makes sense to me!

One more mystery--I just saw one of these again in the well garden:

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The picture is from 2005, though. They seem to do well in crowded conditions. I noticed a few growing across the road from the drive in the ditch. Don't know if the last owner of the house transplanted them from there or if they're 'escaping'... :eek:

Any idea what it is?

14+kitties
July 21st, 2008, 05:50 PM
Not sure on that one hazel. Maybe someone else can help. I have never seen it. :shrug: