Thursday, January 24, 2013

Name That Mystery Plant!

ugly, weed-looking plant
Yes, this post is going to be on this ugly, weed-looking plant.  But it's not a weed.  In fact, I'm quite certain it is a flowering perennial that I planted on purpose.  But what kind of perennial is it?

not a weed
The facts, as I recall them (which may or may not be true facts due to my terrible memory):  I winter sowed these seeds last winter.  (Or maybe I started them from seed indoors?)  Anyways, in spring I planted several of the little plants in a partly sunny spot, sure that I would remember what they were, and then (of course) promptly forgot their name.

looks sort of like a salad?
Unfortunately, they never flowered this past year, which I was counting on so that I could figure out what they were.

hey, they survived the voles!
Any ideas from any of you wise gardening sleuths out there?

This is yet another reason why I have a gardening blog....


*UPDATE:  Jenny aka Lancashire Rose solved the mystery!  I did indeed winter sow some seeds for Gulf Coast Penstemon last year.  Now I can look forward to some pretty purple flowers this year.  Thank you, Jenny!!!

24 comments:

  1. Hi Indie
    At first I thought perhaps a Rudbeckia - leaf shape is similar - but the red stripe makes me wonder if perhaps it is a Penstemon? Or maybe Ajuga? but the leaves seem too long. Let's see what others say……
    As to why it didn't flower, I'm not sure. Throw some manure on in the spring and see what happens :)

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    1. I know a lot of perennials won't flower until their second year when started from seed. I was sure hoping that they would bloom though!

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  2. I am less than helpful. It almost looks like a salad green or beets...curious to see who know...and of course once someone says what it is my mind will say, 'oh of course!'

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    1. They do look almost edible! (Some bunnies around would probably be happy to take a taste test!)

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  3. Hmmmmm....looks like a plant.....yep! Definitely a plant..... a leafy plant.....hmmmmm.........
    Something to look forward to.....:-)

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    1. Aha! So that's what it is! A leafy plant! You are helpful as always, Jane ;)

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  4. Indie, I hate to say this, but I think it might actually be a weed. I have something that looks almost exactly the same in my garden in a spot where I know I didn't plant anything. I was very excited at first and thought it was self-sown echinacea, but when I spotted several that looked identical by the side of the road where I walk my dog, I figured it had to be a weed. I guess time will tell. I hope it's not - I've left mine in the ground just in case it turns out to be something nice!

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    1. I know, they totally look like one of the weeds we have around here, don't they? But I'm quite sure it's not, as I actually remember planting them (believe it or not), and I have several of them in a nicely laid out grouping. The dead give-away, though, is that they haven't grown nearly as fast as weeds would! (Isn't that always the case!)

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  5. It looks very much like the Gulf coast penstemon. Did you plant any penstemons?

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    1. Yes, I did indeed winter sow some Gulf Coast Penstemons!! Aha, I think you have solved the mystery!! Woohoo!

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  6. This is one of the best reasons to have a garden blog!! Sorry I don't have an answer, but it looks like many people do :)

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    1. It's so great to be part of a garden blogging community! I learn so much, and it's great to find out what I actually planted!

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  7. I also was going to guess penstemon, except it made me think of P. digitalis 'Husker Red'.

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    1. I have a 'Husker Red' and just compared the two. The leaves are slightly darker on the 'Husker Red' and slightly different. You would have thought that I would have at least guessed it was a Penstemon, though, since they are rather similar!

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  8. So glad you solved the mystery! Hope they flower nicely this summer :-)

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    1. Thank you! It was rather driving me crazy not knowing!

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  9. So glad you figured it out! I would have been absolutely no use!

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    1. Now if I ever end up with a mystery Rose, I'm coming to you!

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  10. Oh good--I'm glad you found the answer. Yes, that will be a wonderful highlight for your garden! Isn't it exciting to start thinking about spring!

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    1. I am so ready already! (And it's only January, ack.)

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  11. So glad a sleuth reached out to you. It kinda looked like my self-seeded, white-blooming shasta daisies which are wintering over nicely. I'm looking forward to seeing them DO something other than just sit there. Glad to see that the butterfly bush is a short-lived cultivar. Bought two last summer, only one remains. I saved blooms off of it and I'm going to see if there are any seeds in there.

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    1. I have some shasta daisies, but they seem rather delicate and have never self-seeded. Of course, it would help if the voles would leave them alone! I hope you get some seeds from your butterfly bush!

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  12. I cannot tell you how many times I have planted things and then wondered if they were weeds or not and then the anticipation of hoping this year will be the year we see the blooms. And then, often as not, I find out I've been nurturing a weed. Can't wait to see the results of this mystery!

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    1. Ha, that has happened to me as well! (Ah, my poor allergic husband the year I was nurturing a wonderfully big ragweed plant..) Though a couple times I have lucked out and been nurturing a plant that turned wildflower.

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