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Gardeners! Help me identify this plant! (please)

(12 Posts)
Trill Sun 05-May-13 12:42:03

Is this a weed? Will I regret killing it? How can I kill it?

I live in a rented house so we inherited the garden. There is an area full of trees, and under the trees is this.

I tried to dig up some of it a few weeks back, to get rid of the bits that were encroaching onto a flowerbed. It grows in clumps, and when you get down to it each clump comes from one big underground stalk. I've never managed to get down far enough to find roots. I suspect that it may be all one big plant, joined by these underground stalks, to some evil thing in the centre of the earth.

It has recently exploded in size and started making little blue flowers. It's about knee-height now.

Any idea what it is, apart from "a bastard"?

StephaniePowers Sun 05-May-13 12:45:11

It's a forget-me-not (variety of) and you can just pull it up - you need to keep on top of it throughout the season and try to get it before it sets seed, as it self-seeds everywhere. It really is a case of going out every couple of days and getting as much up as you can.
Next year it'll come back but not so thickly. Same story.
It's not a horrible plant - people do like it and want it in their gardens - but it gets out of control quite easily.

purplewithred Sun 05-May-13 12:45:36

Borage (or possibly comfrey but pic looks more like borage). Spreads like anything, but important crop for your Pimms. You will never kill it completely so feel free to hack away at it to keep it in its place. And buy more Pimms.

noblegiraffe Sun 05-May-13 12:46:56
StephaniePowers Sun 05-May-13 12:48:21

It's not borage (flowers are different) but it's the same family.

JeremyPiven Sun 05-May-13 12:49:08

Sorry I disagree I think it's green alkanet. Grows like a weed but is also quite pretty

If you've got loads I would just dig up what you can or maybe cut some back if you can't get at the roots. Any bits that keep coming, well it's not a disaster as it looks quite nice and is popular with bees

StephaniePowers Sun 05-May-13 12:52:00

There is also Cynoglossum amabile which is similar. Just pull 'em all up.

StephaniePowers Sun 05-May-13 12:53:16

Ooh yes alkanet, I quite like it though, are you sure you want to get rid of it all?

Trill Sun 05-May-13 12:57:18

Thanks for the help!

The leaves are longer and less round and less crinkly than the pictures of borage. I do like the idea that we must have gallons of Pimms though.

I googled green alkanet and the flowers are like this.

I would pull it up but it doesn't pull - it just ends up snapping off somewhere, I never get anywhere near roots. I will happily rip it up though.

So do you think someone planted it deliberately at some point, not realising it would try to take over the entire world?

Trill Sun 05-May-13 12:58:29

I don't necessarily want to get rid of it all, it's not as if I'm going to be able to do anything useful under the trees, I just don't want it to start getting too big for its boots and thinking it can invade Poland.

<mixed metaphors>

JeremyPiven Sun 05-May-13 13:05:31

Dig, strim, pull, have a go at it any which way. But don't expect to get rid of it all, just keep it in check. We have it (and bluebells, and forget me knots) so are overrun with this sort of stuff. But we also seem to get lots of bees and butterflies and have no empty spaces smile

JeremyPiven Sun 05-May-13 13:08:50

If it is alkanet I don't think it's native, seem to remember it used to be used for dye and is now widespread.

I don't worry too much about its invasionary habits- I also have bindweed which is the master of the Trojan horse grin

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