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Can you identify my mystery tree?

(17 Posts)
IHeartKingThistle Thu 25-Aug-11 09:48:55

Me again, sorry lots of gardening questions today!

In my garden there is a tree or very large shrub that I honestly thought was dead when we moved in. It has very pale bark. In the spring it got covered with small bright pale green leaves and it's now covered in lovely dark purple flowers. I'm so glad we didn't assume it was dead and chop it down!

Any ideas what it is? The flowers have soft, papery petals about the size of small roses. My dad is stumped (he's not often stumped!).

keepmumshesnotsodumb Thu 25-Aug-11 13:02:42

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

IHeartKingThistle Thu 25-Aug-11 13:30:18

I don't know how I'm afraid! I don't think it's a magnolia, the flowers aren't waxy like that, they're much softer.

BewitchedBotheredandBewildered Thu 25-Aug-11 13:34:23

Could it be hibiscus?

IHeartKingThistle Thu 25-Aug-11 13:47:57

I've just googled hibiscuses (?) and the flowers all seem to have a very prominent thing in the middle (stamen? anther? something like that!). These flowers don't have a definite centre, they're all furled in together like a fluffy rose. The ends of the branches are covered in clusters of buds - each flower drops off quite quickly though.

Very mysterious!

BewitchedBotheredandBewildered Thu 25-Aug-11 14:11:34

Checked my books and the only thing that is like your description is jacaranda mimosiflora, can't see the flowers close-up tho'. Sounds lovely, whatever it is, lucky you didn't hack it down!

IHeartKingThistle Thu 25-Aug-11 14:16:35

Thanks for looking! Just googled that, nope! Those have bell shaped flowers and look lighter purple than mine.

Honestly, I was so close to getting choppy with it! Even broke off a bit of branch to see if it was dead - it was brittle and dry and very dead looking. My dad said to give it a chance and see if it did anything!

larahusky Fri 02-Sep-11 23:40:33

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

TheDailyWail Fri 02-Sep-11 23:42:27

I still think it's a hibiscus.

TheDailyWail Fri 02-Sep-11 23:43:42

I will take a picture of mine tomorrow and post it. See what you think...

BagdadCafe Fri 02-Sep-11 23:46:42

Sounds like our cistus - do purple flowers have dark and yellow star-shape centre?

IHeartKingThistle Sat 03-Sep-11 00:19:57

No centre that I can see. It's entirely possible that it's a variety of hibiscus I suppose. Is it warm enough in Surrey for those?

IHeartKingThistle Sat 03-Sep-11 00:21:07

Just googled cistus - nope it's not like that at all. Maybe I've discovered a new species!

1973magpie Sun 11-Sep-11 20:06:10

Any pictures yet? smile

neversaydie Mon 12-Sep-11 19:46:52

I think you may have a hydrangea.

IHeartKingThistle Mon 12-Sep-11 22:21:13

Definitely not a hydrangea. Much smaller, darker, less symmetrical flowers. Still confused about how to do pictures...do I have to have a profile?

IHeartKingThistle Thu 06-Oct-11 00:36:34

DailyWail I bow to your greater knowledge. Tis a hibiscus. I know because someone wrote in to Amateur Gardening magazine with a picture of her hibiscus which has buds which haven't opened. It's exactly the same and some of my buds did that too! Not only have I identified my mystery tree, I have found out that it needs some sulphate of potash!

Thanks all!

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