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Help me identify some plants? - part 1

(39 Posts)
MyNameIsInigoMontoya Tue 04-Sep-12 11:46:11

I've still got a few mystery plants in the garden from the previous owners, anyone feel like helping me figure out what they are?

I've put the first few pics on my profile, don't think they will all fit at once so I will add some more later on when I've hopefully found out what some of these are and can take them off!

The top one I think may be a euphorbia?? But I'm not very knowledgeable really so it could be anything... it is about knee height, fairly bushy and vigorous, no flowers so far but just the orangey bits you can see on the picture.

The other 3 are all different parts of the same plant, which appeared in the front garden - it's huge (taller than me), big leaves, very vigorous and with sort of grass-like seedheads that you can see on one of the pictures. The stems are sort of whitish. I've no ideas at all on that one! Thank you!

Scuttlebug Tue 04-Sep-12 12:27:25

Sorry, can't identify them at all, was hoping to show off expert knowledge!
Maybe take pics or leaves to garden centre, see if you can match them up with their stock or ask one the gardeners there?
The BBC gardeners world has an ID the plant website but its quite hard to use or so I found. Good luck with your search.

MyNameIsInigoMontoya Tue 04-Sep-12 16:04:22

Yes the ones that are still left to identify are mostly the real tricky ones! There were loads more that I didn't know at first, but every so often I stumble across one at a garden centre or in someone else's garden, so I've managed to tick off quite a few from the list.

The one I was most mystified by until recently, I suddenly found growing in my aunt's garden (abroad! so we are very rarely there), it was lovage! But there are still a few more to go. I especially hate it when I'm not sure if they are a weed (that will take over my whole garden if I leave it) or something that's meant to be there!

MyNameIsInigoMontoya Tue 04-Sep-12 22:33:42

OK I've managed to add the rest of them without it complaining about the size! The additional ones are:

Big spiky bush - it used to be really big but has died back a lot lately. Has a sort of crown with all the spiky leaves coming out of it. Looks a little bit like some phormiums (sp?) I've seen, but not exactly like so not sure if it's a different type or something else.

Tall branchy shrub/small tree with woody stems, dark green leaves and funny white stringy flowers. The flowers look a bit like sarcococca but the rest of it is nothing like and it doesn't have the nice smell!

Fairly low shrub with slightly yellowish green leaves - I found this under some other overgrown plants, it was nearly dead - just one tiny stem with a few raggy leaves - but had the remains of a plant support attached to it so it was obviously something deliberately planted rather than a weed! So I made it some space and looked after it and it's now grown quite a lot bigger, but still not given me any clues to what it is or what its attraction is meant to be (no flowers so far, and the foliage is OK but I wouldn't say especially exciting so far).

Very tall thing which I am fairly sure is a weed, growing in the berry patch. It's about my height, with sort of elongated-heart-shaped leaves the size of a big man's hand, and some sort of weird whitish-green flowers or seeds at the top (see pics). Small chance it could be something edible? It is quite raggy and messy looking, and is all mixed in with another enormously tall thing which I also thought was probably a weed but has turned out to be the lovage. I'm still not sure what to do with the lovage either, could keep it and try eating some, or get rid of it as it's huuuge!

Any ideas?

ComeIntoTheGardenMaud Tue 04-Sep-12 23:26:43

The colour reproduction on my PC is terrible and I am tired and my eyesight is not good, but taking the photos from the top, my guesses (wiwth vaarying degrees of confidence) are

1 & 2. Agree this looks like a weed. is it dock?

3. Could that be a deutzia?

4. It's on the tip of my tongue but I can't name it confused

5. Are those orange seedheads part of the same plant? If so, it's iris foetidus

6, 7, 8. That is macaleaya cordata.

9. Yes, could be a euphorbia. (You can check by snapping a stem - euphorbias will seep a milky sap, but you need to wear gloves as some people have an allergic reaction to the sap).

CuttedUpPear Tue 04-Sep-12 23:26:45

1 and 2 not sure
3 not sure - could you post pics of the leaves?
4 Virginia creeper (on the floor, is usually up a wall and will cling to one if given the chance)
5 (spiky thing) possibly a daylily
6, 7, 8 Plume poppy (Macleaya cordata)
9 Euphorbia (beware irritant sap)

ComeIntoTheGardenMaud Tue 04-Sep-12 23:28:31

::Glad that CuttedUpPear agrees with some of my suggestions::

CuttedUpPear Tue 04-Sep-12 23:29:59

Ha ha good cross post Maud!
I thought dock for 1 and 2 but thought the leaves below it were arum-like. Possibly the dock leaves aren't visible, in which case, yes deffo dock.

ComeIntoTheGardenMaud Tue 04-Sep-12 23:34:08

Yes, within seconds of each other!

I think the spiky thing's leaves are too flimsy to be day lily - all my day lilies have thicker, stiffer leaves - but if it isn't iris foetidus I wonder whether it's crocosmia, which also has those floppy leaves.

Am kicking myself about Virginia creeper.

CuttedUpPear Tue 04-Sep-12 23:40:33

I knew the virginia creeper because I spend a lot of time picking it up off the floor where it creeps like a triffid. smile

I thought crocosmia first on number 5 ...we need more pics on that one!

ToothbrushThief Tue 04-Sep-12 23:42:28

I bow to greater knowledge but wonder if 5 is a trunkless cordyline?
Agree that 4 is a virginia creeper.

ToothbrushThief Tue 04-Sep-12 23:44:13

My crocosmia has much narrower leaves and is in flower (I must check garden)

CointreauVersial Tue 04-Sep-12 23:46:48

Spiky thing has a "crown" which doesn't sound much like daylily or crocosmia.

grin That's my sole contribution - saying what something isn't.

CuttedUpPear Tue 04-Sep-12 23:47:58

It looks like no 5 isn't getting a chance to flower with the shrubbage behind it giving too much shade.

CuttedUpPear Tue 04-Sep-12 23:48:53

Phormium. That's my final offer for no 5.

CuttedUpPear Tue 04-Sep-12 23:50:30

The way its old leaves have that rolled up look - a phormium thing to do.

MyNameIsInigoMontoya Wed 05-Sep-12 00:31:05

Hurray, got at least some of them!

1 & 2 - does dock grow really tall (nearly as tall as me)?? If so it could be, will google some more.

3 - have looked at Deutzias and I'm sure you are right! It looks very like one that says it is deutzia crenata.

4 - think you are right about the virginia creeper, although if so it is in a very odd place for one! - in the middle of a bed with nothing really to climb on. Perhaps I should relocate it then? Ironically we've just bought one of these to grow up the house, but it doesn't look all that similar so I didn't recognise it! Will it start changing colour soon then? - it's still just green at the moment, the one on the house is starting to go purple/red.

5 - sorry, the photo is a bit confusing. The orange thing is indeed a daylily but is not part of the spiky thing but just behind it. The spiky thing has much wider, stiffer, spikier and fleshier leaves than the daylily. It's not crocosmia either, we have some of that too (just next to spiky thing) but that has much thinner and more flexible leaves too, plus the flowers. Spiky thing has quite stiff, wide, tough leaves and no flowers so far. When it gets a bit unhappy the leaves die from the base and you can pull them out of the crown. I think you may well be right about it being a phormium or cordyline (they seem fairly similar?) - it looks a bit like a photo of cordyline australis that I just found. I don't especially like it tbh, it's a big scruffy thing!

6 - yes definitely macleaya cordata, the pics on google are exactly the same! Never heard of that so I wouldn't ever have got it. That also explains why it's trying to take over the front garden!

7 - I'll do the stem snapping test tomorrow but euphorbia does seem likely. It looks like pictures of euphorbia fireglow, except that ours hasn't actually had any of the lovely flowers.

Thanks for all the help! Now I can read up on what I should actually be doing with them!

MyNameIsInigoMontoya Wed 05-Sep-12 00:31:31

Sorry the last one should be 9 of course.. but you know what I mean...

CuttedUpPear Wed 05-Sep-12 08:04:38

Macleaya cordata is a dead posh btw and a bit of a architectural plant - you don't live in Gloucestershire by any chance do you? My friend there used to have one on the front garden, they aren't very common.

Dock can grow as tall as you. Snip those seed heads off and catch all the seeds and get rid of them before trying to dig it up, you'll scatter the seeds about in the process.

5 - I think it is a phormium then. It's looking sad because they like to grow in full sun.

The deutzia, you can prune it back after flowering if you need to control its size. Remove the flowered branches from quite low down.

Euphorbia take all the plant material off during the winter, when it should be dying back anyway.

ComeIntoTheGardenMaud Wed 05-Sep-12 09:09:14

Yes,macleaya cordata is a very vogueish plant. It it's happy it will spread. I love it for its leaves but sadly mine died.

digerd Wed 05-Sep-12 20:27:14

You certainly know a lot about unusual plants. Your 1st pic i thought looked like Mahonia but they have yellow flowers and is evergreen and leaves are a bit like holly. 2nd I thought could be Abelia or Deutzia. Last one definately looks like Euphorbia, but they don't have flowers, just the leaves at the top change colour and I have the common yellow colour. The others I don't know, but it's important to know if evergreen or not . The larges leaves of pretty flowers that I have ever had and they grow quite high are japonese Anenome Praeox, but yours look softer and furry?
Let us know when you find out-good luck

MyNameIsInigoMontoya Wed 05-Sep-12 21:11:26

No we are miles away from Gloucestershire!

I am quite amused at it being dead posh, ours was looking not very posh at all! Out front we only have one very narrow strip of bed along the fence and all the rest is bricks for parking, it is in that narrow strip so it had got huge and messy, and was crowding everything else out and then falling over to the front onto the parking bit as it doesn't have much room to grow! It seems an odd place for the previous owners to have planted it (though the same goes for the creeper) but maybe they didn't realise how big it would get.

Eventually DH got a bit over-enthusiastic with the pruning, and has now scalped the whole front bed a bit too hard, it will grow back though - I can already see some new bits sprouting.

Maud if you are anywhere up north you'd be welcome to some, as we have plenty to spare! I need to get rid of some alstroemerias too, they are reproducing all over the place.

ComeIntoTheGardenMaud Wed 05-Sep-12 21:22:06

For better or worse, I've now planted a fig tree where the macleaya used to be and because I'm a plantaholic devotee of dense planting I don't have room for it. It is lovely, though. As are alstromerias, which also died in my cold clay soil.

digerd Thu 06-Sep-12 17:47:53

Worried about pics 1 & 2. Just been looking at a nasty weed called Japanese knotweed, which is an environmental danger. Hope they are not. To help you decide there are good photos of them on the websites under Japanese Knotweed Pictures. The flower spikes look similar but the stems are red/purlish mottled and leaves are not elongated, but more bindweed shaped but darker green. Good Luck they are not

ToothbrushThief Thu 06-Sep-12 18:28:56

eeeek I can see what she means

A surveyor should have identified this

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