Monday, April 26, 2010

Plant ID and an Update

Posted by: Dawn

Remember we commented about being someplace and spying a unusual plant or annual in a public place, and feeling as though you had to have it? Yes, every gardener has clipped a few, pulled a few and I have even known a gardener who's dug a few! I would never go that far because I'd be so nervous!

Anyway, for me, this is that plant. Last fall, my Mother in Law went to the hospital for a inpatient procedure, when my husband and I picked her up late that night we both were in awe over the 50 yards of garden that was next to the walkway and four feet wide. The only thing growing in it was Riegers begonia and this plant pictured above provided the height in the background.

Well, considering both plants would die once the frost got to them (right?) I pinched a top of one and came home with a teeny, weeny sample. It stayed short (not even 3 inches) for quite sometime until I moved it to a brighter place. Does anyone know what it is? I'm fairly sure it's a annual, the leaves are veined and leathery feeling and it's purple underneath. It needs bright light, will bounce back from lack of water. I'm guessing it's maximum height is about 15 inches. I'd like to purchase more of it for an area outside so I can enjoy it in the garden. Any help would be appreciated.

I wanted to mention our bird feeder from my last post, these photos were taken April 12th, by the 19th, the Styrofoam was bare and had to be removed for fear my woodpecker would injure himself. He is not the smartest bird and I'm faintly aware there is a nest close by. My female has given me a swoop with a displeased warning when I've walked around the yard. If I were braver I'd purchase something for them to munch on, although I'm not quite sure what that would be.

My chick-a-dees have had a ball, pun intended. In the Garden

Words and Photos Property of In the Garden Blog Team,In the Garden


  1. Hello Dawn girl ! .. funny enough you have me THINKING about this plant with that feeling that I have SEEN this offered as an annual here at some time .. but I can't figure out its name .. hope some one will for you soon !
    Good luck !
    Joy : )
    PS .. love those feeder balls !

  2. Dawn, this plant looks so familiar, but I can't put my finger on what it is. I giggle because there have been so many times I have wanted to take a pinch of something..just scared to do it!
    Looks like the birds loved the feeder. That was such a great idea.

  3. It sure looks like perilla. Does it have an interesting fragrance when touched? gail

  4. Whatever it is, I want the name too. One of my neighbors had it a few years back but didn't know what it was called. She gave me a start and between the two of us, we managed to keep some going inside over the winters for about three years so we could put cutting in pots and let them take off! We both lost them the same year and haven't seen it since.

  5. Good morning all! I think your mystery plant is also perilla like Gail said. This is a prolific spreader down here, but most pretty and very adaptable. I had one growing in one of my gardens last summer and let it grow. I liked the irridescent color. I even liked the bloom but finally, about this time I realized what it was and pulled it. The self seeding is something I did not want. But it is pretty and would make a good houseplant and even outside plant in the right spot.

    Everyone have a great day today! I'll be working on a landscape design and moving and editing irises. Those irises...

  6. I'm glad to see Gail and Tina have identified your mystery plant for you, Dawn. You've done a great job of overwintering it! Glad to see the birds enjoyed your sweetgum feeder--they made fast work of all that birdseed.

  7. Good morning all,
    Thanks, Joy!
    Meadowview Thyme, I was scared too! This plant is so pretty with the purple on it, I couldn't resist. The only other time was ababy spider off a LOADED plant at Disney. I would never dig anything up! I'd be me to get caught!
    Gail, Yes it does have a scent, not real strong and I couldn't describe it but it's there, Thanks on the ID!
    Gardener on Sherlock Street, I had never seen this before in my life! Sure seems to do well inside, hopefully it will be the same for me outside.
    Tina, I first thought this was purple passion plant, (say that 3x's)But the leaves on that are soft, veined, and hairy. That plant is purple with a pretty orange flower.
    Rose, I'm amazed how quickly the peanut butter and seed went, all those chick-a-dees were SO busy, it worked out well with the BJ"s not bothering it. Yah! First time for the chicks.
    I'm headed outside, beautiful today in Maine.

  8. Glad you got an ID for your mystery plant. Since it is so easy to start, it will be easy to have lots of it in your garden.

  9. Glad you got an ID on your plant. Wonder if it's invasive all over.
    Bet those birdies sure feel good with all that good food for them to eat.
    Have a great day all.

  10. Glad you got an ID and do not blame you for wanting it as it is very pretty.

    I give the woodpeckers suet and they love it.

  11. I am sure the birds have enjoyed the ball of food. Neat feeder.

  12. Just from the leaves, it looks like a South African Plectranthus. Does it have spires of delicate flowers - somewhere in the white thru pink to purple range?

  13. Windy, cloudy and a bit cool today in GA. Glad I mowed the grass this morning when it was nicer outside.

    How brave of you to "borrow" a tiny sprig of that neat plant! I would never as I would be the one to get caught and busted…

    We have suet cages out year round for our woodpeckers. They love the no melt peanut butter cakes the best. Yes, our woodpeckers are picky if you give them a choice….

  14. Hi guys,
    Marnie, This plant will look spectular in my foot wide paths, I hope to get it there.
    Hi Lola, those birds are so busy! and they pretty much do not give up! I'm going to have to coat the balls again, they stayed in tact, funny I thought it was pretty much ended when cleaned off.
    Hi mom, Bet your tired but having a ball. I put suet out but the BJ's were removing chunks! Through the cage! Grrr!
    Leedra, Thanks! We had fun making it.
    Elephant's eye, It hasn't bloomed yet and I saw no flowers at the hospital. I'll be looking for that color though.
    Hi Skeeter, I've seen the lot groomers at the hospital just pull everything up at the end of the season! Seems as though they are constantly moving day lilies. Someone should volunteer to get all those leftovers.Our woodpeckers are picky too, picked the treehouse, picked the treehouse door, picked the mobile home, picked our telephone pole and several trees. Least they leave a complete round hole!

  15. We have met some smart gardener's haven't we? Glad you got your ID.

  16. I always learn a lot from posts and comments like these. So glad there are so many smart gardeners out there. I love the birdfeeder! It seems the birds did too. Carla

  17. Hi Darla, Yes! Smart people out there in blogland and it is such a pleasure to meet them!
    Carla, I like that Euerka moment when I'm reading another's blog or comments. "Oh, that's how...."