A Gardening Year

The adventures and misadventures of an heirloom gardener

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Mystery Plant

I just love mystery plants, don't you? I actually found these two cute little mysteries about a month ago, but haven't gotten around to writing about them until now. Too much going on. Anyways, it's difficult to tell from the photo but they are seedlings. That's a Madonna lily leaf in the top of the picture to give you an idea of how small they were. The leaf shape was completely unfamiliar and they were fuzzy.

I do plant a lot of new seeds every year so there was a good possibility that it was just something new but I couldn't recall planting anything that might resemble this in this bed. So it had to be a gift from the birds. I checked the NJ Weed Gallery and the USDA Invasive Plant Species page but didn't see them there. A delightful mystery indeed!

A couple of weeks later, while doing research on cottage gardens, I came across a picture of Rose Campion. That's it! Rose Campion. I planted seeds in that general area, but thought they didn't germinate. Because the blossoms resembe dianthus, I had expected the foliage to resemble dianthus also. Who knew Rose Campions had wide fuzzy leaves? Now I wonder how many seedlings I must have pulled out thinking they were weeds!

That's a major gripe of mine about catalog pictures. They show you the flowers, but not the foliage or the seedlings. How are you supposed to know what it looks like if you have never grown it before? Especially a perennial that is not likely to bloom for a year or more? Grrrrr. . .

At least these two survived and I have something new to look forward to next year.


At 11:28 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Rose campion was one of my favorite flowers this summer in the historic garden I'm restoring. The foliage is so similar to Lambs ear, but remains in nice rosettes instead of sprawling all over th garden.

At 8:46 AM, Blogger Karen said...

Rose Campion sounds like something I might have to look up. I love lamb's ears, but if I could find something a little more well-behaved...Hmm. ;-)

At 12:14 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I like your idea on pictures of seedslings. I think all seed packets should include a photo of the seedlings so we know what to look for, especially when we direct sow in the garden.

At 10:41 PM, Anonymous M Sinclair Stevens (Texas) said...

For some reason when I look at you home page there is no text in the white column. If I go to the rss, I can read the text and if I go to an individual entry it comes up as normal.

At 7:40 PM, Blogger snappy said...

Hi Oldroses, mystery plants are great. I have posted my Audrey plant, narrowed down to a sedum or kalancoe!!
Hope it develops into something you can identify.

At 7:17 AM, Anonymous Mrs Lifecruiser said...

Ooops.... yes, you're so right, it should show the seedlings and foliage.

So, now you can look forward to those few samples then!

Good luck with them, I hope they turn out to be excellent ones :-)

At 7:27 PM, Blogger Kathy said...

Definitely rose campion. Wildseed Farms has pictures of seedlings in their catalog, but it only helps if you've planted the same seeds that they sell!


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