Monday, July 15, 2013

What is this?

And now for something completely different... a wildflower quiz.

Regular readers of this blog may recall that when I'm not sailing I sometimes do a bit of gardening and that one of my projects is what I jokingly refer to as my Native American Wildflower Border.

It might be more accurately described as my partly native mainly American sorta kinda wild looking flower and weed border. But it is what it is.

My main philosophy for this strip is that if some weed with even mildly interesting flowers grows in it then it can stay. This year a new visitor appeared. And I have no idea what it is...


It's that tall plant with the white (actually very pale pink) flowers on the right of this picture.



Here is a detail from the above picture that gives a better view of the shape of the flower.


Here is a closer view of the flower...


And here are the leaves near the base of the plant...




Here is a close-up of how it looked a few weeks ago. It's growth habit is a little like chicory, but it's definitely not chicory. The flowers have five petals and, as I have said, are pale pink.



You can see the buds better in this picture. They are very distinctive. Pentagonal in shape and a deep pink.




So what is it? I have no idea.



Thanks to Baydog's sister Kate who has identified my mystery plant as Verbascum blattaria, also known as Moth Mullein. Here is a picture from the wikipedia entry for Verbascum blattaria.





19 comments:

bonnie said...

They're shaped a little like sweet peas but the stalks don't look right, do they?

The border is beautiful. What's that quote about weeds again - a weed is just a plant that's growing somewhere other than we think it should? Not quite it but that's the general idea.

I stumbled across a nice one while I was looking for the one I was thinking of:

"A weed is a plant that has mastered every survival skill except for learning how to grow in rows." - Doug Larson.

Mojo said...

This calls for a botanist. I am fairly confident that my learned cousin (Baydog's li'l sis') would know.

Mojo said...

*weed know

Baydog said...

Hey, aren't you rowing long skinny boats in the UK?
I'll ask my sister the Ethno-botanist about that weed.

Baydog said...

You said weed......

Mojo said...

We won the Henley Masters E8 race in the finals on Saturday!! Just got back on Sunday.

Mitch Zeissler said...

Looks like a snapdragon that's bolted, but the pentagon shaped bud has me flummoxed.

Tillerman said...

Congratulations What does E8 mean? I'm guessing that the 8 means there are 9 people in the boat? But what does the E mean?

Mojo said...

Yes, it was an eight race (plus cox). The "E" is the age bracket (55-60).

Mojo said...

... that was a joke.

Tillerman said...

One of my followers on twitter has suggested it looks a bit like a hollyhock which is in the mallow family. It's not a hollyhock (at least not the cultivated varieties that we already have elsewhere in the garden) but I think it might well be in the mallow family (although Tillerwoman disagrees and she knows plants much better than me.)

Any other suggestions?

Baydog said...

Sister Kate says: "It's Verbascum blattaria (Moth Mullein). I hope that helps."

Baydog said...

Was Millar there as well? Good show!

Tillerman said...

Ding ding ding. I think Sister Kate has nailed it.

The description and photo in the wikipedia entry for Verbascum blattaria are a perfect match.

Thanks Kate.

bonnie said...

I was looking at moth mullein yesterday! I went on one of those online wildflower ID sites where they ask a lot of questions (number of petals, color, month blooming, etc) and that was looking like a likely candidate.

Tillerman said...

I think we missed moth mullein in our book of wildflowers because it is listed in the section for yellow flowers! Apparently they can be yellow too, but I never checked out that section.

What website did you use bonnie? Sounds like it might be useful next time I get another strange wildflower in my garden.

Baydog said...

askbaydogssisterkate.com

Mojo said...

Yes, in 7 seat. He organized the whole thing. I will send you narrative, pics and video when I can get organized.

Pandabonium said...

That's actually the Man Eater of Surrey Green. Run for your lives!
http://theavengers.tv/forever/peel1-11.htm

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