Plant/tree IDs please!

sis3February 6, 2012

Could you please identify the following two plants for me? The first is a plant that develops a woody trunk, has green leaves with a dark purple/black underside and has subtle pink flowers later in the year. in my garden they have grown to about 7 feet tall but are cut back or killed off by cold weather. Is it a weed or a keeper?

The next two photos are of a common, very invasive tree. It has an evergreen leaf some with holly like serrations. New little trees spring up almost as I watch! Some of the more mature trees are about 20 feet tall. What is it and should I try to eradicate it or learn to live with it?

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wanda9fl

Hi Sis,

The first one is Clerodendrum Quadrilocular (Starburst Plant).

The second looks like cherry laurel. Does it get little white flowers on it and also little blackish "berries". If it is, cut it quick. I didn't listen when I first asked about this tree. Just a few weeks ago, I cut down two trees. I was fed up with picking hundreds of those seedlings.

    Bookmark   February 6, 2012 at 8:58PM
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writersblock

The clerodendrum (it's also called shooting star) is also one of those plants that tries to take over. Suckers like crazy, but you can keep pulling them while they're small. A hassle when they get too big to pull by hand, though. They're really gorgeous this winter, since we haven't had any cold weather, but they drop their leaves and pout at the first sign of frost.

    Bookmark   February 6, 2012 at 9:32PM
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sis3

Hi Wanda thanks for your quick response! Yes, the trees do have small white flowers and black berries, in fact they are loaded with berries at the moment! Now that I know what these trees are we have been able to make a decision about how to control them. Since the mature trees do offer some shade and soften the look of the house I think I will keep 3 of them but remove all the smaller trees and saplings. The ground beneath them used to be a mix of palmettos and ferns but that enabled the cherry laurel seedlings to grow unchecked apart from hand pulling. We are now clearing the area so that it can be mowed easily to prevent the cherry laurels from taking hold.

Thank you too writersblock. The same applies to the Clerodendrums. They are growing in an area that will be mowed regularly in the future so I think they can be kept under control. It seems a pity to remove them all when, as you say, they are attractive.

I feel much happier now that I know what these plants are. Thank you both.

    Bookmark   February 6, 2012 at 11:43PM
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