ID needed

dellis326 (Danny)July 19, 2014

These plants are growing wild in the alley behind my home in Chicago. I've never seen anyone around here growing them and they come back every year. They are about 6 - 8 inches tall. I have tried to transplant some into my garden but they all died. They seem to only grow in the cracks of the pavement and don't grow in open soil.

Can anyone ID them.

Thanks

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oldgardenguy_zone6

looks Phlox paniculata the common garden pholx

    Bookmark   July 20, 2014 at 8:17PM
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dellis326 (Danny)

Thanks for your reply. It may be a phlox, There are similarities but it is different than what are in any of the gardens around here,

These are much shorter, have much fewer flowers and also as I wrote before it only seems to grow in the cracks in the pavement of our alley and not in open soil. There is one garden next to the alley and they don't grow there. Interestingly, I haven't seen it growing even in the next alley across the street or on the next block. It is puzzling.

Maybe it is a native/wild variety.

Thank you again!

    Bookmark   July 22, 2014 at 7:41PM
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oldgardenguy_zone6

I still think it is P. paniculata. The native plant has been cultivated to produce many different varieties but when it becomes naturalized the natural traits begin to return after a few generations.

    Bookmark   July 23, 2014 at 4:21PM
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dellis326 (Danny)

OK Thanks a lot. I'll search for native phlox and see what I come up with.

Again, Thanks for your help.

    Bookmark   July 23, 2014 at 7:40PM
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Kirstin Larson

I'm pretty sure this is Silene or Red Campion. I have it growing in one of my beds, and love it's long bloom period. Try collecting seeds if you are not having luck transplanting it. Here's a link for more information: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Red_campion

Here is a link that might be useful: Wikipedia - Red Campion

    Bookmark   July 24, 2014 at 11:14PM
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dellis326 (Danny)

Thank you. I will look into this one too. It does look more like it.

    Bookmark   August 3, 2014 at 10:26AM
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missingtheobvious(Blue Ridge 7a)

Growing in cracks in the pavement, the plant is probably smaller than normal size because nutrients/moisture are inadequate in the soil under the pavement. There may also be undesirable chemicals in the soil (if asphalt), or a pH (if concrete) which is not ideal for the plant, or oil from passing cars -- any of those could be a stunting factor.

Maybe watch it carefully for seedpods, and scatter seeds in your garden or start some in pots?

    Bookmark   August 3, 2014 at 11:07AM
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pitimpinai(z6 Chicago)

Not Phlox paniculata. The leaves are totally different from Phlox'.
It is Silene armeria..

    Bookmark   August 11, 2014 at 12:56PM
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