help me identify these weeds/trees/flowers - Part II

tnkrerMay 11, 2011

So few more unknowns to me. Hopefully some of these are not weeds :(

I don't remember planting this .. (Well I had planted something called white blazing star there .. but that never showed up thanks to voles and/or rabits) Is this weed or some flowering plant that just gives two small white flowers?

There are bunch of these purple flowers, they look nice, but dont know if they were planted, voluntary or weeds ..

I think these are flox and I assume they were planted on purpose .. but they have taken over most of my garden bed. So I have decided to remove a bunch of these I will wait to see which flower well and remove others. They are tall and our flower bed circle is right in the middle of our circular driveway, so when they grow 4-5 feet, it seems very unkempt. Dont know what to do with that

What are these thin one dimensional plants (smothered by violets and garlic mustard). I hope these are flowering plants, but don't remember any flowers from last summer.

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Last photo looks like Iris foliage. Should flower in the next month or so if they will flower at all this year. If not, give them some love and let them die back proper this winter and hopefully next year they'll be strong enough to flower.

Second to last looks like a weed to me, but don't tear em out on account of just me. I'd pull up one, and if it has a week, white root that breaks off in the ground, it's probably crap.

The Audubon society has great guide books of wild flowers and even weeds for the region. I highly recommend them.

The third photo looks like it could be some kind of low, creeping flox. Flox definitely takes over if left on its own. Google image search flox, and see if any of the hits look like it.

And the first one is a nice early spring bulb whose name escapes me. Sorry, I'm no help on this one.

    Bookmark   May 11, 2011 at 1:10PM
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Photo #1 and 2 are some type of bulb whose name escapes me right now.

Photo #3 with the blue flowers - what is the height on those? And what is the foliage - it is the flattish green leaves that grow opposite each other?

Photo #4 - that could be tall phlox. Which does have a tendency to take over a bed. I would wait for it to bloom (which probably won't be until late July or early August) After it blooms, anything that blooms a dullish purplish pink, I would pull. With cross pollination, that dullish purply pink is the dominant color. Every year cut off the rest of the dead blooms. Then you should be able to maintain the colors. Dead heading will also help the phlox from spreading too fast.

Photo #5 looks like iris. From the size of the foliage, I'm guessing they are the old fashioned, smaller irises, not the hybrid german bearded irises. Irises like sandy, well drained soil. Whether or not they bloom this year, the best time to dig them up is around the 4th of July. Dig them up, separate the rhizomes, leave 4-5" of greens, then replant with the rhizomes just barely covered with soil. (And if you don't want the irises, put them in the trash bag with the violets that I am going to pick up at your house! I'll)

    Bookmark   May 11, 2011 at 2:48PM
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ontheteam(5a-6 (S.Eastern, MA))

1 is Lilly of the Valley
2)Chinese forget me nots?
3) Sweet Willam
4) iris

And FTR Any thing you do not want...aside from Poison ivy or Kudzu...I'll take for the plant sle...

    Bookmark   May 11, 2011 at 3:31PM
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Yes! Lilly of the Valley. I've just never seen them with such narrow foliage. All of mine have a broad leaf and the little flowers hide inside. These almost look like daffodil foliage. Cool.

    Bookmark   May 11, 2011 at 4:58PM
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bill_ri_z6b(Zone 6B)

#1 is definitely not lily of the valley. They have broader leaves that emerge curled from inside each other. It looks very much like an Allium, probably A. paradoxum. Try crushing a little piece of the leaves. If it has a garlic or onion type smell, then it's an Allium.

The last one is an iris. It looks like it may be too small to bloom this year, but I'd let it stay and when it's old enough to bloom you'll get some beautiful flowers. Hard to tell from the photo how long that might take, but they're worth waiting for.

    Bookmark   May 11, 2011 at 5:24PM
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Could #1 be Spring Snowflake? It's definitely NOT Lily of the Valley. Both the foliage, the blossom and the height are wrong for LoV.

    Bookmark   May 11, 2011 at 5:47PM
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ctlady_gw(z6 CT)

I agree that the foliage of #1 is not like most lily of the valley (though the blossom seems to be) -- is it fragrant? Lily of the valley flowers have a very identifiable floral scent. I think spring snowflake is a better bet; I've never seen lily of the valley with foliage like that!

#3 is Jacob's Ladder (Polemonium reptans) -- a prized wildflower in CT. They are beautiful -- keep them! Last is definitely iris -- probably bearded. There are lots of reasons they might not have bloomed, from being too young as the earlier poster suggested, to being too crowded by other plants or needing fertilization. I would get those violets out from around them -- they are competing for nutrients and the iris tuber is very shallow as are its roots. You'll probably have to lift the iris out and gently pull the violets (which can be tenacious!)from around them. Then reset them (more or less on the surface, just a little soil on top but don't set them into a hole the way you would other perennials -- let them sit on the surface. With more light and air and a chance to breathe, I bet you get something beautiful from them!

    Bookmark   May 11, 2011 at 6:56PM
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I love these "What is this plant?" threads!

#1& 2 is a bulb, summer snowflake/Leucojum aestivum or a related Leucojum

I agree with ctlady that #3 is Jacob's ladder

#4 looks like tall phlox to me

#5 is bearded iris/German iris

    Bookmark   May 11, 2011 at 8:40PM
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Thanks all once again for your help.

photo #1 - no decision on what it is, its not looking good, so its going to get pulled out.

pixie - photo #3 - height is about 12-18". small flat dark green shiny leaves. ctlady and nhbabs have it right I think. Its Jacob's ladder. I will try to find more pictures to match ours.

#5 must be iris .. I remember seeing those flowers last year now .. They will get some tender care this year. (That bed was not attended to last year)

#4 is tall flox and there is another thread about pinching those to control height. I will try that this year. Most bloom dullish purplish pink .. So I guess they have been there for a long time.

    Bookmark   May 11, 2011 at 11:05PM
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#1 Many bulbs' foliage dies back each year, so it would be natural for it to not look too good. I'd advise digging it and replanting it somewhere where the early flowers can be enjoyed but then an emerging perennial such as peonies or whatever you have coming up now will hide them.
I did a bit more checking and there's a Leucojum that blooms in the spring, L. vernum. I don't personally grow it, but those green dots on the petals are pretty distinctive of Leucojums.

Here is a link that might be useful:

    Bookmark   May 12, 2011 at 9:38AM
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roxanna(z5b MA)

jumping in without reading the whole thread, but here's my two cents' worth:

#1 = leucojum, for certain. lovely bulb that will increase if it's happy. blooms in spring right after my daffs (Massachusetts). my 2-foot clumps are in their glory right now. there will be die-back of leaves eventually, but not as soon as the daffs do it. the leaves last most of the summer for me.

#2 = looks like a polemonium to me -- otherwise known as Jacob's Ladder, a very choice plant for the spring garden. no fuss, no pests that i know about. and a pretty leaf form to contrast with other things. enjoy it!

#3 = tall phlox, which you may remove every other plant to provide better air circulation for the remaining ones. also pinch off the top few inches (1-3 leaf length) now to promote shorter, bushier plants. as mentioned above, phlox can "revert" to a mauve-lavender color which many folk don't like -- as for me, i love any shade they come in!

#4 = bearded iris. these are/can be spectacular in bloom (sometime in late May/June here) but the one thing to be aware of with bearded iris is their rhizomes (the swollen root) must be set above ground level or they are likely to rot and disappear. check online for growing iris tips. they want full sun, and not too much moisture -- they want to bake in the summer sun. they will do better if you also remove the violets around them.

in fact, unless (like me!) you love violets, you can/should remove a lot of them, as they are very pretty but tend to take over a bed. a few clumps here and there are enough to enjoy!

i commend you on trying to find out what the unknown plants are in your garden before assuming they are weeds. the previous owners obviously had some nice stuff, why waste it?! i know when i eventually shuffle off this mortal coil and go to that great garden in the sky, whoever buys my place will probably scalp the entire 26 garden beds i have nurtured for the past 12 years and put in hardscape or a pool. breaks my heart, but nothing i can do about it. i'll just enjoy it while i'm here and can still manage to care for it at all. lol!

    Bookmark   May 12, 2011 at 12:22PM
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I'm with nhbabs - instead of ditching the spring snowflake, try moving it to a location where it will have a chance to thrive and multiply and be enjoyed. (Or else throw it in the bag with the violets and irises that I'm picking up from you. ;')

    Bookmark   May 12, 2011 at 7:04PM
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roxana, We are new to gardening, so really need to learn before we throw away older stuff. (We did get rid of a lot of ivy on the walls, chimney that previous owners liked and we did not). If I like it, I would want to keep it .. take care of it..

#1 - leucojum are staying -- will be moving somewhere else. I think I planted those last year. (had bought a grab bag .. so didn't really know all the bulbs I had gotten. Here is a better closeup

garlic mustard are gone! There were at least 50 of those

while taking out these I noticed this weird leafy plant with a bulb on it .. weed or not?

These leaves look different than my other phlox, are they phlox or something else?

here are the regular phlox

And noticed couple of other weeds in the grass .. what are these now? lawn is a pain to manage :(

Once again, thanks you all for helping out in my quest to figure out this garden bed and lawn management ..

    Bookmark   May 13, 2011 at 11:36AM
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Good for you for pulling the garlic mustard. Take a good look at the leaves and continue to be vigilant about pulling it.

The fuzzy leaves - they look to be oriental poppies. The "bulb" on it would be the poopy bud.

The other leaves mixed in with the phlox - those look to be some type of daisy. Maybe a shasta?

The feathery spikes in the grass is grass. Which is going to seed. It looks to be on the edge of the grass, where you probably missed with the lawn mower.

The white flowery things in the grass are a pretty weed. I think they are probably a variety of chickweed.

    Bookmark   May 13, 2011 at 1:53PM
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I agree with Pixie Lou on the Oriental poppies, the daisies, and the grass seed. I believe that the white flowering weed is Lysimachia nummularia/moneywort or creeping Jenny, green form. You see the form 'Aurea' which has golden leaves sold as a groundcover or filler. Either kind will spread rapidly and it's difficult to remove from a lawn. I pretty much keep mine under control by hand pulling but I never seem to get quite all of it.

One thing to be aware of with garlic mustard. You probably still have viable seeds in your soil, so you may well have to pull them again later in the season or in future years as new ones sprout.

    Bookmark   May 13, 2011 at 11:14PM
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I always thought moneywort had yellow flowers?

    Bookmark   May 14, 2011 at 8:40AM
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You are absolutely right, Pixie Lou!

How about this one:
Veronica serpyllifolia AKA thymeleaf speedwell

I am pretty sure it is some type of weedy speedwell/Veronica since it has flowers that strongly resemble my Veronica 'Georgia Blue' and 'Waterperry Blue.'

Here is a link that might be useful: Veronica serpyllifolia AKA thymeleaf speedwell

    Bookmark   May 15, 2011 at 3:09PM
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Thanks nhbabs - you have now identified the "weed" that is growing all over the front of my brush pile, trying to choke out my clematis. I can tell you that round up is ineffective on it.

(I still think tnkrer has some type of chickweed)

    Bookmark   May 15, 2011 at 6:08PM
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terrene(5b MA)

The picture that says "are they phlox or something else?" looks a lot like Physostegia / Obedient plant to me.

whoever buys my place will probably scalp the entire 26 garden beds i have nurtured for the past 12 years and put in hardscape or a pool. breaks my heart, but nothing i can do about it

Roxanna, there are things you can do before you leave your gardens - you can open your gardens to gardening friends or neighbors for give-aways, donate plants to a local or charity plant sale, sell or give away on Craigslist or Freecycle. People will even come and dig stuff up for you. Better than those lovely plants being scalped!

    Bookmark   May 15, 2011 at 8:08PM
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roxanna(z5b MA)

terrene, good ideas! i may just do one or two of them before i die, lol. i especially like the idea of having folk come dig out the extras -- think of the new spaces i will have for more plants! you see, my intentions are to survive to garden for another 15 years or so, if Fate doesn't have other ideas. if that works out, then giving away my plants later would be a great solution. i agree that someone might as well enjoy them as opposed to having them composted or paved over. save my plants! then carry me out in my pine box, lol.

    Bookmark   May 15, 2011 at 9:30PM
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I think terrene may be right with Obedient Plant. The foliage does look more like Obedient Plant. In which case, expect a light purply pinky spiky type of flower in August. Obedient Plant can be a bit invasive, especially in a sunny location. (Mine is in deep shade, so stays under control.)

Here is the foliage for my obedient plant

And here is the foliage for my Shasta Daisy Alaska

    Bookmark   May 16, 2011 at 2:47PM
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Thanks pixie ..

The leaves are longer with smaller stems than the Shasta daisy that you have, and they have grown a lot more than the obedient plant that you have, The leaves have small spikes on the sides and a very sharp end, where as the obedient plant seems to have smoother edges .. They are in full sun. I will post a picture of the flowers when they come out. I am going with some kinda daisy. They are more similar to the daisy than the obedient plant

    Bookmark   May 17, 2011 at 11:49AM
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I can't figure out what these are I planted flowers now the look like weeds

    Bookmark   July 2, 2011 at 8:35AM
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shane - start a new thread and post a photo. if you need help with posting a photo we have a thread with instructions.

Here is a link that might be useful: How to post photos

    Bookmark   July 2, 2011 at 11:10AM
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