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Sunday, August 23, 2009

A Plant I Didn't Even Know I Had

Have you ever been given a plant and you were told it was something then it turned out to be something else completely different? That happened to me back at the plant swap this spring. I was given several pots of 'Black and Blue' Salvia that day and didn't look at any of them very closely. I was in a hurry when I planted all the plants I brought home (which must have been more than two dozen) and planted plants as quickly as I could. Then I forgot about them and they began to grow.

Later I noticed that this one plant in particular looked very different from what it was "supposed to be." They were all seedlings when I adopted them and as seedlings looked vaguely similar but as they grew the leaves changed. Then the salvias began blooming while the other plant was still all foliage. A couple weeks later the buds began to form in small clusters of little fuzzy ball shaped buds. Immediately I had a suspicion as to what its identity was but needed it to bloom to be sure. Here's how it appears today:




A hardy ageratum or blue mist flower (Eupatorium coelestinum). This is just now starting to bloom but should last well into the fall. It should return next year (zones 5-9) and could reseed.




It's always nice to have more blue in the garden!

11 comments :

  1. I do like blue! It's a Tall little ageratum. There must be a number of varieties, as mine are fairly short. :-)

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  2. Oops, I meant to say... "Nice Surprise!" ;;-)

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  3. SG,

    I goofed and reedited the post after you commented. It's not the annual ageratum it's the hardy wildflower native to the US. :)

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  4. I have this hardy variety too and mine is also just blooming. I have always liked ageratum. Sometimes the annual ageratum won't survive in my pots--it can be difficult to grow but I guess this native is true to it's name--hardy.

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  5. I remember when I got one of those on accident too! It was next to my pineapple sages and upon quick looking I didn't even notice until it just SPRUNG up in size and opened its flowers up. I inquired about it to another gardener and she shunned it talking about how invasive it was, so I pulled it up and gave it away to someone who said she was interested in natives!

    I was upset to find out later upon more research that japanese beetles and other pests like to eat them and ageratums have a chemical that can cause them to be infertile, which is splendid in vegetable garden!

    I was only to happy to see that it stubborn and came up again out of nowhere so I carefully transplanted it to a farther corner of the yard until I can think of final plant for it to grow.

    (http://persephoneinbloom.blogspot.com/)

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  6. I have had that happen to me with a Banana Tree. I like the Banana Tree now, but it made me a little mad.

    I am glad you are still happy with what you have. That plant I have grown before. It bloomed and bloomed all summer long it seemed.

    Jake

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  7. Geez, I have always wanted to know it's name. It grows crazy around these parts!! THANKS!

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  8. Oh Dave I love that plant! Lucky you, this one will give much more to the fall garden than those salvias, spreading and blooming as the leaves turn for fall. I like it near the dogwoods for the blue addition to the reds and yellows. It will spread and you might have to keep an eye on it, but don't worry about trying to take cuttings of this one, you will be awash in a very short time by the underground runners. It will grow anywhere too, sun or shade. Hooray! I do have a plant, gift from offspring Chickenpoet that was supposed to be pink milkweed that turned out to be ironweed. I am hoping it is a different species than the V. altissima that we already grow, something shorter I hope. :-)
    Frances

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  9. Dear Dave
    It always gives us a smile to end up with an unexpected "gift" plant in the garden : )
    I didn't know this one has an affect on those rotten Japanese Beetles .. isn't it great to find out information on posts you didn't know would be there ? LOL
    Thanks !
    Joy

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  10. Love the blue in the garden. Sometimes surprises are good.

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  11. Ahh, Dave, surprises are always so much fun, and so welcomed! I've had some surprises in my garden, as well! I love blues and pinks...so more blues are always welcome in my garden, too!!

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