Tuesday, May 27, 2008

I finally found out what this was

Now I ask you, can YOU identify this plant? Special consideration given to out of town guests...

Updated: It's a member of the Lamiaceae family. Mint family. And, it's from Down Under. The leaves are about 1cm long, and the flowers about 2cm long.

10 comments:

Sandylein said...

Oh no! I went to search through my gardening books and discovered that I had so efficiently packed them all away for the move. Oh well.

Heather said...

I can't decide whether I should guess balloon flower or bell flower....

(my son is looking and saying that it is foxglove,to which I scoffed rather snottily, then he said that it is some sort of breed of foxglove.) ;-)

sheila said...

Hmm, foxglove eh? To be honest, I am not entirely sure of the family of this plant, but I'll look it up.

The flowers are about 1/2" high. Very small, and in a mass all over the plant. It's a shrub.

Casey said...

I'm with Heather's son--looks like a foxglove to me.

Heather said...

Yesterday after you wrote that it was a shrub I looked in my book and thought it might be a Prostanthera rotundiflora but then my book said it was Austrailian and I thought nah, couldn't be the one Shelia has. Maybe it is??

Shelia, do you have The Gardener's Encyclopedia of Plants & Flowers? It is pretty good for identifying things.

sheila said...

Bingo, Heather! That's what it is. Funny, eh? It's sold here in the garden shops as a tender perennial, but this thing looks as though it's been in the yard a while. I think I can guess why though: it's against the side of the house in a protected south-facing spot.

When we first moved in (1 yr ago) my husband wanted to haul it out because it had no leaves and looked pretty grim. I watered it and pruned it and this year it's SO gorgeous I can't believe it. The leaves have a serious menthol smell to them, and the flowers are incredible. It's very pretty.

I don't have that book. Is that one of those DK books? I've been forever looking for a copy of that pruning book you recommended last year. It was a great book, but it seems to have gone OOP.

sheila said...

Forgot to mention the common name: Australian Bush Mint.

Heather said...

It is a Reader's Digest book with over 4000 colour photos and I love the way the things are arranged to make them easy to find. You could look under Shrubs/medium Spring interest and then there would be a section on each colour bloom for that and so on. Maybe your library would have it.

this is my patch said...

I am pleased you have discovered what this is, I haven't ever come across it before. I wouldn't have been much help. x

sheila said...

And there I was thinking you would know exactly what it was! You always have so many unusual plants!

The people who owned this house before us must have planted it, then turned it into one of those ball-on-top shrubs. When we moved in it looked so pathetic Richard wanted to pull it out, but I can never throw away a plant, so I nursed it for a while and this year it looks spectacular.