Saturday, January 29, 2011

Mystery Plant, Revisited

I'm beginning to feel like I'm in some kind of garden time warp.
It's still here. And it looks exactly the same.

Last summer I posted about a strange, cool plant that had showed up in my garden.

It was a wide, flat rosette, maybe 24 inches across, with broad, crinkly leaves set with little hooks along each leaf half. I expected to see it eventually mature, send up a flower spike, show its true weedy style, or something.

No one could identify it at the time, and it's showing no new identifying characteristics to help me out now.

Same lush, hooked and amazingly green leaves.

Same flat, unrevealing center rosette of new leaves.

Aside from a little winter wear-and-tear, exactly the way it looked in mid-July.

Maybe it's a biennial and spring will produce some different growth that will help me decide whether to keep it or haul it out. But for now I keep wondering ... just what IS this plant?


  1. oooh...I LOVE a mystery...hopefully someone will be able to find it's identity. If I din't know better, I'd almost say it was a Dock of some sort...or even a Primula.

  2. Would it be inappropriate to take pics of it to your MG classes to see if anyone could identify it?

  3. It looks like a Verbascum to me, Jane. Maybe you can Google it and find a photo of its first rosette stage. It should be sending up a flower spike this year which will help seal the deal. But then again it could also be some kind of thistle. ... Shows what I know. :)

  4. I was thinking the same thing as Deb, but I also like Grace's possible i.d. of a Verbascum.

  5. I think it only fair that you put those MG experts on the spot, now that you have us all in suspense to see what comes next.

  6. Scott, I've never seen a primula that wide, and I don't know dock - it could be!?!?

    Deb, I sent pics and this link to the MG clinic on Monday. They couldn't ID it, but I was warned not to let it seed if I let it bloom.

    Grace, I love the ID of a verbascum - hope so! But every thistle I can find has much more irregular, spiky and notched leaf edges.

    dg, the jury is still out.

    ricki, I stumped the MGs, unfortunately, so I'm no closer to an ID.

  7. Verbascum phoeniceum maybe? They have leaves very much like the plant in your photo.


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