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This plant has arrived in my garden. I have let it flower to aid identification but have no idea whether it is friend or foe. I have never seen this in any of my friends gardens or in any garden I have visited but the bees seem to love it. It has quite a strange scent - like mild discenfectant and the stems are too tough to break by hand. It has grown to about 3 ft.high. When it first appeared I thought, by the shape and feel of the leaves it was a fox glove but now its grown it obviously isn't. Would love to here what you think so I know whether to compost it or not before it sets seed. Thank you




It's phlomis russeliana SusiA


Phlomis russeliana. Look lovely in brown in the winter with a bit of frost

Thank you so much. Looked it up and so it is. Well that was quick. Thank you. Just wandering now how it came to be in my garden. Interesting.


It seeds about quite well, maybe it hitched in with something else


Woodgreen wonderboy

It grows a bigger plant each year but is not troublesome, seeding around, in spite of the mystery appearence in your garden. If it does turn up without notice I would say thanks!!   Leave seed heads on over winter for effect.

gardenning granny

Hello SusiA -

this is phlomis and it loves the sun, but be warned, the leaves contain something that. if allowed to fall to the ground, inhibit the growth of anything underneath.  In wet conditions it can put on a lot of growth in a  season so I cut mine back to a manageable size in autumn - but wear long sleeves because something in the leaves is quite abrasive to the skin.  It is a wonderful evergreen shrub though and very tolerant of drought conditions, as is the pink form.


this is the herbaceous perennial gg, there is no underneath space.

Phlomis fruticosa, shrub. mine flops so much it nothing could get underneath including the mower when it comes over the lawn. worse than usual this year after last year's wet.

also have grandiflora, shrub, more upright  but more inclined to snap off or havebits die off in winter. Never noticed problem on skin but I've such a collection of scratches, bruises, bites and stings that I probably wouldn't notice 

Had a pink one ?alpina, but that died. 


no, it wasn't alpina, that's what I've grown from seed this year. It was italica


Nettles don't seem to have any problem growing under my P. fruticosa.


bindweed will grow through it

Gorgeous plant you are blessed

I also have P Fruticosa, it was a small plant in the garden of my new house last year but the plant has grown huge this year with masses of blooms, beautiful! How do I take cuttings? (Never grown one before)


I can't do cuttings, I grow new ones from seed. It occasionally self-seeds if I don't give it a prune as the flowers go over

Thanks Nutcutlet! I'll give it a go anyway - if no luck I can always gather some seeds as you do!



Other people manage the cuttings dolgarrog, I'm sure you'll do fine. You have to look after cuttings when you've taken them, that's where I fall down, I forget about them

gardenning granny

RHS call it a shrub - it increases in size each year - also known as jerusalem sage.

Cuttings are easy at this time of year - trim of at a leaf joint and insert into a gritty mixture and then keep warm, but out of the sun.

As a bonus, the seeds sometimes germinate on top of the old flower whorls, looking most curious!

The the pink variety (sorry no good at names) is growing out here in the Languedoc and it is spreading at a rapid pace (probably suckers) - I'll have to dig up all the periphery bits in the autumn.  The weather is a bit different - usually a three month period of drought in the summer followed my heavy rains in autumn and then a very cold winter.  It is very reliable in the fierce summer sun!

phomis id a lovely shrub I wish some would just land in my garden. Good luck with it

thank you all very much for your input! I'll take some cuttings this weekend & let you know how I get on!