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17/06/2012 at 11:39

We are in the middle of creating an arched area and while doing it noticed something growing in a corner.  I left it alone and eventually it started to flower - and it grew and grew.  It's now been flowering for almost 2 months and the scent is wonderful.  I'm pretty sure it's a wild phlox but I can't be certain as I haven't a clue where it came from and I've never had anything the like before.  Here's the flower ..

http://s3.gardenersworld.com/uploads/images/original/8912.jpg?width=266&height=350&mode=max

 It is now looking a bit straggly and where the flowers were are tiny pea-like pods which I assume contain even tinier seeds, but I'm loathe to cut it down or anything as I would love to collect the seeds and spread it around the garden to more appropriate places.  Here's how it is now - and I've used my poor dog as a sizeometre thingy...

http://s3.gardenersworld.com/uploads/images/original/8913.jpg?width=800&height=350&mode=max

So my questions are -

Because there is just the one plant will the seeds be fertile?  And - what is the best way to treat the seeds?  I would rather not let it do it's thing as where it is will be concrete and stones shortly and it would be a waste of seeds.

I always love plants for free and this one must be my best ever.

17/06/2012 at 12:11

I think your plant is sweet rocket i have it on my allotment in lilac and white it comes back every year i just leave it to self seed. Its a good butterfly plant for orange tip butterflys

17/06/2012 at 15:37

You lucky lucky thing!!! I am so jealous!!! I'm trying desperately to get a packet of seed to germinate - it's one of my favourite plants - the perfume in the evening is just magical 

17/06/2012 at 16:41

http://s3.gardenersworld.com/uploads/images/original/8921.jpg?width=682&height=350&mode=max

Looks very like my wallflower 'Bowles Mauve'. ?

17/06/2012 at 18:10

Yep, I think it is Erysimum Bowles Mauve - a perennial wallflower.    They have a very long flowering period.

17/06/2012 at 19:15

I'm fairly certain that we're looking at Hesperis Matronalis aka Sweet Rocket - a native wild flower.  At that height and with that growth habit I think it is too tall and loose for Erysimum  - a look at the leaves would tell us - Hesperis Matronalis has dark green slightly toothed leaves with a rough texture - they are wider, darker and rougher than Erysimum.

17/06/2012 at 19:20

I meant to say that both Sweet Rocket and Wallflowers are related - both being Cruiferae.

17/06/2012 at 19:29

it is sweet rocket have grown it from seed myself  this year especially to attract butterlifes.. it is not bowles mauve..the leavesand structure of the plant are not the same.

17/06/2012 at 20:13

That's amazing how similar the flowers seem to be.  But Dovefromabove and gardeningfanatic you're obviously right that it's Sweet Rocket as the stems and shape etc are nothing like my ancient straggly Bowles Mauve wallflower!  Until last week it had been in a terracotta pot with a grass of some kind for so many years that it could not be separated from the pot shape or the grass.  Wanted to bin it - but as it's the only thing I have which is oblivious to what time of year it is i.e. it blooms all year round - I was a softie and kept it.  Had to dig an enormous hole to plant it in the garden - the entire pot shape.  It doesn't look attractive these days but hadn't a clue what else to do with it other than the bin and just couldn't commit it for council execution.

http://s3.gardenersworld.com/uploads/images/original/8931.jpg?width=682&height=350&mode=max

 

17/06/2012 at 20:17

Yarrow2-they root easily from cuttings -now is a good time

17/06/2012 at 20:50

Think i could have been mistaken this is my sweet rocket

http://s3.gardenersworld.com/uploads/images/original/8933.jpg?width=285&height=350&mode=max

 

t rocket.

17/06/2012 at 21:12

Aliesh - no worries.  You had me convinced I was seeing two plants with identical flowers.

Sotongeoff - thanks for the tip on easy rooting from cuttings.  I've thought about it several times because have to admit my Bowles Mauve looks a sight - and not a positive one!  But - because it's been left SO long untended in anyway - the stems are really hard - very woody like from the base pretty far up.  I suppose for cuttings I'd have to choose new and soft?  I'd love to try.  It's been a real stalwart and although straggly it has the cheer-up factor in that it just blooms and blooms - but less lovely flowers than before.

I should just admit my gaffe now.  This is maybe one for bloopers thread.  I bought the wallflower when it was pretty established in a pot with lovely fresh foliage and more heavily flowered blooms.  It was the first outdoor plant I bought a few years ago when the garden itself was nothing but knee-high weeds.  I stuck it in the big terracotta pot with the grass in the picture and it stood on it's own - the only non-weed in the garden and it served as motivation to make the surrounding mess a garden again.   It was all of 6 months later, when I came across the empty compost bag which I'd saved, did I realise that I'd planted it in ericaceous compost.  So it didn't have the best chance from the start - and worse - I never changed the compost - just kept topping it up with multi-p.  Oops!

I want to try cuttings and will do the first day we're free of downpours.  Thanks for the advice.

 

17/06/2012 at 21:20

Aliesh - no worries.  You had me convinced I was seeing two plants with identical flowers.

Sotongeoff - thanks for the tip on easy rooting from cuttings.  I've thought about it several times because have to admit my Bowles Mauve looks a sight - and not a positive one!  But - because it's been left SO long untended in anyway - the stems are really hard - very woody like from the base pretty far up.  I suppose for cuttings I'd have to choose new and soft?  I'd love to try.  It's been a real stalwart and although straggly it has the cheer-up factor in that it just blooms and blooms - but less lovely flowers than before.

I should just admit my gaffe now.  This is maybe one for bloopers thread.  I bought the wallflower when it was pretty established in a pot with lovely fresh foliage and more heavily flowered blooms.  It was the first outdoor plant I bought a few years ago when the garden itself was nothing but knee-high weeds.  I stuck it in the big terracotta pot with the grass in the picture and it stood on it's own - the only non-weed in the garden and it served as motivation to make the surrounding mess a garden again.   It was all of 6 months later, when I came across the empty compost bag which I'd saved, did I realise that I'd planted it in ericaceous compost.  So it didn't have the best chance from the start - and worse - I never changed the compost - just kept topping it up with multi-p.  Oops!

I want to try cuttings and will do the first day we're free of downpours.  Thanks for the advice.

Robot:  apologies for cutting into the conversation you started here.  It's a lovely plant - and I love your dog.

 

 

18/06/2012 at 08:03

I can't quite work out the conclusion in this thread, but I think the colour of the leaves is a deciding factor.     Rocket leaves are green, whereas erysimum leaves are a greyish-green.   I have two erysimums and they are both 2-3 feet high.

18/06/2012 at 10:07

Right then.  I am convinced it is sweet rocket having found it on Google and this photo is almost exactly the same as mine ...

http://s3.gardenersworld.com/uploads/images/original/8939.jpg?width=240&height=240&mode=max

 But, as Gardengirl says, I don't have a conclusion as I still don't know if the seeds are where I think they are and if they will be viable only having the one plant.  I'm not that up on the biology of plants but always assumed you needed two to get fertile seeds. 

Also, as I said in the beginning, I cannot let them self seed as where it is will be concreted over very shortly and any seeds will be gone.  I need to get the seeds out and need to know the best way of doing that.

Here is a picture of a leaf and what I think is a tiny seed pod.  I took this pod from the lower end of the plant and the tip is starting to go brown so I'm thinking it is ripening.  If it is a pod and the seeds are inside, will they be fertile and, lastly, when is the best time to start them off?

Here's the leaf...

http://s3.gardenersworld.com/uploads/images/original/8940.jpg?width=436&height=350&mode=max

 Thank you all for your comments and identification.

Wild Phlox indeed - what am I like

18/06/2012 at 21:08

Great pictures, great thread- I'm growing sweet rocket from seed for the first time this year. So looking forward to plants next year.

Robot, I've just had a look at the the few remaining seeds that I have got. They are very dark brown in colour, a sort of elongated shape, very small about 1mm-2mm long. The seeds swell a lot before germination

Can't take a picture because of low light levels but from what I can see in you pic and the seeds that I have got, you may be right

Dovefromabove, I sowed my seeds on at the end of March,I have loads of healthy plants about 40, which I have to keep planting on. In my enthusiam I didn't read the "instructions" properly ie sow on the surface- I buried them, but they still came through. I think I got some really good quality seeds- let me know if you want the name of the supplier,

 

18/06/2012 at 21:10

Robot- forgot to say lovely dog

18/06/2012 at 22:53

Hi Hollie hock, I had no luck with them last year, but now we're in a new garden I'm having another go - hopefully the seeds I've got from Thompson & Morgan will show green before long -  thanks for the offer - where did you get yours from?

I've grown Sweet Rocket in other gardens - the seedpods will grow and eventually they will open and shed the seeds.  As you notice them begin to open at the tip you can either shake them onto paper, or into a paper bag, or do as I've done in the past (and what I do with foxgloves too) and that is to cut the stem, take the stalk with the seedpods  over to the area of garden where I want the new plants to grow, and shake it about.  Simple as that.  Sweet rocket is a perennial so it will take two years for the seeds to produce flowers.

And yes your seeds will be fertile.  It's only a few plants that have male and female reproductive parts on separate plants - most flowers have both and all you need is some insects to visit a few of the blooms on your plant and hey presto you'll have seeds!  As Sweet Rocket is highly attractive to pollinating insects you shouldn't have a problem 

19/06/2012 at 02:27

Robot:  I found one of these in the garden and didn't notice the similarity until the flowers appeared.  I thought it was a weed and cut down a big bunch of it.  It has the leaves like yours.  Wish I hadn't cut down the bunch now.

http://s3.gardenersworld.com/uploads/images/original/8964.jpg?width=682&height=350&mode=max

 

19/06/2012 at 05:59

Good morning and a big thank you to everyone who has helped on this, especially Dovefromabove for helping me with my seed situation.  Hopefully I'll have a garden full of sweet rocket next year.  We sat out last night until about 10pm with a glass or three of ribena and the scent was wonderful.  It will be such a shame when the plant finally has to go under the concrete. 

Hollie-Hock - Yes, our Alfie is a joy.  It was his birthday last week.  A big 9 so now he's about the same age as me, but I wish I could run around the same as he does.  Unhappily he will be our last dog now and he's been the absolute best.  Everyone loves him.  We rescued him at six months old - a scrawny, smelly bag of bones who was found wandering on his own and couldn't walk on his back legs properly because he was so poorly.  Now look at him. 

http://s3.gardenersworld.com/uploads/images/original/8965.jpg?width=310&height=350&mode=max

Bless....

 

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