London (change)
1 to 20 of 34 messages
15/11/2012 at 13:32

Can anyone help me identifying these two plants?

The first is incredibly invasive. It has white flowers in the spring (I think)

 I treat it like a weed and am forever pulling/digging it up but it is a persistent little blighter. 

The seond plant has foxglove type leaves, but I am pretty sure it is not a foxglove. It has tiny blue flowers which are just coming out now. It too is invasive and pops up all over the garden.


Anyone with any ideas?

15/11/2012 at 13:56

The first one "looks like" bindweed-does it have a white root that snaps easily?

The second one "looks like" blue alkanet

But could be wrong on both counts

15/11/2012 at 14:04

Are they invasive by seeding or root spreading or both?

I can't immediately identify either of these but the lower one has the look of one of the comphreys. It's something in the boraginaceae family I'm sure. 

15/11/2012 at 14:08

Could easily be blue alkanet.

The leaves of the first one look too textured for bindweed to me. What does the underside of the leaf look like. I'm assuming the plant with it is one of the small sedums and I'm taking the scale from that. Is that as big as the leaves get?

15/11/2012 at 14:14

The first one-on a second look -it does seem the leaves are "thicker" than bindweed.

15/11/2012 at 14:44

Second one is Green alkanet which strangely enough has blue flowers.

And annoyingly I know what the top one is, but having a senior moment (AGAIN!) the name will not pop.

15/11/2012 at 15:00

Thanks so far. Green Alkanet looks like a positive ID. Looks like it is time to get digging and see if I can get rid of it for good.

The first is definitely not bindweed, although I am blessed with plenty of that as well.

It spreads through the roots which are quite deep and they do snap quite easily when pulled. The leave size does not get a great deal bigger than this. If left to its own devices it will create a dense blanket about a foot tall. I had masses of it in another part of the garden and had to resort to some pretty heafty weed killing to eradicate it.

Come on Berghill, you can do it!

15/11/2012 at 15:05

Can you describe the white flowers RF. Are they flowering before the leaves appear or do they come out of a rosette of leaves 

15/11/2012 at 15:35

To be honest nutctlet I am not too sure. As far as I remember they come out on quite long stems from ground level. 

15/11/2012 at 15:46

Do they look anything like this?

It's white, invasive and makes a carpet of leaves about a foot tall

15/11/2012 at 16:10

  Weed for one, an herbal remedy for another!   I am very angry with myself, as I should know the name of the first one. Comes out early spring, as it was once used as an early cough remedy. That and carving out a suede I sem to remember doing over 30 years ago when the children were young! The second one is Borage. The leaves are rather prickly and rough, but the bees love it. Borage and Comfrey are very similar. Both excellent for the bees, and for adding to recycling bins. Comfrey you can make liquid compost from, but Monty Don says it stinks!

15/11/2012 at 16:12

Thanks nutcutlet,

The leaves look really similar, although this one you have found is spikey, and mine are smooth edged. I can't quite remember what the flowers were like, but I don't think they were as nice as these. 

It looks like the right family but not the exact same plant

15/11/2012 at 16:36

Not borage but in that family Janet4

Borage seeds about but is very easy to remove. 

15/11/2012 at 17:05

Janet4, are you thinking of coltsfoot? The white seed heads of that could be mistaken for flowers. I'll see if I can find a pic.

anything like that RF?

I thought the leaves looked a bit roundes for coltsfoot in the pic, mine always look a bit angular. 

preceded by these

15/11/2012 at 18:00

The top one still escapes me. There are very few plants with that shaped leaf so it ought to be possible. Maianthemum has it, as does one of the smaller growing Dock (Rubble Dock) and Convolulus arvensis. The latter has small pink,sometimes white flowers and is a ground hugging plant not a climber like Bindweed.

15/11/2012 at 18:11

not the convolvulus, all too familiar with that.

15/11/2012 at 18:16

and I don't think the maianthemums are invasive as described by RF

Still looks very petasites to me but a bit small.


15/11/2012 at 18:26

hi rainwater fanatic just looking at your first plant as i have a clump of these and cant get rid of them either i find the snails love to hide in clumps underneath the leaves they pull out very easily but soon come up again with a vengance they have a very palish pink flower that comes up through the leaves,not very nice,but i was told its from the family of scurvy grass and as a wild plant grows naturally in woods,mine grows on a bank,so im going to leave mine and keep pulling it up.

15/11/2012 at 21:07

Are the leaves shiny? Bit hard to tell. Cochlearia officinalis is Common Scurvy grass and the leaves are like your but definitely shiny.

16/11/2012 at 06:49

Thank you to everyone who has pitched in on this. 

Green Alkanet looks like the closest match for the second image, and I think I am going to have to go with petasites for the first. When I searched google images for petasites I see that these can get really quite big, and this one of mine has never developed leaves bigger than 4-5 inches across. It does however look like it in most other ways, and so thank you nutcutlet for that.

Thanks again for all of your suggestions, at least I now know my enemy!



1 to 20 of 34 messages