18 messages
08/08/2013 at 17:08

I asked about these two earlier in the year but no one had any suggestions. They've now both flowered, so maybe that'll help.

Plant 1 is in pots around the garden, and has self seeded itself freely following last year. It's very straggly though, and I'm not sure if it's meant to be! The first photo was taken in late June, the second was taken today.

http://s4.gardenersworld.com/uploads/images/original/29041.jpg?width=342&height=350&mode=max

 

http://s4.gardenersworld.com/uploads/images/original/29042.jpg?width=293&height=350&mode=max

 Plant 2 is most likely a weed that has come from the bird seed, but I can't work out what it actually is. Again, the first photo was taken in June and the second taken recently, though it's been flowering for a few weeks now. The flowers are about the size of a 1 pence coin. Its roots have exploded out of the pot and are everywhere, but since I'm sure it's a weed I've just left it to struggle. It may have gotten bigger if it'd had more room.

http://s4.gardenersworld.com/uploads/images/original/29044.jpg?width=355&height=350&mode=max

 

http://s4.gardenersworld.com/uploads/images/original/29048.jpg?width=280&height=350&mode=max

 Thank you for any suggestions you can offer.

08/08/2013 at 19:24

The one with the very pretty furry feet in the picture is,I think, niger seed for the birds.

08/08/2013 at 20:06

Hehe, the furry feet follow me everywhere!

I think you're probably spot on with the niger seed suggestion. I might take pity on this poor specimen and put it in the ground now that I know what to expect from it. We have a dedicated niger seed feeder for the local goldfinches and the messy lot throw half the seed on the ground. The grass underneath is 90% niger seedlings with the odd strand of grass poking through. Of course it gets mown so it rarely gets past seed leaves. PFAF says niger plants can be used as green manure, so maybe the grass will benefit eventually!

 

Now, any bright spark know the first plant? My googling is turning up nothing.

08/08/2013 at 20:12

I think you have another bird seed plant maybe. Look on the packets and see if there is any thing unusual mentioned. I know what you mean about mess from the feeders. I understand that niger seeds come from Ethiopia (i always thought it would be Niger) and in Ethiopia they grind the seeds up and make a bread from them, They look pretty inedible to me, but I suppose it's all a matter of what your mum cooks tasting good, isn't it?

08/08/2013 at 20:34

Not sure I'll be adding the niger seeds to my diet! The birds can keep 'em!

I don't think the other plant is a bird seed plant. It's in several big display pots around the garden, quite away from the bird feed stations, and my mum thinks she remembers buying it, but not what it is or where or when etc. This one and another pot full survived the winter, but a third died, having thrown dozens of seeds into a neighbouring pot where they are currently fighting with a fuchsia. I don't know whether to massacre them or carefully pot them up! 

08/08/2013 at 20:45

Well, if you like them and they aren't out to conquer the world, I'd just enjoy them.

08/08/2013 at 20:59

But the mystery! I've been googling images similar to the flower photo I posted and I've come across three that look about right, and every single page is in Japanese! And they tend to just be big posts of various flowers with no identification. One did possibly say it was a pink (Caryophyllaceae Dianthus).. what do you think? The petals are slightly frilled, but I've always known pinks as being skinny blueish leaved things. Could it have big glossy green leaves?

08/08/2013 at 21:12

I dont know what they are but they look lovely Panoply! Especially the top one - the leaves look a bit rhodederony. (I've grown niger grass in the past (unintentially) so it isnt that though - niger is a fine leafed arching grass that is a dark purple, grows about 2 to 3 feet tall, very elegant & dries well for flower arrangments)

08/08/2013 at 21:22

I was just about to say it didn't come from niger seed! Whilst searching similar images to the top flower Google threw up a Russian plant page, which when translated informed me that it is actually Bidens tripartita, the bur marigold! This lovely page suits it to a T: http://wildflowerfinder.org.uk/Flowers/B/BurMarigold%28Nodding%29/BurMarigold%28Nodding%29.htm

Funnily enough, since the roots escaped from the bottom of the pot I've dumped it into an old washing up bowl to sit in a puddle of water. Just call me the plant whisperer.

Goodness, I hope it's not a rhododendron! Niger grass sounds lovely though. Might look into that. Need some more variety. Might go nicely with my cerinthe army!

Anyway, I must go for the night. The furry footed cat is demanding cuddles.

CEW
08/08/2013 at 22:00

The pink flower looks like a creeping phlox ... but the leaves in the top photo look a bit larger than expected so I'm not sure.  Is it low-growing and evergreen?  When not in flower mine looks sort of like that spikey pond weed, so 'straggly' works (it is a bit unloved and probably in a totally unsuitable location).

09/08/2013 at 08:00

It may well be evergreen (I never really paid it much due until I wanted to plant things in the pots it's in!) but it isn't low growing and I don't think it'd ever lend its hand to ground cover. I'd say the leaves are about 5cm long and it has these straggly arms of them which are about 30cm, at a guess. I may be a bit out with my estimates!

Actually, if I remember rightly, this particular plant was brought in in the worst of the cold this winter as it shares its pot with a jasmine (I take no responsibility for the crazy planting choices!) so it may well not be hardy. Another one died, and a third is small and miserable, but still going.

Problem is, you never know if it's behaving normally or if you've given it such bad conditions it's doing something odd (or such nutritious soil it's become a giant! though I don't think that'd be the case here, since it's been in these pots for at least 2 years)

09/08/2013 at 14:06

Anyone around this afternoon who might have any ideas about the first plant?

09/08/2013 at 16:23

The pink flower could be a wild flower called soapwort (or Bouncing Bet if you want the folk name.)  it grows about 18" high and is quite prolific.

if that's what it is, I'd leave it to spread. It could attract butterflies and other insects.

best of luck!

09/08/2013 at 20:47

How about another pic of the pink one. One that shows how tall it is and how it grows. I can't tell fomthe photo whether it's 3 inches or 3 feet tall

10/08/2013 at 10:04

Here's a full shot of the first plant. It's living in a pot with a jasmine and the garden is a huge green mess, so I've tried highlighting it and blurring the background to make it easier to see. The pot is just over 25cm tall, so yeah, the plant is pretty big.

http://s4.gardenersworld.com/uploads/images/original/29104.jpg?width=497&height=350&mode=max

 

10/08/2013 at 11:01

Oh! I've got it! It's a Dianthus Japonicus. No wonder I kept finding pictures on Japanese websites! I thought it was a Gastrolychnis violascens from this website, but that led me to this website and I checked the seeds and they are indeed flat and pointy, rather than round.

There's not much on the internet, but I was comforted to find this website where he speaks of how difficult it is to identify! You are all knowledgeable plants(wo)men as well!

I think I shall hoik out some of the seedlings and plant them in the ground now.

10/08/2013 at 11:13

Be careful, if it's made in Japan or China it's probably rampant!

10/08/2013 at 11:32

Haha! Always nice to add some variety to the weeds in the garden! It can join the fennel, buddleia and irises that I keep finding everywhere.

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