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Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Mystery plant day


Today I was frustrated by not one, but two mystery plants in my garden.

The first plant is a charming Primula (primrose) that has naturalized in 5 or 6 different spots here. I remember the day I bought this plant, a friend who worked at a nearby nursery insisted I buy a handful of small pots of a bloomed out Primula. She said the plants looked sorry but would be so happy in my garden. At that point I had only bad luck with primroses but she offered them to me for $1 per pot and ever the optimist, I tried primroses again.

This plant is so wonderful, it has no problem in dry shade. Give it some moisture and it's even happier! The one problem is that every tag I have for it in my garden has the top portion broken off. I know it originated from Sunny Border Plants but I don't have the variety name.
How sad :-(
The second mystery plant is this one. It is in my shade garden and was given to me by the same woman who encouraged me to buy the white Primulas. This plant has seeded around a little bit (not aggressively). I think it might be Cimicifuga? It blooms in the fall with tall white candle-like blooms. If you scroll up to the first photo you can see what the foliage looks like a little later in the season. It is at the right of the Primula.

Any ideas?

7 comments:

Ewa said...

leaves look like cimicifuga and description you give is also fitting :)
Cheers!

Nan Ondra said...

I'd guess Primula sieboldii for the first one, Melanie. You could be right about the second being a Cimicifuga; are the older leaves compound? How tall is the plant by bloom time?

Joanne said...

Both strangers to me but I particularly like the primula does it self sew

Gail said...

Both good looking. I never though that primula could take dry soil....interesting news. gail

Becca said...

I think I found your primrose. Its a primula sieboldii "New Snow" (at least that's the name Senea Hills Perennials gave it. Here is the pic: http://www.senecahillperennials.com/uploads/images/plant_p/primula_sieboldii_shp2.jpg

Becca said...

Do you think the second plant is from the Actaea family? Maybe Actaea simplex? (I am not sure but the Cimicifuga might be in the Actaea family now.)

Melanie said...

Hi all, aren't you all so wonderful! Yes, I've been doing my research based on all your hints and I've decided to tag my Primula as Primula sieboldii 'Alba' (which just means white and is sold by Sunny Borders). Becca, your "new snow" idea could be the right one but the 'alba' will do for now.

As for the other mystery plant, Becca is right again, Cimicifugas are now considered Actaea. Looking at Mobot's site, I think that Actaea simplex is the right plant height wise. I'll keep my eye on the foliage and take a photo when it matures.

Joanne, the primula might self sow, I don't know for sure how it spreads but it does spread at a nice pace.