|Can I send a photo of a plant to identify? Lisa, Cleveland|
|Hi, Lisa: You can send a picture to email@example.com.|
|I am trying to find out what plant this is...here are some links to pictures I took:
and last picture..
|Hi, Matzine: The plant you are trying to identify is a variegated Polygonum, also referred to as fallopia japonica. It belongs to the Polygonaceae family, native to Asia, and commonly referred to as knotweed. It is a large herbaceous perennial in our area. Morning sun and afternoon shade is best. Some species can be aggressive and are considered invasive in parts of the country. I have seen this plant be very well behaved in some local gardens here in Louisville, Kentucky. According to Purdue University Agriculture Extension, this plant is not included on the invasive list for Indiana.|
|I grew up in Yuma, Arizona, and my grandmother had in her yard a plant that only came up once a year from what looked like tubers. It had long slender green stems with a flower on the end no bigger than a quarter. We would eat the long, tart stems. She called them dok saul, though I'm not sure if the spelling is correct. What was this plant? Jean, Yuma|
|Hello, Jean in Arizona: As a Kentucky gardener I’m afraid this does not sound familiar to me at all. The only plant that comes to mind is a Rumex, which is commonly referred to as dock or sorrel. The Rumex genus contains over 200 species of annuals, biennials, and perennial herbs/ornamentals. They do produce long slender stalks like you mentioned, but as far as I know only the foliage is used for culinary purposes. Rumex scutatus is most commonly used for cooking. Gardening in Kentucky is very different than gardening in Arizona, so you might consider contacting your county Cooperative Extension Service to see if the agriculture or horticulture agent(s) can give you a more definitive answer. You can visit the Yuma County Web site at http://extension.arizona.edu/yuma or call them at (928) 726-3904.|
|I had a mulberry tree in a container. Its branches were twisted, almost like an H.L. Walking Stick, but it had only a few branches. Do you know what the name of it might be?
Sandy, Lincoln City|
|Hello, Sandy: It sounds like you had a contorted mulberry. The cultivar name is ‘Unryo,’ which is defined as twisted in Japanese where it is native. This tree/shrub is also sometimes referred to as ‘Tortusa.’ This mulberry (Morus) is a fast-growing large shrub or small tree that can reach upward of 30 feet tall at maturity. It can certainly be pruned to maintain a certain size. Although this mulberry has an interesting growth habit and would be a nice specimen in the garden, they are susceptible to all the disease and insect problems associated with mulberries. The contorted Filbert, commonly known as Harry Lauder’s Walking Stick, would be a good substitution with less disease problems but the same form.|
|I have a flowering bush. Would you help me identify it? Erika, Marengo|
|Hi, Erika: I would be happy to look at your picture. You can send it to firstname.lastname@example.org.
|I have a photo of a flower I would like to send you to see if you can identify it. If you don't care, e-mail me your e-mail address and I will send it to you. Jeannine, Russell Springs|
|Hi, Jeannine: You are welcome to send a photo of your flower to email@example.com.|
|I have a picture of my plant but I don't know what it is: it has a long stem and the head is hard, it has seeds and it's orange. Megan, Sprowston|
|Hello, Megan: You are welcome to send your pictures to firstname.lastname@example.org.|
|I have a plant with green leaves and a white flower, about 7 inches tall. After blooming, a thorny ball forms. What kind of plant could this be? Maria, Litchfield Park|
|Hello, Maria in Arizona: Is it possible for you to send me a photo of this plant? You can send it to email@example.com. Any additional information about the plant in terms of its location, hardiness, and bloom time would be helpful. I am gardening in Kentucky so trying to identify a plant growing in Arizona is difficult without a photo. Thanks!
|I have a purple weed flower with a yellow center. The flowers are about 10 cm in diameter. It grows from one root and spreads rapidly through the neighborhood lawns. How do I get rid of it and what is it? Gary, Robinson|
|Hello, Gary: As the saying goes, “everything is a weed somewhere” is true in this case. You are gardening in a different part of the country than I am, so it could very well be that I am not familiar with the plant you are describing. It does not sound like any weed we have here in Kentucky. If you could give me more information in terms of the shape of the bloom as well as the time of year it blooms, the height of the plant, and the shape of the foliage, it would also be helpful. You are welcome to send pictures to firstname.lastname@example.org. From what you have described it sounds like it has quite a large bloom. One possibility would be a silver-leaf nightshade. It has a star-shaped bloom with prickly foliage. You can always take a sample to the McLennan County Cooperative Extension Service, which is located at 420 North 6th Street in Waco. The horticulture agent will be able to identify the plant for you and give you advice on control. Their phone number is (254) 757-5180 and you can visit their Web site at http://mclennan-tx.tamu.edu
|I have this plant at my house where I just moved. It smells good, maybe it's a herb?
Jayson, Villa Hills|
|Hello, Jayson in Kentucky: All herbs are scented so without having more information I cannot tell you what you are growing. You are welcome to send a picture of your plant to email@example.com.|
|I have two questions, almost related. I heard there were like over 400 different types of hollies. What site can I go to that lists all the specimens? My other question, is there a such plant called the "red holly?" It was mentioned on a fine gardening article Web site, so I was wondering if red holly was a type of holly, and are the leaves red? If not, why do they call it red holly? Daniel, Rosedale|
|Hello, Daniel in Maryland: Ilex (holly) is a very large genus and when you take into consideration all of the species, cultivars, varieties, and hybrids within this genus, there are well over 400 of them. This group of plants is very diverse in terms of growth habit, foliage shape, and mature size. Some hollies are very large specimens while others are smaller shrubs; some are evergreens and others are deciduous. The red holly hybrids are seedling selections of ‘Mary Nell,’ which is a second generation cross. ‘Mary Nell’ is a combination of three different hollies. I will spare you the taxonomical details but yes, the red holly hybrids all have new growth that is red in color, which is why they are called red hollies. For a comprised list of all of the plants in the ilex genus you should go to your local library and check out Manual of Woody Landscape Plants written by Michael A. Dirr. This is the reference book that horticulturists turn to when they have questions.|
|I need help identifying a tree. It has burgundy white and green leaves. It also has tiny trumpet-shaped flowers. Do you know what it is? Kenzie, Beaufort|
|Hi, Kenzie: I am sorry but this is not ringing any bells with me. Could you send a picture? If so send it to firstname.lastname@example.org
. Otherwise, if you could, give me more information in terms of the growth habit of this tree: the height and width would be helpful as well as the color of the flowers and the time of year it blooms. The shape of the foliage would also be helpful. Does this variegated plant drop its foliage during the winter months? I suspect this is a tropical for those of us gardening in Kentucky because you are gardening in a warmer zone than we are. It would be great if you could send a picture.
|I saw online that you're able to identify plants for your Web site users. I have been trying to find out what kind of plant one of my houseplants is. My local nursery can't help me except to tell me that it's a philodendron. Are you able to identify the specific kind of philodendron by looking at pictures of it? I tried e-mailing you pictures at the address on this Web page but the e-mail bounced back. These three pictures are three angles of the same plant. If you send me a valid e-mail address, could I send them to you for ID'ing. John, Valley Village|
|Hello, John in California: We are in the process of updating the Web site to be able to accept images, but for now you can send your pictures to email@example.com. I cannot promise I will able to narrow the philodendron down to a specific variety or cultivar because it is such a large group of plants, but I will do my best. I should at least be able to give you the species name.|
|I was given flower seeds by a gentleman who could not tell me their name. Both grow quite big; one has a huge white bloom that looks like a wedding bell, and it has a prickly ball that is filled with seed. I have been told it is an old-fashioned morning glory. The other has rows of blooms starting with white petals, then light pink, then darker pink; they have small pea pods filled with seed, and I have been told it is a spider plant. Jenetta, Campton|
|Hi, Jenetta: From what you have described the first plant sounds like an angel’s trumpet, also known as brugmansia. This tropical plant produces large bell- or trumpet-shaped flowers that open in the evening. They are scented and are usually found in white but also available in peach/pink or yellow. This is a plant that will need to be over-wintered indoors in Kentucky. It should be brought inside before the first frost. Place it in a sunny room and cut back on your watering and fertilizing. It will not likely produce new blooms indoors but it will after it goes back outside next May. All parts of this plant are poisonous so be careful if you have pets. The second seed that was given to you is another tropical called cleome, commonly known as spider plant. This annual can reach 36-48 inches tall, providing color and interest to the summer garden. Most Kentucky gardeners would say once you plant these seeds you will always have volunteers that come up each summer. These plants have stickers so be careful when handling them. You can collect and save seed from this sun-loving annual.
|I will like to send a tree picture to know its name. How can I send the picture? Froilan, London|
|Hi, Frolian: I would be happy to look at your pictures and identify the tree you are wondering about. You can send them to firstname.lastname@example.org.
|Last week we visited a zoo in Maryland. They had huge evergreen type trees that had gallon jug size growths under its canopy. They were the entire circumference of the tree. They looked like roots growing out of the ground, 6-8" in diameter, 12-16" tall, with rounded tops. Steve, Bainbridge, PA Steve, Bainbridge|
|Hi Steve: I do not know the exact species of trees you saw at the zoo but there are many trees that have these aerial roots. They are exactly as you have described, large, above-ground structures that are typically arched in growth habit. Different species have adapted these roots as a means of support when grown in shallow soils. The most common of trees that have these impressive roots is Ficus macrophylla, commonly known as Moreton Bay fig or banyon tree. This tree would not be considered hardy in Maryland so unless it was growing in an indoor exhibit you might want to contact the horticulturist at the zoo you visited to find out the name of the tree you saw.|
|My boss gave me what she thought was a mint plant. However doesn't look like any mint I have ever seen. It is about 2 feet tall, and looks like a small palm tree with fern-like leaves. The scent of the leaves is a strong menthol aroma when crushed. C, Louisville|
|That was very thoughtful of your boss to give you a plant! Of course there are several cultivars of mint, but I have to agree that this does not sound like any mint I have seen either. I assume there was not a growers tag in the plant when you received it, and it is difficult to say what this plant might be without being able to see it. From what you have described, no plant is coming to mind but you are welcome to send a picture to my e-mail (email@example.com) or if you have time, stop by the Plant Kingdom at 4101 Westport Road in Louisville and we would be happy to have a look at your gift and identify the plant for you.|
|My family just bought a house in August and the yard was severely overgrown. We noticed on the property a lot of these plants that had thorns all over them, and they break off very easily and they hurt. We thought if we waited for winter to come it would help us out by killing them off, but while everything else in the yard died they seem to be doing well. I noticed smaller plants with thorns on then that are red. There are also trees in our yard that have thorns on the branches. Renee, Webster|
|Hello, Renee: Identifying deciduous plants is more difficult during the winter months without the foliage, but with the information you offered here are a few thoughts. The climbing vine with thorns is most likely Smilax, commonly known as greenbriar. This woody plant can become prolific if left alone, spreading by runners and seeds. Usually semi-evergreen in Kentucky, it produces black berries in the late summer/early fall. Pyracantha and wild climbing rose are other possibilities. A positive identification is necessary in terms of control, but if it is indeed Smilax you will need to be aggressive in your approach. If this is growing in an area that is all weeds it will be easier than trying to get rid of it in a garden. Ideally you want to cut all the vines back to the ground and then either dig up the roots or spot spray with RoundUp. Obviously digging them up is more environmentally conscious but this may not be feasible. RoundUp is a non-selective herbicide so be careful when spraying if you have other plants in the area that you do not want to loose. As for the thorny trees I would suspect that you have either honey or black locust. Both have thorns but are distinctly different in characteristics. The honey locust (Gleditsia triacanthos) has thorns that are mainly found on the trunk and lower branches. They can reach 3-6 inches long and turn reddish in color as they mature. They are commonly found in clusters. The Black Locust (Robinia pseudoacacia) thorns are much smaller and not in clusters. This being said, I cannot say for certain without a picture so you are welcome to send pictures to firstname.lastname@example.org or you can always take a sample to your County Cooperative Extension Service for identification. The Webster County offices are located at 1118 US Highway 41A South in Dixon. The phone number is (270) 639-9011.|
|My neighbor has a closed-leaved round football-shaped hedge in a pot; every morning the top is flattened down. It is a puzzle what can be causing this. James, West Croydon, UK James, West Croydon|
|Hi James: The only reason I can think of that would cause the overall shape of the plant to be altered from day to night is if it is a plant that opens and closes its foliage. Not knowing what plant your neighbor is growing I cannot say for certain but this seams like a reasonable explanation. There are many plants that open and close their foliage depending on the time of day, change of temperature, and exposure to light. This kind of leaf movement is known as nyctinasty. Does your neighbor know what kind of plant he/she is growing? This information would be helpful to give you a more definitive explanation. You can always take a sample or a picture of this container-grown plant to your local garden center to have it identified.|
|My son got me a plant in school this year for Mother's Day. It's growing so tall it needs support. It has four leaves in a crossed pattern on top. What kind of plant is it? Karrie, Olean|
|Hello, Karrie, It is difficult to identify a plant without having a picture or a sample. Is it possible for you to send a picture to email@example.com? If not, and you could be more descriptive, that would be helpful.|
|My wife has a plant that flowers very rarely and it has just lost its recent flowers. She is trying to find out how to cut it back, and if you could identify the plant it will help her immensely. Is there someplace I can e-mail a photo of it?
|Hello, Robert: You are welcome to send a picture to firstname.lastname@example.org.|
|There is a plant in Florida that is bunched like a hosta but has leaves kind of like corn and a long flowering shoot; will it live in Kentucky? Sorry I do not know this plant. Dale, Eastview, KY Dale, Eastview|
|Hi Dale: There are so many possibilities here that I cannot say for sure. From the way you described the plant, it could be a dracaena, bromeliad, yucca, or something completely different. There are plants like hostas that are hardy in both Florida and Kentucky, but most of what grows farther South will not tolerate our winter temperatures here in Kentucky. Many of these plants that we consider tropical are grown as houseplants or at least over-wintered indoors. So the answer to your question is yes, the plant will grow here but it is probably not winter-hardy. I am sorry I could not be more specific.
|This spring and summer, the lawn and especially around the seedums have been taken over by a vine; the leaves are clustered, about 4 inches apart, the leaves are heart-shaped, and have a scalloped edge to them. Actually after the first two leaves mature, two more will appear in the cluster. Seems to be more of a problem when there is a lot of rain like this year. Is there any way to begin to rid the lawn of the problem without doing harm to the plants and grass?
|Jim: From what you have described, it sounds like you are dealing with ground ivy (Glechoma headracea). This perennial weed is commonly referred to as creeping Charlie. It does not look like what we typically think of as ivy. It has square stems and the foliage has a mint-like scent to it. It will grow in most conditions but it thrives in shady locations where the soil is consistently moist. With all the rain we have had this season this weed is happier for it. It can be quite vigorous so control is important. Fortunately, it is easy to hand pull. It spreads by seed and aboveground runners. Each stem can grow to be 2 feet long. This may not be feasible in the lawn but around your sedums or in any small space it would be the easiest and safest solution. As for your lawn, using a broadleaf herbicide containing 2,4-D will be effective. Fall is a good time to control broadleaf weeds. This is the time of year they are getting ready for the winter and they are transporting carbohydrates from the foliage to the roots so as the herbicide is applied it will be transported to the roots. Killing the roots is the only way to make sure the weed will not return. It may take a couple applications to get the job done and with any herbicide make sure to use only as directed. Check with your local garden center to see what they carry. Be careful when spot spraying that it does not reach any plant material that you would like to keep.|
|Two years ago I had a beautiful plant grow in my flower box. I did not plant it. It remained outside year-round. It turns green in spring with white mucus on the stem. In the fall it develops seeds and turns purple. It grew again this year but is now so big I would like to trim it but do not want to kill it. Can you identify it from these pictures and advise how to care for it? I will send the pictures separately. Vickey, Marion|
|Hi, Vickey in North Carolina: The plant in the pictures you sent looks like Eupatorium capillifolium, commonly referred to as dog fennel. It's a relative of Joe Pye weed and is native over a large portion of the South and Eastern US. It is hardy in USDA hardiness zones 3-10. A lot of gardeners consider this plant to be a noxious weed and others a fine ornamental. It is commonly found along roadsides and ditches. It is a perennial so it will come back unless you remove the roots. The foliage of this plant has a distinct smell when crushed. It can be cut back after the foliage dies back in the late fall/early winter.
|We have a new house and I would like to identify the plants in the yard so I can find out what they need and take good care of them. Do you know an online source that would help me identify the plants? We have five bushes in our back yard that look like they need trimming, but I'm afraid I should trim them in the fall or spring and not now. They have long straight branches with little tiny simple leaves all along them about an inch long. The leaves have very tiny little teeth along the edges. You have to look very closely to see them, from a few feet away they look smooth. The little leaves are narrow and come to a point. They are probably just everyday bushes you can buy at a nursery, but I would like to be able to find out what they are online. Do you know of a site that I might use? Cathy, Atchison|
|Hello, Cathy: You are welcome to send pictures to email@example.com.|
|We moved into a house this summer. There are a lot of evergreens on the north side of the house. One of them, we don't know which, is dropping massive amounts of pea-sized, very dark purple berries of some sort all over our patio. You have to be careful not to step on them as they smash into messy purple that travels on our shoes into the house and also make a mess of our patio stones. Can you help us identify which evergreen does this in the fall? We are looking at the trees and can't find which one is doing it. We would like to get rid of it. Corinne, Silver Lake (Stow)|
|Hello, Corinne: Congratulations on your new home! There are only a couple of evergreens I can think of that would produce purple berries. Both juniper and taxus are possibilities although they typically do not drop their berries, and juniper would not be happy on the north side of your home since it is a sun lover. Is it possible that there is a deciduous tree mixed in with the evergreens that is making this mess? Mulberry trees can be weedy and very messy in terms of their berries. Boston ivy also produces purple berries that can be very messy. If you could send me a picture of the berries I can give you a definitive answer. You can send the pictures to firstname.lastname@example.org
. Another option is to take a sample of the berries to your Cooperative Extension Service. The Summit County offices are located at 2525 State Road, Suite 250 in Cuyahoga Falls. The phone number is (330) 928-4769 or you can visit their Web site at http://summit.osu.edu.|
|We received a floral arrangement with a rather unusually shaped flower that is green, and has five to six round tufted sections connected to one another. We cannot indentify the flower. If I send you a picture could you identify it? Stephen, Scottsdale|
|Hello, Stephen: You are welcome to send your pictures to email@example.com.|
|What is the name of the red plant that is a natural sweetener? Is it an annual? Carol, Petesburg|
|Hi, Carol: The only plant I am familiar with that is used as a natural sweetener is Stevia rebandiana, commonly referred to as sweet leaf or honey leaf. The foliage on this plant is green and the bloom is white, not red, so I am not sure if we are thinking of the same plant or not. If we are then yes, this plant is an annual. It is a sub-tropical plant native to Paraguay and Brazil, where it grows as a small shrub. It will not survive our cold winters but can be grown indoors if you have a sunny windowsill. Unlike most herbs we grow, it prefers a coarse, infertile sandy soil. This plant has been used by tribes since pre-Columbian days. It can be used to bake and cook with as well as an all-natural sweetener to add to a beverage. Let me know if this is not the plant you are wondering about.|