What Is This Plant? 2009*Now We Know!

may-4-2009-026-2No, not this one. This one has a name tag. Maybe not the actual tag but the name was written down in the early days of orchid collecting. There is a notebook for that specific information.may-3-2009-020-21No, not this one either, although it has no name. This is a Baptisia seedling from pods collected a few years ago. It was believed all the babies were white flowered. Apparently not, but this one can still live in the white/yellow garden anyway. We are just free wheeling around here, without rules!may-3-2009-048-2This is our UFO, unidentifed flowering object. We posted this same plea last year, with no confirmed results. Sigh. If you would like to see that post, click here.may-3-2009-085-2This plant was purchased while we lived in Texas at a native plant nursery in Houston. Memory says the tag said Salvia, for I was collecting Salvias for the garden there. It was not written down at the time however, such unnatural behaviour.may-4-2009-012-2The photo above shows it growing in the shed bed with grasses, lilies, Eryngiums, Belamcandas and much more. It is a sprawler and blooms this lovely sky blue hue in early May each year. It does not rebloom. may-5-2009-002-2Here is the leaf form. Is this what is called opposite leaves? may-5-2009-012-21It is planted out front with and blooms the same time as Salvia nemorosa ‘May Night’ but the flower form is different. Does that mean it cannot be a Salvia?may-5-2009-004-2Whatever it is, the bumbles love it. I love how he is hugging it tightly with forearms as he refreshes himself with the nectar. Hey Mister Bumble, you don’t know any plant experts do you? Taxonomists, I mean.
Added: I believe we have identified this plant thanks to Buenose Gardener! It is indeed Veronica austriaca subsp teucrium ‘Crater Lake Blue’! Hip Hip Hooray!!!!
My friend Gail has a plant that defies identification also. Click here if you are interested.
(All photos is this post were taken with the Canon Powershot A720 IS)

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29 Responses to What Is This Plant? 2009*Now We Know!

  1. Sheila says:

    It looks to me like a camanula (bellflower), maybe persicifolia?

    Hi Sheila, thanks for trying to help me out. I actually have C. persicifolia, this is much shorter and the leaf is not as long and narrow and the flower is much smaller too. I believe this is the correct spelling though. πŸ™‚

  2. Joanne says:

    I am inclined to agree a campanula and could well be persicifolia looking at google.I don’t have any but Dad has some in his garden. Love the bumble bee photo.

    Hi Joanne, thanks for that. This is not C. persicifolia, I do have that plant, both the white and blue forms. A beauty but this is not the same plant. See my reply to Sheila for the differences.

  3. VP says:

    I’d go for a Campanula too. The leaf and flower form looks wrong for a Salvia and not all the campanulas have bell shaped flowers. Not much help am I? 😦

    Hi VP, thanks for trying. I worked on the Campanula family last year at this time and could never find a match. I agree about the flower form not looking like Salvia. To me, it is closest to the Veronicas, but I could never find one of those that matched either.

  4. Rose says:

    I am certainly not a taxonomist or any kind of expert on identifying flowers. Looks like you already have some good expert advice; I’d be inclined to listen to them. I have no idea about Gail’s penstemon, either. I’m no help, am I? But I did enjoy seeing that bumblebee; I don’t imagine he cares what it is, he just knows he likes it:)

    Hi Rose, thanks for joining in. I am about to go with the bumblebee, who cares what it is, we like it! πŸ™‚

  5. Catherine says:

    It’s a very pretty flower whatever it is. The flowers do have the look of campanula.

    Hi Catherine, thanks. I wish I could find a photo online that matches up to this flower, but so far have not been able to.

  6. Darla says:

    At first glance I thought Texas Bluebonnet?

    Hi Darla, thanks for helping. I wish we could grow Texas Bluebonnets here. This is not that plant though.

  7. My first guess was salvia and my second bellflower… but maybe you can Google Texas native plants and come up with something based on those results? I have a lot of UFOs myself!

    Hi Monica, thanks. I tried your suggestion and got C. rotundifolia, this is not it. I remember last year going through all the campanulas online and none were a match. It really looks a lot like the Veronicas. We have several of those and the leaf most closely resembles them. I may never learn even which family this plant is in. This is the last year I am posting about it too.

  8. Lisa at Greenbow says:

    Your mystery plant is a mystery to me too. Sorry I can’t help. I do love how that bee is hugging the blossom he has his nose in. I feel like doing that occasionally too.

    HA Lisa, thanks. That made me smile as I imagined you hugging the flowers! πŸ™‚

  9. I’ll lay money it’s a Campanula. Which one, I don’t know. Good luck anyway.


    Hi Rob, thanks. I have spent too much time going through every campanula on flickr, no luck. It is not looking good for the ID. Oh well, it is gorgeous and I may have to make up my own name for it! πŸ™‚

  10. Gail says:

    Frances, it’s a puzzle to me…it has characteristics of a campanula/bellflower, but….Cindy of MCOK might know or even Linda (http://herselfshoustongarden.com/)both are serious hortheads and know Texas plants. Can you post a macro shot of the inside of the flower and the calyx and sepals. Sometimes that helps with id-ing a plant. Than ks for the lovelink…Sunlight Nursery has a P digitalis that is lilac, but the wildflower books and usda say P digitalis is white flowered! gail

    Hi Gail, it does have characteristics of several plants. Cindy helped me last year, even contacting the nursery where it was purchased. Buchanan’s. Most all of my seedlings from Husker have pink or lavender flowers, very few of the original white left. I will bring you some if you would like?

  11. tina says:

    Looks like you have tons of help and the consensus seems to be a campanula. It is mighty pretty. So is the baptisia. I just found one blooming in my garden in full shade. They positively take my breath away. All these years I thought it something else. Too funny huh? Let us know what it is. At first I thought some kind of veronica, but it seems too tall.

    Hi Tina, thanks. The leaves look like Veronica, not the little creeping one, and smaller than the tall ones like Sunny Border Blue or Icicle, sort of in between the two. None of my Veronicas are close to blooming yet to compare the flower forms. Good deal on your Baptisia, that is a wonderful surprise! πŸ™‚

  12. Gail says:

    F, Try this plant family Triodanis perfoliata…gail

    Thanks Gail, I have that plant, Venus Looking Glass, it came with the property. I love it. This is a much larger plant than that.

  13. Hi Frances I agree with the bumbles I love it, such a pretty blue colour.


    Hi Tyra, you are very wise. Thanks! πŸ™‚

  14. bluenosegardener says:

    I agree with you that it’s a Veronica – the four petals are what convinces me. I couldn’t find any native Veronicas that it might be (I imagine you already checked as well), but it does look a bit like Veronica austriaca, maybe “Crater Lake Blue”? Various internet sources say it grows up to 12″.

    Hi Bluenose Gardener, THAT’S IT!!!! Oh thank you so much, I was held back by the native aspect, not really relevant after all. Veronica austriaca ‘Crater Lake Blue’ on Dave’s Garden website is a perfect match with the photo by Marilynbeth submitted November 4, 2008. Other shots show it blooming with iris, which is exactly what is happening here. I appreciate this, as I had given up hope.

  15. DP says:

    I don’t know what the mystery flower is, but it is very pretty. I love the bumblebee shot! I read that bumblebees are good for blueberries. I hope to attract to my garden this season!

    Hi DP, thanks for visiting. We do have an ID now, it is a Veronica. To have bees, you need flowers! Plant some nice herbs and flowers by your blueberries to get the good visitors in the vicinity. πŸ™‚

  16. i’m glad you’ve got it solved. I also suspected it was a Veronica because of the flower form & the leaf, which is not at all Campanulaesque (is that a word?). It’s very pretty.

    Hi MMD, thanks. You just don’t know how disappointed I was to not know what this fantastic plant is, and how happy I am to now know. Or how many pictures of campanulas I have looked at online, HA!

  17. Barbara says:

    Frances, mine is about 3 weeks away from blooming – was going to run outside and give you the name of the Veronica from the tag – so glad you have such great followers – because my tag had been raked out – will write the name down and be sure to replace it. It’s a bee-hugger in my garden as well – like the way you’ve got it weaving with the salvia. You’ve given me a good idea!

    Hi Barbara, you are catching up! HA I am beholden to the readers who identified this beauty, and thanks to you for knowing and having it growing also. I wish it would rebloom like some of the others, but right now it is a sea of blue and brings a smile everytime we go outside. I love it with the dark blue salvia, which does rebloom throughout the season. The bees love them both.

  18. Lola says:

    Hi Frances,
    That little bumble sure looks happy. Love all the flowers. In the Shed Bed there are 3 plants together that look like lilies. Are they & do you have the name of them? I have some that have leaves like that & get 7 or 8 ft. tall. White blooms like Easter Lilies.

    Hi Lola, thanks. Those are Chinese trumpet lilies, there are five altogether in that bed, named Regale. They are supposed to get that tall I believe, but mine have not as yet. It is possible those are what you have. A good place to ID lilies is the Van Engelen site or Brent and Becky’s Bulbs.

  19. mothernaturesgarden says:

    Isn’t it great to have so many experts to consult?

    Absolutely, Donna. There is a wealth in knowledge out there in the blogdom, and people are so generous to share it. I love them all! πŸ™‚

  20. joey says:

    Such fun hanging out here in your garden, Frances! I crawl out of mine each day with delight as I’m sure you must. My May is like your April … head & body (and camera) twirl. I’d love time to read each worthy comment but happy to read your delightful posts and view your photos, imagining you behind the lens πŸ™‚

    Hi Joey, thanks, come on and crawl around with me anytime! I appreciate your visit, whether you just look at the photos, read the text, read the comments or leave one yourself. All are welcome. I often do not have time to read the comments on the posts of others either. I do look forward to reliving April through your own photos too. πŸ™‚

  21. chuck b. says:

    Blue is a great color in a white garden.

    Hi Chuck, so nice to see you. I agree, so is a dash of red. πŸ™‚

  22. Tuija R. says:

    Hei Frances. Look what I have! πŸ™‚

    Hi Tuija, that is fantastic! I am so happy to see others growing this wonderful plant too. πŸ™‚

  23. Jean says:

    It’s a lovely plant and I’m glad you’ve found out what it is. For the future, you can tell a salvia by looking at its stem – they all have square stems (like mint and some others). Nice photos!

    Hi Jean, thanks for that. I know so little about that sort of thing, although I should learn after all these years of gardening. Now to remember the square stem rule…. πŸ™‚

  24. marmee says:

    i hope someone can help you out this year. it is beautiful none the less whether it can be named or not.

    Hi Marmee, thanks. The wonderful bloggers out there did come through with the correct ID, Veronica austriaca ver. teucrium ‘Crater Lake Blue’.

  25. Racquel says:

    I agree with some of the others, it looks like a Campanula or Bellflower to me too! Very pretty combined with the Salvia Maynight. πŸ™‚

    Hi Racquel, thanks. It was identified by some very helpful bloggers to be Veronica austriaca var. teucrium ‘Crater Lake Blue’.

  26. Lola says:

    Thanks Frances for the info & ID. I will check out the sites.

    Hi Lola, it was my pleasure. Have fun at those sites, lots of pretty things at both of them.

  27. Weeping Sore says:

    Everybody needs a place to grow sunflowers. Learning to love my sunny home in the Southwest as a native of the Northeast has taken me 20 years, and I’m still surprised when I go back where I grew up – it looks like a rain forest.

    Hi WS, that is a good rule to live by. Our sunflowers are planted and growing, so we are good. I know exactly what you mean about going back to the northeast. After moving to southern California, when we returned to our previous home in Pennsylvania, it looked so lush and green, we didn’t realize how much we missed the color of green everywhere.

  28. Kathleen says:

    Glad you id’d your mystery plant Frances. I knew it wasn’t a campanula because of the square stems but I wasn’t sure what exactly. I learned early on that all members of the mint family have that characteristic (check your agastaches, salvia, etc. next time you look at them). It’s a pretty plant.

    Hi Kathleen, thanks for that tidbit. I do need to learn more of that sort of plant fact to help with the IDs.

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