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What in the world is this?

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General post from Linda


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Hello, finally got ourselves an allottment and whilst clearing it up today we found this plant growing underneath a fruit tree. It seems to be hollow, bamboo like stemmed on the dead bits. It has a bulbous bit close to the top. Is it a weed? The lady that used to have the plot was quite an expert, and only stopped gardening last year, so I wouldn't think it was a giant weed! Thanks for reading!

What in the world is this?

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  • Views: 1162
  • Replies: 11
  • Posted: Mon. 6th April 2009 21:21

Jerusalem Artichoke?

Reply from Fi

Not an expert (understatement!) but wondering if it's a Jerusalem Artichoke. It grows rather like a sunflower, will get yellow flowers where the bulbous bits are,
Be interesting to find out.
Posted this - then looked properly and see I was looking at the wrong leaves! Told you! x

  • Posted: Mon. 6th April 2009 22:09

An Iris perhaps?

Reply from Wendy

Hi Linda, it's a little difficult to tell, but the stem and head look as though it could be an iris which should flower in the next month or so. When it flowers, post a photo of it so that we can see what it turns out to be. Best wishes, Wendy

  • Posted: Mon. 6th April 2009 22:10

Here's a better picture

Reply from Linda

Does this help? Someone has also suggested 'alexanders'. Will look at some pics your suggestions. By the way, it's about 3 foot tall.

Here's a better picture

Click image to enlarge

  • Posted: Tue. 7th April 2009 10:00

Thanks, but still no clue!

Reply from Fi

Let's just hope it's not an iris foetidus (nasty smelling) one! lol.
Bit of a mystery.
p.s. agree with jo, just starting veggie plot too - look forward to comparing notes.

  • Posted: Tue. 7th April 2009 19:56

My guess is...

Reply from Laura Thomas

Angelica - a very tall 'architectural' plant with white florets and stems dried for cake decoration -
"This is a majestic plant that deserves a prominent position at the back of a border or in a wild part of the garden. It loves woodland conditions, with plenty of moist shade. All parts of the aromatic plant have culinary or medicinal uses, but it is best known for its candied stems, used as a cake decoration. In their first year, plants produce leafy bushes, and then die down and disappear completely from sight in winter in their second year they reach full size, and if prevented from flowering and seeding can survive for several years." (BBC extract)


  • Posted: Thu. 9th April 2009 10:16


Reply from Joanne 9919

Sorry, I don't have an answer to your question but just wanted to congratulate you on getting your allotment.

I've just got an allotment too, it's exciting isn't it?

Looking forward to following your progress.


  • Posted: Tue. 7th April 2009 17:13

So, what was it?

Reply from Fi

Hi LInda,
I would guess after extensive research (on hols in Norfolk!) that it was an Angelica? Come on, tell??

  • Posted: Fri. 24th April 2009 21:40

Mystery plant

Reply from Linda

Well, still not sure - I'll check out how it's looking today.

Last week we got two raised beds in. Opened a couple of bags of organic compost and thousands of tiny flies attacked us both! I had bites all around my middle, Tim had them on his head and face. He ended up having to take antihistamine. Still, got beans in etc.

Been working this week, so haven't made it up - hope things survived! I think it may rain before I get up there. Was worried about some plants we left in the shed - then remembered the shed has no roof as yet - so they may get rainfall after all.

  • Posted: Sat. 25th April 2009 10:57


Reply from Fi

Hi Linda
You did make me smile - my type of gardening! Compost full of little flies, covered around my waist this week in itchy bumps, put my newly shooted seedlings in the mini greenhouse only to find them cooked this morning! Have put the rest out to take whatever comes - no sympathy left!
Good luck!

  • Posted: Sat. 25th April 2009 23:35

if it is angelica

Reply from karen

One way you can tell if it is angelica is to pull off a lower 'branch' - if you sniff and can smell gin..... careful, its a prolific seeder!

  • Posted: Thu. 2nd July 2009 16:42

probably angelica

Reply from Adam Rubinstein

I agree it's very likely Angelica. It will have a very distinctive smell and grows up to 2 meters. I got a seedling from my mum and put it in my v. small garden a couple of years back, now I get it every year + seedlings to pull out but no regrets, it's lovely.

  • Posted: Tue. 21st July 2009 12:04