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Valerie Munro's forum posts

Total number of forum posts: 139


Re: Can anyone identify this plant please?

from Valerie Munro

Hi Lawrence

Difficult to be able to say what your mystery is - but I've had an idea. Why not email the pic to the place where you bought the vines in the first place - with luck you may have purchases another (rare?) cultivar which they can immediately put a name to

Good luck

Auntie Planty
www.auntieplanty.co.uk

  • Posted: Fri. 12th August 2011 13:49

Re: Rust on hollyhock leaves

from Valerie Munro

Hi Belinda

Your hollyhock is suffering from a fungal infection and it's the pustules on the underside of the leaves that contain the spores which will eventually carry the disease over from one year to another. So you really do want to break the cycle now.

You should carefully pick off the affected leaves, and dispose of them carefully. I advise you to inspect the plants regularly and remove the infected parts as you find them.

I would also recommend that you begin a regular spray programme with a systemic fungicide such as Fungus Clear Ultra. A good garden centre will be able to supply you; please read and follow the label instructions carefully. With luck, you will break the life cycle of the rust this year.

Be prepared to cut your hollyhocks right down to ground level in the autumn and remove any plant debris from around the base of the plant so remove the opportunity for the infection to hibernate through the winter.

I hope that this helps

Auntie Planty
www.auntieplanty.co.uk

  • Posted: Fri. 12th August 2011 13:46

Re: Re: Can anyone identify this.

from Valerie Munro

Many thanks for your response!

I have been trawling through all my artificial keys and reference books here, and have to bow to the wisdom of Dr Elizabeth Dauncey from Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew who has written a book about poisonous plants - a guide for parents and childcare providers.

I was concerned that I had given you a wrong ID, but my mantra is - if it looks like (something) then it normally is (something), or at least a very close relative.

On page 84 of Dr Dauncey's book she describes phytolacca - also known as inkberry, pigeonberry, pokeroot and pokeweed.. The description of the flowers matches your plant, and where she goes on to describe the berries - she says 'followed by purple black shiny juicy berries, often divided into numerous sections. This entirely matches your pic. The botanical name that she has given this is Phytolacca clavigera

So I think we have a result!

At the very least if you touch this plant's sap it can cause skin irritation - at worst if you swallow the berries according to Dr D, you'll get a burning sensation in the mouth and throat, moving on to nausea, vomiting, diarrhoea, abdominal pain lethargy and weakness, etc...

After all this, I've forgotten what the original question was other than what is this plant?! If anything else, reckon its academic as I would treat this plant with a great deal of caution while you dispose of it carefully.

Auntie Planty
www.auntieplanty.co.uk

  • Posted: Thu. 11th August 2011 11:36

Re: Can anyone identify this.

from Valerie Munro

From your photographs, your mystery plant looks very like Pokeweed.

If I'm correct then you should take care as this really is a poisonous weed. All parts of this plant are toxic to humans, pets and livestock. Roots are the most poisonous, leaves and stems are intermediate in toxicity (toxicity increases with maturity), and berries are the least toxic.

Since common pokeweed is not very palatable, most animals avoid eating it unless little else is available, or if it is in contaminated hay.

Horses, sheep and cattle have been poisoned by eating fresh leaves or green fodder, and pigs have been poisoned by eating the roots. Children are most frequently poisoned by eating raw berries

It probably arrived in your garden courtesy of a passing bird

Do take great care

Auntie Planty
www.auntieplanty.co.uk

  • Posted: Wed. 10th August 2011 22:50

Re: Re: What is it?

from Valerie Munro

You've suggested Tecomaria capensis - well, that's actually in the same family as campsis so there's good reason why there is a 'familiar' look about it.

Although the leaves are similar, the flowers of T. capensis have a more pronounced tubular look, and the petals not quite so broad as C. radicans. But I do agree that looking at small photographs makes ID-ing quite difficult.

Auntie Planty
www,auntieplanty.co.uk

  • Posted: Wed. 10th August 2011 22:40

Re: What is it?

from Valerie Munro

Hi Catherine

I think that your mystery plant is a campsis, and would take a stab at either Campsis x taglibuana or C. radicans (trumpet honeysuckle)

Although this plant calls for well drained soil, it will need to be watered well during the hot summer months.

It certainly looks like a cracking plant!

Auntie Planty
www.auntieplanty.co.uk

  • Posted: Wed. 10th August 2011 17:14

Re: celosia root rot

from Valerie Munro

I'm wondering what has happened to your plant for you to say that the roots are rotting. Perhaps you can tell me where it is at the moment, is it in a pot or in the garden? Is it a new plant? Are there any other plants nearby that are suffering in the same way?

It could be a simple matter that the current flower heads have set their seed and they are now going over. If this is the case, then simply removing the dead flower stems should encourage new flower spikes to appear.

It would be extremely helpful if you could post up a pic of your plant so that we can get a close look at what is going on.

That way we will be able to give you the best possible advice.

Auntie Planty
www.auntieplanty.co.uk

  • Posted: Tue. 9th August 2011 10:24

Re: A few plants to identify

from Valerie Munro

Hi John

Looking at the photos that you have sent, this is what I think....

plant 1 - white agapanthus; plant 2 - looks likely to be foxtail lily
plant 3 - mystery, as afraid that photo is not clear enough;
plant 4 - Hibiscus syriacus; plant 5 - weigela of some kind
plant 6 - phlox

I hope that this helps, and I'm sure that someone can add their three cents worth if they have any better ideas!

Auntie Planty
www.auntieplanty.co.uk

  • Posted: Tue. 9th August 2011 10:21

Re: Re: Re: Help - who or what is destroying my beds?!!!

from Valerie Munro

Hi Julia

If you know that its definitely squirrels, you could also add in a product called Squirrel Stop - available from any good garden centre. It's a by-product of capsicum and allegedly this is the one thing they cannot stand - you could try a home-spun version by chopping up the capsicum bits not used in cooking - although I suspect that it's the seeds that are the most potent.

Good luck whatever you do - it's annoying!

AuntiePlanty
www.auntieplanty.co.uk

  • Posted: Mon. 8th August 2011 10:47

Re: Help - who or what is destroying my beds?!!!

from Valerie Munro

Hi Julia

I would suspect a bird rather than a mammal - bird beaks are more precise instruments than a pair of front legs! And I suspect that the offender is trying to quarry for worms or other juicy titbits.

From your pic, it occurs to me that there is a lot of bare soil in your raised bed, and that if there were a few more plants in it that would make it more difficult for the offending creature to quarry.

If you have no plans for add further plants, then why not get some permeable membrane from the garden centre and use that to cover the bare soil - it doesn't have to be a carefully sculpted sheet, but perhaps in strips that you can weigh down with some small stones. This would be less offending on the eye than erecting a mesh of string over the bed, although birds will not enter an area unless they can see their way out.

Then you can see if that stops your mystery marauder..

Good luck

Auntie Planty
www.auntieplanty.co.uk

  • Posted: Mon. 8th August 2011 07:51