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Mystery Plant
January 3, 2013 2:24 PM   Subscribe

What kind of plant did we wind up with in our planter box?

So, a while back, FritoKAL and I got some seed packets to grow on our apartment patio. Sunflowers, some herbs, and the like. But now, a while later, we can't figure out what we grew in our planter box.

A picture for reference

The leaves feel very slightly fuzzy, if that helps narrow things down.
posted by Tknophobia to Home & Garden (13 answers total)
 
That looks like basil to me.
posted by kalessin at 2:31 PM on January 3, 2013


I am pretty sure it's not basil - I have a huge basil plant already, so I don't think I'd have gotten another set of basil seeds and it doesn't have the same sort of leaf structure as my basil plant. It's not growing up into stems / a planty shrub thing like my other basil plant, it's been those long singular leaves for weeks now.
posted by FritoKAL at 2:37 PM on January 3, 2013


Looks quite a bit like coneflower to me: maybe Echinacea or Rudbeckia.
posted by jquinby at 2:41 PM on January 3, 2013 [2 favorites]


It is Sorrell
posted by JayRwv at 3:11 PM on January 3, 2013


Agreed that it looks like sorrel. Bite a leaf (presumably your seed packet wasn't packed with poison) -- citrus-y, astringent tartness means sorrel. Good eatin'.
posted by j.edwards at 3:39 PM on January 3, 2013


I do not know what it is BUT here on long island your picture looks like what we have as weeds all over the place.
posted by majortom1981 at 3:55 PM on January 3, 2013 [1 favorite]


I also think Echinacea. Maybe Rudbeckia.
posted by oneirodynia at 4:30 PM on January 3, 2013


I thought maybe a Gerbera daisy. Basil doesn't generally have fuzzy leaves, but there are lots of varieties out there. I would lean more toward jquinby's suggestion of some kind of coneflower.

There should be a master gardener available to consult the your local county extension services, if you are in the U.S.
posted by annsunny at 4:46 PM on January 3, 2013


I wonder if they could be Houndstongue plants, Cynoglossum officinale? I agree that the leaves look similar to Rudbeckia and Echinacea, but I think the veins on those seem a little different, while the veins on Houndstongue leaves look a bit more quilted like the ones in your picture. Houndstongue leaves are also very fuzzy. You can ID it up close better than we can - maybe these pictures or the links in this listing in the Plants database might help?

If that's what it is, unfortunately it's also a common weed so it could have easily fallen into your planter or been in your soil mix or seed packet. It's also a biennial, which means it grows basal leaves in the first year and then flowers and produces seeds in the second year. Many jurisdictions in the US & Canada consider it an invasive plant, so if it's Houndstongue you have, you might not want to let it go to seed.
posted by onoclea at 6:15 PM on January 3, 2013


Yes, it looks very much like the kind of thing that grows here in the northeast US when I haven't planted anything else, i.e. generic weeds (which might make sense if the seed packet used in that planter was a bust).
posted by grog at 6:41 PM on January 3, 2013


Spinach? Sometimes the leaves are skinnier than usual if they don't get much light. Agree with the suggestion to taste it.
posted by momus_window at 6:57 PM on January 3, 2013


At this point in their very young lives, those plants are awfully hard to ID. I mean, they're definitely not cilantro or chamomile, but they could be dozens and dozens of things. Narrow it down based on seed packets purchased, and/or pluck a leaf and taste it for us?
posted by desuetude at 11:22 PM on January 3, 2013 [1 favorite]


It could be sorrell - I got a lot of packets of random herbs. We're working on the leaf-tasting (I'm at work, Techno is being mean and won't put a leaf in his mouth for me) (AND he won't pretend to be the Stunned Leaf-Eating Koala, he's so mean)

I don't think it's weeds - the box is pretty full of those same kinds of leaves, and it's a decent-sized window/flower box. I just can't remember what sort of seeds we put in there - though the coneflower sort of rings a bell.

The larger problem is neither of us can remember what seed packets we got, and the planting was sort of a "okay, well, I'll throw something into the flower box because the lavender didn't take" and it was very impromptu and random and I had a LOT of random seed packets lying around.
posted by FritoKAL at 9:47 AM on January 4, 2013


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