Can you identify this plant?
July 27, 2014 4:18 PM   Subscribe

Garden peeps: any idea what this might be?

A weed, likely, but I can't remember if I planted anything in this pot or not and I don't want to pull it out if it might be useful.

If it helps, it's winter currently in New Zealand and the pot was standing outside (when the plant germinated). The temperature hasn't dropped below freezing but we've had a few cold nights around 5 degrees Celcius. I've now moved it into the greenhouse.

posted by New England Cultist to Home & Garden (13 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
Sure looks like a potato plant to me, but I guess that's unlikely if you don't have a habit of burying potatoes in plant pots.
posted by mudpuppie at 4:20 PM on July 27, 2014

It looks very much like a potato to me, too. Something in that family.
posted by Solomon at 4:39 PM on July 27, 2014

Weirdly, that was the first thing I thought too, but you know, not even I am crazy enough to plant a potato in a pot.

Potato's part of the nightshade family, right? The only other things I recently planted was St. John's Wort, Valerian and White Sage. Hmmm...
posted by New England Cultist at 6:07 PM on July 27, 2014

Thing is, the potato is the potato-iest looking of the nightshades, aside from potato-leafed tomatoes. (And this doesn't look to be one of them.)

If you're careful, you could easily uproot the thing and see if you've got anything tuberous down there.

(Erm, which would be really painful if we weren't talking about potatoes.)
posted by mudpuppie at 6:18 PM on July 27, 2014

One other thought -- is there a semi-open compost bin near you? And could a squirrel have grabbed a sprouting potato out of the compost and buried it for later? I've unintentionally grown lots of potted oak and almond trees, thanks to the neighborhood squirrels.
posted by mudpuppie at 6:20 PM on July 27, 2014 [1 favorite]

I feel like it's a tomato plant with potato-like leaves, which is a thing that apparently happens if you Google around.
posted by turbid dahlia at 10:02 PM on July 27, 2014

Mudpuppie, there aren't any squirrels in New Zealand and there isn't really anything else that does the wacky things squirrels do. So that seems unlikely.

Maybe it's a self-seeded capsicum? Usually their leaves are pointier than potatoes' but not always. What do your neighbours grow and could it have blown in from their garden?
posted by Athanassiel at 10:35 PM on July 27, 2014

Oh it might be a capsicum! There were capsicums nearby, as well as peppers.
posted by New England Cultist at 11:03 PM on July 27, 2014

Yea, no squirrels in NZ :)
posted by New England Cultist at 11:03 PM on July 27, 2014

It kinda looks like comfrey to me.
posted by aryma at 11:27 PM on July 27, 2014

Is the compost in the pot home made? Could a potato peeling have survived the rotting process?
posted by Solomon at 1:39 AM on July 28, 2014

I'm not even sure there was compost in the pot, just some soil from the garden, maybe from a bag of potting soil.
posted by New England Cultist at 2:42 AM on July 28, 2014

You could always dig down and pull it out to see if it's a yam or capsicum or whatever, and then just replant it.
posted by turbid dahlia at 3:46 PM on July 28, 2014 [1 favorite]

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