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Solved Exotic looking plant thriving in London suburb

Discussion in 'Identification Area' started by Howard Stone, Oct 3, 2016.

  1. Howard Stone

    Howard Stone Gardener

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    Hi

    Can anyone identify this plant with the long stems and the trailing catkin like flowers. It is perennial, it has been growing for years and so is hardy, it is in London. It flowers every year without fail. The owner of the garden doesn't know what it is. The photo was taken today.

    I like it. I want one!

    Howard

    IMAG0051.jpg
     
  2. pete

    pete Growing a bit of this and a bit of that....

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    Odd looking thing.
    Dont have a clue myself.
    Any chance of a closeup?
     
  3. Anthony Rogers

    Anthony Rogers Guest

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    Any chance of a picture of the plant itself ? ( leaves etc ). To me it looks like a couple of bendy canes with millet tied to them.
     
  4. Silver surfer

    Silver surfer PLANTAHOLIC

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  5. Howard Stone

    Howard Stone Gardener

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    A carex is a good idea but I don't think the leaves are like monocots, from memory they're not sword shaped. And obviously the flower stems are huge. But I'll try to check tomorrow, and try to get a photo. It's not in my garden so impossible to see whether the stem has a triangular cross section.
     
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    • pete

      pete Growing a bit of this and a bit of that....

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      From the pic it looks like there is one stem covered in leaves?
       
    • Howard Stone

      Howard Stone Gardener

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      Oh yes you may be right, though I suspect those leaves belong to a different plant, I will check tomorrow.

      It's interesting that everyone is so stumped. I took a photo to a large garden centre in London, with some plant "connoisseurs", and they too had seen nothing like it. They did say that they thought it would be very marketable. It's obviously quite a rarity.
       
      Last edited: Oct 4, 2016
    • Silver surfer

      Silver surfer PLANTAHOLIC

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    • Fern4

      Fern4 Total Gardener

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      I think it looks great....I'd love one! :)
       
    • Cinnamon

      Cinnamon Super Gardener

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      • Silver surfer

        Silver surfer PLANTAHOLIC

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        This is really bothering me.
        There appear to be 3 long canes...one with leaves..as Pete spotted.....2 are bare...very odd.
        It looks so very tall..3m? A sort of bare cane with lots of tassels.

        Any chance of the height approx and close ups of the dangly bits.

        Ask the owner very nicely and maybe you can get pics of where it comes out of the ground/basal leaves etc.
         
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        • Howard Stone

          Howard Stone Gardener

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          The canes without leaves have brownish (faded?) flowers, and the cane with leaves have green flowers. I'll try to get a close up of the flowers tomorrow. Photos of the leaves at the base attached. I would say the canes are about 2m long, maybe slightly more.

          The flower stems are not triangular.
           

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        • Cinnamon

          Cinnamon Super Gardener

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          I see what you mean. You reckon those little compound leaves are from the same plant as the flowers? They are serrated?
          There's also what looks like a papyrus leaf there, but those big flower stems don't look like papyrus flowers either (which kinda look like the leaves), and which in any case is a sedge.
          The mystery deepens...
           
        • Silver surfer

          Silver surfer PLANTAHOLIC

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          After giving up on this I had another go!
          Phew...think I have got it! Feeling very confident this time!

          Datisca cannabina.
          Comes with either female flowers OR male flowers.
          Flowers in September.
          Beth Chatto advertise it.

          https://www.google.co.uk/search?q=Datisca+cannabina.&client=firefox-b&source=lnms&tbm=isch&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwjS35Dcr9jPAhXiB8AKHRBhAgwQ_AUICCgB&biw=1525&bih=710#imgrc=fHY7IoUiUV2SKM:

          http://gardeninggonewild.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/09/Datisca-cannabina-Oct-4-08.jpg

          https://www.dekleineplantage.nl/pdbimages/400/271_1.jpg

          http://www.specialplants.net/shop/images/products/large/4/datisca_cannabina.jpg

          http://www.bethchatto.co.uk/c-d/datisca/datisca-cannabina.htm

          http://botanyphoto.botanicalgarden.ubc.ca/images/2012/datisca-cannabina2.jpg

          Compare the leaves at base of the canes to this....

          http://www.phytoimages.siu.edu/imgs/paraman1/r/Datiscaceae_Datisca_cannabina_5920.html

          More here....


          http://www.pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Datisca+cannabina

          Quote...."Datisca cannabina is a PERENNIAL growing to 1.8 m (6ft) by 1 m (3ft 3in).
          It is hardy to zone (UK) 8. It is in flower in September, and the seeds ripen in October. The flowers are dioecious (individual flowers are either male or female, but only one sex is to be found on any one plant so both male and female plants must be grown if seed is required)The plant is not self-fertile.
          Suitable for: light (sandy), medium (loamy) and heavy (clay) soils and prefers well-drained soil. Suitable pH: acid, neutral and basic (alkaline) soils. It cannot grow in the shade. It prefers moist soil."

          http://www.plant-world-seeds.com/store/view_seed_item/376

          Quote..."Quite an incredible plant for the back of the border, we had never previously heard of this plant or family! Tall, strong, fabulous, arching, cane-like stems sprout large, pendulous, terminal sprays of creamy-yellow-green flowers, and are clad in palmate leaves resembling the famous drug! This is perhaps the tallest herbaceous perennial you can grow, and is yet another reliable "baffle-the-expert" plant."
           
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            Last edited: Oct 13, 2016
          • Howard Stone

            Howard Stone Gardener

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            Excellent. Thank you. They clearly thrive in neutral clayish soil, in a location which gets morning sun, London so rarely extremely cold, but it has certainly seen and survived the deep snows we had about six years ago now.

            I shall plant some in the spring if I can get the plants.
             

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