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Help me identify this plant?

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  • Help me identify this plant?

    Need a little help identifying this plant. Pics are included. Please ignore the grass, strawberry plants and dandelions that are peeking through in some of the pictures. It made more sense to take the pics before I started weeding.

    Some further details which might help:

    I'm in north eastern Idaho (Ashton, Rexburg, Island Park, etc), right near Yellowstone if that gives a better geographical marker. Hardiness zone is 4b.

    This plant is a perennial.

    I think it has what are called rhizomes, those white offshoots underneath the soil that it sends out to make new plants. It spreads itself that way, and I've never seen it flower or drop seeds of any kind.

    The tallest example is 19 inches right now. I think it can get taller but not by much? I never measured it before so I'm not sure about that. The majority seem to be currently around 17 inches tall or shorter. But it grows readily in the lawn and doesn't seem to be discouraged by being mowed short.

    It grows early in the spring and doesn't die off until winter. Around here that's like from May until November.

    Any help identifying it would be appreciated, because it's beyond my limited knowledge of plants. And I've developed a contact allergy to it, so I need to know what plant it is for reference. Just for info, no one else I know of has had a reaction to this plant, so it's just an allergy and not a sign that it's poisonous. Thanks for your time and help.

    and 2 additional photos: closer and of the roots:

  • #2
    looks like it is in the mint family...any frangrance? square stems?


    • #3
      Originally posted by lylalevi View Post
      looks like it is in the mint family...any frangrance? square stems?
      No fragrance to speak of, could almost smell like lettuce - it's very nondescript smelling when ripped or broken. I went out to look at it closer and the stems are actually quite rounded. I added what might be a better picture of the stem to my original post. Also added a picture of some roots. With no fragrance and round stems, i don't think it's mint. Any other ideas?


      • #4
        it looks like adenophera but it blooms I do not really know.


        • #5
          Originally posted by lylalevi View Post
          it looks like adenophera but it blooms I do not really know.
          Thank you! I was able to work out what it is from that. I'm sure now it's campanula rapunculoides aka Rampion Bellflower or Creeping Bellflower. Which is hard to tell apart from adenophora, so a forum discussing them both led me to it. Adenphora is less invasive/agressive and campanula rapunculoides is a dead ringer for the one I have. Also, I think it does bloom late in the year, since I recognize those flowers. I didn't remember before now since it's the older plants (2nd year) that bloom at all and those are the ones I've been uprooting before they got close. I didn't realize it was the same plant. Sorry about that. *chagrined* Anyways, thanks very much for your help. And now I know what I'm dealing with!

          I'll include a few of the links I found helpful about it, in case it's helpful for someone else.

          What do you think about Ladybells (Adenophora confusa)? - Perennials Forum - GardenWeb --the thread which discusses dealing with both species

          Campanula rapunculoides --Campanula rapunculoides
          Adenophora liliifolia -- Adenophora liliifolia (for comparison)

          Campanula rapunculoides - RoguesGallery -- pictures and info

          Campanula rapunculoides page --pictures and info

 --just a good picture, different lighting, etc


          • #6
            This is very interesting...I have Confusa and it does NOT spread. Now I am trying to figure out if I have lillifolia OR rapunculoides. I have always thought I have lillifolia but NOW I think maybe I was sent the rapunculoides instead. I have had it for years and even still have the label but it is an agressive spreader and hard to get rid of.
            I remember also going to someone's garden years ago and saying "Oh that is pretty what is it"? She said it is tall and blue and spreads....I may have "accepted" some of hers. grrrrrrrr


            • #7
              There is a definitive test for distinguishing Campanula from Adenophora:

              From the Gardens North site:
              About 40 species of hardy, summer-blooming plants native to Eurasia and Japan, similar to Campanula because of their nodding, blue, bell-shaped flowers. For full sun or part shade in average garden soils. Adenophora and Campanula are often confused Here is a simple test for distinguishing the two. Take a flower and gently pull off the petals, leaving the style standing in the center. You will be left holding the base of the flower with a bumpy appendage (the ovary) in the middle and the style sticking straight up out of the center. VERY CAREFULLY peel off the outside of the bumpy appendage, leaving the style standing. If underneath, all you see is a flat base to which the style is attached, then you have a campanula. If, however, you see, after the peeling, another bulb-like appendage surrounding the style, then you have an adenophora. An easy way to rogue out all those imposters!"

              GARDENS NORTH - Seeds for the World

              I have done this - a magnifying glass may be helpful - and it's quite easy. (If I was at my own computer, I could post a couple of photos to show the difference.)


              • #8
                Well, if I did it right I have Adenophera. On the other hand I do not know if I did it right. I would love to see you pictures when you get a chance. NOW..I must cannot be just a regular knowledable gardener...Are you in some capasity a teacher, professor? Horticulturist of some nature???


                • #9
                  Nope, just an aspiring plant geek!
                  Arrghh, I often find it a bit of a trial to post photos to this site, but here goes...

                  Here is an example of the ovary of a Campanula (C. carpatica in this case), showing a flat base beneath the style (the long projection sticking out of the flower base):

                  Here is an example of the ovary of an Adenophora with the petals torn away (I think it's A. tashiroi, but I failed to label the photo as to species... and I have a few unidentified Adenophora), showing a yellow bulbous platform beneath the style:


                  • #10
                    Thanks Lori, I am going to check again with these pictures. This has been a very interestng thread. I had no idea there were so many Adenopheras (and nice ones). I am going to order some of the seeds (I am terrible with seeds) but it seems a good way to get some things you cannot fine otherwise.


                    • #11
                      bumping this thread up for Lori