Can you beat the botanists identifying this shrub?

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Can you beat the botanists identifying this shrub?

Postby womble » Mon Oct 27, 2014 1:28 pm

This unusual shrub (?) came up in what passes for a lawn (the result of aggressive mowing by the previous owner after clearing an appalling infestation of ivy/honesuckle/agapanthus/blackberry).

The botanists at the Sydney Botanical Gardens are stumped and have requested a specimen when it flowers ... can you beat them to it?

The plant has about 18 months growth. It seems to be semi-deciduous, losing most of its leaves in winter. Soil is sandy.

Young stems are almost grey and dull; older stems are green and they are hard and shiny.

The young leaves are often yellowish-green flushed maroon; older leaves are grey-green.

The opposite leaves seem to be variable in form - some are quite deeply lobed. They are soft to the touch.

A few old leaves at the end of stems are a completely different shape to the younger ones. However, all leaves are serrated.

The plant has an arching habit and is currently about 50cm tall. Thus far there have been no flowers.

I have kept an eye out for it locally but have seen nothing like it in the neighbouring bush or gardens or in various garden centres. Another started to grow nearby and I have potted that.

Anyone seen such a plant before?

P1030396.jpg


P1030400.jpg


P1030402.jpg
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Re: Can you beat the botanists identifying this shrub?

Postby tam » Mon Oct 27, 2014 6:59 pm

This unusual shrub (?) came up in what passes for a lawn (the result of aggressive mowing by the previous owner after clearing an appalling infestation of ivy/honesuckle/agapanthus/blackberry).

Must be a weed to survive all that :wink:
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Re: Can you beat the botanists identifying this shrub?

Postby womble » Tue Oct 28, 2014 7:30 am

Maybe, but as I said, there are none about locally, and I have never seen anything like it before.

You'd expect weeds to be more prolific, and to flower and seed fairly quickly too.

It is not an unnattractive plant. The greyish leaves with their maroon accent are interesting and it has a pleasant shape with its arching stems.
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Re: Can you beat the botanists identifying this shrub?

Postby chocolate » Tue Oct 28, 2014 8:52 am

The second and third photo look to me like the juvenile leaves of the castor oil plant, that is definitely a rampaging weed.
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Re: Can you beat the botanists identifying this shrub?

Postby chocolate » Tue Oct 28, 2014 9:11 am

Definitely NOT begonia...photo was in begonia file.Sorry about that.Looks like the young leaves of Ricinus.
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Re: Can you beat the botanists identifying this shrub?

Postby greg.l » Thu Oct 30, 2014 4:40 pm

There mustn't be any New Zealanders at the botanic gardens. That is leycesteria formosa, known as himalayan honeysuckle. It is a terrible weed on the South Island of NZ. I grew it for a while, it is an easy hedge plant and won't get out of control in a dry climate. Not all that attractive but Gertrude Jekyll liked it.
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Re: Can you beat the botanists identifying this shrub?

Postby bubba louie » Fri Oct 31, 2014 6:25 pm

That's a new one for me. I think it's pretty.

http://www.weeds.org.au/cgi-bin/weedide ... l&card=S19
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Re: Can you beat the botanists identifying this shrub?

Postby womble » Sat Jan 31, 2015 8:00 pm

Apologies for going AWOL!!!

Yes, that's it I'm sure... it has just recently flowered which positively identifies it ...

Image

and I note from your weeds link it is "Also an increasing problem in the Blue Mountains, NSW" ~ it's going into the compost bin asap!!!
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Re: Can you beat the botanists identifying this shrub?

Postby womble » Mon Feb 02, 2015 1:13 pm

The botanists have confirmed this is indeed Himalayan Honeysuckle (Leycesteria formosa); "Blue Mountains City Council has nominated this weed to be declared as a
Class 4 Noxious Weed within the Local Government Area."

http://www.bmcc.nsw.gov.au/download.cfm?f=C945C923-C29F-26E0-DA8B2528C897191F
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