Friday, September 25, 2009

A Bit of Color and a Small Mystery

I have mentioned this plant a few times earlier this year but wanted to share it in multiple stages. One can truly see the blackberry in the Blackberry Lily. Belamcanda chinensis - the seedpod certainly looks like a blackberry!

The recent rainfall lends itself to some nice photo shots. I love the raindrops hanging off the ever-maturing bud.

And the droplets beading up on the Edgeworthia...the large leaves are almost like velvet.

Two of the shrubs in my garden that shine this time of year are the two different Callicarpas. I bought a Callicarpa at a native plant sale and it turned out to have smaller leaves and smaller berries. Further investigation proved it to be the Callicarpa japonica (that they were also selling, this was mislabeled).

As you can see the americana variety has much larger leaves and the berries are larger and a little different shade of purple. These shrubs are edge of forest/ dappled sunshine loving plants. Mine have been in ground since 1999. About 4 years ago my neighbor had her pines taken out...about 5 or 6 large Loblolly pines. Since then, this section of my garden is in full sun and the Callicarpa seem to be doing just fine. Every other winter I cut them almost to the ground. As mature shrubs they are about 6-8 wide and about 5- 6 feet tall.

The Miscanthus sinensis 'Dixieland' is in bloom now... thought the dark skies through the seed heads was a good backdrop.

And now for the mystery. My sister suggested I do this in the form of a contest, though I am not sure how to prove one right or wrong... here is a 'volunteer' plant in my backyard. I never planted this plant, no one in the area grows this plant, soooo........HOW DO YOU THINK IT GOT HERE???

Know what this is??? A peanut! Arachis hypogea. But how...???
Sweetbay has IDed this as a Cassia obtusifolia which looks amazingly like a peanut. Still a mystery as to how it got here.

To close out this posting I wanted to share a nice pairing of plants. Fine Gardening online is asking for photos of your best summer plant combinations. Here is my contribution. Solidago 'Fireworks' and Lobelia siphilitica - Great Blue Lobelia

Have a great weekend!


  1. All beautiful photos, Janet. Love the belamcanda in every stage of growth, even the leaf fans are fabulous. Your plant is a peanut? I think I have been pulling that out thinking it was a weed, but remember now that someone gave me seeds to this plant several years ago! I do think yours was probably planted by a devil squirrel. And your flower combo is a winner IMHO. :-)

  2. Not only water is a source of life, but its droplets do make beautiful close-up shots. Purple berries are unique indeed! ~bangchik

  3. I have both of those type of beautyberries too and really like them -- the berries of the American Beautyberry are so beautiful aren't they? I think the mystery plant is actually Cassia obtusifolia. There's a lot of that here too. I love your goldenrod/ Lobelia combination!

  4. Wonder how that peanut sprout got there. I love your photo entry. The two plants complement nicely in color and growth habit.

  5. Blue and yellow is a classic and beautiful color combination! I love your combo. I knew it was a Fabaceae, but not which one. gail

  6. An animal came by and pooed there. The poo conained the seed from another gardener. I too thought it was a common weed around here that produces a berry like fruit that reseeds like crazy. Can't think of the name.

  7. Hi all, well Sweetbay may have IDed my mystery plant better than I. I am trying to figure out the difference right now. According to the Missouri Plants page, it is indeed a Cassia obtusifolia. thanks sweetbay!!!

    Hi Frances, thanks, I love the Belamcanda---fun little bloom and great seedpod. I was pleased with the two plants together.

    Hi Bangchik, Glad you like the water droplets on the plants. We like these beautyberries, love the color.

    Hi Sweetbay, thanks, thanks and thanks. :-D I do like the American berries better.

    Hi Mary Delle, apparently not a peanut, but a cousin. I didn't plan the plant combo but it was a nice happenstance.

    Hi Gail, it is a nice color combo isn't it? Sweetbay made a good id for me.

    Hi Anna, hate to say it but that was my thought as well.....
    I owe you an email, perhaps this weekend.

  8. My vote for how the peanut got planted is for blue jays! I feed them peanuts and they drop them all over the place. That's a beautiful entry to the Fine Gardening contest. Do you have a chance to win anything? I entered their container contests for a couple years but never made the cut. When I purchased the special "container" editions, I found out why ~ most of the entries were from professionals.
    PS The blackberry lily is really nice in all stages. I've never grown it before but the seeds do look like blackberries!

  9. Love your pictures with rain drops and the whole post. It's very educational, as always!

  10. I love it when the common name really makes sense, and yes they do look like blackberries. How are they sugared on ice cream or in a cobbler?

    I may be heading to a native plant sale at the Hermitage today, hoping I can get Callicarpa americana so I can get rid of the Asian one. I also hope to get some good photos as well.

    Have a great day!

  11. The blue and yellow combo is beautiful! Glad you got an ID on your plant. There is a callicarpa growing in one of our shared areas in the neighborhood. I don't know how long it has been there, but it is easily over 8 feet high and in full sun.


  12. Amazing blackberry lily. I've never seen it before. Seems like just the other day someone had a picture of this on their blog asking if anyone had an ID. Now I can't remember where that was. Love the water droplets on the Edgeworthia. That's a plant I keep considering, but haven't taken the plunge yet.

  13. The beautyberry is an awesome plant. We just added one this year. Great water droplet photos. They sure add interest to photos!

  14. Hi Kathleen, that is a great guess. I hadn't thought of that. Glad you like the FG photo. I don't win, but I like the challenges. You ought to try the blackberry lily, kind of a fun specimen plant.

    Hi Tatyana, you are most kind. thanks.

    Hi Les, sure, you can put the blackberry lily pods in a bowl with a little sugar----NOT! You are real funny. Let me know if you can't get a C. americana, I am sure I have some seedlings around. And we did have a good day...went to the Living Museum.

    Hi Cameron, glad you like the blue and yellow combo. Sweetbay is great for making that ID. Callicarpas do very well in varied conditions.

    Hi Megan, wonder who was asking about the lily? I get so confused about whose blogs I have visited.
    You should get an Edgeworthia...I got mine for Valentine's Day last year. Love it.

    Hi Dave, thanks for visiting. You will really like having a beautyberry (Callicarpa)in your garden--such an easy care plant. Glad you liked the water droplets.

  15. Hi Janet ~~ Thank you for the heads up on IDing that fabulous ornamental grass. Zone 8? Hmm... It's going on my wish list even though I've got nary a bare spot to put it. :]

    Your photos are lovely as always. I cracked up when I saw the photo of your dog in the puddle cooling off. What a character!

  16. Beautiful photos, Janet! I do love that combo of blue and yellow in the last photo. Thanks for showing the blackberry lily in bloom. I saw this plant for the first time last year, but it was at the end of the season. I was so intrigued by it, and someone--I think Tina--sent me some seeds, but mine never grew. Maybe I can try again next year:)

  17. Oh drat! I saw that Great blue lobelia at a nursery in NC and debated on getting it now I wish I would've have! It looks lovely with the goldenrod. Odd on the volunteer plant too. Maybe salt water brought it up from Georgia?

  18. I like your Goldenrod-Lobelia combo. I have Fireworks and Indigo Spires Salvia as companions but I can't seem to get a good pic.

  19. love all the photos Miss Janet.. The blackberry lily is great,I have never seen one. hugs to the puppy he looks like he is having so much

  20. Hi Grace, thanks! Yes, Skyler is a nut. He always steals the show, inside or out.
    Not sure off the top of my head about zone for the grass...but the Botanical Garden is zone 8 (or 7b)I believe.

    Hi Rose, Hope you try the Blackberry lily again, it is a fun plant.

    Hi Tina, I was really happy with how the Blue looked with the Goldenrod, though it can spread to many many areas! Good thought on the mystery.

    Hi Littlewing, Try taking the photos on either a very cloudy day or late in the afternoon or early in the morning...the bright yellow gets washed out when it is bright and sunny.

    Hi Cherry, thanks! He is always having fun...he frolics, never walks.

  21. Thanks, I've seen those black seed heads around and hadn't realized what they were.

  22. I love the combination of Lobelia and goldenrod -- they must appreciate your damp soil combination.

    The Cassia is such a good host plant for sulfur butterflies, I'd be inclined to keep it, but it's hard to imagine how it came to your garden. They're common in sandy coastal soils, especially in soybean fields (I think.)


  23. Hi Dawn, thanks!

    Hi Phillip, glad I could help.

    Hi Lisa, it is a nice combo. (Swamp comditions!)
    I don't mind the Cassia, just a new addition to the garden and not sure how it got here.


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