green alkanet / foxglove / comfrey / borage / salvia sclarea

All these (green alkanet / foxglove / comfrey / borage / salvia sclarea ) have similar textured leaves and at times can be difficult to tell apart. I have all these in my garden so I recently took photos of each for comparison.

green alkanet, smaller leaves below are nepeta

green alkanet Pentaglottis sempevirens

green alkanet Pentaglottis sempevirens

foxglove

foxglove Digitalis purpurea

sometimes the leaves are very textured

foxglove Digitalis purpurea

often have that lighter colour in the middle

foxglove Digitalis purpurea

foxglove Digitalis purpurea

comfrey, leaves longer and thinner with a distinctive pattern

comfrey Symphytum officinale

the comfrey 10 days later

comfrey

borage (Borago officinalis)

borage (Borago officinalis)

clary sage cultivar (Salvia sclarea var tukestanica)

Salvia sclarea var tukestanica

Crepis vesicaria (beaked hawk's-beard) and friends

In Whitechapel yesterday there was a lot of Crepis vesicaria - more than I tend to see in Camden. Any small plants I do see in Camden, tend to be mown down before they bloom. I'll have to make a trip to Whitechapel in a couple weeks to see if these are allowed to survive and bloom.

crepis vesicaria

Crepis vesicaria in the foreground, abandoned detail of the Bishopsgate goods yard viaduct which is on the right, railway line on the left

Crepis vesicaria Pedley Street Bishopsgate goods yard

crepis vesicaria

lots of buds

Crepis vesicaria

cow parsley

cow parsley

narrow-leaved ragwort

narrow-leaved ragwort

fodder burnet (Poterium sanguisorba subsp. balearicum)

fodder burnet (Poterium sanguisorba subsp. balearicum)

fodder burnet (Poterium sanguisorba subsp. balearicum)

fodder burnet (Poterium sanguisorba subsp. balearicum)

fodder burnet (Poterium sanguisorba subsp. balearicum)

and in Islington, shepherd's purse

shepherd's purse

thale cress

thale cress

narrow-leaved ragwort

narrow-leaved ragwort Senecio inaequidens

some rosettes

winter purslane (Claytonia perfoliata)

winter purslane claytonia perfoliata rosette

winter purslane claytonia perfoliata rosette

Jersey cudweed (Helichrysum luteoalbum)

Helichrysum luteoalbum jersey cudweed

hoary mustard (Hirschfeldia incana)

hoary mustard (Hirschfeldia incana)

hoary mustard Hirschfeldia incana

nettle-leaved bellflower (Campanula trachelium)

nettle-leaved bellflower Campanula trachelium

nettle-leaved bellflower Campanula trachelium

Crepis vesicaria

beaked hawk's-beard Crepis vesicaria

ragwort (Jacobaea vulgaris)

ragwort Jacobaea vulgaris

 

 

coltsfoot and hollyhocks

Online, people can be quite dogmatic and if one is not totally confident they can be swayed by them. I am quite embarrassed to say, I was one of those unconfident gardeners and listened to someone telling me to remove the coltsfoot in the garden next door I looked after as they considered coltsfoot very very invasive. I came to regret that and have developed more confidence in my gardening and am happy to grow what I want, regardless of other's views. I kept hoping the coltsfoot would grow back but I effectively killed the coltsfoot.

I decided I would grow some from seed or buy plants. I found some coltsfoot plug plants at British Wild Flower Plants, here repotted in small pots. With coltsfoot, flowers appear first and then the leaves after, so here they are in bloom or seed.

coltsfoot

I bought 10 hollyhocks as bare-rooted plants, repotted in these 9 pots. I guess I put 2 in one of the pots. Some look better than others. I'll see how they do. It's freezing cold so not the best time but I can't help that.

hollyhocks repotted

hollyhocks repotted

so many of my bulbs don't last long but these snakeshead fritilary have lasted and bloom every year, also one of my dandelions which I am going to try to identify

snakeshead fritilary

muscari latifolium and tulips

muscari and tulips

honesty

honesty

I do find it difficult to resist picking up something in the garden range from Sainsburys when I pop in. I like lily-of-the-valley and had some in the garden but it seems to have died in recent years so for this small price I thought I'd try them.

sainsburys lily-of-the-valley

they are completely hard and dry and appear dead - quite disappointing but I soaked them and potted them up, hoping they might have some life in them

sainsburys lily-of-the-valley

green alkanet and surviving seedlings from last year

I love green alkanet but enough is enough. It has completely taken over my pot of melancholy thistle. I guess I might have removed it sooner if I'd realised but it seems to have grown very quickly. I removed it and tried to replant them. They don't really like being disturbed like that so I'll see if they survive.

green alkanet melancholy thistle

I'm happy to see there are some melancholy thistle plants surviving under that green alkanet.

melancholy thislte

Rocky had to investigate.

He also checked out the hosta pot that I also removed a green alkanet from.

and the pot of marsh mallow, there's also some marsh mallow in the ground in front of the pot and green alkanet nearby, stinging nettle and an Acanthus spinosus which was savagely eaten by slugs last year so didn't bloom, maybe I can remove the slugs this year? I find that's the only method that works

marsh mallow

I only had 1 seed germinating last year from a packet of Centaurea montana seeds. Happy to see it survived, must plant it out.

centaurea montana

I only had 2 surviving giant scabious plants from a packet of seeds last year. About half a dozen had germinated but the slugs got some and foxes damaged some and a few days ago Rocky knocked this tray of pots off the table so it will be amazing if this blooms this year but I hope it will. Oops, I see a snail on a chicory seedling - must remove that.

I also notice a borage has self-seeded in the Centaurea dealbata (happy to see has survived) pot along with a dandelion.

I always have a lot of small scabious (Scabiosa columbaria) self-seeding in the garden. This is one from last year that I potted up and it's blooming, even in this freezing weather. It snowed yesterday.

small scabious

some spring flowers and rosettes March 2022

hedge mustard rosettes

hedge mustard sisymbrium officinale

hedge mustard sisymbrium officinale

catsear

catsear Hypochaeris radicata

buck's-horn plantain (Plantago coronopus)

bucks-horn plantain Plantago coronopus

Jersey cudweed (Helichrysum luteoalbum)

cudweed

a larger Jersey cudweed with flowers

cudweed

thale cress (Arabidopsis thaliana)

thale cress (Arabidopsis thaliana)

nettle-leaved bellflower (Campanula trachelium)

woundwort (stachys)

lesser burdock (Arctium minus)

lesser burdock

wall lettuce (Lactuca muralis)

wall lettuce

I think this is cow parsley (Anthriscus sylvestris) but not 100%. It's not something I see that much of.

cow parsley

beaked hawk's-beard (Crepis vesicaria)

crepis vesicaria rosette

crepis vesicaria rosette

beaked hawk's-beard crepis vesicaria

eastern rocket (Sisymbrium orientale)

eastern rocket sisymbrium orientale

eastern rocket sisymbrium orientale

eastern rocket sisymbrium orientale

common whitlowgrass (Erophila verna)

Common Whitlowgrass - Erophila verna

white comfrey (Symphytum orientale)

White Comfrey - Symphytum orientale

White Comfrey - Symphytum orientale

ground ivy (Glechoma hederacea)

ground ivy Glechoma hederacea

hoary mustard (Hirschfeldia incana)

hoary mustard hirschfeldia incana rosette

hoary mustard hirschfeldia incana

hoary mustard hirschfeldia incana

hoary mustard hirschfeldia incana

a larger hoary mustard

hoary mustard hirschfeldia incana

bristly oxtongue (Helminthotheca echioides)

hawkweed oxtongue Picris hieracioides

I think this is a bristly oxtongue as well but I have never seen leaves this shape but it is a variable plant

bristly oxtongue Helminthotheca echioides

something tells me this is also bristly oxtongue but not 100% sure

hawkweed oxtongue

hawkweed oxtongue Picris hieracioides

I think this is catsear (Hypochaeris radicata)

catsear (Hypochaeris radicata)

definitely catsear

catsear

catsear

possibly dandelion? will try to revisit

an amazing dandelion - look at those buds

dandelion

smooth sow thistle aren't very exciting but this rosette is one of the more impressive ones

smooth sow thistle

pellitory-of-the-wall (Parietaria judaica) on the left and green alkanet (Pentaglottis sempevirens) on the right

green alkanet pellitory-of-the-wall

foxglove (Digitalis purpurea) on the left and horseweed (Erigeron canadensis) on the right

foxglove erigeron

this rosette I'm not sure of

shepherds purse new rosettes

the weather has been terrible, both for getting out and looking at plants and also too cold for plants to grow much but finally in the last few days I've seen a few new rosettes

shepherd's purse (Capsella bursa-pastoris)

shepherds purse Capsella bursa-pastoris

shepherds purse Capsella bursa-pastoris

shepherds purse Capsella bursa-pastoris

first hedge mustard (Sisymbrium officinale) of the year that I've seen

hedge mustard Sisymbrium officinale

hedge mustard Sisymbrium officinale

hedge mustard Sisymbrium officinale

at first I thought this might be catsear but I think it's a dandelion

dandelion

my garden seems to be coming back to life

an atlantic poppy rosette

atlantic poppy rosette

a teasel rosette which started last summer, looking so large and tough

teasel rosette

forget-me-nots just blooming amongst crocus leaves

forget-me-not

I think of forget-me-nots as being smaller plants so suprised to see these long stems

forget-me-not

the whole plants has long multiple stems

forget-me-not

January 2022

On the New Year Plant Hunt we saw 24 plant species including celery-leaved crowfoot, London bur-marigold and winter heliotrope.

celery-leaved crowfoot (Ranunculus sceleratus) by Regent's Canal

celery-leaved crowfoot

London bur-marigold (Bidens connata) along the Regent's Canal in Camden

london bur-marigold Bidens connata

london bur-marigold Bidens connata

London bur-marigold Bidens connata

winter heliotrope (Petasites fragrans)

winter heliotrope

winter heliotrope

winter heliotrope

Dec 2021

New Year Plant Hunt 2022

If anyone would like to join me to take part in the New Year Plant Hunt run by BSBI (https://bsbi.org/new-year-plant-hunt) I'm doing my part in Camden on January 2nd, meeting in Camden Gardens park (between Kentish Town Road, Camden Street and Camden Gardens) at 10:00 for 1 hour. If there's enough interest I'll do another later in the day. Facebook https://www.facebook.com/gardenwithoutdoors), email julie@gardenwithoutdoors.org.uk.

 

Recent observations

tansy, east London

tansy

tansy

in bud but no flowers

tansy

tansy

tansy

nearby was a hawkweed

hawkweed

tansy

also in east London but another part of it, narrow-leaved ragwort, which I'm seeing more and more of

narrow-leaved ragwort

back in my own garden, I stuck this sedum stem which had gotten broken off into a pot months ago hoping it would root but I'd given up hope - now I see a small shoot - I should be more patient - plants are amazing and want to grow!

sedum

closer view of that sedum shoot, looks like nepeta seedlings either side

sedum

Nov 2021

perennial sow thistle

perennial sow thistle

horseweed, all 3 quite different but it is a variable plant

erigeron canadensis

the usual horseweed I see

Oct 2021

morning glory Heavenly Blue

morning glory Heavenly Blue

I guess I had some self-seeding from a previous year

morning glory Heavenly Blue pink

a self-seeded morning glory Grandpa Ott which appeared this year, I grew them in previous years

morning glory Grandpa Ott

I love these cosmos buds

cosmos bud

cosmos bud

cosmos bud

cosmos

I saw a few rosettes the last few days

hawkweed oxtongue (small hoary mustard upper left)

hawkweed oxtongue

hoary mustard rosette, at least 0.5 m across, near me is lots of hoary mustard

hoary mustard

I also noticed some much smaller rosettes, I think they are hoary mustard but will keep an eye on them

hoary mustard

hoary mustard

At first look this is eastern rocket but I should have examined the centre leaves better as next photo below, looking like hoary mustard.

hoary mustard

a few weeks later, looking like hoary mustard (not eastern rocket)

hoary mustard

now this is eastern rocket

eastern rocket

eastern rocket

eastern rocket

the very long fruits are a feature of eastern rocket

eastern rocket fruits seed pods

an eastern rocket closer to home amongst the skeletons left from the weedkiller

eastern rocket

wall lettuce (with smooth sow thistle) in front of a vintage bollard in Clerkenwell

wall lettuce with bollard

wall lettuce in front of vintage bollard in Clerkenwell

wall lettuce vintage bollard

and in my own garden, an enormous dandelion rosette, 0.5 m

dandelion

I've been working hard to differentiate between autumn hawkbit and smooth hawk's-beard. I'm pretty sure this is autumn hawkbit.

autumn hawkbit

autumn hawkbit

although my camera could not capture a close-up of the flower, I examined it and concluded also autumn hawkbit

autumn hawkbit

another autumn hawkbit

autumn hawkbit

autumn hawkbit

autumn hawkbit

another autumn hawkbit

autumn hawkbit

lots of nipplewort in bloom locally

nipplewort

annual mercury below and to the left of the nipplewort

nipplewort

annual mercury, smooth sow thistle and a dandelion as well

nipplewort

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