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1324 Views 12 Replies Last post: Jul 9, 2012 10:35 PM by Jen RSS
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Jul 5, 2012 11:59 AM

Plant ID please

I spotted this growing on a verge at the side of a car park in Loggerheads, North Wales yesterday. The plant stood approximately a little over five and a half feet high. It was growing in shade close to a small water filled ditch. I have included pictures with someone in them, to give a sense of scale to the plant. The person in the picture is six feet tall.

 

I'm also interested in the plant on the far side of the ditch, to the right of the main plant, if anyone can ID this also. I have made an enlargmet of it in picture Capture 3

 

Regards

 

Habdab

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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Jul 5, 2012 1:40 PM (in response to habdab)
    Re: Plant ID please

    My guess would be greater burdock (Arctium lappa) for the big one, and maybe lords & ladies for the other (Arum maculatum).

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    Jul 5, 2012 1:46 PM (in response to habdab)
    Re: Plant ID please

    To me it looks like an Arctium sp.

    Capture3: A Gunnera perhaps?

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        Jul 5, 2012 9:42 PM (in response to habdab)
        Re: Plant ID please

        There are much smaller Gunneras than the monstrous G manicata. For instance here is a Gunnera perpensa from Britain and here is the tiny G magellanica grown in Wales.

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        Jul 5, 2012 10:36 PM (in response to habdab)
        Re: Plant ID please

        Hi Habdab,

        I think your plant in pic 3 is Giant Butterbur, Petasites japonicus, https://secure.fera.defra.gov.uk/nonnativespecies/gallery/index.cfm?searchtype=s&query=Giant%20Butterbur&habitat=&organismtype=&cmdSearch=Search

        an invasive non-native.

        I agree with Burdock for the other very tall plant.

         

        Regards,

        Jen

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          Jul 6, 2012 9:55 PM (in response to Jen)
          Re: Plant ID please

          Of course Capture3 is a Petasites. But what a difference between identifying from photos and in real life. Below is a few photos of some plants I see close to every day (including today) - Petasites hybridus (I had no camera, so I had to use my phone):

          20120706021.jpg

          20120706025.jpg

          The highest are about one meter high and their leaves are 50 cm or more in diameter.

           

          Why did I think of Gunnera? Because I was "sure" that I could see prickles on the petioles.

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            Jul 7, 2012 11:33 AM (in response to Episcophagus)
            Re: Plant ID please

            I take your point, it is difficult to distinguish between the two species based on a photo.

             

            Stace says that there is a difference in the leaf edge, "distinctly but very shallowly lobed" in P. hybridus, and "scarcely or not lobed, unevely dentate" in P. japonicus.

             

            I have tried to blow pic 3 up to get an sense of the leaf edge and it is very hard to be absolutely certain which it is...

             

            The other character used to distinguish between the two species is the form and colour of the inflorescence, P. hybridus they are +/- cylindrical; bracts <1cm wide; white flowers tinged with purple and P. japonicus they are +/- hemispherical, bracts >1cm wide; anthocyanin absent. But of course we don't have any information about that as the flowers are long over...

             

            The plants in Habdab's pic don't have the purple stems and major leaf veins like those in your picture but anthocyanin expression can be so variable within a species that tells us nothing really.

             

            I agree it could be either species. The only way to be sure would be to have a closer picture of the leaves so we could compare leaf edges and dentition.

             

            The fun and frustrations of plant id

             

            Jen

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              Jul 7, 2012 7:35 PM (in response to Jen)
              Re: Plant ID please

              I didn't mean to criticize your ID. Rather contrary I meant to agree on your ID as a Petasites and almost called myself a fool because I see P hybridus "every" day (it was those imaginary prickles that got me stuck - and once stuck...).

               

              The anthocyanin colouring of the petioles and veins is possibly due to the last week of drought (except for today!) here in souhthern Sweden.

               

              The leaves of P japonicus are "almost circular" (or rather wider than long if you count the flaps that points rearwards), while P hybridus have more triangular leaves (or, expressed in the same way, longer than wide). Seen from where the petiole attaches to the leaf the distance to the point is "the same" as the distance perpendicular to the side-edges in japonicus, while in hybridus it is perhaps 50% longer to the point. (Please misunderstand my "English" correctly!)

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                Jul 9, 2012 10:35 PM (in response to Episcophagus)
                Re: Plant ID please

                No worries Episcophagus,

                I didn't take it as a criticism. I just double checked myself and realised I couldn't be so confident on my initial id given the available characters... Three weeks of teaching plant id has made me even more cautious than I was before! And quite rightly so...

                 

                 

                Cheers,

                 

                Jen

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            Jul 7, 2012 12:09 PM (in response to habdab)
            Re: Plant ID please

            It wasn't a criticism of your picture Habdab!

             

            As the perpetual plant geek I am always fascinated to know what something is...

            Best wishes,

            Jen

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