Saturday, July 10, 2010

What is this flower?

IMG_1083
Found this 6 foot tall plant in a campus garden in southern Maryland. Anybody know what it is? The blooms look crossed between a bee balm and a hyssop (both Lamiaceae) and the stem is square (or hexagonal) but winged, almost like wingstem.

Clues please?

7 comments:

Leigh said...

Just by glancing at the picture... something in the mint family perhaps... although it 6 feet seems too tall for mint. Looks similar to Hoary Mountain mint. Definitly an herb. Hope you find out what it is... beautiful color.

Swamp Thing said...

Yeah, I agree - it's pretty likely that it's a mint. It looks like the kind of plant that was tinkered with for 200 years in Europe, and brought over with the English/French as part of their colonial gardens. You know, I do own a book called "Plants of the Colonial Age" (how dorky). I just thought of that!

Someone has to know what it is!

Leigh said...

Just found something and it made me think of this post http://rareseeds.com/catalogsearch/result/?q=wild+dagga&searchbox=products
I think its called a Lions Tail or Wild Dagga. According to Baker Creek it is in the mint family and is considered a mild narcotic.
:)
All the Best Leigh

Swamp Thing said...

Leigh that's it! How in the world did you think of it?

I am also comforting myself this week with plans for 2011's flowers!

Thank you - I'm definitely going to grow this in 2011!

Swamp Thing said...

Actually, I looked even farther into it. It's the same genus as Wild Dagga, but this is the Indian species - Klip Dagga. Very cool!

Leigh said...

I had just received my Baker Creek Catalog and was skimming the pages. When I stumbled across it, I recalled your blog post!

Wow, Its an very interesting plant but I have to confess it is slightly perplexing... I assumed that one could use it in tea (like mint) but then I read that it is unpleasant??? Have you found any sites about it? I am confussed by the Wild dagga and the kilp Dagga. some sites refer to them as the same others different.

Its a very curious plant for sure! Look forward to seeing what you plant this spring. We are already planning ours. :)
All the Best,
Leigh

the lady said...

Thank you for this post! I discovered these perplexing, towering plants and now lovely orange flowers and thanks to this I.D. help, I now recall planting Lion's Tail in that spot.