Saturday, July 10, 2010

What is this flower?

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?


Leigh, Andrea Leigh Gil 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.

Kirk Mantay 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, Andrea Leigh Gil said...

Just found something and it made me think of this post
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

Kirk Mantay 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!

Kirk Mantay 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, Andrea Leigh Gil 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,

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.

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