Friday, March 06, 2009

Identity parade #5

A bit late this week but blame the spring lunacy that is my workload in the run-up to Chelsea... not quite as bad as those actually building gardens for the flower show but crazy nonetheless.

Anyway, just because I'm busy doesn't mean I haven't got time to set a few more plant-related teasers for you, courtesy of Capel Manor who supply the sometimes more than a little battered twigs, leaves and flowers from their garden in Enfield - no wonder they're tatty by the time they get to us, the other side of London in Gunnersbury. Anyway, I thought last week's were far too easy so I'm bowling you a few googlies this time.

1. (if you look very closely you'll see the flowers - these are a giveaway clue)



4. (a bit unfair, really, as this is merely the foliage of a tree, but can you guess which one?)



NewShoot said...

I didn't know you were studying at Gunnersbury. I did my RHS Diploma there with the wonderfully enthusiastic Simon Vyle. Say Hi from me if he's still around!

Anonymous said...

I noticed that many people identify plants because they know them or grow them. But how do you identify an unknown plant from scratch? The encyclopedias of plants are awfully big.
Daphne (in UK)

The Constant Gardener said...

NewShoot - haven't come across Simon Vyle but I have to say most people I've met so far have been very enthusiastic! It's a fab course, I highly recommend it.

Daphne - that's an awfully big question too! I think the way I do it is to narrow it down to roughly what I do know in an "it looks like a crocus but it might be a Muscari" sort of way, then look those two up and see if I have a match... and if I don't try again.

There are a lot of very detailed botanical ways of identifying plants - you put together a long list of variables from leaf shape and texture to stalk cross-section and that gives you a more precise way of doing it, but you have to be a botanist to do that and it's way above my head.

Plant Mad Nige said...

This is a tough bunch. 1 is Butcher's Broom - Ruscus aculeatus? 2 obviously Chaenomeles, is it C. x superba 'Nivalis?' 3 is Chionodoxa but I can never remember which, so will go for C. lucilliae. 4. is a real meanie. I'm guessing Sequoiadendron. 5. is a nice cherry but they all look so similar that close. Is it Prunus 'Kursar?'

You'll be amused to know that the word verification is 'indentru' so I hope my indentification is tru.

The Constant Gardener said...

Hi Nige, yes you got no. 1 right - Butcher's Broom, toughest plant known to man.

No. 2 is Chaenomeles speciosa 'Nivalis' (we'll forgive you the species!!)

half a mark for no. 3 :D not lucilliae, the other one

and bloomin' eck I never thought anyone would get the Sequoiadendron. Giganteum, to give it its full name - or Californian redwood. Tallest tree in the world, instantly recognisable in the ground but never had a close look at the foliage before.

Prunus yes, another type though - keep guessing :D

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