greentapestry : Identity Crisis

Monday, 27 May 2013

Identity Crisis


It was that time of year again this weekend - my horticultural society's annual plant sale which was blessed with the most glorious weather. Despite my yearly heartfelt "never again!" utterances I had my own stall at the sale. I did not manage to assemble as much as in some previous years which was a combination of both events and the weather. With not as many perennials divided as usual this spring, there were fewer perennials to take so a good few annuals as well as veggie plants supplemented my stall. As usual the weather the day before did not exactly provide perfect weather for preparations. It was decidedly cool and most windy so both plants and humans got rather ruffled. My right hand man was excused from duties on the day this year because of work commitments but was amazed when I called upon his expertise for some serious plant identification.

You can see the plant concerned in the above photo as well as in the close ups of flower and foliage below. I think that the photo has accentuated its pinkness - it appears a softer pink to my eyes.


It is one of my favourite umbifillers and is either chaerophyllum hirstum 'Roseum' or pimpinella major 'Rosea'. I've bought both plants in the past but one plant and both labels have since departed. They are fairly similar but the chaerophyllum can be identified by virtue of hairy leaves (hence hirsutum) and by its apple scented foliage. Neither of us could see much in the way of hairiness but himself detected an aroma of apple whilst I could not try as I may. So there was much sniffing and debate but no definite conclusion. Oh what a dilemma when it came to deciding how to label the plant, so in the end the two flowering specimens I had went to the plant sale under an anonymous guise. The larger of the two was the first to be snapped up from the table followed in due course by all the perennials flowering or not. The half hardy nicotiana mutablis all went. I wish that I could remember exactly when I sowed these plants last year, as I had managed to get one into flower which I think sold the others. If the weather had been kinder they would have all been in flower but at least they were all sturdy and sizeable plants which will flower soon.

Tomato plants which I had were in great demand likewise peppers which I did not have nor did any of the other sellers. However you can guarantee that if we bring peppers next year they will not be wanted. The mints which were popular last year did not prove to be so this year so most of them came home with me. They will now need repotting now in time for the next sale in July when our allotment association will be fund raising at a local event. My respect for the professionals increases every time I take part in these events as it helps you to appreciate some of what is involved in getting plants to shows and plants fairs. They have my utmost respect especially in a spring such as this.

Now before you ask of course some new plants just had to come home with me. These were an allotment bound tayberry, a begonia for indoors and a sweet cicely - destination undecided.
P.S. If anybody grows either the chaerophyllum or pimpinella perhaps you can help solve my plant's identity crisis.

20 comments:

  1. I'm not familiar with either of these plants so can't help, I'm afraid. It's very pretty though. Glad to hear you did well with most things, and I'm sure the others which you brought home with you will go at the next sale.

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    1. Thanks for your comment Jo. Hoping to keep some things ticking over until the next plant sale but looking to rehome some before then :)

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  2. I have Chaerophyllum hirsutum Roseum and went and picked leaf, I couldn't see any hairs, but then found that they were all over the table! I also couldn't detect any apple smell My leaves seem to be more pointy than yours, are yours shiny underneath? maybe my leaves are just old compared to yours, I think they maybe the same. Well done on having enough plants to sell in spite of the weather.

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    1. Oh many thanks for your id assistance Pauline. I've had another look at the leaves and can definitely see hairs on the underneath but no shine :) Off to a plant sale this weekend so will be keeping my eyes open!

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  3. Nice collection - I find it hard enough keeping the plants I am growing for my own garden alive enough to be worth planting, getting some ready for sale to real people? No way! Pimpinella is on my wishlist.

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    1. Hope that your wish comes true Janet :)

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  4. That's a coincidence - only a couple of days ago my Mum was trying to describe a Chaerophyllum to me over the phone! I'm afraid I've never seen either that or the Pimpinella. It's really attractive though, whatever it is! Plant sales are unheard of in my part of the world, so I do envy you - even if it does sound like hard work.

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    1. A difficult task for your mum to describe I would imagine Cathy. No plant sales - I'm not sure how I would cope :(

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  5. As others have said, you did well to find time to get things together for a sale - there must have been a strong overriding motive!! Interesting to hear what people bought or were looking for. Were there many other stalls?

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    1. No real strong motive Cathy other than I've always enjoyed propagating plants so always have spares and it also helps to raise funds for the garden club and allotment association. There were five other plant stalls I think - it's all a hazy memory already :)

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  6. I'm thinking it's more pimpinella. I have Chaerophyllum and the flowers look a little different to the photo. Sounds like a great day and that you had loads to offer despite such an awful spring. You'll love the tayberry. Mine is covered in flower buds at the moment and there's much anticipation for the fruit to come. :)

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    1. Thank you WW for your id help which is much appreciated. My new tayberry has a few flowers but I think it will be next year before I get a real harvest. I believe that they are very thorny so now debating just where to plant it.

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  7. I agree with wellywoman, Anna. Umbellifers are really fab, don't understand why some people call them weeds...do you grow others like Ammi, Orlaya and Selinum, too?

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    1. Pimpinella is slowly edging into the lead :) I think that umbifellers are just simply great Annette. This year I'm growing both ammi and orlaya but have still to try selinum. I'm also growing a new to me one but can't remember its name - will post about it in due course by which time name should come back to me :)

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  8. What a fabulous selection you have there. I love that Polygonatum - so elegant. I'm afraid I'm not familiar with your lovely pink umbellifer at all. I can certainly vouch for tayberry - they make fantastic jam!

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    1. Thanks for your comment which is much appreciated. Oh looking forward to some good jam then in years to come :)

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  9. I'm another that can't help identify your mystery plant! I think you did really well getting a batch of plants together for sale. I haven't bothered with peppers this year as the spring was so late I didn't think they'd do well without a greenhouse. I do, however, grow Sweet Cicely in my herb bed and love it! I use it in cooking as I love the taste of aniseed and quite enjoy munching on the seeds so self-seeding never becomes a problem!

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    1. It was difficult this year Caro but thank goodness the sale was at the end of May and not April! I'm quite partial to aniseed too so I think that Sweet Cicely and I will be good companions :)

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  10. I'm glad you managed to get your stall prepared and that it was successful. It must be nice to make a little money from your divisions. I've no idea about your mystery plant, but it's very pretty.

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  11. Yes the pennies raised have gone to the garden club and allotment association coffers Paula so all in a good cause :) Thanks for your comment.

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All your comments are much appreciated and treasured. I wil try to reply to everyone who leaves a comment, but it may take me a few days, especially when I start spending more time in the garden and at the lottie. I know that you will understand :) I am sure that I will also visit your blog if I have not already done so. If you have any specific questions I will either reply to them here or you can email me at : thegreentapestry@gmail.com

Namasté

- Anna.