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Can You Identify This Rescued Plant?
My sister thought you might be able to help me identify this plant. Rescued it from a friend who was killing it. At that time it had a runner like a spider plant (complete with a dead baby on the end). It's never sent out another runner ... but it has been adding new growth similar to how an iris would spread. The leaves also grow in a fan shape like an iris. I've never seen one like this ... most of my family are gardners too and none of them have ever seen anything similar either.
Have any ideas?
Jamie's Reply: Do you think the dead baby could have been a bloom? If so, it is probably a
Hemerocallis (daylily). Daylilies are hardy in zones 3-9. It will producesrepeat bloom -- stella d'oro, happy returns are a few. Hope this helps. Let
me know if you need more info.
Definitely wasn't a bloom ... the runner was identical to one that a spider plant would have sent out ... and the dead baby was a minature version of the parent plant. We did consider the day lily possibility ... but ruled that out after comparing to those planted in the garden. Also ... the plant is 4 years old and has never bloomed.
Jamie's Reply: I am a little puzzled as to the identity of the plant. Do you keep it outside or inside? Did you repot it when you got it? Has it put out any more runners since you have had it? Depending on the light conditions, blooming could be inhibited. Could you take another picture -- I need a up-close picture of the base. It maybe in the crocosmia family but I need a better look.
Attached two shots of the base ... and one shot of a top view of the plant.
I've repotted it several times since I got it about a year and a half ago. At that time it was a single plant ... it now consists of 10 or 12 plants ... I also cut off half a dozen and shipped them to friends. They all grew fine with just being stuck in soil and watered.
I keep it outside during the summer ... full sun. Last winter I brought it inside, as I did a couple weeks ago this year. It grows fine whether it gets direct sun or indirect ... doesn't die back at all.
It's never had another runner since I got it. Each new plant that comes up from the base of the original plant grows in a perfect fan shape. The baby I saw on the one runner it did have when I first saw it was also a fan shape ... just a miniature version. The new plants that come from the base are considerably larger (from the start) than the growth on the runner was.
I've consulted with two other plant experts and this one mistifys us. I'll throw out a few things we thought it could possibly be -- some type of bromeliad or Chlorophytum (the family of spider plants). You might take it to your state extension agent. I'm sorry I could not help.
I tried the extension office ... they were mystified too. A friend of mine is a master gardener from Ohio ... she has no idea what it is either. I could ship a cutting to you if you wanted me to ... if nothing else you'd have a new plant.
I used to be the grower for this greenhouse and I am still in contact with them. I will have him grow it to see if he can identify it. I have one more expert that hasn't got back to me. Hopefully he will know what it is.
I'm in Atlanta, GA ... do you think the cutting would survive a trip to Arkansas with the colder weather we have now? For the cuttings I shipped this summer I used those hard round mailing tubes ... if you have a better idea, let me know.
We have cuttings shipped to us every winter. This week and next are going to be warm for us -- and a good time to ship cuttings. The mailing tubes are great -- just make sure to wrap a moist paper towel around the open end of your cutting. We are only about 90 miles from Memphis TN so Atlanta mail usually only takes three days
Jamie ... ended up being ill over the weekend so I didn't get the cutting shipped. However, my Mom called me and told me that the cutting I sent her looks like it's sending out a flower stalk. Why hers would and not the original plant makes it interesting ... her growning conditions in Montana are considerably poorer than those here in Georgia. I don't believe hers has ever been outside ... just sits in a window. It's also a fraction of the size of the one I have.
That is interesting. Keep me posted on the bloom. If your mother has the ability to take pictures as the bloom stalk develops have her send them to me. It is not uncommon for the same type of plant to bloom and others not. Things like planting depth or too much nitrogen can inhibit blooming. Some plants need to be in a stressful condition to bloom. There are many factors which can promote or inhibit blooming. If your mothers plant blooms we should be able to identify it. This plant has defintely peak my interest and am as curious about it as you are. You may want to wait till january to sending the cuttings, since the mail system is over loaded at the holidays
good idea on waiting to ship the cutting ... and if the plant is putting out a flower stalk we might even have an idea as to what it is ... she did say it looks very similar to the way iris flowers develop ...
she does have a camera ... she'll take pictures once it's a bit larger ... it's kind of hard to see right now.
Keep me posted. Does the plant have any form of a bulb attached at the root level?
No ... you really can't cover it that much as that would put the soil too far up the leaves ... not a true bulb ... more like a rhizome
Jamie ... here's a picture of my Mom's plant ... and it's "bud". Strange looking thing. When she sent me the pic today I realized I still haven't sent the cutting to you ... I think Alzheimer's is setting in.
This maybe a species of Bird of Paradise (Strelitzia). There are five species of Stelitzia -- four of them have banana leaf shaped foliage -- however Strelitzia juncea has foliage consistent with the foliage of your plant. Some botanists think the Strelitzia juncea should be reclassified. When the bloom opens, if it is yellow/orange with blue,then it is a Strelitzia juncea. Keep me posted
Jamie ... I still haven't sent the cutting ... I'll probably burn in Hell for that. But the one my Mom has opened up. Never seen anything like it ... looks like a cross between an orchid and a lady slipper. 3 pics attached.
Your plant is a Neomarica northiana. It is in the Iris family. It is commonly know as Walking Iris or Apostle Plant. The blooms should be fragrant but short lived. It is the most unusual iris, I have ever seen. Thanks for sticking with me until we could identify it. Please let me know if I can help you with anything else.
Thank you for the information, you went way above and beyond what just about anybody would do.