Mystery Plants – ID help please!

I feel foolish that I don’t know this, because I’ll bet many of you are going to give me the name of this plant. I’m betting it’s quite common, but I’ve never seen it before.

This sweet little flowering plant appeared voluntarily in my side yard a couple of weeks ago:

Next to it, is a purple version:

I have a feeling ya’ll are going to say something like “Are you crazy? That’s an invasive weed that will eat your house!”. But I really like it…I want to move it into a bed if you don’t tell me otherwise.

Nearby, I have several shrubby-viney things appearing. This looks familiar to me, but I can’t place it.  It’s about 10″ tall so far, and a small mound right now. Anyone?

Last fall – well, okay, it was winter cause I was so late – I planted Alyssium seeds for the first time. Assuming I would sprout about 1 out of every 10 seeds cause I’ve never done it before, I dumped an entire packet into my beds. Stop laughing!

So I don’t know if I’m about to have a complete white groundcover of Alyssium, or I’m about to have a huge job of weeding ahead of me. My beds are absolutely covered with these 1/2″ tall seedlings, and I don’t know what it is. Do you?


26 thoughts on “Mystery Plants – ID help please!

  1. Hiya Robin –

    The little anemone-like plant is on the Wildflower Center website. They say its’s native Anemone heterophylla, sometimes called thimbleweed or 10-petalled anemone.

    As to the other two, well the middle one sure looks like Hall’s Japanese Honeysuckle to me – fragrant but invasive and possibly planted by the birds. Maybe the last one is a bunch of tree seeds that sprouted in one spot? Do you have a Cedar Elm nearby?

    Annie at the Transplantable Rose

  2. The “field” of little green plants look like little cedar elm seedlings to me. The white plant almost looks like winecup with the leaves, but not really a clue. Maybe some sort of anemone? Can’t wait to see what others say. Ack, shrubby thing, don’t know. Am dying to know what others say.

  3. Annie, I do have cedar elm nearby, but it also is where I spread the alyssium seeds. If so, I’m about to have literally thousands of cedar elm seedlings to pull out! Yes, the two viney-mound things are volunteers under the trees. Invasive, huh?

  4. Linda, as always, Annie has helped a lot. Damn, it sounds like most of my stuff coming up is cedar elm seedlings. Am I going to have pull all 12,739 of them?

  5. I’d take a weedwacker or lawn mower to those cedar elm seedlings (depending on the location). That’s how we deal with the hundreds of Tree of Heaven seedlings that pop up in our yard. Seems to work.

  6. Caroline, that will hopefully work later. Right now they are everywhere in my beds and in mulched paths where I can’t take either of those tools to them. I’ve never had this happen before, so I’ll have to figure something out!

  7. The first two photos are Two Flower Anemone, Anemone edwardsiana. The skeleton like leaves are the distinguishing factor.

    On the second–I got nuthin.

    The third is definitely Cedar Elm seedlings. I think you will have to pull them up and soon. If you chop or hoe them, they will come back. The roots on those are already about 5″ long so don’t dally.

    I really enjoyed meeting you on Saturday. You were as nice as I had heard you were.

  8. Thanks, Bob! I enjoyed meeting you as well. dear god, I must have over a thousand of those seedlings! Can I use roundup?

  9. Oy vey, I have those little cedar elm seedlings coming up EVERYWHERE. I’ve gotten on my hands and knees and pulled out all I’ve seen so far, but I need to go through the ignored back beds with a fine-toothed comb as I’m sure they’re coming up EVERYWHERE. I don’t remember this happening in my yard before! It must have been a bumper year for cedar elm seeds.

    I also have the white windflower in my yard, but not the violet– it’s pretty!

  10. Well, everyone’s about covered the plant ID’s. I laughed out loud at the last photo remembering the first year I had a ton of those coming up, thinking they were “something”; now I pluck them out as fast as I find them.

  11. Well, after ya’ll have informed me that my alyssium seeds are apparently NOT coming up, but cedar elm instead, I have my work cut out, too. oh my god there’s so many.

  12. I think it would be really great to get to the bottom of which anemone this is. I have always named it Anemone decapeta,( berlandieri, heterophylla) The leaves on this flower are very low to the ground. This edwardsiana is a new one to me. That one is also called twin flower and the photo I saw has one flower atop and another from the leaf axil lower down. Whichever one it is, this has been their year. White ones everywhere you look. I have them everywhere. They usually flower in Feb but were delayed this year. If you like it keep it. I love them and even move the seeds around as they mature. The seed capsule becomes very elongated, hence thimble, although I have never seen a thimble that long. I will be at the WFC on Friday and will try to get to the bottom of which one this is. Enjoy them for with this heat they will soon be just a memory.

  13. thank for all the good info, Jenny. I like it a lot, especially in both colors. I did transplant them because my yard guy was about to mow them. They aren’t very happy about that. I guess my flowering is over for this year, but there are several seed pods that I shall scatter round, like you suggest.

  14. The last ones are elm seedlings. Get thee out there with a weeder, or you will be cutting them to the ground every year like I am. I have three I missed, and I’ve done everything. The middle one is an I don’t know plant. Love the anemones.~~Dee

  15. Dee, yesterday I literally pulled out several thousand seedlings. There are many more. Hopefully when I mulch, it will suffocate the hundreds that are left.

  16. OK, the official word from the WFC is that this is only A. edwardsiana if there are two flowers. Hence the twin flower. NOne of mine have this. Julie thinks all the ones around here are decapetala/heterophylla. One day they will sort out these multiple names.

  17. Yea on white anemone! I want some. Yep, I’m pulling up cedar elm seedlings by the bagful. While they’re little, it’s easy. If you ignore them, they are tough to get out.

  18. Robin & Jenny – after reading your comments about A. edwardsiana & A. decapeta went out to count… many of my little lawn anemones have only one flower, but some have 2, 3, 4 and even 5. Don’t think anything with the name “edwardsiana” would deign to live in my soil, anyway LOL, but love this plant geek stuff.


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