Name that plant

So I went on this garden tour.

It was interesting to see all the work that had gone into building water features and a great garden studio and roofed enclosures for hot tubs. The flowers were lovely and there were actually real lawns but I did sometimes notice a lack of trees which was somewhat like my lack of photos of the tour. (I was busy touring okay?)

Personally I feel greatly motivated to plant trees absolutely everywhere on our land and I’ve been like that for years.

Here are some of the ones that grow outside my kitchen door:

just enough trees

Now Mr O says I have overplanted trees and it’s true, the shady places do groweth and expandeth (I’ve been thinking about Shakespeare lately), but that suits me and feels cool (on hot days) plus there is kind of a water shortage around here until someone robs a bank and has another well drilled ––the shade definitely helps keep that desert look at bay.

some shade plants

Also shade works for woodland plants which are the ones I seem to like the best anyway and I am Garden Queen here remember.

But let’s return to the tour. One place had quite a lot of a very pretty groundcover but no one there knew what it was called.  (You see I am not the only person who does not let record-keeping slow up the planting process.)  I hadn’t seen it before either and I did take this one photo with my phone camera because I was completely certain that YOU would be able to identify this plant instantly.

what is this

The gardener said it grew a lot. Well actually she said it was “invasive,” but then I think she felt bad about having said that and she added that it was easily ripped out. She didn’t know if it was evergreen or not… It grows maybe 10 inches tall in deep shade. Those are all the hints you get, sorry. [Note to Carolyn: I know you know.]

I can also testifiy that if you search online for images of “bi-color shade groundcover” you get to look at lots of pictures of great plants that aren’t this one.

Anyway please do send along the answer because I just love to have groundcovers growing in my forest and also I am quite drawn to the mysterious marks on the leaves of this one which I think are some kind of coded message but we will work on solving that part later.



About linniew

Unpublished novelist seeks therapy in gardening. Westie assists.
This entry was posted in actual plants, shade gardens, trees and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

22 Responses to Name that plant

  1. Ai pilgrim, it is rather the ladybug on the groundcover that is the coded message from who-know-where, but we better pay attention because we all know about dark shade-loving plants and the dark side. What? You didn’t SEE the ladybug? Look again, it’s a secret message, I just know it. Oh, about your question. I haven’t a clue, but it’s very pretty.

    • linniew says:

      Susie I am just so embarrassed that I missed that bug ––and me with trifocals, not that yet another focal would have helped. Of course I see her now and if you ask me she has a guilty look on her face so you may be right about whatever is afoot here. I will send word immediately should there be further developments but meantime do keep an eye out in your shady plantings.

  2. Never fear, your gardening guru friends are here. I was gifted with one by my Dr. of Horticulture across the way, that although not yours is related ( I have a different one, although more similar to yours (and which you might prefer both for the creamy parts and the red RED flower), Yours is plain old virginiana…

    Doesn’t Kinnivie walk around with seed in his pocket of this potential invasive plant? Given his style, I’d think him all over this!

    I think the markings are Cyrillic, which Kinnivie might be able to help with as well…

    • linniew says:

      Hi ya Rachelle
      So Persicaria virginiana it is! My return to Doc Google images came up with lots of versions, some more red like the one you mention. People call it Jumpseed which pretty much explains its reputation, but I also saw the spreading described as “fast but not scary”

      This plant also comes in a variegated sort which is doubtless the one that Kininvie grows in Scotland because I happen to know that he adores variegated plants. Well unless they grow in my garden. Anyway I do hope he can decipher the Cyrillic message because I’m having no luck with getting the ladybug to talk.

  3. It’s Painters Palette, a native persicaria virginiana that you will have forever so make peace or break out the herbicide. But if you cut off the little red seedpods when it flowers, you can slow it down. It’s also easy to pull. If it gets more sun, the colors are more dramatic.

    • linniew says:

      Oh Tammy, Painters Palette somehow sounds much less threatening than Jumpseed. (I don’t like spiders that jump either.) Thanks for the testimonial and the warning. I am pretty brave with most plants thanks to the clay soil here. Well except for Lesser Celandine which I went to war with and lost. Sounds like the Painters Palette grows in sun or shade and maybe actually prefer sun. I may have the perfect bed for it…

  4. kate says:

    Hi Linnie,
    Don’t listen to anybody else, just keep on planting those trees. In fact any day that you get to plant a tree is a chance for something that you did to keep on going long after you’re gone. Carry on.

    • linniew says:

      Oh a tree-planting soulmate! Great comment Kate and of course I agree completely. I wrote about my tree planting obsession at least once before, here. I stand by it.

  5. Hannah says:

    I like my Painter’s Palette as well, it does seem bigger this year. I guess time will tell. I already have a lot of trees, and I figured out I really like shade gardens because so many weeds don’t like shade and they are much more low maintenance. And so nice and cool.

    • linniew says:

      I completely agree with you about shade and trees Hannah. And I’m pleased to hear another report that Painter’s Palette seems like a well-behaved plant, or at least well enough behaved. I will be adding it at the first opportunity.

  6. It looks like a lovely plant especially with the darker markings. I’ve added it to my wish list too.

    • linniew says:

      This is great Patricia, kind of a gardening pact! But really we must keep in touch in case this plant turns out to be the worst thing we’ve ever done to our gardens and then we can get together and cry or drink or something.

  7. Susan says:

    I’m really visiting just to say Hi. I have no strong or witty thoughts on your ground cover other than the leaf pattern is appealing and I like things that make a statement.

    • linniew says:

      Saying hi is quite enough excuse. So nice to have you here. I agree about the leaf pattern except I do think there might be a message there but I will let you know if I get that figured out. 🙂 L

  8. kininvie says:

    I’m pleased to say that we don’t have this plant in Scotland, and I have no intention of importing it, given the amount of invasive stuff I already have. We do have persicaria here, but a relatively harmless variety.
    It is obvious there is no coded message. This plant is merely enjoying playing an early version of Space Invaders, which, alas, some of us are old enough to remember.

    I note in passing that you have slipped in a line confessing to losing your battle with the celandine. I did warn you at the time… but no – determined as ever to be an exemplar of humankind’s triumph over nature, you ignored my wise words, expending sweat and toil on a task that was doomed from the outset…

  9. Persicaria is right. There are several different varieties of them with different color markings. Easy peasy to grow too. I’ll give you the lowdown if you like. Stay cool.

    • linniew says:

      I was thinking of you this afternoon because I seem to remember that you love the hot days Gracie. This one is enough to wilt most everybody though I think.

      The Persicaria seems to be one of those borderline plants that can be invasive or not –but I’m thinking or pretending not. I do like the green ones with dark messages written on them.

  10. Chloris says:

    But beware, it is the same family as the dreaded Japanese Knotweed which used to be classified as a Persicaria. Just because this has changed its name to Fallopia does not mean that it has changed its habits or its ambition for world domination. That’ s what the coded message is about. You just wait and see.

    • linniew says:

      There is something attractive about impending doom. Or maybe not. In any case I have yet to find the plant available so maybe it’s been banned based on that annoying tendency toward world domination. I just wish I could get plants to grow MY messages. That would so be more fun than Twitter.

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