Wednesday, July 09, 2008

A different kind of "What is it?"

I've got a couple of mystery plants in my garden I'm hoping you can identify for me.

The first one I thought might be a sunflower at first.
But no, it's producing little yellow flowers:
Which in turn are becoming some kind of fruit(?):
There are only a couple of these plants, so I'm leaving them until I can figure out what they are.

(Edit: Thanks to commenter Molly, who pointed me to Name That Plant! at GardenWeb, and to Carol23 there, who made the ID, this I now know is Abutilon theophrasti, a.k.a. Velvetleaf, China Jute, Buttonweed, Butterprint or Indian Mallow. Definitely a weed. Darn it.)

Still looking for an ID on this one, though: In the vegetable garden is something that looks vaguely pepper-like in its leaves and habit.
But the flower is more nightshade-like:
It could be a vegetable of some kind, from seeds that have lain dormant until I started watering the long-neglected garden again. Or maybe it's just another weed.

(Edit: The consensus is that this is a nightshade, of the poisonous, weedy variety. Guess it doesn't matter which kind in particular. I've pulled it out. Thanks to everyone who weighed in!)

(For the regular What is it? series, click here.)


  1. the first one looks like a squash family member of some kind ... but I'm no gardener, so I could be utterly mistaken.

    also, I can never ever guess your regular "what is it?" but I love them anyway, for the reveal when I click on them!

  2. We guess okra on the first and maybe a kind of eggplant on the second. There are so many nightshades, including the berry varieties, it's hard to say. It'll be fun to see the results. Are there prizes for the winners?? LOL.

  3. both seem niteshade-y are the stems sticky? I go with something okra like as well

  4. The top one does look "squash-y" and the bottom one looks like a vile weed in the nightshade family that will produce black berries from those flowers. When all else fails I go to Name That Plant!

  5. I have no idea, but they're very pretty!

  6. It's a lemme see.uhmmmm yes I got it

    A WEED but a pretty one.......

  7. The first one looks like some kind of mallow plant.

  8. Thanks, everybody! And Molly, great resource! The first one, at least, has been identified. It's Abutilon theophrasti, a.k.a. Velvetleaf, China Jute, Buttonweed, Butterprint or Indian Mallow. Definitely a weed, so it's coming out.

    Anonymous, you were the closest!

    Still hoping to find out what the second one is. Probably a weed, too. Sigh.

  9. yea... maybe its squash? lucky! I wish I had some unexpected veggie plants in my garden!

  10. It's only a weed if you don't want it there! The second does look like some kind of nightshade though

  11. Here's your second one. Yep. Nightshade.

  12. Ooops. Sorry. I'm links impaired. Here's the correct link:

  13. I wish they were volunteer veggies, Lina! That was my hope, cruelly dashed.

    Breezy, I was tempted to keep the velvetleaf, but it's billed as horribly invasive. Best not to encourage it.

    Hi Katie! Thanks!

    Molly, that's exactly it!