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What plant is it...the new game!

 
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Hubby's friends showed up this summer with a bag of fruit. #2 Son's girlfriend adored it. It has an obvious seed, which got me thinking...

So I planted some and here's what I have from one seed:


So do any of you permies recognize this baby? Are there things you'd like to ask before guessing her identity? Have you ever grown this plant?

Do you have a plant of your own you'd like people to learn to recognize and maybe give some love to by planting one - or a few?
Staff note :

Quote, 'Picture 1' for this plant.

 
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no info on the fruit itself? tricky. looks a lot like a lychee to me.
 
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Yes an image search looks like lychee. Are you warm enough to grow that to a tree Jay? It seems to need generally warm conditions.

Litchi is adapted to the tropics and warm subtropics, producing best in regions with winters that are short, dry and cool but frost free, and summers that are long and hot with high rainfall


from the Ferns database

I've only had tinned lychee and don't remember them fondly, but I guess they would have borne little resemblance to the fresh fruit.
 
greg mosser
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they’re definitely a mild fruit, i’d expect canned ones to be pretty insipid - especially if packed in syrup.

i have a young lychee in the house that’s maybe 6 or 7 years old. at times there was good growth and it seemed happy, but it definitely seems to be on its last legs now. i germinate tropical fruit seeds fairly regularly, it’s frequently a crapshoot!
 
Jay Angler
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You are awesome Greg! Yes - it is indeed a Lychee.

As to whether it will grow here... it will need some support.
The fellow in this video, lives in an ecosystem which is quite similar, although likely with slightly higher "highs", than I do:


His description of the needs of the fruits he's describing and the Lychee are surprisingly similar. I haven't gotten as far as choosing a spot to build a heat trap and the fact that it needs full sun to produce could end up being the deal-breaker, but supposedly it's a very pretty plant, so I may find someone wanting or needing a house plant and gifting it.

I have 2 more babies that have roots, but something happened to the shoots. One of them appears to have put a new shoot out from part of the roots - something I've never seen before - so I'm waiting with baited breath to see if it will actually grow leaves. I'd much prefer to have a pair, as I'm finding that many fruit trees *prefer* to cross pollinate with a friend that isn't a clone, even if the literatures says it's not necessary.

Trust me - I did this much more for "fun" than a realistic, practical crop. I do find the fresh fruit "pleasant" but not like the pleasure I'd get if I could grow Ataulfo Mangos!

So does anyone else have an uncommon plant they'd like to post a picture of?
 
Nancy Reading
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I've got what should be an incredibly easy one - a common plant, but not a part that is normally thought of. I just like the spiral pattern.....

Staff note :

Quote, 'Picture 2' for this plant.

 
Jay Angler
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Is that the bit that's left when something like a Dandelion flower has had all the fluff blow away?
 
Nancy Reading
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Jay Angler wrote:Is that the bit that's left when something like a Dandelion flower has had all the fluff blow away?



Yes! Exactly right, although in my case it is usually the goldfinches that have snabbled all the seeds. It looks a bit like a fruit, but of course the seeds are on the parachute bits that have gone, so it is now a naked head.
 
Jay Angler
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This plant is common enough, but I showed up spontaneously in my compost at a time of year that I thought would have been too cold for it. We've now had actual freezing weather, and it will be interesting to see if the heat from the compost has been enough to keep it alive...

Staff note :

Quote, 'Picture 3' for this plant.

 
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Magical pepper?
 
Jay Angler
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Bethany Brown wrote:Magical pepper?

*Very* magical - we had a very hard frost last night that flattened parsley less than15 feet away, and Little Magical Pepper was still sitting there happy as can be with blossoms on it! I don't believe I have any hope of fruit, but if it's happy there, I'm happy to work around it!
 
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Looks like maybe Spanish Lime (Melicoccus bijugatus). It won't be winter-hardy above south Florida, if that's what it is.
 
Jay Angler
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This showed up on a rarely used driveway on our homestead.




I've got a couple of guesses, but I've *never* known my guesses to self-seed...
Staff note (Jay Angler) :

Quote, 'Picture 4 and 5' for this plant.

 
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Looks a lot like globe artichoke or possibly cardoon.
 
Jay Angler
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Mike Turner wrote:Looks a lot like globe artichoke or possibly cardoon.

So I'm not crazy - thanks Mike! I've *never* known them to self-seed, and it didn't exactly land on fertile ground.

I'm going to have a *really* close look at where it popped up. There was an old compost area to the south that got a lot of "interesting" stuff dumped into it by a lady who did gardening for others. It was disturbed last spring for reasons, and I'm wondering if there might have been either artichoke or cardoon seeds in there that got moved to a spot they could germinate. Some seeds can be dormant a very long time and still germinate when the plant decides the time is right - I just wouldn't have thought that October would qualify, although we had really weird weather for October this year!

Do you happen to know how to tell the difference between those two alternatives?
 
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Jay Angler wrote:This plant is common enough, but I showed up spontaneously in my compost at a time of year that I thought would have been too cold for it.



Looks like coffee to me.
 
Jay Angler
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Robin Katz wrote:Looks like coffee to me.

Sorry Robin - I'm going to have to find a way of numbering the submitted plant pictures. I'm assuming you're looking at the photo in the first post - branched from a stem, very simple 4 leaves. That one is absolutely a baby Lychee tree. I know because I ate the fruit and planted the seed myself!

The current plant we're discussing is 2 posts up-thread - it's a volunteer and so far, 2 of us are thinking along the artichoke/cardoon line.
 
Mike Turner
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Jay Angler wrote:

Mike Turner wrote:Looks a lot like globe artichoke or possibly cardoon.

So I'm not crazy - thanks Mike! I've *never* known them to self-seed, and it didn't exactly land on fertile ground.

I'm going to have a *really* close look at where it popped up. There was an old compost area to the south that got a lot of "interesting" stuff dumped into it by a lady who did gardening for others. It was disturbed last spring for reasons, and I'm wondering if there might have been either artichoke or cardoon seeds in there that got moved to a spot they could germinate. Some seeds can be dormant a very long time and still germinate when the plant decides the time is right - I just wouldn't have thought that October would qualify, although we had really weird weather for October this year!

Do you happen to know how to tell the difference between those two alternatives?



The two plants are very similar since the globe artichoke is just the domesticated form of the cardoon.  It would be difficult to distinguish between the two at the seedling stage, but globe artichoke is more commonly grown than cardoons, so your plant is most likely an artichoke.
 
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Upstate New York

Zone 5B

Has been here for probably close to 30 years.

Soil is poor, sandy, lots of gravel.

Has 1 inch - 2 inch thorns all along it.

Does produce berries, about the size of a dime?

Unknown1.jpg
Full shot
Full shot
Unknown2.jpg
Thorn shot (Fuzzy, sorry)
Thorn shot (Fuzzy, sorry)
Unknown3.jpg
Bark Shot
Bark Shot
Staff note :

Quote: 'Picture 6, 7 and 8' for this plant.

 
Mike Turner
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Russian olive (Elaeagnus augustifolia)
 
Timothy Norton
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I will try and track down a picture of it leaved out.

I believe it might be a type of hawthorn?
 
Jay Angler
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Picture 7 and 8

Timothy Norton wrote:I will try and track down a picture of it leaved out.

I believe it might be a type of hawthorn?

Hawthorns and Russian Olives have *very* different leaf styles. The Hawthorns near us have much smaller fruit than "size of a dime", but that could be variety-based.

Also, I'm learning that many volunteer fruit trees will have thorns, when domestic versions have none. It's a trait humans tend to try to reduce, but if the tree's out there in deer country, without thorns it wouldn't make it.
 
Timothy Norton
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Please see the additional photo that I had linked.

The bush is in the background. Where that flag is, I ended up pulling 8 teal green concrete pavers out of the ground. I don't know why they were there but they are over thirty years old at least. Under about two inches of dirt/junk/grass
Mystery.jpg
What could it be?
What could it be?
 
Mike Turner
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Definitely not Russian olive, the leaves look like it is one of the native hawthorn (Crataegus) species.  
 
Nancy Reading
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Picture 6,7,8 (and 9!) I'd agree with possibly a Hawthorne too (eg Crataegus intricata?). What are the flowers like, what colour berries?
 
Timothy Norton
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Small white flowers

Red berries, something eats them because they disappear shortly after they appear.

I'm going back years now trying to see if I got any other photos of the plant. I'm excited that I might be closer to a identification. Worst case is I wait until it fleshes out in the spring/summer and circle back.
 
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