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Garden Gleanings - Can anyone helps us identify this flower??

Posted Saturday, July 19, 2008, at 11:52 AM

At our gardening group, Barbara brought one of her favorite flowers inherited from her mother. Of course everyone wanted to know what it was and that is where our challenge started.

I am leaning toward a variety of begonia, but after hours of search, I am still at a loss. I searched the American Begonia site and kept getting close, but no aha, so I moved on to search for different aspects of the plant and growing habits. Still no aha.

Here are some things Barbara told us. She grows it in a container. It dies back in fall and she stores it in a cool dark place. The roots have small tuberous roots that look like red pine cones.

It grows quite bushy, flowering profusely with the pictured funnel, trumpet, tubular type flower, with the inner speckled tube resembling an orchid. The petals are not totally separate and all originate from the tube.

When pulled apart it reminds me of a honeysuckle. There is little to no scent. The flower resembles a petunia but does not have the sticky feel to it and does not shrivel and collapse. In fact, this picture was taken after it was stored over a week and saved in a humid bag in the refrigerator.

The leaves are crescent shaped, slightly textured with serrated edges and a light hair surface. Underneath the leaf, the hue is slightly purple with defined veins.

We will probably all smack our heads eventually and say, "we should have known that", but the mind is not working. Any ideas?

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I've posted your query on one of my favorite garden forums. The link with any replies is here:


Steve, if that link doesn't click, will you fix it, please?

-- Posted by craftin_mom on Sat, Jul 19, 2008, at 1:56 PM

Hey, thanks for that web-site. I've a plant I need to post. No idea what it is.

Good luck identifying!

-- Posted by mmp84 on Sat, Jul 19, 2008, at 2:57 PM

I have 1 response that agrees with me that Steve's mystery flower is quite possibly a variety of Impatiens. It's not official yet, tho. They're still working on it.

Mmp84... you're quite welcome to the forum there. Those people are very friendly, and I've really enjoyed that site for about 4 months now. I'm sure you will too.

-- Posted by craftin_mom on Sat, Jul 19, 2008, at 4:48 PM

I did not know impatiens would form tuberous roots. I will check closer. Thanks.

-- Posted by stevemills on Sat, Jul 19, 2008, at 8:14 PM

I did some checking for impatiens with the same search criteria as I did for begonias and could not find anything close. I did find some tuberous hardy impatiens, but nothing like the sample.

If you have some links to check, let me know. I would think that gardenweb has an impatiens boards so I will check there also.

-- Posted by stevemills on Sat, Jul 19, 2008, at 8:54 PM

Achimenes has been suggested on thegardenforum.org

Is this what the plant looks like when the flower isn't picked off?


If it's not that one, maybe it's here somewhere:


-- Posted by craftin_mom on Sun, Jul 20, 2008, at 7:28 AM

I believe you are on to something craftin_mom. I am teaching a class right now but will check it out further tonight. Thanks!

-- Posted by stevemills on Sun, Jul 20, 2008, at 12:47 PM

Does P. Allen Smith's web site offer a way to ask him such a question? After all, he's just from around the bend in Warren Co.

-- Posted by bettyhbrown on Mon, Jul 21, 2008, at 11:24 AM

I don't see an easy way to do it, but will check it out again.

Never knew he was from our 'neck of the woods'.

-- Posted by stevemills on Mon, Jul 21, 2008, at 3:08 PM

craftin_mom, I believe you hit it on the head with the Achimenes. While I did not find the the exact leaf shape, the texture of the leaf, growing habits, roots, tubers and flower are right on. Thanks.

-- Posted by stevemills on Mon, Jul 21, 2008, at 3:22 PM

Happy to help, Steve. Be sure to bookmark www.thegardenforum.org They can help with lots of gardening questions.

-- Posted by craftin_mom on Mon, Jul 21, 2008, at 4:09 PM

Oops, we really need an edit button. Actually, I just need to pay closer attention to what I'm doing, lol!

That forum is www.thegardenforums.org

Don't forget the s in forums like I did, lol!

-- Posted by craftin_mom on Mon, Jul 21, 2008, at 4:17 PM

I used to use then a good deal but it has been over 5 years now. I am glad you reminded me and us.


-- Posted by stevemills on Tue, Jul 22, 2008, at 12:53 PM

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Steve Mills and his wife have one daughter. They previously owned two coffee/ice cream shops, currently operate an internet sales company and teach classes, but his primary job involves the paper industry worldwide. Hobbies and interests lie in gardening, photography, recorded music and of course, their pets.