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Plantidote of the Day 2012-07-31 UPDATED (i.e., CORRECTED)!!

twig's picture



Thanks to astute reader insanely sane, we now know that the previously identified "chrysanthemum" shown above is actually a dahlia. For more about these flowers, including new varieties and growing suggestions, check out the American Dahlia Society. Thanks, insanely!! Excellent catch!

Readers, please send twig ( images and stories for the ongoing Plantidote of the Day series. In exchange, you'll win undying fame in the form of a hat tip! Plants growing in your garden, your house, or neighbor's yard, plants from the forest or farmers' market, plants you preserved, plants you prepared (wine; cider; tea; dried beans), plants you harvested (grains; chantrelles), plants you picked (flowers), plants you dried (herbs), plants you covet or hope to grow someday. Herbal remedies, propagation tips, new varieties, etc.. And if you can, include some solid detail about the plant, too -- a story, the genus and species, or where you got the seeds, or the recipe, or your grandmother gave it to you. Or challenge us with a "Name That Plant" mystery entry ... And please feel free to add corrections and additional information in the csomments.

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insanelysane's picture
Submitted by insanelysane on

That could be a Chrysanthemum but my guess that it could be a Dahlia. Those curled petals look dahlia like. I'd love to see a photo of the leaves and the growing stalk.

My reason is that Mums are short day bloomers ( unless they are green house forced, which is done a lot), but Dahlias are very abundant right now. Mostly mums set bud and bloom after the fall equinox! ( short days)

AS to culture of Chrysanthemums: Very easy. Full sun, average soil and medium water, though they are pretty drought tolerant. Easy to make new plants. A 4 inch tip piece will root in a pot of soil in about 3 weeks.
It has few pests and only a few diseases if over watered. Mums return better in the 2nd year and can be divided after that to make more plants.
There are some pretty fabulous mums out there.
But I still think your picture could be a dahlia...

twig's picture
Submitted by twig on

Geez, what a flub. I would blame it on age, but I wasn't any more accurate when I was younger, so I guess it's just the way it is. I will now go write "It's a dahlia, dummy" 100 times on the chalkboard!

Very interesting about the short day blooming, I've never heard that before, but it makes sense.

Kathryn's picture
Submitted by Kathryn on

Twig that is a great pic.

About mums, things I never knew until recently, the perennial ones you are supposed to keep cutting back to 4" through end of june. That's how you get the big barrel looking mums in the fall.


insanelysane's picture
Submitted by insanelysane on

It's fun to play" what's that plant?"
There is such similarities amongst the flora...

I suspect that you throw out the red herring just to see if we are
paying attention.

I am. LOL

Kathryn, you hit on an important Chrysanthemum detail. Tall and lanky unless you cut back.
China is the origin and have some lovely paintings of mums.
Also, Remember the "Homecoming Mum"
Overblown and sturdy

twig's picture
Submitted by twig on

attention -- yeah, that's it!! I knew it was a dahlia all along, sure!

The sad truth is, I thought it was either a mum or a gerbera. Not even in the ballpark, yeeks!

Anyway, thanks to you and Kath, we know a lot more about mums today than we did yesterday. And there's a very cool mystery plant coming up on Thursday, which means I don't have to worry about mistakes ;-)