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Plantidote of the Day 2013-02-07

twig's picture


Mystery tree

This may be an ornamental pear tree. Whatever it is, it's blooming here in Zone 10. Actually, it seems that dozens of these trees have bloomed in the last few days. They're so pretty, it's hard to be pissed off when you're looking at them. You can get lost in those crazy stamens. They look like the eyelashes on a cartoon femme fatale. Thank dog for nature, huh?


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 comments.

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JoeInSF's picture
Submitted by JoeInSF on

A pre-coffee guess is that it's some variety of camelia, or camelia--ish species. That's based on the foliage and the general flower pattern. It looks like a simple camelia, but with huge stamen-things. (Can you tell I'm not a botanist?) I await enlightenment from fellow Plantidotians.

jerztomato's picture
Submitted by jerztomato on

It's definitely not a camellia. I don't know what it is. I had a similar looking shrub a few years ago. It was something from New Zealand and zone 8. It bit the dust one harsh winter. I'm going to stop at my local nursery this afternoon to purchase my Seattle home and garden ticket. (woohoo, save $4 by purchasing early) I'll see if I can id it there.

Submitted by lambert on

... but I can't remember where or when! That is as close as I can come to the Plantidotean guessing game!

jerztomato's picture
Submitted by jerztomato on

Where is insanelysane? She knows everything! My first guess would be pseudopanax hybrid, but I'm not sure. My second guess would be hebe. My third guess would be......?

twig's picture
Submitted by twig on

I'm not seeing images like the one above when I search for any of the suggestions, including my own (ornamental pear).

But here's one more clue -- whatever these trees are, the ones in my neighborhood never seem to bear fruit. Maybe that's a pollination problem -- I have a strawberry guava tree, but only one, and it seems two are required for fruit, so it never produces any. So without seeing what the blossoms produce, it's not going to be easy to identify. Unless someone has a better idea.