Wednesday, September 2, 2020

Red face over here

Germander leaves

Yes, I am highly embarrassed. I'm about to tell a story on myself. All this summer, I'd assumed that I had an abundant, healthy population of smallspike false nettle (Boehmeria cylindrica) growing in a bed adjoining our rock patio in the back yard. I planted the first one–purchased from Randy Johnson Organics–in September 2015. (I wanted the species in our gardens because it's a host plant for the red admiral, my favorite butterfly.) In the back of my mind, though, I wondered why the "nettles" looked so much like the American germander (Teucrium canadense) that was gifted to me in September 2018 and planted in a back corner of our back yard. Had Randy sold me the wrong plant? (HAHAHA, Sheryl, that's rich!) However, I didn't bother to investigate further. Until last night.

Finally, I Googled images of the leaves of both species. Surprisingly, they look a lot alike! Below are my photos of the germander, which is in the mint family (square stems). Check out this picture of false nettle leaves. The big difference (DUH, Sheryl!) are the blooms. So I made the tough decision to pull all the germander from the patio bed and throw them on our brush pile. (First, I DID cut off the seed heads and put them in a paper sack, which I'll probably burn later on.) I deadheaded the other germanders, too, in the back corner. 

I'm hoping I have one little false nettle left. Heavy sigh......

Germander seed head
Germander stem
Germander on the brush pile!
My one surviving false nettle, I hope


sandy lawrence said...

The leaves are certainly similar, but you didn't say why you pulled out all your Germander and plan to burn the seeds. Is it an invasive?

Sheryl Smith-Rodgers said...

Good catch, Sandy! I pulled them because they spread aggressively. Something’s been eating on them but not sure what. So they’re a host plant for something! :-)

sandy lawrence said...

I see. I have grown the low growing creeping Germander but had never dealt with this taller variety. Thank you.

Post a Comment