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Tropical Zone Gardening: Plant ID

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Forum: Tropical Zone GardeningReplies: 23, Views: 286
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vitrsna

vitrsna
Colima
Mexico
(Zone 11)

July 3, 2011
2:27 PM

Post #8670089

I have been trying to identify a plant that a friend brought to Colima, Mexico some years ago from Costa Rica. It looks like it could be a Salvia and possibly a Salvia tiliifolia, although the flower color we find on the internet is blue and the flower color of this plant is a deep reddish purple. We believe the plant is native of Central America. I know the plant has a square stem and no apparent odor (although I just have a cutting with a couple of flowers, so the mother plant may be odiferous but i don't know. It is a large bushy plant, 1 meter tall +. The flowers are small. Does anyone know this plant? also, attracts butterflies. there is a close-up of the flower on the next post. I guess we can only have one photo at a time?

Thumbnail by vitrsna
Click the image for an enlarged view.

Lily_love

Lily_love
Central, AL
(Zone 7b)

July 3, 2011
2:29 PM

Post #8670097

I think it's commonly known as 'Porterweed'.

Lily_love

Lily_love
Central, AL
(Zone 7b)

July 3, 2011
2:33 PM

Post #8670100

http://davesgarden.com/guides/pf/go/51475/
Here it's in the pf.

vitrsna

vitrsna
Colima
Mexico
(Zone 11)

July 3, 2011
2:45 PM

Post #8670115

Thanks Lily but the flowers look very different to me and the leaves look different too. what do you think?

Lily_love

Lily_love
Central, AL
(Zone 7b)

July 3, 2011
2:47 PM

Post #8670117

http://davesgarden.com/guides/pf/showimage/56203/ We need second opinion please. I think it's the blue porterweed. But I'm not an expert.

vitrsna

vitrsna
Colima
Mexico
(Zone 11)

July 3, 2011
2:53 PM

Post #8670125

i looked up information about the porterweed and it is described as low growing. this plant is more than a meter tall (3.3 feet plus) so i think porterweed can be ruled out.
tropicbreeze
noonamah
Australia

July 3, 2011
3:14 PM

Post #8670166

It definitely looks like Snake Weed, Stachytarpheta spp. They're a wide spread weed in tropical areas and one of the worst on my place. Even as small plants they send up inflorescences, flower continuously and drop seed continuously. They prefer wet, damp areas but will take over drier areas in the wet season then persist through the dry season. There's several species so you get a bit of variation in flower colour and appearance of the leaves, and height differences, from under a metre to around 2 metres. I'd just love to get rid of every last one off my place, they are a curse.

Lily_love

Lily_love
Central, AL
(Zone 7b)

July 3, 2011
3:25 PM

Post #8670189

I can envision it becomes a nuisane. In temperate climate where we get frost. They will not survive. I'm keeping a red variety of this for my hummingbirds attraction. It surely does need frost protection comes winter here though. However, the blue porterweed is known to survive winter here in my zone, I do believe.

Thumbnail by Lily_love
Click the image for an enlarged view.

tropicbreeze
noonamah
Australia

July 3, 2011
3:34 PM

Post #8670202

The species on my place are shades of mostly blue or purple. I understood that the pink/red species needed a colder climate, they only grow in the higher altitude wetter areas here. But I'd rather not have any. They do seem to attract the butterflies though.

Lily_love

Lily_love
Central, AL
(Zone 7b)

July 3, 2011
3:43 PM

Post #8670219

It's a novelty in the garden. Thus far the pink/red blooming kind do not give me any problem here. But in tropical climate there are so many beautiful flowers to enjoy.

vitrsna

vitrsna
Colima
Mexico
(Zone 11)

July 4, 2011
10:31 AM

Post #8671678

Thank you Lily and Noonamah. You know when i googled "porterweed", i received information and photos that did not seem to apply at all to the plant that i have. But, when i googled "snakeweed stachytarpheta", i found entirely different web sites with images very similar to what i have and also information supporting the height and the square stem so i do indeed believe that it is a stachytarpheta. apparently there are at least 65 different varieties so i don't know just what kind of stachytarpheta i have but i expect it won't be too hard to determine with a little more googling. it was very generous of you both to take the time, zone10b

Lily_love

Lily_love
Central, AL
(Zone 7b)

July 4, 2011
10:34 AM

Post #8671684

vitrsna, you're welcome. Happy gardening.

Metrosideros

Metrosideros
Keaau, HI


July 4, 2011
3:49 PM

Post #8672222

It is Stachytarpheta urticifolia.

http://www.hear.org/starr/images/search/?q=stachytarpheta urticifolia&o=plants

http://plants.ifas.ufl.edu/node/438

http://plants.usda.gov/java/profile?symbol=STUR

vitrsna

vitrsna
Colima
Mexico
(Zone 11)

July 4, 2011
4:14 PM

Post #8672263

Thank you Metrosideros! i looked at all the sites but all the flowers appear blue to me...look at the deep purple of the photo i submitted. the color now is what is bothering me the most because i've looked at so many images but none of them have this same deep purple flower with the curly petals. what do you think? i have read "purple" is one of the colors of this genus but haven't yet seen a photo of one. Do you suppose purple is regional? or rare?

wow you davesgarden people are great. i just started with this site and hope i can help someone one of these days in the way you have all helped me

Metrosideros

Metrosideros
Keaau, HI


July 4, 2011
4:25 PM

Post #8672290

Hi Vitrsna,

Here, the flowers range from blue to purple.

I guess that the color could be from variety, soil nutrition, or climate (wet or dry).

The plant grows in Hawai'i in a wide range of habitats.

Aloha, Dave
Alileo
Manila
Philippines

July 5, 2011
2:27 AM

Post #8673032

Try googling Stachytarpheta jamaicensis. It is an introduced species in the Philippines where it has escaped cultivation and become a weed. The flower spikes are quite attractive especially in large groupings; bees and butterflies go crazy over the flowers. However, it is difficult to control as self-seeds profusely.
stellamarina
Laie, HI

August 11, 2011
4:28 PM

Post #8750937

I have also heard it called Jamaican Vervain in Hawaii. Used a lot in herbal medicines. I know one guy who made tea from it. Another who would crush the leaves to stop bleeding. We do not get the butterflies on it here in Hawaii but I have seen a butterflies crowd them in Samoa.
rockportannie
Rockport, TX
(Zone 9a)

February 13, 2012
7:50 AM

Post #9005035

Definitely Purple Porterweed. I have both Red and Purple in my yard in South Texas. I love it. Takes all the abuse and keeps on blooming and growing. The long pods when dried on plant (they will snap off) contain thousands of seeds. You can also do from soft cuttings.
stellamarina
Laie, HI

June 28, 2012
3:24 PM

Post #9185208

Have just come back from Malaysia and noticed this plant a lot there but it is the red flowered variety.. Butterflies like it there too.
tropicbreeze
noonamah
Australia

June 28, 2012
5:08 PM

Post #9185325

Snakeweed is very widespread now around the world, brought into gardens because of the attracrtiveness of its flowers. But it never stays in one place.
DebSTX
Clarence, NY

April 9, 2013
1:13 AM

Post #9477003

I'm in NY now. Sure looks like nightshade up here.

Metrosideros

Metrosideros
Keaau, HI


April 18, 2013
9:29 PM

Post #9489212

Nightshade is a much different plant.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Solanum_americanum
elencanto
Ometepe Island
Nicaragua

August 27, 2013
12:28 PM

Post #9642998

Stachytarpheta frantzii. I have 3 varieties in my garden here in Nicaragua. I use them to attract butterflies and hummingbirds (100%).

Thumbnail by elencanto   Thumbnail by elencanto         
Click an image for an enlarged view.

vitrsna

vitrsna
Colima
Mexico
(Zone 11)

August 27, 2013
8:51 PM

Post #9643447

hello elencanto...yes, my Stachytarpheta was very much the same color as your purple one. everyone seems to have a different idea of the species :). it is a good attractor of the nectar lovers. i replaced my stachy (due to limited space) with Odontonema callistachyum and verbena. The Odontonema i grew from seed and it is growing well but not yet making flowers. i am delighted with the purple top verbena, the butterflies are crazy about it...all kinds of butterflies from skippers to swallowtails...so much variety and so many and am hoping the Odontonema will have the same draw. i would say, to date, the verbena has been the biggest draw of all the nectar plants i've tried. I also have started this year Senecio confusus which is just now getting its first flowers. i hope it lives up to its reputation :).

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