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Old 05-30-2010, 08:05 PM
 
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I live near Chattanooga, TN, and the previous owners' of our house loved flowers. They are everywhere, and I don't know much about flowers or plants.

There is a very tall (i.e. 6-ft tall) plant in our flower garden. I have attached a photo of it. The bottom of the plant has long blades, sort of like an iris, but these grow one on top of the other. My facebook friends don't seem to know what it is. Can anyone help me?
Attached Thumbnails
Tall flowering plant - need help identifying.-dscn6016-2.jpg  
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Old 05-30-2010, 08:10 PM
 
Location: Albemarle, NC
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Agapanthus.
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Old 05-30-2010, 08:28 PM
 
Location: Chapel Hill, N.C.
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I was gonna say allium family but paperhouse probably is right. Whatever it is, it is very expensive. Since you say you don't know anything about flowers I would like to make a suggestion.

Call the masters gardeners at your local country extension office and arrange for somebody to come out and help you identify what you have. Before they get there cut up some old mini blinds into 5 or 6 inch strips, get a permanent marker and be ready to mark every plant you have so you can learn to take care of what you have.

I have even used white plastic knives temporarily until I could get really good ID tags and labels as the sun will eventually bleach the ink.

And if you can't get something identified be sure to mark it, especially spring bulbs which are now losing foliage with white golf tees. Then in the fall you will know not to disturb that place cause there is a treasure down there.

You really need to know what treasures you have.
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Old 05-31-2010, 07:45 AM
 
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I would have said Alium, too. I had some years ago in my old garden and the buds really had the same look. The sepal in the background looks the same as do the shape of each flower bud in the ball of flowers. I haven't grown any Agapanthes yet but it does look similar from pictures, so Paperhouse may be onto something.

The first picture I found of the a full plant I had in mind was here... something about them growing one on top of the other made me think of this to compare to what is in your garden: Allium Alliums - Allium Flowers Allium Gifts - White Flower Farm At least you can see if the leaves are similar.

I left a perennial garden behind, and don't want to think about what has happened to all my favorites. NoKudzu your advice is spot on. Peppermint I would love to hear what you find out you have! I'm starting out all over again and learning all over again (new zone, new challenges and new plants). To have the bones already in for a good garden is a blessing! Please post if you do get someone to ID all your plants- I'm just a bit north of you so really really would love to know what is growing in your garden that I may want to plant as well.
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Old 05-31-2010, 09:17 AM
 
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As things bloom, I am posting photos online and getting some wonderful help from my gardening friends and relatives. So far, I have daffodils, tulips, lilies, iris, day lilies, dianthus, rose campion, peonies, clematis, roses (I don't know what kinds), English ivy, and several mystery plants that haven't flowered or flowered completely like this one.

The previous owners were in their 70's and 80's. They had recently suffered some health problems and couldn't keep up with the 4.6 acre farmette. We're in the process of cleaning up the barn and the land and renovating (updating) the house. The two flower gardens and the beds around the house are terribly overgrown. We didn't want to start "cleaning" them last fall because we had no idea what was out there. Unfortunately, poison ivy took over parts of the beds so I'm trying to clean them out carefully. It's actually just a big mess. I've been trying to use the knowledge of my online friends to help me id my plants. I appreciate your help. I have another mystery flower I will post.
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Old 05-31-2010, 09:50 AM
 
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Here's the bottom part of the plant.
Attached Thumbnails
Tall flowering plant - need help identifying.-dscn6052.jpg  
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Old 05-31-2010, 10:25 AM
 
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Not agapanthus.

Looks like some kind of garlic to me. The leaves look like a garlic plant my neighbor gave me a few years ago. She called it "elephant garlic". The flowers were white, though.....and yours may turn white after they bloom a little better; garlics sometimes do that -- have pinkish or purplish buds but white flowers.

Dig around the base a little bit and see if there is a bulb under there. If it is, scratch and sniff! LOL Usually, garlic foliage and flowers smell garlicky also, but it seems like that elephant garlic didn't. You could try them first, though, before you dig....crush a flower or tear a leaf and sniff.
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Old 05-31-2010, 11:18 AM
 
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Well, it's garlic alright! We are shocked. I never would have thought it was garlic. I think we will be relocating them to our veggie garden instead of the flower garden. Thanks so much!
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Old 05-31-2010, 12:56 PM
 
Location: Chapel Hill, N.C.
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no no don't move it. there are many wonderful decorative garlics and onions.Alliums)
They are beautiful in the garden and bad smells keep deer and rabbits away. of course you can do what you want but veggie gardens are for edible plants and this is definitely not edible. well I wouldn't eat it.
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Old 05-31-2010, 01:07 PM
 
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Before you yank the plant based on a smell test please be aware that garlic is the same as Alium, as are onions, chives and leeks. That was what both NoKudzu and I meant... it is an Alium. There are decorative garlics,flowering not grown for food and there are those grown for the bulb as "food" where the "flower" is cut off. They are not usually the same although a few of the flowering varieties may taste OK.

Look at the following link to see if you can match yours so you have a name to go with the pretty flower. Yours looks quite similar to the "Giant Onion."

Top 10 Most Beautiful Garlic and Onion Flowers | Scienceray

Alium globus might also be the right name... it has the right colors but I can't find pictures of one not fully in bloom. There are several variations on giant and globe like "Globemaster" that are also colored about the same as your specimen.

Another good picture reference to find a possible match might be the following:
Google Image Result for http://www.pacificbulbsociety.org/pbswiki/files/Allium/Allium_nutans_hyb_finger_leaf_flw2.jpg



I haven't been able to find any pictures or references on the actual foliage for you to compare.

Edit: NoKudzu I see you had the same NO!! reaction, but only after I had posted. LOL

Last edited by J&Em; 05-31-2010 at 01:11 PM.. Reason: to add a thought
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