Mystery Plant: New Clues
When interesting things come up in the garden, I tend to let them grow to see what they will become. I guess it's a symptom of my general curiosity. Last summer I posted photos of some plants that came up wild for help in identification. I hoped that perhaps someone knew what they were. One was identified (Purple Toadflax - thanks Malcolm), but the one at the bottom of the page in that post is still a mystery. At the time, I noted that these shrubs had never bloomed or bore fruit. Now I can report that two of the plants, both about ten years old, are now bearing flowers for the first time. In fact, the larger of the two will be absolutely loaded with blossoms. I will post more photos as the flowers continue to open.
I currently have three of these bushy, evergreen shrubs and one is now about 8 feet/2.5 m tall. The leaves are ovate, or is it lanceolate, 3 to 3.5 inches/7.5-9 cm long. New growth is reddish, but gradually turns a deep, shiny green. The leaves do not turn red in the fall, but stay green all winter. It never appears to drop older leaves. Leaf undersides are lighter green and have a dull finish. Leaf edges are smooth, not toothed. When the leaves are crushed, they have a sweet smell. One special characteristic which should narrow the options is where it grows. It is extremely drought tolerant, and does well in dry, rocky soil with little water through the summer. Based on where they have come up, they seem to prefer full to part shade.
Finally, I would like to submit another shrub for identification. It is about 4 feet/1.2 m tall, deciduous, with fine, reddish stems. Leaves open bronze colored and continue a bronzy green all summer. They are 2-2.5 inches/5-6.5 cm long, ovate in shape with toothed edges. I have never seen flowers or fruit. This is a very attractive little shrub that seems to thrive in my terrible, rocky soil.
As always, if anyone knows the identity of these plants, I would enjoy hearing from you very much.