Lamb's Ear? Mullein? Something Else?

Andrew7a(7a)April 6, 2014

Someone gave me these last fall and presented them as something native to Southeast Pennsylvania where I live. I had my doubts about that, but I'm not sure what exactly this is. The leaves are quite soft, hairy on both sides. They don't have a pronounced vein pattern and are about an inch to two inches long. They've stayed more or less the same pastel green color all winter, except for the odd leaf here and there that seems to have been frostbitten.

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fatamorgana2121(Zone 5/6)

Not mullein (V. thapsus). Not lamb's ear. Something else. Not sure what at this stage but once it starts to sprout up, I'm sure it will be more recognizable - if someone here doesn't ID it before then.

FataMorgana

    Bookmark   April 6, 2014 at 9:46PM
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lycopus(z5 NY)

Maybe a cudweed or everlasting. Several species go by either of those names but they all have that general appearance.

    Bookmark   April 6, 2014 at 9:48PM
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Cenepk10(7B)

Rose Campion

    Bookmark   April 6, 2014 at 10:49PM
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Cenepk10(7B)

Silene coronaria

More images
Silene coronaria
Silene coronaria is a species of flowering plant in the carnation family Caryophyllaceae,â¦

    Bookmark   April 6, 2014 at 10:52PM
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floral_uk z.8/9 SW UK

This plant appears to have distinctly toothed leaves, which Lychnis/Silene coronaria does not. Nor is that plant a US native. The size and veination don't fit either.

    Bookmark   April 7, 2014 at 5:29AM
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ken_adrian Adrian MI cold Z5

i would go with rose campion.. any recollection about a vibrant hot pink flower .. see link

a true biennial ... you are lucky they gave you the right piece ... for it to come back after winter ..

if you are going to do a lot of posting.. putting a scale with the plant.. sometimes help ...

i would suggest.. the leaves have a silvery fuzz on them ... if my guess is right ...

it can be a heavy reseeder ... but i like its unique flower color ... but i thin mercilessly and cut down stalks to avoid too many seeds ... deadheading ...

i question the native comment ...

ken

Here is a link that might be useful: there is also a much less common white version ...

    Bookmark   April 7, 2014 at 7:49AM
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Cenepk10(7B)

Rose Campion leaves

    Bookmark   April 7, 2014 at 8:05AM
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floral_uk z.8/9 SW UK

I do not know what the OP's plant is but I'm pretty sure it's not Rose Campion. Fatamorgana is right that we probably need to see flowers for an id.

Thanks for posting the picture of Lychnis coronaria leaves, but I have it my own garden and have just been out to look at it carefully. The size and appearance of the leaves in the OP's photo does not correspond to Lychnis coronaria. L coronaria leaves are 4 - 6 inches long, much larger than the 1 - 2 inches as stated by the OP. And they are not dentate. The OP's picture clearly shows toothed leaf margins.

    Bookmark   April 7, 2014 at 8:49AM
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plantladyco

Basket of Gold (Aurinia)??

    Bookmark   April 7, 2014 at 11:46AM
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Andrew7a(7a)

Thanks for all the replies everyone.

A little more info. Each clump is currently about five inches in diameter. The edges of the leaves are completely smooth (no toothed margins - that's just leaf hair that the rain has bunched together in places), and are hairy on both sides.

The leaves in the center of the clump now seem to be becoming more erect, but are still soft and almost completely lacking any rigidity.

As to this plant's status as a native, I have my doubts because of the leaf hairs. The only reason I can think of for a plant to have these hairs is to protect the leaf from excess moisture loss due to high heat, low humidity and wind. The area I live in is typically quite humid and receives abundant rain year-round, so (assuming I am correct in my assumptions about the evolutionary origins of this adaptation) there is no reason for plants native to this region to have hairy leaves.

    Bookmark   April 7, 2014 at 6:31PM
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Cenepk10(7B)

Andrew, please ! Nowhere- but Florida is more humid than Atlanta & Rose campion flourishes here... May not be native - but you'll find that rascal all over the place... Even growing in grass ! I ply them up and transplant all around. Fabulous plant- 1 of my favorites that doesn't detest moisture or rain like lambs ears as I've seen

    Bookmark   April 7, 2014 at 9:44PM
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Andrew7a(7a)

Cenepk10 - sorry, I should have clarified. The reason I am trying to determine whether it's native to my area is that I am trying to create a wildlife garden using all native perennials. Some introduced species have decent wildlife value, particularly if they're closely related to a native species, but the majority of the ones I've come across have very little.

    Bookmark   April 7, 2014 at 10:26PM
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Cenepk10(7B)

Gotcha ! That's ambitious !!!! I'm still working on pretty. Would love to see pics of your project a little later in the season. I read that
Rose campion is native to northern Africa, southern Europe and the Middle East, where it grows in scrub and rocky places. So... It won't make your cut.

    Bookmark   April 7, 2014 at 11:40PM
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floral_uk z.8/9 SW UK

Right - if the leaves are not toothed (they certainly looked toothed in the picture) Rose Campion is a possibility after all. But the leaves still seem very small and I've never seen mine looking that hairy.

    Bookmark   April 8, 2014 at 4:31AM
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