MysteryTree

kmarsonJanuary 6, 2014

Hello....
I was hoping someone might be able to identify this mystery tree that I've got growing on the side of my house. It is evergreen, didn't loose any of its leaves last winter when it was super cold. I can't keep it on the side where it's growing so I may try to transplant it once I know what it is. Any thoughts would be much appreciated!
Thank you.

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j0nd03

Giving us your location would be helpful. Someone might still get it without that info.

It kinda looks like english ivy but that certainly is not the correct ID.

    Bookmark   January 6, 2014 at 4:06PM
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beng(z6 western MD)

Looks like english ivy on steroids.

    Bookmark   January 6, 2014 at 7:28PM
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calliope(6)

Yep, thinking the same thing. Hedera helix and it's obviouisly small, because the seedlings next to it look like tiny petunias.

    Bookmark   January 6, 2014 at 8:01PM
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j0nd03

Interesting. I've never seen it grow straight up like that if it is English ivy. I'm not real familiar with it though. Of course, it is a vine so it usually seeks something to grow on.

    Bookmark   January 6, 2014 at 8:13PM
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brandon7 TN_zone(7)

If it is Hedera helix (English Ivy), it's a mature plant (note mature form leaves near base of plant). Mature English ivies are no longer vines, they take on more of a bush form. This would explain why this plant is growing like it is.

    Bookmark   January 6, 2014 at 11:35PM
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Embothrium(USDA 8 Sunset 5 WA)

Brachychiton.

Here is a link that might be useful: Brachychiton

    Bookmark   January 7, 2014 at 12:50AM
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brandon7 TN_zone(7)

Kmarson, where are you? I'm going to guess that Bboy is probably right about the genus, but I'm still interested. I think Brachychiton populneus (sometimes written as B. populneum?) is the only species of Brachychiton that is reported as naturalized anywhere in the US. It's reported to be present in some zone 9+ areas of CA and LA. Have you looked around your neighborhood to see if there was a tree who's foliage resembled yours?

    Bookmark   January 7, 2014 at 2:00AM
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nandina(8b)

Appears to be a chance seedling of Bush ivy ( X Fatshedera lizei) which grows well in Zone 8. Worth transplanting to a location next to a stone/brick wall or a strong archway where it can be espaliered. Grows quickly into a heavy, handsome looking 'ivy on steroids' although it does not have clinging tendrils. Can be pruned and shaped any time. I use pieces of heavy duty single wrap Velcro (available inside box stores @ hardware) to secure branches in place and to each other. Branches can grow 15' and need strong support or thoughtful pruning. A tough, hard to kill shrub that is fun to play with planted in the right spot.

    Bookmark   January 7, 2014 at 9:45AM
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floral_uk z.8/9 SW UK

I'm pretty near 100% certain it is neither Hedera nor Fatshedera. I have both and they don't look like this plant at all imo. Look especially at the juvenile leaves near the base, the matt foliage and the thin red petioles - totally different. I don't know Brachychiton so can't comment on that apart from saying that bboy is invariably right.

    Bookmark   January 7, 2014 at 10:00AM
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nandina(8b)

Sorry, but I still think this is Bush ivy in its seedling form. Seedlings do not always exhibit the characteristics of a mature plant.

    Bookmark   January 7, 2014 at 11:08AM
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kmarson

Hi, guys. Thanx for all the feedback. I live in Phoenix, AZ. I got a reply from one of the local nurseries and he identified it as an Australian Bottle Tree (Brachychiton populneus). The tree gets huge so I'll have to yank it :( I'm going to try to pot it in a large pot and try to make a bonsai out of it, but it probably won't last. Anyone local in Phoenix want it??

    Bookmark   January 7, 2014 at 11:22AM
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j0nd03

Anyone else think bboy is really a computer program?

    Bookmark   January 7, 2014 at 12:06PM
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floral_uk z.8/9 SW UK

So bboy was right, as expected.

nandina - leaving aside what, imo, are the significant dissimilarities, from what I have read x Fatshedera lizei, although it produces flowers, is considered to be sterile and so would not produce seedlings.

    Bookmark   January 7, 2014 at 12:28PM
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kmarson

At first, I was thinking it was going to be a bay tree, as the starting leaves were very bay-leafish, but, alas, the 2ndary leaves started to look very different! I want more mystery trees now as this was kinda fun.

    Bookmark   January 7, 2014 at 1:18PM
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Embothrium(USDA 8 Sunset 5 WA)

Bush ivy is the adult phase of creeping ivy (Hedera) - seedlings start out creeping, with the shrubby, flowering growth appearing years later. To get a new plant that has the bush habit, you have to root it from cuttings. I've read these do not take nearly as well as cuttings of the creeping growth.

Another much grown (in suitable climates) ornamental plant that shows this division into two different growth types that are associated with the maturity of the specimen is Lawson cypress (Chamaecyparis lawsoniana). With certain prevalent cultivars of this such as 'Alumii' the tree can easily be seen to be composed of a lower, older part producing cone-less (sterile) shoots and an upper, more recent section bearing differently structured coning (fertile) sprays.

    Bookmark   January 7, 2014 at 2:46PM
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floral_uk z.8/9 SW UK

bboy - as you emphasise, the term 'bush ivy', like many 'common names', is imprecise as it seems to mean different things to different people. Nandina used it for x Fatshedera lizei and you use it for the arboreal form of Hedera helix. Obviously the latter is not sterile as that is the form on which the flowers and berries appear. I was following Nandina's usage when talking about sterility and was referring to x Fatshedera lizei which s/he called 'Bush Ivy'.

H helix grows wild in my garden in both adult and juvenile forms. I also have a large x Fatshedera lizei. It is visible in the corner beyond the Solanum crispum. The gloss on the leaves is clearly visible in contrast to the OP's matt Brachychiton foliage.

    Bookmark   January 7, 2014 at 4:39PM
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