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Lamb's Ear? But how?

Posted by ILoveCucumbers 6b (My Page) on
Sat, Jul 19, 14 at 16:14

Hi there,

This spring, I planted many flower seeds--some perennials, some annuals. This is one of the seeds that came up.

I did not buy Lamb's Ear seeds, but after doing some research, it sure looks like LE. Could it be something else?


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Lamb's Ear? But how?

I should add that I have many of them--they seem to be arranged in a circle, as if they had been bulbs. I did plant bulbs, but I don't remember what they were--but definitely not lamb's ears.


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RE: Lamb's Ear? But how?

LE's usually a bit thicker in the leaf. To me, what you have looks closer to wooly mullein (verbascum).


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RE: Lamb's Ear? But how?

Lychnis coronaria ?


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RE: Lamb's Ear? But how?

Thanks for your replies. If its wooly mullein, it's an invasive plant. I DEFINITELY did not plant these. I don't much like them. I guess I'm going to pull them. What a mystery.


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RE: Lamb's Ear? But how?

I think it's Lychnis coronaria, aka Rose Campion, rather then Verbascum thapsus. The leaf thickness, the lack of a furry coat and the undulations in the leaf all point that way. It's a biennial so will flower next year. So please don't pull them yet. Even if it is Mullein (and I'd bet a lot of money it isn't) it cannot be invasive until it flowers and sets seed and you'll know by then what it is for certain.


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RE: Lamb's Ear? But how?

  • Posted by mxk3 z5b/6 MI (My Page) on
    Sun, Jul 20, 14 at 13:05

I like it! (but then, I'm a fan of lamb's ear)


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RE: Lamb's Ear? But how?

  • Posted by edie_h 5aNY (Finger Lakes) (My Page) on
    Sun, Jul 20, 14 at 19:13

Another vote for rose campion. Do you remember having seeds for that?

The fact that they're in a circle strongly suggests deliberate planting by a human. Have you done an image search for each plant suggested as a possibility?

All of the suggestions so far are plants safe to touch, and with different textures. So, go ahead and touch them. What do the leaves feel like? Bristly? Velvety? Like felt?


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RE: Lamb's Ear? But how?

I most definitely did not plant these. Near there, I plannted ornamental allium, and scattered lots of different seeds, both annual and perennial. Poppies, Shasta daisies, and flowers I can't recall right now, but are associated with cottage gardens. I did Google, and came up with lamb's ear. Did not buy Rose Campion seeds.

Yes, I have touched them, and they feel lovely. They're very soft and velvety, and thin rather than thick. I guess, after further thought, I'll leave them and see what they become. But I don't see any evidence of flowering so far.


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RE: Lamb's Ear? But how?

Thin rather than thick points to Rose Campion. It is a cottage garden classic. According to Wiki other common names are dusty miller, mullein-pink and bloody William. Any of those ring a bell? As I mentioned it is biennial so it will flower next year, not this. Many people grow it specifically for the first year basal rosettes as much as for the flowers. I am as certain as I can be of the id. Just went out to look at mine again and there is no doubt as far as I am concerned.


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RE: Lamb's Ear? But how?

Thanks again for trying to shed more light on this. Nope, none of those names ring a bell, but I DID plant Sweet William, Bellflowers, and Canterbury Bells, but the foliage on those flowers doesn't look like this. That said, I'll assume it's Rose Campion. Although I didn't plant it, when it flowers, it will be lovely. The only thing I can think of is that perhaps my seeds were mislabeled.


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RE: Lamb's Ear? But how?

Lychnis coronaria self seeds and it is possible a neighbour has it or it came in with soil or compost. It is also possible your seeds were mislabelled.


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RE: Lamb's Ear? But how?

I also vote for Rose Campion. It seeds itself around my garden and I usually let it stay as it has such lovely watermelon pink flowers. I also have a white one with a pink blush to the center.


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RE: Lamb's Ear? But how?

  • Posted by edie_h 5 NY (Finger Lakes) (My Page) on
    Sat, Jul 26, 14 at 17:13

Perhaps they came to you under a different name. Common names can cause all sorts of trouble. We had rose campion in the garden of my childhood home. My mother called the plants Lamb's Ear. Years later I wanted some for myself. I was not pleased to learn that Lamb's Ear normally refers to a different plant. That meant I had no idea what the plant from my childhood was called or how to find it. Eventually I figured it out, and now I have the plant I remembered.


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RE: Lamb's Ear? But how?

Looks like lychnis coronaria to me. I have two colors and love them. They are indeed biennials and here in zone 4, are not reliably hardy so am thrilled to find some in Spring. Mary


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