Have you ever had a mystery plant in your garden? I am sure most of you have. Many times we lose the plant tags and easily forget what a plant name is. But what about all the plants that are not tagged at the garden center? Yes, it happens and we still buy them. I think my biggest pet peeve is buying a plant called just “succulents”. Really, like there isn’t more of a name that they can think to apply to the plant with thousands of names out there to actually properly identify it? Drives me crazy but let’s get on with my mystery plant. Believe it or not, I have owned this plant for almost ten years. For the first two years it sat in a four-inch pot waiting for a home in the garden. That means it went through two winters, so it’s definitely hardy.
I received this plant as a gift from Steve Sanderson just before they closed their garden center. Oh how I miss the good times at the family run garden center. I often did master gardener clinics there and always came home with more plants. Steve told me this was a native plant and one that I would enjoy. If only he knew how long it would sit waiting for perfect spot in my garden. Looking closely at the plant it resembles a hardy Geranium but it doesn’t have the pungent smell that the leaves normally have. I seem to recall the word ‘Mayflower’ being used when he gave me the plant.
The leaves are lovely and very palmate in shape. They are a bit glossy making this plant looks lush in my shade garden. It seems to do well in a shade garden with filtered light along with Hostas and other shade loving plants.
Looking at the flower closely, it does resemble a hardy Geranium. What do I love about this plant? It blooms forever! Literally it blooms from the beginning of June to the fall. It’s the plant that keep on going like the energizer bunny. It is now almost two feet across and lucky me had it go to seed last year for the first time. Last fall I was laid up and couldn’t clean up the garden. I now own two more babies of this mystery plant. This time the new mystery plants are growing in full sun next to my greenhouse. Can you say warm from reflected heat? We will see how they do over the summer.
I love this plant because of the memories of the old Sanderson’s Nursery that it brings. I just wish I knew what it was. Its pest free and one of my best performers in the garden.