User avatar
MarcP
Senior Member
Posts: 239
Joined: Mon Nov 19, 2012 5:17 am
Location: S.E. Michigan

Purple roadside flowers

When I first saw these, I thought they were self-heal (Prunella vulgaris), but a second look at the leaves and they clearly are not. Any guesses on what this wild flower (weed) is?
Image

Image
Retired in S.E. Michigan

DoubleDogFarm
Super Green Thumb
Posts: 6113
Joined: Mon Mar 29, 2010 3:43 am

Re: Purple roadside flowers

Agastache foeniculum or a close relative.

Eric

User avatar
MarcP
Senior Member
Posts: 239
Joined: Mon Nov 19, 2012 5:17 am
Location: S.E. Michigan

Re: Purple roadside flowers

It sure does look like some kind of hyssop, now that you point it out. According to UM directory, Agastache foeniculum only grows in the northernmost part of our upper peninsula but that's what it looks like. More so than Agastache scrophulariifolia which does grow here (along with other varieties that look even less like mine). Now that I am sure it's a hyssop, I have a solid base for researching it. Thanks so much for that input :-)
Marc
Retired in S.E. Michigan

User avatar
rainbowgardener
Super Green Thumb
Posts: 25303
Joined: Sun Feb 15, 2009 11:04 pm
Location: TN/GA 7b

Re: Purple roadside flowers

Get used to smelling things you are trying to ID. If it is anise hyssop (which was my thought also), the licorice mint smell of crushed leaves is absolutely distinctive.
Twitter account I manage for local Sierra Club: https://twitter.com/CherokeeGroupSC Facebook page I manage for them: https://www.facebook.com/groups/65310596576/ Come and find me and lots of great information, inspiration

User avatar
MarcP
Senior Member
Posts: 239
Joined: Mon Nov 19, 2012 5:17 am
Location: S.E. Michigan

Re: Purple roadside flowers

A friend suggested it might be mint. So I drove back and crushed a couple of leaves. It didn't smell like anise and only vaguely like mint: More like a very mild Campho-Phenique if anyone remembers that scent. Anyone think it might be Agastache scrophulariifolia, a variety that does grow this far south in Michigan? Another question, aside from the fact that it doesn't smell much like mint, is there anything visual about it that tells you it's not mint?
Since the other photos were too large to load quickly, here's another one:
Image
Retired in S.E. Michigan

DoubleDogFarm
Super Green Thumb
Posts: 6113
Joined: Mon Mar 29, 2010 3:43 am

Re: Purple roadside flowers

Looks mint to me.


Eric

User avatar
MarcP
Senior Member
Posts: 239
Joined: Mon Nov 19, 2012 5:17 am
Location: S.E. Michigan

Re: Purple roadside flowers

DoubleDogFarm wrote:Looks mint to me.


Eric
Now I'm confused. It sure didn't smell much like mint.
Retired in S.E. Michigan

DoubleDogFarm
Super Green Thumb
Posts: 6113
Joined: Mon Mar 29, 2010 3:43 am

Re: Purple roadside flowers

Note that there are a handful of other plants with square stems and opposite leaves, which may be confused with the Mints. Those plants are found in the Loosestrife, Verbena and Stinging Nettle families, but none of them smell minty.
But none of the above have the right type of flower.

https://www.wildflowers-and-weeds.com/Pl ... iaceae.htm


Eric

User avatar
rainbowgardener
Super Green Thumb
Posts: 25303
Joined: Sun Feb 15, 2009 11:04 pm
Location: TN/GA 7b

Re: Purple roadside flowers

OK, now that I'm looking at it again, the leaves aren't really right for anise hyssop (besides the fact that it clearly doesn't have the right smell from what you said)

Image
https://pics.davesgarden.com/pics/2005/0 ... 3a894e.jpg anise hyssop

but then I don't know what it is, though it still looks really familiar...
Twitter account I manage for local Sierra Club: https://twitter.com/CherokeeGroupSC Facebook page I manage for them: https://www.facebook.com/groups/65310596576/ Come and find me and lots of great information, inspiration

User avatar
Mr_bobo_
Senior Member
Posts: 291
Joined: Fri Jan 18, 2013 12:57 am
Location: Croatia

Re: Purple roadside flowers

DoubleDogFarm wrote:Looks mint to me.


Eric
I can say the same... I have that kond of at home and it definite smell like mint, and very smell is very strong... I made tea from it...
My Garden at: www.borisvrt.webs.com

User avatar
applestar
Mod
Posts: 28045
Joined: Thu May 01, 2008 11:21 pm
Location: Zone 6, NJ (3/M)4/E ~ 10/M

Re: Purple roadside flowers

Yeah it looks like peppermint to me....
Learning never ends because we can share what we've learned. And in sharing our collective experiences, we gain deeper understanding of what we learned.

User avatar
rainbowgardener
Super Green Thumb
Posts: 25303
Joined: Sun Feb 15, 2009 11:04 pm
Location: TN/GA 7b

Re: Purple roadside flowers

peppermint seems closer.

campho-phenique was camphor and menthol (mint).

Hyssop - Yet another member of the large Mint family, Hyssop is an easy to grow, attractive herb that makes a useful border or edging plant. It attracts hummingbirds, bees, and butterflies, and as such is a valuable addition to a habitat-type situation. It has a minty-licorice taste and a strong camphor-like smell.
https://www.gardensablaze.com/Perennials ... lHerbs.htm

They have acquired their common name Mentha from Minthes (according to Ovid) who was changed into a plant of this sort by Proserpina, the wife of Pluto, in a fit of jealousy. Their flowering tops are all found to contain a certain portion of camphor.
https://www.gardenherbs.org/simples/mint ... armint.htm

Above article has lots of fun mint lore.

So smelling like camphophenique doesn't rule it out from being hyssop or mint.
Twitter account I manage for local Sierra Club: https://twitter.com/CherokeeGroupSC Facebook page I manage for them: https://www.facebook.com/groups/65310596576/ Come and find me and lots of great information, inspiration

User avatar
Mr_bobo_
Senior Member
Posts: 291
Joined: Fri Jan 18, 2013 12:57 am
Location: Croatia

Re: Purple roadside flowers

OH, I was not correct...

... Mentha piperita is my final answer... ;-)
My Garden at: www.borisvrt.webs.com

User avatar
MarcP
Senior Member
Posts: 239
Joined: Mon Nov 19, 2012 5:17 am
Location: S.E. Michigan

Re: Purple roadside flowers

rainbowgardener wrote:peppermint seems closer.

campho-phenique was camphor and menthol (mint).

Hyssop - Yet another member of the large Mint family, Hyssop is an easy to grow, attractive herb that makes a useful border or edging plant. It attracts hummingbirds, bees, and butterflies, and as such is a valuable addition to a habitat-type situation. It has a minty-licorice taste and a strong camphor-like smell.
https://www.gardensablaze.com/Perennials ... lHerbs.htm

They have acquired their common name Mentha from Minthes (according to Ovid) who was changed into a plant of this sort by Proserpina, the wife of Pluto, in a fit of jealousy. Their flowering tops are all found to contain a certain portion of camphor.
https://www.gardenherbs.org/simples/mint ... armint.htm

Above article has lots of fun mint lore.

So smelling like camphophenique doesn't rule it out from being hyssop or mint.
Thanks rainbow. I meant to suggest that it had a hint of mint scent but not a particularly pleasant one. I went back today and, for some reason, it did smell a bit more minty. On my way home, I pulled over and parked next to a sign that said "DANGER, high voltage" or something. Nevertheless, I'm alive and found some stuff I hadn't yet photographed! I thought one was baneberry (dolls eye) but when I got back and looked...oh, nevermind. I'll upload the picture soon :-)
Retired in S.E. Michigan

User avatar
MarcP
Senior Member
Posts: 239
Joined: Mon Nov 19, 2012 5:17 am
Location: S.E. Michigan

Re: Purple roadside flowers

Mr_bobo_ wrote:OH, I was not correct...

... Mentha piperita is my final answer... ;-)
Thank you. After smelling it again, I do think it has more of a peppermint scent. So, I'm going with the majority and will assume that's what it is :-)
Retired in S.E. Michigan

DoubleDogFarm
Super Green Thumb
Posts: 6113
Joined: Mon Mar 29, 2010 3:43 am

Re: Purple roadside flowers

mint :lol:

And finally, a wafer thin mint

Return to “Plant Identification”