Solved Is this plant friendly?

Discussion in 'Identification Area' started by Timpwbaker, Jan 22, 2020.

  1. Timpwbaker

    Timpwbaker Apprentice Gardener

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    It's sprouted in the garden of my new house. Growing rapidly. What is it?

    IMG_20200122_080815.jpgIMG_20200122_080810.jpgIMG_20200122_080806.jpg
     
  2. Victoria

    Victoria Lover of Exotic Flora

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    Hi, and welcome to GC. I may be wrong but if it has spikey stems it could be wild Asparagus which pops up suddenly here.
     
  3. Clare G

    Clare G Super Gardener

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    I'm wondering if it's some kind of fennel!
     
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    • Victoria

      Victoria Lover of Exotic Flora

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      Hmm, could be Clare. You'd know that by the smell.
       
    • Timpwbaker

      Timpwbaker Apprentice Gardener

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      Thanks for the quick responses! It doesn't smell like fennel and has perfectly smooth stems.
       
    • Victoria

      Victoria Lover of Exotic Flora

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      :scratch: Maybe someone knowledgeable will now come along ... :heehee:
       
    • NigelJ

      NigelJ Total Gardener

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      Not really knowledgeable, but looks like my Giant Fennel (Ferula communis) can grow to 3m+, one of mine reached 12ft when in flower, large heads of yellow flowers attractive to insects. Mine self seeds but not ridiculously, can be monocarpic (dies after flowering), however mine behave as short lived perennials, took about 3 years from seed to flowers, but now flower yearly. The foliage does not smell of aniseed and it's definitely not edible. I will have a look for photos later.
       
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      • Silver surfer

        Silver surfer PLANTAHOLIC

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        Welcome to the forums.
        Interesting.
        Where do you live Timpwbaker.?
        Don't expect sudden lush growth like that in winter in UK.
         
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        • NigelJ

          NigelJ Total Gardener

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          @Silver surfer good point, they are well on for UK.
          Here in the South West this is what 3 of mine look like, all have different degrees of shelter
          P1040151.JPG
          P1040149.JPG
          P1040147.JPG
          As promised flowering Ferula communis
          Ferula communis.JPG
          Ferula communis 2.JPG
           
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          • shiney

            shiney President, Grumpy Old Men's Club Staff Member

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            Does it differ much from our 'vulgaris, purple fennel. That has started sprouting (not as well as yours) and seems to be fully perennial (one plant must be at least 20 years old). Although we don't use the leaves (it looks too good to pick) we harvest the masses of seeds each year.

            :scratch:
             
          • Timpwbaker

            Timpwbaker Apprentice Gardener

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            It definitely looks very like the giant fennel, and the dead stems were left over from last year and were definitely 8-10ft with seed pods on the end when I moved in.

            I live in South East London, the plant is in a sunny part of the garden when the sky is clear.

            I'll let it flower and see. Will try to remember to post an update in the summer. Thanks everyone
             
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            • NigelJ

              NigelJ Total Gardener

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              @Timpwbaker That explains the lush growth the "London heat island"

              @shiney The giant fennel is in a different genus Ferula to the garden fennel Foeniculum. Some forms of Ferula communis are poisonous to animals. My bronze fennel is also pretty much perennial, I lost it one year, but soon found a seedling. Some sources say that the giant fennel is monocarpic, my oldest one is probably 6 or 7 years so maybe not that short lived. I have had to remove a couple that got too big for their neighbours comfort, but they are generally problem free.
               
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              • shiney

                shiney President, Grumpy Old Men's Club Staff Member

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