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Re: mystery plant

What an intriguing little conundrum there Auralie.  I rather doubt
it's a Mertensia with the hairy stems and leaves, but with that
flower, it sounds like it should be a member of the Boraginaceae
family, to which Mertensia belongs.

Here's the URL to a wildflower key - I tried it, but didn't know many
of the details of the plant, so got poor results...you may do better:


I did a Google on Boraginacea,  white flower small tubular and found
Onosmodium molle, which seems to match up, somewhat, with your
description - think it's too large and no mention of red tips on the
buds,  but take a look at it and see if it looks anything like. 
There are other species in this genus.


At least I think you should be searching in Boraginacea, which might
find it for you.  Any chance of posting an image of your mystery?

Marge Talt, zone 7 Maryland
Editor:  Gardening in Shade
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> From: Aplfgcnys@aol.com
>    Since the weather is not at all inviting outside - 51 degrees
> drizzling very slightly - and since the bugs are swarming and a
neighbor is having a 
> tree cut down and chipped, I decided  that rather than go out and
garden I 
> would indulge my curiosity and try to identify a plant that grows
in my  garden. 
> (This is really old age speaking - in past years I would have
considered this 
> ideal gardening weather.)
>    I can't remember where this plant came from - it may have been
here when 
> we moved here in 1970.  It is not invasive, but a small patch
persists.  It is 
> not particulary noticeable most of the year, and even when it is in
bloom, it 
> is pretty shy and unassuming.  But I have never felt I should rip
it out, and 
> when our  club began to specialize in miniature plants, I began to
pay it more 
> attention.   Now I have spent a couple of hours to no avail -
surely some of 
> you brilliant plant people can help me. 
>     This plant is small. The bloom spikes are no more than 6" high
at most.  
> The leaves on the stem are 1-1.5", alternate, ovate, entire,
slightly clasping 
> the stem.  Both leaves and stem are hairy.  Aside from the bloom
stalks, the 
> other leaves seem to grow from the rootstock.  The half-inch
flowers are  in 
> cymes, tubular, with a projecting pistil.  Imagine a tiny
Mertensia, but creamy 
> white with just a tiny tip of rusty red on the unopened buds.  They
are not 
> really notable until you look at them closely.  That is true of so
many of the 
> miniatures - when you look closely you see the exquisite beauty of
>   Hortus lists only one dwarf Mertensia - M.  primuloides, which it
says is 
> deep blue, varying to white and yellow.  I have searched the web
for pictures 
> of this plant, and it is always said to be deep blue.  Guess what,
I found an 
> article by that noted garden writer, Marge Talt, listing it as an
> plant to Virginia bluebells, but again described as deep blue.I
don't know 
> whether to assume that this is a M. primuloides variant, or some
other totally 
> unrelated creature.   Any ideas?
> Auralie

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