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Potential tobacco plant?

WatsoniaWatsonia Posts: 132
I grew a few plants from seed  last year and didn’t use a waterproof pen to label them - rookie error. I had a few seeds germinate but could not remember what I planted. I suspect below to be a nicotiana but I’m really not sure. Lots of leaves last year but no flowers. Does anyone know if this is indeed a tobacco plant? If no, any ideas what it might be? Also whatever it is, would you divide it or leave as is? 


  • Looks like a Foxglove. Or (less desirably) Green Alkanet, which most people think of as a weed. Found a site where someone attempts to tell between them (and some other candidates):

    I've got both Foxglove and (suspect) Green Alkanet here. Just tried the tip from that site: rubbing my thumb on the upper leaf surface, indeed the Foxglove is soft, whereas the Green Alkanet has a bristly feel.

    I wouldn't divide it: If a Foxglove it won't be over-happy about the disturbance. If it's Green Alkanet, up to you whether to try to get rid of it (deep taproot).

  • WatsoniaWatsonia Posts: 132
    @clarke.brunt thank you for the link and the suggestions. I have both borage and foxglove in the garden so I know it isn’t one of those two. The tip with the bristles was very helpful, the leaves do feel bristly. Looks like might have been nurturing green alkanet. I think what confused me is that is didn't grow taller last year, it just stays in a clump.
  • I've never intentionally had Green Alkanet in the garden. Plenty of it in the nearby Park where I sometimes do bits of volunteer gardening. I've never really observed when it puts up flower spikes. Your clump looks a bit like what you get after someone chops the top off and leaves the tap-root, but no doubt it can get like that by itself.

    Anyway, I do seem to have at least three Green Alkanet now - I do encourage wildlife more and more, and they probably bring things with them. I think the weedkiller will be coming out on the Alkanet - one is between the slabs on the patio where I'd never be able to get the root out. I'm tolerating Coltsfoot which has appeared by the pond, though it's rather rampant, and now seem to have got Cuckoo Pint (Lords and Ladies) which I wouldn't have planted on purpose - spreads too easily, and I've got other aroids which I cultivate.
  • WatsoniaWatsonia Posts: 132
    I might just tolerate it for a bit and remove it in the autumn. It is in an easily accessible area and I should be able to dig it out. I read that bees and bumblebees like it so I might just leave it for one summer. I hope I won’t regret it.
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