Can you identify these mystery plants?

Can you identify these mystery plants? Green Fingered Blog
The pleasure you get from plants in your garden is the same whether you know what they're called or not. Maybe you can help me identify these six in my garden, but even if you can't I'll carry on enjoying them anyway.

Can you identify these mystery plants?

I have six plants in my garden which I'm not quite sure what they are, They are either inherited from the previous owners, or have appeared in the garden uninvited, but have been allowed to stay.

They are all worth their place, but I don't know their names - can you help?

This post is part of the Six on Saturday link up, which is hosted by The Propagator. Visit his site to see selections from other people's gardens. You can even join in with your own if you want to! 

Unidentified Clematis

This clematis was already here in the garden before us. I have moved it at least once, and it now climbs through one of the other plants in this list, but I've never come across a label or managed to identify it. It's in flower now, with mauve double blooms - any ideas?

Mystery clematis Mystery plants Green Fingered Blog
Mystery clematis

Mystery Pink Rose

Similarly, this bright pink rose has always been in the garden. I haven't removed it because it flowers profusely over a long period, and at a height of about eight feet, making it visible from the house, above a large Osmanthus bush. It makes quite a feature, and can be used for cut flowers too. If you know what it is, let me know.

Mystery pink rose Mystery plants Green Fingered Blog
Mystery pink rose

A Common Fern

Ferns are great for filling in those shady spaces where lots of other things don't want to grow. This one colonised the areas underneath a large Osmanthus all by itself, which is why I don't know exactly what it is. Most likely to be either Dryopteris filix mas, or Matteuccia struthiopteris. The trouble with ferns is there are no flowers, so one less means of identification!

Mystery fern Mystery plants Green Fingered Blog
This fern has found itself a home - but what's its name?


This is a large deciduous shrub that produces spikes of scented white flowers in summer. It is unlike the typical mock orange usually seen, which has single flowers on the end of separate stems, rather than these upright spikes with many blooms on each one. 

At some point in the past I have come across a variety of Philadelphus that flowers in this way but I've now lost whatever notes I made of that at the time.  I couldn't have been that convinced, so it remains a mystery. Can you help?

Philadelphus? Mystery plants Green Fingered Blog
An unusual variety of mock orange? Maybe?

Salix tree?

This tree grows at the bottom of the garden beside the stream. As with some of the other plants mentioned already, it seems to resemble a less common variety of its species, making identification slightly more difficult. 

But I'm sure some of you experts out there will be able to tell exactly what it is. A close up of the leaves is shown in the title picture at the top of this post.

A type of willow tree? Mystery plants Green Fingered Blog
Is this a type of willow tree?

A Conical Conifer

This conifer grows naturally in a fairly tight cone shape, without any need for pruning. It doesn't grow too fast - it's next to a path and hasn't yet needed pruning to contain it.

Again the lack if flowers is a distinct disadvantage when trying to identify it precisely. It hasn't produced any cones either, so there is only the lovely bright foliage to go on. Any ideas?

Mystery plants Unknown Conifer Green Fingered Blog
The snail doesn't care what it's called
So, there are six plants that have been in this garden longer than I have. Consequently they are a bit of a mystery to me, but do you know what they are? If you do, let me know via the comments below, but even if they remain a mystery, I can still continue to enjoy them for what they are rather than what they are called. 

A good lesson for life in general really. Happy gardening.




  1. In South Carolina, the fern might be
    Southern Shield Fern, (Thelypteris kunthii)

  2. Certainly shares some similar characteristics. I dont know how well travelled the Southern Shield Fern is, but mine might well be a UK equivalent of it. Thanks.

  3. The top plant looks like buddleia (butterfly bush) to me,but I am not certain the flowers are very colourful and attract butterflies

    1. I can see the similarity in the leaves (not something I've noticed before) but definitely not a buddleia, much more of a tree than that.

  4. Nope, sorry Paul, no idea on any of them. I could just about identify them all to the same degree you already have. A clematis,a rose,a fern etc etc...

    1. Not to worry. Although my curiosity may remain largely unsatisfied, my love for the garden is unaffected by not knowing exactly what they all might be. (though I confess I have a list and the labels of everything I've actually planted myself!!)