Another plant ID please

ScareCrow

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Hi all,

I spotted this low growing alpine last year in July. Despite looking through several plant ID books, encyclopedias and online resources I've not been able to find it. Does anyone know what it is?

Thanks for your time.

IMG_20190727_183244.jpg
 

mort

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I don't know either but has a hint of aubrietia to it but could also be a saxifrage of some sort.
 

dw1305

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Hi all,
but has a hint of aubrietia to it but could also be a saxifrage of some sort.
It isn't either of those because the flowers are zygomorphic (non-symmetrical). I keep thinking it is a labiate, either a Salvia, Teucrium, Scutellaria or an Origanum but I can't think of a suitable species.

The nearest I've got so far is Scutellaria suffrutescens ‘Texas Rose’?

500x375.jpg


cheers Darrel
 

ScareCrow

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Thanks Darrel that's it. I didn't take a clear picture of the leaves because at the time because I thought it would be fairly easy to ID from the rather distinctive flowers.

Can I ask how you were able to ID it?
 

dw1305

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Hi all,
Can I ask how you were able to ID it?
Flower shape and the bit I could see of the stem (square stem, leaves opposite "decussate") so almost certainly a labiate (<"Lamiaceae">). I started off with <"Chaenorhinum origanifolium">, I knew it wasn't that, but it was in right area. Then I looked Salvia, Origanum & Teucrium, but none of those were quite right.

Then I looked at Scutellaria, because I the flower shape was nearer, which led to me to the fact there were Mexican species, and the fact that you lived in the SW made me think it might not be fully hardy and that took me to Scutellaria suffrutescens.
because Darrel is a horticultural genius.
I've got a degree in Botany (and another one in Horticulture) so I have a bit of an advantage, in that I was pretty sure it was labiate right from the start, and one I didn't recognise, so I was fishing in a much smaller pool to start off with.

cheers Darrel
 

ScareCrow

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That's great Darrel, thank for your help.
I was hoping you had found it in a plant key but I guess there's no substitute for knowledge or knowing what it isn't to help narrow things down. The closest I could find was an alpine Penstemon but it had a different growth habit.
 

dw1305

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Hi all,
The closest I could find was an alpine Penstemon but it had a different growth habit.
A lot of Penstemon would be similar. You get a lot of similar tubular red flowers in the Americas because they are <"bird pollinated"> and that puts strong selective pressure on them to be red and tubular.

cheers Darrel
 

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