Calling all experts and the curious!


You would think with plants as cool as these there would be identification stakes available for each and every one, however, in all but one case there were none to be found.  So today I call out to all of you great horticultural and garden loving experts to help the rest of us find out what these crazy cool plants are and the story behind them.

Fantastic plant  © Britt Conley

Fantastic plant © Britt Conley

I had no idea until I began seriously photographing flora just how much I love a cool colorful round leafed bush!  I would love to own one of these someday, but I have no idea what it is!

(Horray!  Thanks to Kaveh, who commented below we now know this pink and white stunner is a “Breynia Disticha!” )  Also thank you to Yurie who wrote today to say it’s common name is Hawaiian Snow Bush!  That is great!

Another absolutely fantabulous bush is the one below.  Fortunately I had the joy of hearing form Chief Horticulturist of Historic Landscapes at Vizcaya, Ian Simpkins that this is a Red Cocoplum Chrysobalanus Icaco.  I can tell you right now I’ll have this in my garden one day!  Simpkins explained that this shrub is, “ native to South Florida. It is a great all-purpose shrub and grows almost anywhere. With enough sun, the new growth emerges red and gradually changes color through purple and finally to green. It bears a 1 inch black fruit that looks like and tastes like a plum. It is edible, and makes good jelly.”

Red Cocoplum Chrysobalanus icaco © Britt Conley

Red Cocoplum Chrysobalanus icaco © Britt Conley

This lovely globe flower is one of my most requested black and white images.  Even if someone doesn’t buy a print they ask what is this?  Every time I have to say, “sadly,  I don’t know”

Unknown © Britt Conley

Unknown © Britt Conley

Stumbling upon really neat flora has been one of the highlights of traveling from garden to garden.  I am not new to garden photography but I am still a novice at plant identification.  Learning about new flowers and shrubs is a joy.  Speaking of which, this crazy cool shrub plant eludes me as well.  Is it even a shrub?  All I know is that It’s great!  Horray!  According to Jody this, “is a Croton-Codiacum or (Curly Boy).  Thanks Jody!!!

Unknown © Britt Conley

Unknown © Britt Conley

I ran across this “Dr. Seuss special”, as I call it, in several of the Florida gardens I visited during the last Photo Garden Bee Tour.  I never did find an  identification tag.

Unknown © Britt Conley

Unknown © Britt Conley

Now this red fig looking plant stopped me in my tracks at Henry P. Leu Gardens had actually had an id tag!  Hats off to them.  Leu Gardens are best yet for plant identification.   The red spiked wonder is called a Lipstick Tree!

Unknown © Britt Conley

Unknown © Britt Conley

This great pink and blue spoon flower is just fantastic!  Anyone know what is it or where it comes from?

Unknown © Britt Conley

Unknown © Britt Conley

Lastly this globe flower looks more like a pine globe if there is such a thing.  I would love to hear the story behind it.  (Also from Kaveh who commented below, I’ve been informed this great spoon like flower is a Osteospermum hybrid).  This one appears to be Lilac Spoon!  You can get some for yourself at PW : Proven Winners.

Unknown © Britt Conley

Unknown © Britt Conley

Finally this last image, above, has been identified by Jody as well!  It’s a, “Agapanthus after it has lost all it’s blooms”  Awesome!  No of course I have to go look up what it looks like with it’s blooms!  Thanks Jody!

I can’t wait to hear from you as to what these are and possibly their growing story.   I could do one of these every day of week and still have dozens more images left over that are still a mystery.  If this goes well I’ll have more mystery posts to come!  Thanks in advance and let me know who you are so I can credit you!

‘Til Tomorrow…

Britt : )

Related posts:

  1. Part IV: Wings of Fancy at Brookside Gardens!
  2. The Tropical Greenhouse here at Epcot’s The Land Pavillion is a great learning garden!: Part IV: The Land
  3. Fun with Cone Flowers
  4. Heavenly Hydrangea, Simply Green?
  5. Longwood’s Idea Garden has given me my best ideas.




  1. Kaveh

    The purple and blue daisy flower with the spoon shaped ray petals is an Osteospermum hybrid. The first pic of the pink and white spotted shrub is at the tip of my tongue. I won't be able to sleep tonight. Argghh!!!

  2. Kaveh

    Breynia disticha! Phew. Now I can sleep tonight.

  3. Britt

    Oh, thank you soooo much Kaveh! You rock. I have been wondering what that was for months now. It contains such a facinating growth structure and the colors are fantastic. I really appreaciate the help. Really, thank you!

  4. Jody Brown-Spivey Aifd

    I am no expert gardener by any means but was intrigued by your photos. I am a professional retail florist and happen to recoginize a couple of these. No. 4 is a Croton-Codiaeum (Curly Boy) I believe. and the last one is a stem of Agapanthus after it has lost its blossoms.

  5. Britt

    Thanks so much Jody! I have updated the post with your great new information. Also heading over to see your flower arrangements now!

  6. Keiko

    The pink globe flower (under the cocoplum) is a common penta. They are beautiful, very easy to care for and grow, can be grown as a tender perennial in warmer climates, come in a variety of colors, and attract butterflies like crazy! In Florida, it's very difficult to find flowers with a northern feel that can successfully be grown and grown well (especially with all of the above traits)...the penta is one such flower. I highly recommend it; especially for you displaced Yankees! :)

  7. Wendy

    You probably already know this, but the plant with the puffball look to it (a little wilted), that you deemed the "Dr. Seuss special" (I totally see that comparison - maybe it could be Thing 3) seems to be a powderpuff shrub Caliandra tergemina. They grow here in Hawaii, but they are not native to Hawaii. Also Tickleme plant is a weed in my yard (that I love).

  8. Britt

    Thanks Wendy!!!! This is great!!!! I do love the tickleme as well... really need to get one! : )))

  9. Kathie Griman

    what are the fabulous bushes that look like witches brooms? Never seen anything like them, Visited about a year ago.


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