In a world where gardening questions come thicker than Susan Boyles’ eyebrows, nothing is certain — not even the Grump’s uncanny ability to identify mystery plants, like this one photographed by Beth in Shelby County, Alabama.
Beth writes, “I just discovered your blog and I’ve thoroughly enjoyed reading it so far. [What a delightful individual!] When I saw your “Stump the Grump” contest, I thought you might be just the person to help me figure out a mystery plant that grows in my yard. I’ve asked around on several popular gardening websites and no one seems to know what it is.
“This purplish blue plant comes up every spring in my flower beds. I did not plant it–it was here way before I was. We are the original owners of this house, so I assume nobody else planted it here either. It grows like a weed, and most likely it IS a weed. But it’s a very beautiful plant, so I keep it around to fill in my flowerbeds. It dies out when the heat of summer hits, but I know I’ll see it again next year. If you can tell me what kind of plant this is, I’d be grateful.”
Here’s a close-up of the flowers.
Grump’s response: Beth,the stems, foliage, and flowers tell me it belongs to the mint family, but I can’t ID it beyond that. You have stumped the Grump!
Fortunately, I have an incredibly knowledgeable cadre of readers who will no doubt be honored to accept this challenge. How about Grumpians? Help Beth out! What is this plant?