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Mystery Solved

August 25, 2015

When I take pictures of unusual plants I try to label them quickly before forgetting what they are. I had labeled these pictures from our Ireland trip back several years ago, but renamed it as a mystery plant, thinking I had it labeled correctly somewhere else. Unfortunately, that wasn’t the case and I completely forgot what it was, and even in my normal searches trying to find an answer left me blank.
mystery plant coosheen garden ireland.2

mystery plant coosheen garden ireland.1
To top it off, even my expert plant guessers had no idea, so we were stumped. I emailed Hester Forde whose garden this was in back in Ireland, and she responded almost immediately:

Great to hear from you .The plant is Amicia zygomeris , unusual tall perennial with alternate heart shaped leaflets veined purple . Also the flowers are pea like yellow with purple keels .It comes from Mexico and is hardy here with me gets cut down if there is frost but grows from below ground again. I have finished teaching this August so I am ready to travel if you are interested in lectures I have a list ready and hope to travel giving these . Amicia is really good this year as we have had plenty moisture and now heat but overall a wet summer and cold in July.
Regards Hester

So now we know–Amicia zygomeris has another common name according to Plants Delight – Gotta Pea!! They have the plant for sale and here is their description:
When plantsman Sean Hogan shared this with me under the guise of it being hardy, I had to laugh. Although Amicia zygomeris is native to the mountains of Mexico, I never expected it to survive our winters. Despite a late planting in 2004 and a severe hit-and-run with a rabid wheelbarrow, up it came in spring like nothing had happened. Amicia zygomeris is an alien-looking pea relative that makes a 7′ tall, upright perennial with glaucous green foliage that folds up at night. Near the top of the fuzzy stems, the leaf axils are adorned with funny-looking, purple-stained stipules. The amicia stalks are also adorned with large, yellow, pea-like flowers throughout the summer and until frost. –

So it sounds like we can grow it here as well! Now we know! I have relabeled the photo and hopefully won’t forget.

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