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By Piers66

Surrey, United Kingdom Gb

I've got some flowers in my garden, possible self seeded, possibly weeds, that I'd like to identify.

Can anyone tell me what these are?


Unknown_05 Unknown_02 Unknown_03



Don't recognise the first one.
Second is Allium, possibly wild garlic in which case it is a terrible thug.
Third is Wild violet, Again a seed spreading nuisance.

27 Apr, 2016


I'm no expert but first one looks like nicotiana

27 Apr, 2016


Just commenting to add that the definition of 'weed' is any plant which isn't wanted. :)

27 Apr, 2016


Very true Rosie just a flower in the wrong place

27 Apr, 2016


Thanks for the info.

I've looked up nicotiana in google images, and none of them really look like my plant. The main thing is that all the nicotiana flowers seem to have 5 petals, whereas this one only has four. Also the leaves are much bigger, whereas these are really narrow.

I've updated the photo to show some of the flowers close up.

The original picture was from about 6 years ago. I thought it had all died, but a couple of stems have just appeared again.

27 Apr, 2016


#2 Looks like liriopes or some form of Mondo Grass, but they are typically mid-late summer bloomers.

#3 looks like Creeping Charlie, aka Cat's paw, Creeping Jenny & Ground Ivy.

27 Apr, 2016


The first one looks very much like the very pretty Lady's Smock to me but since the leaves aren't visible I'm not too sure. If I'm right then it's a wild flower and, as all wild flowers, will spread rapidly.
There was a superstition that said not to pick the flowers, and definitely don't take them into your home as it's unlucky. Don't think this applies to digging it out though!

The second is, I believe, a white form of bluebell not wild garlic as the leaves are too narrow. The third plant is wild violet and spreads like the devil. In fact, they all do.

27 Apr, 2016


Totally wrong shaped flowers for Bluebells in the second one and the wrong style of flower formation too!

27 Apr, 2016


Not the mutation though, surely. Owd?

27 Apr, 2016


Could they be Scillas?

27 Apr, 2016


Thanks, Arbuthnot, for the info.

A google image search makes me pretty sure the top picture is Lady's Smock. I've added a close up of some leaves into the image, but they again tie up with what I could see online.

White Bluebell seems the most likely answer for the second picture. The bell-like rims to the flowers are not as pronounced as in most cases, but I think you're right. The leaves are, as you say, too narrow for wild garlic, added to which the flowers are staggered up the stem, whereas the alliums appear to all spring from one point. Mondo grass is out, as much as anything because this is a herbaceous perrenial.

I'm sure Number three is wild violet (Creeping Charlie's leaves are too scalloped).

I shan't be digging up the Lady's Smock yet, I quite like it, but a few of the white bluebells are creeping onto the lawn, so they'll be under the mower any day now!

27 Apr, 2016


I Googled images of Scillas and some of the varieties look very much like your picture.

27 Apr, 2016


And I googled Scilla, and it said this a synonym for Hyacinthoides hispanica, or the Spanish Bluebell, so it still looks like you're right!

But what do I know, 2 hours ago I hadn't a clue...

27 Apr, 2016


The first photo is Cardamine pratensis, Lady's Smock. It likes damp conditions. The second one is probably Allium triquetrum, three-cornered garlic. You could check by feeling the flower stem, it should be triangular. If it's not that it's another garden Allium. Definitely not any kind of bluebell. The third is Viola riviniana, Common dog violet. I would try to get rid of the Allium but the others are charming wild flowers, I like them in my garden.

27 Apr, 2016


Wouldn't the leaves of the allium smell garlicky?

27 Apr, 2016


No idea what number 1 is.

Number 2 doesn't look like wild garlic to me. But if it is, the flowers will smell of garlic, not the leaves.

Number 3 is a wood violet. They seed around the garden like mad, but I like them. I have them in my garden, and simply pull up those that aren't required. :)

27 Apr, 2016


Its decision time with the violets if you only have a few. I pulled up most of mine but left a few and now they are all over the lawn. Very pretty but nest year they will be all over the borders - again...

I thought three cornered garlic for the second one.

Was the Ladies Smock really white? They are usually a very delicate pink.

28 Apr, 2016


I was thinking that the second picture was some kind of Star of Bethlehem or its kin (Ornithogalum).

29 Apr, 2016


Don't they have the wrong number of petals for that Tug?
The three cornered garlic is a native so seems more likely.

29 Apr, 2016


Actually, the one flower clear in the close-up has the wrong number of petals for any monocot. I was operating on the premise that that one flower was abnormal. I did note that the inflorescence was a raceme--as in Ornithogalum--instead of an umbel--as in Allium. Other possibilities are that it's some other member of the Lily or Hyacinth families, or that the close-up is actually not from the same plant as the "full body shot", though looking as closely as I can at the big picture, it looks likely to be the same plant.

30 Apr, 2016


Could it be Leucojum? Or is it too late?

30 Apr, 2016


Leucojum would also be an umbel, since it is a member of the Amaryllis family.

1 May, 2016



Thanks for the follow-up comments.

For those still trying to identify the second plant, apologies for the poor quality of my photo but my camera's rather old and no good at focussing on close-ups. I'm pretty sure the close-up is the same as the main picture, though I suppose it's just possible I have more than one very similar looking plant in the same bed, and they're different. It's too late to go back and check now, as the flowers finished a while back.

I don't think it's an allium of any kind. The inside of the petals didn't have the characteristic green streaks to be three cornered garlic, there's no garlic odour from any part of the plant, and the leaves are the wrong thickness for wild garlic. As for Leucojum, it doesn't have the green tips to the petals that most images online seem to have. The petals also aren't as narrow and well defined as Ornithogalum.

You guys don't have the luxury of pulling one up and holding it next to the screen while searching on-line, but if you did you'd probably be as sure as I am that it's the white version of Hyacinthoides Hispanica, the Spanish Bluebell.

It's taught me a lot going through your suggestions, so thank you all (and I've got another bunch of pictures to post shortly!).


1 Jun, 2016


Just come across this again. I'm pretty sure the white one is a garlic - it is quite definitely not a bluebell. If there is a seed head left break the stem and see if its hollow and juicy, which means bluebell. Look at the stem and see if its a round cross section or a triangular one - the latter would mean three cornered garlic. Bruise a leaf and see if it smells of garlic - if it does its not that one but one in the same family.
And if it is a garlic dig it out pronto or you'll have a garden full.

1 Jun, 2016



There are no flowers or seed heads left (I dead-headed a week back), but the stems are still there. I've picked one, and it's round in cross section, hollow, and juicy. I've bruised a leaf, and there is still no smell of garlic!

Given what I've posted so far, why is it that you're still so sure it must be an allium of some kind?

As for ending up with a garden full, these flowers have been there since the last owners planted out the garden, so at least 10 years, and apart from a couple in the lawn right in front of this bed don't appear to be spreading much at all.


1 Jun, 2016

How do I say thanks?

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