Please Help! Unknown plant!

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Please Help! Unknown plant!

Post  AnneCordelia on Wed Jan 25, 2012 11:08 pm

Hi, my name is Annie and I live in Tucson, AZ. I have been wanting to grow a bonsai for a long time, but have never gotten around to starting the slightly daunting task. Well yesterday when I was taking out the trash, I found an abandoned potted plant that someone had set out by the dumpster. It was wilted and almost all of the leaves (what little remained) were wilted and dried out. Well, I have adopted it and named it Garbage Very Happy
But, I have no idea what it is! I don't have a vast knowledge of plants, and truthfully there isn't much to go off of. I crushed one of the half-alive leaves in between my fingers and smelled it, to see it it had any distinct scent. It didn't. It smelled like a leaf.
So below are some pictures. I would love any input on what it might be, and if it will be a suitable candidate for a bonsai!
Thanks

Plant Before pruning:


PLant after pruning:


Top of leaves:


Bottom of leaves:


Stems:


Bark/trunk:
[quote]

There are some new growths and the remaining branches are all still alive, so I have hope that it will survive with some TLC.

Thanks!

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Re: Please Help! Unknown plant!

Post  Orion on Wed Jan 25, 2012 11:19 pm

jez, the bark almost reminds me of a burning bush, but I'm not 100% on the leaf...if there'a a nursery near you, you may want to run it by them and see if they can give a positive id.

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Re: Please Help! Unknown plant!

Post  Jesse McMahon on Wed Jan 25, 2012 11:47 pm

Maybe a ficus? It could likely be made into a nice looking tree given some years of work. My advice is treat it well and see what happens.

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Re: Please Help! Unknown plant!

Post  Russell Coker on Thu Jan 26, 2012 12:01 am



Opposite leaves, not a ficus. Maybe a gardenia, or one of those tropical shrubby Jasminums with the big white flowers.

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Re: Please Help! Unknown plant!

Post  Billy M. Rhodes on Thu Jan 26, 2012 7:18 am

Russell Coker wrote:

Opposite leaves, not a ficus. Maybe a gardenia, or one of those tropical shrubby Jasminums with the big white flowers.

Best guess yet.

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Re: Please Help! Unknown plant!

Post  JimLewis on Thu Jan 26, 2012 2:05 pm

Leaf (opposite) looks very much like buttonbush (Cephalanthus occidentalis), though how likely you are to find one of those in a pot is debatable.

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Unknown Plant

Post  bonsaisr on Sat Jan 28, 2012 4:01 pm

First of all, do not prune a stressed plant. Wait until it recovers.
Instead of guessing, take the plant to your local agricultural extension agent to find out what it is.
There is a saying, Bonsai is not a rescue operation. Regardless of species, this does not look like a promising bonsai specimen. If you want to learn bonsai, go to a reputable bonsai nursery & buy a healthy tree chosen & pre-trained for bonsai. I don't know the contact, but there is undoubtedly an active bonsai club in Tucson.
Iris

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Re: Please Help! Unknown plant!

Post  Eastern Bonsai on Sat Jan 28, 2012 5:04 pm

Hello,

This looks very similiar in stlye and leaves to a Blueberry bush I have. Here is a leaf pic I found. These are commonly sold in garden shops.

Good Luck
Abe



[img][/img]


Last edited by Eastern Bonsai on Sat Jan 28, 2012 5:15 pm; edited 1 time in total

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Re: Please Help! Unknown plant!

Post  Poink88 on Sat Jan 28, 2012 5:13 pm

bonsaisr wrote:There is a saying, Bonsai is not a rescue operation.
Most of my collected/dug plants are "rescued" from construction site and yard where they are supposed to be destroyed so not sure about this saying. Mine are far from being bonsai yet but hopefully will be in a few years.

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Re: Please Help! Unknown plant!

Post  Poink88 on Sat Jan 28, 2012 5:14 pm

Billy M. Rhodes wrote:
Russell Coker wrote:

Opposite leaves, not a ficus. Maybe a gardenia, or one of those tropical shrubby Jasminums with the big white flowers.

Best guess yet.
I agree.

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Please Help, Unknown Plant

Post  bonsaisr on Sat Jan 28, 2012 5:22 pm

By rescue, i didn't mean a big healthy "urban yamadori." I meant something like what she has.
Would you find a potted blueberry in Tucson?
Iris

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Re: Please Help! Unknown plant!

Post  Russell Coker on Sat Jan 28, 2012 5:31 pm

Eastern Bonsai wrote:Hello,

This looks very similiar in stlye and leaves to a Blueberry bush I have. Here is a leaf pic I found. These are commonly sold in garden shops.

Good Luck
Abe



[img][/img]


Hello? OPPOSITE leaves. Blueberries have alternate leaves. It doesn't matter what the leaf looks like.

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Re: Please Help! Unknown plant!

Post  DreadyKGB on Sat Jan 28, 2012 6:36 pm

This may be a shot in the dark, but given the time of year and lack of care, it could be a poinsettia. Again I'm only going by what I see in the garbage about now, and not really any close examination. I don't know their growth habits very well and the pictures are difficult to tell for sure. Just a possibility.

Todd

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Re: Please Help! Unknown plant!

Post  Todd Ellis on Sun Jan 29, 2012 2:42 pm

Hi Annie,
Welcome to the world of bonsai. Bringing your tree back to health will be good practice for you but don't expect too much from it; it is probably very stressed now. It looks like a gardenia of some sort and not a very healthy looking one. Freebies are nice but the previous owner probably had a good reason for discarding it. Buying a pre-bonsai from an experienced grower is a good way to get started with material that has been well cared for. Good luck!
Best,
Todd

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Re: Please Help! Unknown plant!

Post  fiona on Sun Jan 29, 2012 3:23 pm

Hi Annie and welcome to the forum.

I agree with Todd. Essentially if you don't know what it is then caring for it becomes very difficult, especially when the plant is stressed as this one appears to be. To be honest, you'd be putting an awful lot of time into that particular plant as it is nowhere near being a bonsai even if it does return to health. I'd say stick that plant into the ground in a warm and sunny but sheltered position in your garden and see what happens.

But in the meantime, I'd go with Todd's suggestion of buying some pre-bonsai material from a proper bonsai nursery or trader (as opposed to a garden centre or home hardware store). But before you even do that, Iris's advice is also sound - try and find a club in your locality and the people there will steer you in the direction of what is good and what is not good to buy. Indeed you may just find that some club members have material or even trees they no longer want and would be happy to give them or sell them to you.

Regards

Fiona



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Re: Please Help! Unknown plant!

Post  MikeSanford on Sun Jan 29, 2012 4:05 pm

Tucson Bonsai Society meets 3rd Sunday of each month.
http://tucsonbonsaisociety.com/

People at the Tucson Botanical Gardens will sometimes identify plants for the public.


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Re: Please Help! Unknown plant!

Post  fiona on Sun Jan 29, 2012 4:47 pm

Hey, there ya go, Annie. We've got you a date.

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Re: Please Help! Unknown plant!

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