Friday, July 19, 2013


Handy Andy needs your help!  Please pool your information and knowledge, drop me a comment and solve this puzzling garden mystery.

Too tall for a pumpkin!
My friend Nesrin from Turkey left me two plants a week before she and her family headed home to the other side of the world.  One was an African Violet--easy enough for me to identify.  The other plant was seven inches tall in a four-inch pot.  The leaves are deeply lobed, dusty greyish-green and covered with a velvety fur.  The plant came to Nesrin through her daughter's school field trip to a pumpkin patch, if I remember correctly.  The family thought it was a pumpkin or gourd.

After a month or so in the ground, the plant's continued upright growth convinced me that it was not even third cousins once removed from the squash family.  A plant-wise friend suggested yesterday that it is a Mexican Dahlia.  My on-line search could find no foliage that is similar at all to this.  Nor could I find anything that has the velvet leaf texture.
Deep, ornate leaf lobes

Dahlia-like flowers
Things I get to do today include setting aside my pride and asking for your help.  Feedback from all of you would be most appreciated.


  1. Well, I have idea what they are, but I had some in my garden a few years back. Bought 3 sickly looking plants off a sale table, put them in the ground & they grew like weeds: each one about 4 feet in diameter & covered with red & orange flowers that just kept blooming until fall. The next year, they reseeded & I had more : ).

    1. Good to know they are sturdy and will reseed and that someone else has actually seen something like this. My plan is to find out from Nesrin where her daughter went for the field trip and call the farm to see what they gave to the children that day. When I get the name, I'll let you know. In the mean time, I'm enjoying the flowers and the plant.

  2. It's not like any pumpkin I've ever grown. I'm sure it's NOT a vegetable; why not name it yourself, then pass on seeds to all your friends.

    1. Oh, Cro! That's the best idea of all time! I'll keep you posted.