This site is for people who like plants -- growers, enthusiasts, aesthetes, novices and professionals, those who appreciate wild things and those who appreciate the cultivated. I garden in Chelsea, and I've been visiting people's yards for 20+ years in the course of my work. My goal is to make this blog a community project, so if you share my interests, please consider becoming a participant and contributing content -- Guerin. Info:

Thursday, July 4, 2013

Red hot pokers on a Fourth of July

I have read that some people take offense to the kniphofias on aesthetic grounds, but not me. This classic 'red hot poker' is growing on Spring St in Ann Arbor. That's one exciting flower IMHO. I've tried growing some selections, but I don't have enough sun and my garden is poorly organized. Some yellow ones appeared last year but this season they seem to be MIA. Enough of my sob story. There are 70 or more species, all from Africa, and many growable in Michigan. If you have any in your garden, send me pictures and whatever information you have on them!

I'm not sure if anyone deliberately purchases and plants this bellflower. It has naturalized in parts of Ann Arbor, but it sort of seems unfair to classify it as a weed. So, what is it? Is it Campanula rapunculoides (creeping bellflower)? For some reason I always thought it was a species of Adenophora, but this genus is not listed in the definitive Michigan Flora. I suppose I could look at it closely and key it out . . I'll get back to you on this!


  1. Looking forward to the ID of that bellflower. I've seen it growing everywhere and am completely charmed by it. Looking to get some of my own.

    1. If are anywhere near the Farmers Market in Ann Arbor, look for it. No doubt you can find a quiet alley where you can dig some up.
      - Guerin

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