confused by Baeckea

Baeckea

confused by Baeckea

Postby melbrackstone » December 6th, 2018, 9:14 pm

Here in Brisbane a native plant named Baeckea virgata is being given away to ratepayers for free... The leaves are rounded and much more further apart than the Baeckea virgata I planted in my garden over 30 years ago....at a nursery recently I bought a Baeckea virgata miniature form, which looks like a mound of green, it has foliage much more similar to the 30 year old plant...

So...I'm confused...

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Re: confused by Baeckea

Postby Keep Calm and Ramify » December 6th, 2018, 9:29 pm

Hey Mel,
Maybe the free council trees are now known as Sannantha Bidwillii?
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Re: confused by Baeckea

Postby Jiro » December 6th, 2018, 9:32 pm

I'm not familiar with the species and the plants do appear very different but that doesn't always mean a whole lot. I'm not sure how big an impact dwarf form would have on overall morphology but a number of factors could contribute.

The free one may have been shaded out and competing for light, thus becoming rather leggy. It may also have been starved of nutrient or water at certain times. And in general there can be random differences of morphology between plants of the same species for a variety of genetic and environmental reasons.

Does the species produce a fragrant smell when the leaves are crushed? You could try a sniff test to get some idea. Ultimately though the best thing to do would be to compare the flowers, if you can wait to when they come out in flower... I'm assuming they are a flowering plant.

*edit for typos... as usual!
Last edited by Jiro on December 6th, 2018, 9:35 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: confused by Baeckea

Postby SteveW » December 6th, 2018, 9:44 pm

Don't believe the label. :shake: :shake: :shake:
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Re: confused by Baeckea

Postby Jiro » December 6th, 2018, 9:54 pm

So I love a puzzle from time to time and the suggestion it may be Sannantha bidwilli got me thinking... there seems a number of cultivars or Baeckea virgarta Spp. floating around.

I'm thinking that the free council plant might be something like B.virgata Compacta: https://www.australianplantsonline.com.au/baeckea-virgata-compacta.html

While your 30 year old plant may be something like B.virgata syn. Sannantha virgata : https://www.gardensonline.com.au/GardenShed/PlantFinder/Show_1644.aspx

Does that change things for you?
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Re: confused by Baeckea

Postby KIRKY » December 7th, 2018, 6:41 am

Hi Mel, not another Mystree :lol:
I agree don’t trust the label clearly different tree. Look up Brisbane City Council street trees. There should be a list of trees that the Council uses you may be able to find what you have.
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Re: confused by Baeckea

Postby shibui » December 7th, 2018, 8:00 am

Confusion on top of confusion.
Baeckea genus was revised quite a few years ago and some reclassified into other genera. Many now known as Sannantha, Some have become Babbingtonia and a few stayed as Baeckea. I'm sure it all means something to the botanists but it does not do much for nursery industry or amateur plant enthusiasts.

There's also the issue that Jiro mentioned of different forms of a species growing in different areas and also selected cultivars. The dwarf form probably came from a single plant that was different to the normal species but because we love something different it gets propagated and sold. Dwarf forms are especially liked because they fit into suburban gardens better and usually require less pruning to keep neat.

Mislabelling is quite common in nursery trade.
Sometimes just because the propagator was misinformed about ID of the original plants used to propagate or the seed was mislabelled.
Sometimes because the wrong labels were put on the pots
Often because visitors to the nursery take out the label to read it then just stick it back into any random pot nearby

So: Your plants may just be different forms of the same species :cool:
Or may be completely different species where one or more have been mislabelled - Try the smell test that Jiro suggested, also some better pics of the bark and leaves may give some clues but flowers and/or seed pods would be even better for accurate ID
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Re: confused by Baeckea

Postby melbrackstone » December 7th, 2018, 8:02 am

Thanks for your replies everyone.

I suspect I'll have to let the baby one grow a fair bit more, with more sunlight and nutrient to see if they start to resemble each other a bit more. Jiro your responses do help, thanks!

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Sorry Neil, I didn't see your reply until much later! I have no sense of smell, so that's out....hopefully I'm just looking at different forms.

I know that labels are often incorrect, but I'm hoping that since the tubestock came from the Brisbane city council nursery, I'm guessing they're still just using up old labels...lol
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Last edited by melbrackstone on December 7th, 2018, 9:00 am, edited 1 time in total.
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