So they say.
I outline my futile attempts to figure out the actual differences between these two plants in an essay on the last page of the current issue of Horticulture (which is actually the August/September issue). If you happen to arrive here because of that essay (despite the fact that there is no mention of, or link to, this website), welcome, and thank you for taking the trouble to find me. For everyone who has read the essay, here are a few additional tidbits:
- The “excellent image of Adenophora lilifolia” that I refer to in the essay is from the Utrecht University Botanic Gardens FloraPix gallery. With permission, here is that same image with the glandular disk pointed out:
- Zoey’s post is here, along with a photo of the roots.
- No one seems to agree on the definition of invasive (as applied to plants), but after thinking it over, I don’t think invasive is the best term for this plant. Because the roots can be so fine and go so deep, it is one of those plants that, once you have it, you will never be rid of it. And given deeply dug and wonderfully rich soil, it will take all that and run with it. Aggressive, yes. A thug, yes. But I think invasive should be reserved for those plants that are not merely bullies in the garden, but jump the fence and begin taking over the world, creating monocultures. I note that every politically correct plant organization takes pains to define invasive plants as non-native, because, heh, given the right conditions, native plants can jump the fence and create monocultures, too. (Ever see of field of goldenrod? And leave it undisturbed in your flower bed and see if there’s anything else left in that bed at the end of three years. Been there. Done that.)
Thank you to all of those who mentioned that they read the essay. I subscribe to Horticulture myself, and, ironically, that issue never came. Oh, my editor sent me the traditional author’s copy, but my subscription issue never came. I finally called and asked them to resend it.
Anne Larson has further information on how to identify a true Adenophora.