Barb7802
Barb7802
  • Hometalker
  • Kalamazoo, MI
Asked on Jul 7, 2013

Identity Crisis!

Barb7802Sandra ParrillFrankie Laney
+14

Answered

Please help me identify this bush/tree. I believe it is native to Michigan. The stalks and branches are quite "fuzzy". Beautiful flowers as you can see. It appears that the roots run very shallow and are quite prolific. Continues to grow taller each year, it is now over 8 feet.
The Hometalk community is the best place for an answer. Any idea as to what it is?
The flowering bush mystery.
The flowering bush mystery.
Lots of leaves and flowers
Lots of leaves and flowers
This is the Locust tree in 2013. It really wanders if left untrimmed. It is now over 8ft tall & growing
This is the Locust tree in 2013. It really wanders if left untrimmed. It is now over 8ft tall & growing
17 answers
  • 360 Sod (Donna Dixson)
    on Jul 8, 2013

    maybe a lespadeza or a polygala((pea shrub). Can you get a picture of the entire plant further away?

  • Barbara Thomas
    on Jul 8, 2013

    Looks like what we call "Sweet Pea".

  • Peg
    on Jul 8, 2013

    the "polygalla" have that little fuzzy tongue sticking out of it so I don't think it's that unless there's another type. I have a Sweet Pea in light pink, looks like that, but mine don't have the small round leaves like Barb's does.

  • Frankie Laney
    on Jul 8, 2013

    I don't think it's the polygalla, but it sure has me stumped. It must be a variety of the sweet pea bush. I'm just not sure...hmmm I would take a sample branch to the local nursery and find out.

  • Laurie
    on Jul 8, 2013

    i don't know what is is but I agree with the others that it looks like it would be in the pea family. Sure is pretty. Have you tried your local extension office?

  • Peg
    on Jul 8, 2013

    Here's my light pink sweet pea.

    identity crisis, flowers, gardening, sweet peaidentity crisis, flowers, gardening, sweet pea
  • Barb7802
    on Jul 9, 2013

    Great comments everyone! You are all amazing. I think you are on the right track. It must be in the sweet pea family. And, yes, I will take a full photo of the bush this week...providing it stops raining long enough. I will post it this week.

  • Wow, this is a serious stumper. I've been all over google, through my AHS garden book and found a couple different online plant keys. Every one comes up with something that doesn't look quite right. The morphology of the leaves and flowers definately lends to the idea that it is in the genus Lathyrus, but I cannot find a species that shows pubescent stems as your photo shows without a different shape or color. Closest thing I can come up with that's native to Michigan is Beach Pea, Lathryus japonicus, but it lacks the hairy stems and it's purple. Wish I could help more. Good luck!

  • Margaret
    on Jul 9, 2013

    Looks very much like the Keurboom that grows in South Africa, although on your plant the leaves are slightly rounder and the center of the flower has a lighter (yellow?) marking. The genus is Virgilia - here's a link to the Wikipedia entry: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Virgilia_(genus)

  • Susie
    on Jul 9, 2013

    maybe a locust tree of some sort? looks very much like one we used to have here. (Sorry for the large type that follows, I cut & pasted and this is how it came out) try Robinia pseudoacacia 'Purple Robe' at this link http://www.thehoneytreenursery.com/Flowering--and--Shade-Trees.php

  • GINA SUSKA
    on Jul 9, 2013

    Bristly Locust maybe!?

  • Janet Bryan
    on Jul 9, 2013

    we have perennial sweet pea bush in our yard and the flowers are identical but leaves are different

  • Because the vines do not look like sweet pea I tend to agree it is a locust. A "Purple Robe" locust pruned correctly makes a nice tree, if it is left to it's own devices (since It puts up many suckers) it can become a bush. I had a tree in my yard and I have seen many bushes like it around town. ( Washington State by Canada). When they get larger the fuzz turns into thorns... I was told that it was a locust tree that was used for Jesus crown. Ty Ty gardens has a nice video of a tree.... leaves and flowers might confirm that this is your bush....http://www.tytyga.com/Purple-Robe-Locust-p/purple-robe-locust-tree.htm

  • Peg
    on Jul 10, 2013

    Bravo Nancy Christopher-Morrison!! I didn't notice the thorny stems at first! You got it!!!

  • Frankie Laney
    on Jul 10, 2013

    Here's the best image I found for the Purple Robe Locust, I do think it's the one. What do you think?

    identity crisis, flowers, gardening, Purple Locust
  • Sandra Parrill
    on Jul 13, 2013

    It's bristly locust, Robinia. I have it in my Missouri yard also, http://www.illinoiswildflowers.info/trees/plants/bristly_locust.htm

  • Barb7802
    on Jul 14, 2013

    The Identity crisis has been solved! It is a member of the Locust Family. It is a Bristly Locust. Sandy Parrill listed a link that was filled with lots of information. The description given is spot on. There are so many variations of the Robinia family. It appears that it has many names. I only knew it as a sweet pea bush. Thanks to everyone for sharing their research! Hometalk members are the best. I will still post a full photo of this shortly.

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