Identifying Unknown Plants/Unknown plant
QUESTION: I found this aromatic beauty while out for a walk. The picture I've provided doesn't show it, but the flowers consist of a clump of yellow flowers surrounded by magenta flowers. The plant has a distinct smell, and the leaves are rough like sandpaper.
ANSWER: Hi Justin,
I need to ask a few questions. At first glance, it looks like a picture of a cultivated primrose. It could also be a dozen other things, depending where you found it. In what US state did you find it? Was it in a garden, vacant lot, the woods, the desert, seashore, etc? Was it in sun or shade? The distinctive smell - describe it. Is it perfumey, like a rose, spicy like cloves, pungent like hot peppers, acrid like a wet dog? Does it grow with a basal rosette of leaves with flowers born on taller stems in the center? Was it 6 inches tall or 6 feet tall? Are the underside of the leaves fuzzy or smooth? The more detail you give me the better. In the meantime, I'm attaching a couple of pictures of primrose for you to compare.
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QUESTION: I went out this morning, this time with my camera, and snapped a photograph of the flowers. The underside of the leaves are fuzzy like felt. The first thought that comes to mind when I smell it is "tangy mint". The sample I posted yesterday has actually changed in smell to a hot pepper smell. The plants are about one to two feet tall. There are several plants growing at the base of a tree near where a house previously stood. I live in Louisiana.
That's Lantana (Lantana Camara). Some of us older Louisiana folk call it "Ham and Eggs", because of the pink and yellow flowerheads. The flowers will be followed by silvery blue-black berries. This is an old, southern garden variety which easily escapes cultivation. All it needs to get going is a crack in the sidewalk. They now have several hybrids of this plant in many different colors - New Gold, Dallas Red, etc. Do be aware that handling the plant can make you itchy and cause a mild rash, but this all disappears in an hour or two. The plant is poisonous to livestock, and children have been poisoned by eating the berries. It is a problem in dry areas like Texas and Australia.
I'm glad you sent another picture. After identifying plants from all over the world, I would have felt pretty foolish to have missed one that I literally have in my own back yard in Baton Rouge!