The Q&A Archives: What the heck is it ?

Question: I received a tree as a gift. From a local nursery in the Monrovia bucket. The person who sold the tree, did not know what it was. The tree looks to be an ornamental. It stands about 5 feet tall from the top of the bucket to the top of the tree. The leaves are similar, to the common man, ha ha to those of a geranium leaf. It has a purple bloom on it that is 4 petals and opens flat, similar to a clematis. It appears to have already bloomed and has a few blooms left on it. I have no idea where to plant, since I do not know the type and have areaa that a full sun, full shade, partial sun and partial shade. So go figure. ha ha

Answer: Unfortunately I am not certain which plant you have, based on the information in your question. There are actually some shrubby clematis, so that might be it. Here is a photo of one as an example.

There are some hydrangeas that have flat, four petaled purple or blue flowers, these surround a cluster of smaller flowers that seem not to open completely. Here is a photo as an example, there are many different Hydrangea serrata cultivars with purple flowers.

There are some blue to purple flowered rose of Sharon plants, such as Blue Bird, here is a photo -- the bloom flattens out somewhat although it has too many petals.

There are several purple or blue flowered tropical plants such as brunfelsia and tibouchina, however they too have more than four petals so I ruled them out as well.

I'm sorry I can't tell you specifically what you have. If none of these seem right, you might take some photos of the flower, the foliage, and the overall plant and ask your local county extension or perhaps at the botany department of a nearby college or university. I hope you find out what it is!

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