What the heck is it?

This must be a weed, I thought. The spring foliage was unremarkable, and with no indication of flowering through midsummer more than once I reached to jerk it out as with so many overgrown weeds. Get it before it goes to seed, but I hesitated, thinking possibly this was something I planted and forgot, as I have so many times.

The weed (?) was not ideally placed behind a Japanese maple (Acer palmatum ‘Orangeola’) planted in late spring, but possibly it was planted before the maple was even considered. And, from beneath the maple’s low hanging canopy I saw signs that could be a grouping of stems, more likely from a four inch pot than a seedling, so I erred to leave it.

A week ago flowers emerged from beneath the Japanese maple, and after momentarily regretting that this weed was left to set seed, I recognized the long tube-like flower of plectranthus, similar to a dark leafed annual (below) that I plant each spring. I almost remember ordering it. Then, I stumbled through references, complicated by a genus change to Isodon (purchased as Plectranthus effusus var. longitubus). And, here it is, Isodon longitubus, not a weed, and thankfully it was not tossed out.

Brought into brighter shade I expect sturdier stems, but too late for this year. This is, of course, a hazard of planting so much and plants that are not familiar. No doubt, I’ve weeded plants out in the past, and fortunately I waited long enough not to toss this one.

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