Welcome! As "Annie in Austin" I blog about gardening in Austin, TX with occasional looks back at our former gardens in Illinois. My husband Philo & I also make videos - some use garden images as background for my original songs, some capture Austin events & sometimes we share videos of birds in our garden.
Come talk about gardens, movies, music, genealogy and Austin at the Transplantable Rose and listen to my original songs on YouTube. For an overview read Three Gardens, Twenty Years. Unless noted, these words and photos are my copyrighted work.
There's a new tree in my garden - at least it seems to be a tree- and I didn't plant it. Can someone please help me to identify this unknown plant? I've hunted online and in books but can't seem to figure it out... help!! (Ed: If you read this post earlier please roll to the bottom - I added another photo with one leaf against a white background so you can see the 5-veined leaves, laddering up alternately on the flexible stem. Mulberry is one suggestion -papaya another. The space between leaf stems seems rather large for papaya, but shade & 12" of rain from Hermine have made other plants very gawky so I'm not ruling anything out quite yet.)
The plant appeared in a new flower bed that had been St Augustine lawn until last March. I noticed it in early summer but thought at first it was a seedling of some kind of hibiscus. Just in case it was something good, I decided to let it grow, try to identify it and move it when fall brought cooler weather. Once its leaves expanded fully it reminded me of a Silver Maple, but maple trees have opposite leaves, and this plant has alternate leaves. The oldest leaves are almost 12-inches long, deeply lobed with pointed tips.
This tree-shrub-woody perennial is now 5-feet tall and it's not only ruining the way the border looks but is shading its valuable neighbors. It has to go somewhere - the question is whether that somewhere should be another part of the yard, a large container or the compost heap.
Thanks for any advice - Annie in Austin
(Ed at 4 PM: Here's one more photo - thanks to everyone on the blog, Twitter and at GardenWeb Texas Forum for commenting! Read through the comments and see how the plant was identified as a Mulberry.)