Mystery Perennial Identification Question


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Hello All!
We have a very attractive mystery flowering plant that arrived last year and came back this year. I'm hoping one of you recognizes it and can give it a name so I can learn about it.
My wife called them weeds, but aren't weeds just desirable plants that no one thought to put a price tag on?

They are range about 2 -3 feet tall and are sparsely distributed. Today they are tipped over, but it is super hot and the ground has been soaked since winter, so maybe those factors are contributing. Usually they stand upright and sway gently in the breeze.

We don't know where they came from, since I don't see them in anywhere else in the neighborhood. (Squirrels, rabbits or birds must have donated the seeds, I guess.) We've been here over 30 years and never saw them until last year.

In our yard, we have a long, wide strip along a fence that we leave natural for the birds, squirrels and rabbits. ("Natural" in this context means most of what shows up can stay, as long as it doesn't take over. We received some really nice tiger lilies that way!)
Our "Nature Conservancy" strip is where most of these plants are located. That area gets partial sun due to several maple trees shading it. A few of these flowering plants are in the front yard under some pine tree branches.

I don't know if this helps with the identification diagnosis, but these plants live happily in a tough environment of 2" - 3" of dirt over clay with dozens of competing plants. They're mostly mixed in with the tiger lilies.

They didn't get any artificial help growing since we don't use any pesticides or fertilizers on our property. Many of those chemicals are very mean to birds, insects, worms and animals who walk through them- plus, I'd imagine, the aquifer; so we skip them. We do leave lots of plant residue to decompose naturally.

I've searched all the on-line images that I could find and came up empty. I asked at a garden center & the people didn't know. ("Weeds! Get Rid Of Them!"- Translation: We don't sell them, so they are weeds.)

The flowers showed up this week. This year's timing might be misguiding, since it was mostly cold and rainy until a couple of weeks ago. If I remember correctly from last year, the flowers last for most of the summer.

Attached are some photos. (Ansel Adams I am not, so if the images are crummy, please let me know & I'll take some more.)

Thanks For Helping me figure this out. I enjoy learning about plants (an excuse to be outdoors).

Enjoy This Day!
Paul

PS: I hope this is in the correct section & apologize if I picked wrong. I picked Perennials because the plant in question came back this year on its own.
 

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Joined
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Wow! Thanks for taking time to reply, JBtheExplorer!
It'll be fun to learn about Campanula & figure out the species.

We have a Serbian Bell Flower in the yard. It is in the Campanula family.
We planted that one as a tiny baby about 4 years ago. The mystery ones' flowers look similar, but the Serbian is a low and round plant. Its flowers only last for a week or two.

I wonder if the Serbian is a hybrid and some seeds blew over and grew. It is only about 20 feet away.
I remember than hybrid seeds may grow into the same plant or something much different. (Our previous year marigold seeds that we've planted for ten years can show up as any color each year- or mixed colors. And the melons are always a surprise.)

Thanks Again for helping!

I Hope You Enjoy Today!
Paul
 
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Thank You MrsClem & Tetters for your replies. I appreciate your help.
It will be fun to narrow it down via more research.

I learned more about some of the Campanula species today. It's odd how some are native to warm regions & some to colder areas. Some to dry- some to wet. We are in a moderate zone: Detroit, Michigan USA. Our neighborhood was a swamp until someone figured out how to drain it around 1900 or so (well, kind-of sort-of drain it).

These forums are a great resource, indeed. I've already learned quite a bit more about some other plants in our yard than I ever could learn on my own. I've wandered over to the Greenhouses section, as our goal is to build one (so I keep busy and out of my wife's hair). It's interesting to read what other people have experienced.

I really enjoyed reading & viewing your showcases, JBtheExplorer's, especially your native garden.
We call our little natural garden: The Sir Jethro The Bodine Nature Conservancy. I'd love if the entire yard could be as-such, and all non-native grass gone. But I think the city would be not so enthusiastic.

Thanks Again All!
Paul
 
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Sneezie

Nellie Mosser, Clematis
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I agree with Tetters. I had these in my gardens one year and just like appearing one day for me, they disappeared!!!
 
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Odd how they disappeared all of a sudden. Everything I've read talks about how hard it is to get rid of them.

I wonder if the rabbits ate them? In early morning, I see sometimes rabbits around ours, but I don't know if they are snacking or hiding. Usually, though, the rabbits are busily eating the marigolds. (The ones we planted to keep them away from the lettuce. So much for that plan!) Cute little guys.
 

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