It can happen to anyone. You buy a plant, thinking you're getting one thing, only to find out later it wasn't what you thought it was. Sometimes it's the bloom color that's a dead giveaway, and sometimes it's something else. I shop in all different places for my plants - Lowe's, Meijer, local and non-local IGCs, Walmart, and mail order nurseries. I've had this happen at least once with every one of them.
The latest incident happened just today. I stopped at Lowe's on my way home from babysitting for our adorable grandson, Anthony, to pick up a roll of landscape fabric. We're redoing a stone path that has sunken down over the years and Romie wanted to put this under the gravel.
As I walked into the garden center, a red yarrow caught my eye. I have been wanting a red one and I thought I'd get either 'Paprika' or 'Strawberry Seduction'. I'd only seen 'Strawberry Seduction' in one place (a local IGC), but it was pretty small and I wanted a bigger pot. I'd had 'Paprika' several years ago and I liked it, but it somehow got destroyed by one project or another.
What I saw at Lowe's were two different yarrows: Achillea millefolium 'New Vintage Red' and Achillea millefolium Song Siren 'Layla'. The only difference I could see in the two was that 'Layla' was just a tad bit more true red and slightly shorter. I doubt that most shoppers would even notice the difference as they were placed in the same location, mixed up together.
|Does this look like violet to you?|
'Layla' looked more like the shade of red I wanted, but the tag said its bloom was violet. It sure didn't look violet to me, and when I asked the young man who checked me out what color he thought it was, he said, "Scarlet." Precisely. I bought three of them.
After I got home I planted them up and as I pushed them out of their black plastic nursery potS, I noticed the stickerS on each one said ACHILLEA SONG SIREN LAURA.
|Which is it?|
I went ahead and planted them at the back of the fence, thinking these were going to be 20-22" tall at maturity. After all, that's what the tag said they would be. I mulled around in my mind what might be the explanation for the discrepancy in the labeling - typo, wrong tag, wrong label on the pot itself...
When I got back in the house, I did a Google search to see if there was indeed an Achillea Song Siren 'Laura'. Yup. And guess what color 'Laura' is. RED. 'Laura' also only has a height of 14-16". So...good news on the color issue and bad news on the height. I need to move it. I have a second spot where it will look nice, in front of the Sunjoy® Gold Pillar barberries, so tomorrow I'll put them there.
Now my questions are:
- Who is responsible for the mislabeling? The grower? (In this case, Corso's.) Lowe's?
- Who puts the removable tag into the pots before they're put on the retail benches for sale?
- Do I let Lowe's know that all their Achillea millefolium Song Siren 'Layla' plants are actually 'Laura'?
So many questions...