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Please help identify plants at new home

Chris Breton
April 23, 2019
Guys I’m a new home owner as of this week and been growing in pots in apartment balconies till today. So the last owner here thought they had a green thumb but didn’t, planted all sorts of unusual things, and placed them around with the thoughtfulness of a drunk on a bender. I mean he literally just lined a bunch of shrubs and trees up in spaces out rows in the front and back yard like they were making an orchard. So I need help.

Please help me identify these plants so I know what to keep, what to relocate to a better spot, and what to remove and start over when I design the landscape with your help.

I am in Brandon, FL which is just outside of Tampa.

The only plants that I recognize of these pictures are some sort of pea, I am 99% sure that is a mango and will know as soon as it ripens which will be cool cause I never had one before, and the one next to the mango seems to be a loquat. Please help with everything else. There is a vine that is strangling a tree. The vine has flowers that look a bit like squash blossoms and the tree seems to have some very kind seed pods. One small bush has some orange berries. And I think two of the bushes that are starting to flower up front are the same bush but I don’t know what sort. Thats all I know So thanks for the help!!!!!

Comments (25)

  • Chris Breton
    Now for the back yard. Skipped a bunch cause this is hard to post a bunch of pictures.
    The last 3 pictures are the vine with the squash like flowers that you can see in the picture and the tree with the large pods that it is climbing up.
  • Chris Breton
    Now to the random trees that he planted in sunken containers in the back corners. None are flowering or cruising so I am including leaf pictures to try and help.
  • Chris Breton
    The last one is the pea. What sort is that?
  • Chris Breton
    Last two. The first one has 3 pictures because it also has thorns. And the last picture I assume is a weed but it is growing in one of their pots and growing better than most of the stuff that they planted on purpose so I just wanted to check before I pull it.

    So I know that is a lot and thank you for any help you can give.
  • dangermouse01 (coastal central FL 9B)

    The one with the large seed pods looks like Moringa.

    The one with white flowers looks like a Tahitian or Vietnamese gardenia.

    The one with thorns looks like some type of citrus.

    No idea what the small pod one is (pigeon pea?) but the picture right before it looks like a mango.


    I suspect some of the others might be some type of tropical fruit trees.

  • Chris Breton
    Thank you for the response. I agree that most are probably some sort of tropical fruit. The question is what kind??? So thanks for those you could identify. It seems that they just planted things that they could eat in random spots. And then they planted some random magnolia and roses all over in the same manner as the fruit plants. It’s almost like they got a grab bag of tropical and planted them at random.
  • dirtygardener -- Z9a, N. Central Florida

    I'll give it a shot, but some need more closeup shots or more growth.


    It looks like someone liked to grow fruits from seed. This can be good or bad, depending. Some will never bear, others will take many years to bear.


    First set of pics.


    1 & 2 Bulbine. Will send up shoots of yellow/orange or plain yellow flowers in abundance. Doesn't make seeds, but multiples rapidly from stolons. Easy to propagate. Just cut off a stolon that has a few roots and stick it into the ground.


    3& 4 - don't know. Can't see the picture well enough.


    Second set of pics


    1 - Duranta

    2 & 3 - looks like a Brazilian Pepper, a horribly invasive plant that is now prohibited for sale in FL. Some people still have them in yards, though. Make sure that's what it is, and if so, take it out.


    4 - some kind of Jasmine


    Third Set of pics


    1, 2, 3 - Gardenia


    4 - Maybe Plumeria pudica. Need closeup of leaves.


    Fourth Set of pics


    1. - not sure. Maybe a fig?


    2 - Passiflora. Not sure what kind - maybe edible. Should bloom by May


    3. - Wild passiflora


    4. - Moringa, I think, but not sure.


    Fifth set of pics


    1 & 2 - not sure, but probably an edible


    3& 4 - same. Probably some kind of fruit.


    6th set of pics


    1 & 2 It looks like a peach but can't tell.


    3. - probably a seed-grown mango


    4. pigeon pea, I think, but the seeds are a bit different then mine.


    7th set of pics


    1-3 Some kind of badly neglected citrus, either seed-grown or a lemon, judging by the thorns.


    4 - looks like Cuban oregano maybe? Crush a leaf and small it.




  • Glenn Jones(9b)

    Were you see no thoughtfulness I see a lot. The selection of plants shown tell me that you are coming behind a permaculter gardener who was pretty good at growing in are zone and was working on building a food forest type system with low maintenance in mind. You have figs, mango, avacado, citrus, pigeon pea, maranga.passion fruit. I think I see a loquit. Coffee. You have really good stuff planted with a lot of thought by someone who knows what he is doing.

  • carolb_w_fl_coastal_9b

    I wish the photos were numbered - there are so many!

    I spy what looks like loquat as well, and avocado. I also see what looks like a cassia/senna, and the red flowers in the background look like russelia equisetiformis.

    dirtygardener IDed most of them correctly, I believe.

    I suggest that GoogleImage can be your friend. Now that you have some plant names, you can search for images to see if they match. Keep in mind these are neglected and scraggly, so check things like leaf form and growth patterns.

    And Floridata.com has care/culture info on many of these.

  • writersblock

    I think this one:



    is plumeria pudica. Note the flare at the end of the leaves. Very chlorotic, though.

  • Chris Breton
    Thank you for the help. I can probably take it from here for most of them with Google Image. I appreciate the help and will
    Come back with a more focused list afterwards. And by not thoughtful I mean that it looks like utter crap and was then ignored. They are dying. And I skipped over a half dozen plants that are just dead that you don’t need to see. This is the front yard that I am inheriting. It has 7 plants placed in rows that are a mix of flowering plants. It has old roses that haven’t been fertilized or trimmed in years and half are dead or stunted. They mixed random things together. It’s a wreck. And the back is worse. No grass at all. Dead or topped trees everywhere. It’s gonna be some work.

    But I know that some of these are excellent plants which is why I appreciate your help. The ones I want to keep I will build beds around or move if possible. So thanks for the info. I will definitely be back when I’m ready to start redoing the landscaping.
  • Chris Breton
    Writers block. Here.
  • Embothrium

    There are so many

    It works best to limit each identification request thread to one or a few plants, otherwise it is too hard to answer.

  • Glenn Jones(9b)

    The guy left you a great gift it would be a shame if you destroyed it. I see soil building , guilds , pollinators attractors, if you learned what he was doing you will have great success with gardening. Most of what you have posted is still young and in a few years it will be very productive with lots of food and flowers. If you want veggies you interplant with others things in the beds. I would recommend adding mulberries, Florida peaches, and bananas as well as lemon grass and blue berries.

  • dirtygardener -- Z9a, N. Central Florida

    I think Glenn's right. It's the beginnings of a food forest. Just water well and fertiize and by summer's end, it will be gorgeous! But like I said, it looks like a lot of the plants were either grown from cuttings or seed, so don't expect a lot of fruit for awhile. Since he has all of them surrounded by those tree rings, you might want to put some flowers or herbs in there to pretty them up a bit.


    If you need any help, just holler. I'll tell you what I can.

  • Chris Breton
    Thanks DirtyGardener. That’s exactly what I need.
  • woodrose

    3rd post, 1st photo : looks like mulberry tree leaves.

  • writersblock

    Yes, plumeria pudica, bridal bouquet plumeria. White flowers, no scent, but should have very dark green leaves, poor thing. Thanks for the closeup.


    And i agree with DG about the moringa in the back yard. You can use what you don't eat for chop and drop--it will come right back again. Very useful tree. Must be a food forest--only food forest people tend to plant it, because it grows like mad. You've got the beginnings of a nice little food forest there.

  • Glenn Jones(9b)

    I do see a banana in the back ground.

  • HighColdDesert

    I agree with the others who say it looks like the previous owner was starting a permaculture food forest. One thing to do would be to top up the mulch in those beds, not with dyed bark mulch but with anything else that will gradually break down and compost in place on the soil. That is often used in permaculture and will keep the soil moist, soft, fertile and biologically active.

    A great tactic is to wait and watch your new land for a year to see what is actually alive, what they are, whether you like them, and other factors like maybe you'll find out some unexpected seasonal wind or shade or something. If it were mine, I'd mulch as heavily as I could, and only gradually and gently prune away dead parts and fertilize during the first year, trying to learn as much as possible.

  • Chris Breton
    I want to thank you guys for all of the feedback. I think I’m definitely going to take the suggestion of fertilizing everything and letting it grow for a little while until we can tell exactly what things are and what we want to keep. Unfortunately my wife is an extremely picky eater who is allergic to tropical fruits like mangoes and passion fruit and the like. And if it doesn’t grow in the non-ethnic section of Walmart she won’t eat it. I on the other hand will eat anything that won’t kill me. But ultimately I think we want much more traditional garden beds than what I’m seeing in most pictures of food forests. We want things a lot more manicured in appearance. Having some fruit and citrus Mixtown would be a big bonus but that would not be the primary purpose of our yard so ultimately I think most of the stuff is going to go. I get that it’s what some people want but I don’t think it’s going to be what we want. But maybe I’ll change my mind because I plan to do someReading on the topic so at least I know what I’m looking at and can make an informed decision. Thank you again for the help
  • Chris Breton
    So I guess the best thing to say and ask is if I want to not be ignorant about this before I go wrecking whatever was done here where should I go to read up and learn?
  • dirtygardener -- Z9a, N. Central Florida

    If I was you, I'd go to the Permaculture forum here, and to the absolutely amazing Permaculture sub on Reddit. So much good info, and the Reddit sub has a reading list, IIRC.

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