This is a bit embarrasing to admit, but I have identified the mystery plant I posted about yesterday because, well, um, I had the tag all along, as it turns out.
This evening, I decided to look one more time through all my plant tags, and it was the second tag I picked up.
May I introduce Oenothera tetragona 'Sunspot', Variegated Evening Primrose.
It is a very well-behaved Oenothera that tends to stay in one spot and very slowly form a nice sized clump which is now three feet across and about one and a half feet high in my garden.
Do not think that all Oenothera's are like this one! The pink-flowering Oenothera speciosa is an invasive spreader and should only be used under special circumstances, like where you really want an invasive spreading, pink-flowering plant. Those would be special circumstances, indeed. But don't buy one, find a gardener who has some and I'll bet they'll let you dig up all you want and then some. And while you are digging it up, if they are a good gardener, they'll be standing behind you asking over and over again, "Are you sure you want this plant? Are you sure you're sure? Look how it spreads."
But back to 'Sunspot'. I've thought for awhile that I could easily divide up my clump of this plant and I'll probably do that next spring. Usually, I know a good clump-forming perennial needs to be dug up and divided when it turns into a donut shape, where the middle has died out. That's true of hostas, asters and many others. But this evening primrose has never done that in the six years it has been in my garden, so I've left it alone.
Do you know how I know it has been six years since I planted it? Guess what else I have? Yes, I have the receipt showing when I bought this plant (June 8, 2002), where I bought it (Avon Perennial Gardens - go there if you get near it!), and how much I paid for it ($9.50).
In the six years it has been in my garden, it has peformed well, behaved well, and provided bright sunny yellow flowers and interesting foliage. I put it on my 'recommended, glad I have it' list.
And now that I know what kind of information I have in my big pile of plant tags and receipts, I'm even more ready to start my plant cataloging project. I think I'll dedicate the first page to this perennial, which is no longer a mystery, but a plant in my garden with a story behind it.
(One last tidbit about this mystery plant. When I googled 'Oenothera tetragona 'Sunspot'', I found out that I had actually listed this plant on my June 2007 Garden Bloggers' Bloom Day post, so it wasn't that long ago that I knew what this plant was... and that's all I want to say about that!)