Mystery Plant

realyrosey(7b)May 16, 2014

My first year of SFG, I planted a number of things in the corners of my beds to help repel unwanted winged critters. I don't have any idea what this plant is. It's too early for rambunctious weeds of this size and for the life of me, I can't remember what I may have planted or what this might be. Whatever it is, it's come up beautifully. If anyone can identify this for me as a useful plant I might want to keep, please help. I thought it might be some type of "greens", but after comparing it, don't think so. If it can't be identified, I'll just dig it out and start over. Thanks so much. Rosey.

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Tiffany, purpleinopp GardenWeb, Z8b Opp, AL

I'd say Phytolacca americana (pokeweed.)

    Bookmark   May 16, 2014 at 11:31AM
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ken_adrian Adrian MI cold Z5

a nightmare of a plant.. if you let it go to seed ..

and near impossible to kill without an herbicide .. monster roots ... if you fert it.. or have great soil.. it has 10 foot potential ....

and i never heard of your theory of planting things to dissuade birds.. by giving them large plants to perch on ... with luscious berries which they will eat and spread the seed for miles around ...

if i am not mistaken.. all parts are poisonous.. except for very young shoots.. which apparently.. peeps down south like to eat .. regardless ... if you have children.. do not allow them to eat the pretty berries... let other peeps children decide if they are toxic ...


Here is a link that might be useful: link

    Bookmark   May 16, 2014 at 1:06PM
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It's a very common native plant, birds love the berries, don't let ken scare you.

But that spot is probably too small for it.

    Bookmark   May 16, 2014 at 1:56PM
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Tiffany, purpleinopp GardenWeb, Z8b Opp, AL

Most people who ask for their pokeweed to be ID'd say they think it's pretty, or something similar.

Ken, the theory behind the planting wasn't really explained. Those are some odd assumptions to make, though I could barely understand what you may have been trying to say.

"let other peeps children decide if they are toxic " What kind of sick comment is this? Why must you babble incoherently, out of context, at every mention of this native plant?

Rosey, if you did mean birds by 'winged critters,' unless they're after something edible you're growing, birds are generally helpful in the garden, eating a lot of pests. There is a pest forum on here, if you think your methods need a little tweaking, (and I'm not saying they do, I have no idea from the little bit of info here yet,) that would be a good place to ask. If it's in regard to veggies, maybe the veggie forum instead.

If you decide you'd prefer to not have this plant there, cut it off/down as much as possible, then pour boiling water on what's left.

Here is a plant that's at least a year old in our camp site at a state park in FL last week, where it is welcome to assume its' place in the wild native landscape, a nature preserve. It is all definitely new growth from the ground since spring because this whole area was under ice this winter. So it can be a little big for a tended yard. I'm about 5'6", and reached my arm out straight to lend scale to the pic. Children camp next to and all around these plants every night.

    Bookmark   May 16, 2014 at 4:29PM
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Thanks so much. I'll get it dug up. Not something, by your description that I would plant. I clicked your link and I remember my Dad talking about Pokeweed years ago. The only things I plant in my gardens are edible along with companion plants and herbs. Even most of my flowers are edible. Birds must have dropped the seed. I plant some types of plants in my garden to try and confuse and dissuade insects (my afore mentioned "winged creatures") away from my veggies, but would never intentionally plant anything that you mention or anything poisonous. Also, I never plant stray plants into my gardens. This is why I was trying to find out what it is because I couldn't remember if I'd planted a perennial there that came up this year, or whether it is just a stray plant. Obviously, I can thank the birds for this one. At any rate, I'll get it dug up and then try to get rid of the root,

I have edible berries growing in my yard and wouldn't want any of these mistakenly in the mix. The birds are welcome to feed on them elsewhere. And, I have better use for my SFG :)

Thanks again. I appreciate the responses.


    Bookmark   May 16, 2014 at 5:47PM
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Birds are always welcome in my garden. I feed them regularly and generally grow lots of beautiful Scarlett Runners for the Hummingbirds and my plate. :) The only thing I don't want them in this year is my experimental planting of corn in two of my beds so I laid a couple of rubber snakes out to try and discourage them. I also hang them in my berry bushes and it works like a charm.


    Bookmark   May 16, 2014 at 5:55PM
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Lot's of things have wings other than birds....especially things that like to visit/lay eggs on/or otherwise devour young veggie seedlings. Oftentimes companion plants are including in vegetable plantings that will deter these flying insects, aka "winged critters". I am assuming this is what the OP meant.

    Bookmark   May 16, 2014 at 6:31PM
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Exactly. My problem winged pests are mostly white flies and harlequin beetles,

I welcome the birds and other friendlies. The rest I deal with using natural products and methods the best I can. I never use commercial weed killers in my garden or yard. Always buy and plant heirloom seed and save what seed I can.

I plant lots of Scarlett Runners every year for the Hummers and I get the beans and seed. Works out for both of us.

I found that slugs love Roma tomatoes best and if they weren't so good, they could almost be used as a sacrificial crop to keep slugs away from other tomatoes and plants.

I'm experimenting with corn in my SFG this year. That should be interesting and bring in a whole new brand of pest.

    Bookmark   May 16, 2014 at 7:52PM
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Tiffany, purpleinopp GardenWeb, Z8b Opp, AL

Your gardens sound awesome, Rosey!

    Bookmark   May 17, 2014 at 9:20AM
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