Need help identifying a weed

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Floyd Pinkerton
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Need help identifying a weed

Post by Floyd Pinkerton »

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I've had this weed in my back yard for as long as I've lived here and I was wondering what it is. In late spring/early-mid summer they have white flower clusters on the top (they're brown now in the top picture).

Does anyone know what this could be?

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firebirdflys
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Re: Need help identifying a weed

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Dang girl, I think im stumped,

I'm going to guess it is some kind of vinca, due to the leaves which are
simple, entire and opposite.
Tell me, do the flowers die very soon after picking? And is there a milky sap where it is cut?
If so, they are probably in the dogbane family, (Apocynacae)
http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Apocynaceae

Lemme know what you think, and get some photos in the spring, we will find out for sure.
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Holdasown
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Re: Need help identifying a weed

Post by Holdasown »

American Bittersweet I think.

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Floyd Pinkerton
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Re: Need help identifying a weed

Post by Floyd Pinkerton »

I don't think it really looks like that either. This plant doesn't grow berries. Someone on Tublr said pokeweed but it isn't pokeweed either. I've been looking at every weed identification site I could find and there's literally nothing showing up that even close to looks like the plant in question. I'm so confused.

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Re: Need help identifying a weed

Post by firebirdflys »

M'lady, you did not answer my questions.
It is not bittersweet, the leaf arrangement on those plants are alternate,
The plant in question leaves are definitely opposite.

I have more questions, like... is the stem round or square?
Does the plant have an offensive odor?
And is there a tinge of red to the stem like the leaf is near the petiole?
And lastly....does it get any kind of berry or fruit?
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Floyd Pinkerton
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Re: Need help identifying a weed

Post by Floyd Pinkerton »

firebirdflys wrote:M'lady, you did not answer my questions.
It is not bittersweet, the leaf arrangement on those plants are alternate,
The plant in question leaves are definitely opposite.

I have more questions, like... is the stem round or square?
Does the plant have an offensive odor?
And is there a tinge of red to the stem like the leaf is near the petiole?
And lastly....does it get any kind of berry or fruit?
Bb, FF
I've never picked the flowers off so I'll have to wait until they grow back again to see. I noticed no sap at the cut.
The stem is round, I've never noticed any odor coming from them other than a fresh, nature-y smell. The only red on the stem is right where the leaves connect, the rest of the stem is a yellow-green colour. And it doesn't grow any berries or fruit, just the white flower clusters at the top.

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Re: Need help identifying a weed

Post by firebirdflys »

Hi
Do any of the flowers look like any of these?
dogbane flowers...oops the link won't work. Look up white dogbane flowers and see it they look like them
if not can, you describe the flowers?
Like, do they go up the stalk like snap dragons? What is the shape and size of the flower?
Now I'm really curious,
What area do you live in?
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Floyd Pinkerton
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Re: Need help identifying a weed

Post by Floyd Pinkerton »

firebirdflys wrote:Hi
Do any of the flowers look like any of these?
dogbane flowers...oops the link won't work. Look up white dogbane flowers and see it they look like them
if not can, you describe the flowers?
Like, do they go up the stalk like snap dragons? What is the shape and size of the flower?
Now I'm really curious,
What area do you live in?
Blessings, Firebird
They don't really look like dogbane flowers. They just grow in that one cluster up at the top where the dead part is in the first picture; they just grow out of the top like that. They're pure white flowers, very small, and grow really close together.
If it helps, the plants only grow about 2 feet high at the most and grow individually.
I live in south central Pennsylvania.

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Re: Need help identifying a weed

Post by firebirdflys »

Woo hoo! I think I found it
Maybe loosestrife?

http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lysimachia_clethroides

Thanks for the info
lemme know
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Re: Need help identifying a weed

Post by Floyd Pinkerton »

Yes, that's it! It's identical!! Thank you so much!

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Re: Need help identifying a weed

Post by firebirdflys »

:fairy:
Glad we could figure it out.
Apparently it's fairly common?
And likes wet places, we don't have many wet places here in so. Cali. I doubt is grows here, but now I need to find out!
Though this specimen looks a bit thirsty,
every thing here is beyond thirsty. I am seeing drought tollerant plants in the wild go down quite a bit lately, things like sages and oaks :(


So, I have a little info here on your plant:

common name- loosestrife or gooseneck loosestrife
Botanical- Lysimachia varr.


There looks to be around a hundred varieties, so determining the exact one may require some more reaserch. The national park system in your area may have a visitor center the knows which kinds of loosestrife grow near you.
Dioscorides reported the plant to be a sauncher of blood, for heavy menstruation or nosebleed (course it doesn't say whether this used topically or internally), he also says when the plant is burned it gives off sharp smelling fumes that drive off snakes and kill flies.
Another sourse says a tea made from the plant is a good astringent.
Scott Cunningham says it is a feminine plant assigned to the Moon, with its element in Earth, and is used for peace and protection.

Image

It looks really beautiful when it is blooming, I wonder if it makes a good cut flower? Will you check back when its blooming and let me know?

This has been fun, thanks...
Firebird

Oh, one more thing,... does it smell good?
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Floyd Pinkerton
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Re: Need help identifying a weed

Post by Floyd Pinkerton »

It smells fresh, which is a good smell to me. What do you mean by cut flowers? Like, cut the petals or cut the flower cluster off altogether?

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Re: Need help identifying a weed

Post by firebirdflys »

I'm sorry, :oops:
being a florist I'm always on the prowl for flowers that last long in a vase. :D
A cut flower is most usually removed from the plant way far down on the stalk, some last longer than others. Some long lasting cut flowers are carnations, mums, alstromeria, some kinds of roses, lillies, and orchids.

The plant I orginally thought was your plant, in the dogbane family, do not make a good cut flower because they wilt shortly after removing them from the plant.

Bb, Firebird
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Re: Need help identifying a weed

Post by Floyd Pinkerton »

firebirdflys wrote:I'm sorry, :oops:
being a florist I'm always on the prowl for flowers that last long in a vase. :D
A cut flower is most usually removed from the plant way far down on the stalk, some last longer than others. Some long lasting cut flowers are carnations, mums, alstromeria, some kinds of roses, lillies, and orchids.

The plant I orginally thought was your plant, in the dogbane family, do not make a good cut flower because they wilt shortly after removing them from the plant.

Bb, Firebird
I apologize for not responding in a timely manner, I haven't been on this site in a while.
Unfortunately I don't know if I'll be able to cut them once they grow to do this experiment because we're selling the house we live in now and I'll be elsewhere at the time. If my mom is still living in this house when they start to flower I'll make sure to come back, cut them, and see how long they last; but if she sells the house by April like she's planning I won't be able to come back and get them.
Maybe I'll be lucky and have a huge supply of them like this at my new house. :P

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