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2davidc8's avatar

What is the name of this plant? (photos inside)

Asked by 2davidc8 (9624points) August 1st, 2018

To me, this is a weed
Here is a closeup of it
What’s it called?
It doesn’t need much water to grow, because it has very deep roots. Everything around can be dry and brown, but it still does fine. I’d like to get rid of it.

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19 Answers

ScienceChick's avatar

It looks like a type of wild radish and it fits the buggers growing conditions. Have you tried a type of Roundup product on it and it didn’t work? That helps me work out what it is as well, because if you have tried and it didn’t move it, it tells me it is, indeed, wild radish or wild mustard. Good news is that there are other herbicides that will get rid of it. Bad news, it’s too big now and it will have less than 50% effectiveness. You have to catch them when they are no bigger than your hand, early in the season, so pull it up, best you can. When it starts to creep up again catch it early with an application of Banvel or Weedmaster. Good luck.

seawulf575's avatar

I have an app on my phone that I use for identifying plants. Pl@ntnet. I take a picture of the plant and it will evaluate based on leaves, flowers, berries, etc. I haven’t been able to stump it yet.

ScienceChick's avatar

I found a better picture of it. I know it is a wild brassica of some sort, and it might be a wild turnip. https://www.alamy.com/stock-photo-wild-turnip-brassica-50368219.html My advice to get rid of it remains the same.

snowberry's avatar

We have those exact plants growing all over our property here in Texas. I believe it’s a type of “sow weed.”

Control
“This plant can often be controlled by mowing, because it does not regrow from root fragments.[10] Attempts at weed control by herbicide, to the neglect of other methods, may have led to proliferation of this species in some environments.” https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sonchus_oleraceus

It says it does not re-grow from root fragments (apparently it propagates only from seed). If you can just keep the blossoms from maturing by picking them, eventually you should be able to eliminate them from your property.

snowberry's avatar

Ok, I did some more digging, and I believe it is a “sow thistle”.
http://www.uwyo.edu/uwe/wyoweed/newwyoweedsite/descriptions/sowthistle.htm

Then I found this.
“Spiny annual, annual and perennial sow-thistle are often confused with one another. Perennial sow-thistle can be differentiated from sow-thistle as it will be the first to emerge in the spring and will have an extensive underground root system. The leaves of perennial sowthistle are also not as deeply lobed as annual sow-thistle. Spiny annual sow-thistle can be differentiated from annual sow-thistle by its dark green leaves with purplish margins. The leaves of spiny annual sow-thistle also look and feel extremely waxy. Spiny annual sow-thistle is also more “spiny” or “prickly” to the touch versus annual sow-thistle. Lastly, spiny annual sow-thistle has leaves which have rounded basal lobes that clasp around the stem.“

The link goes on to explain how to control them on your land.
http://www.omafra.gov.on.ca/english/crops/field/weeds/perennial_sowthistle.htm

LazyMe10's avatar

I felt like I’ve seen it before in my herb book. So I went an grabbed it, the leaves kind of look similar to dandelion leaves. But these are a tad darker…so I don’t think there it..

2davidc8's avatar

Thank you all for your answers. So far, it looks like “none of the above”. I’m sure it’s not wild turnip. And it’s not common sow thistle because the stem is not hollow, does not exude a milky juice when injured, and the plant does not seem to spread from horizontal rhizome-like roots. It has a single, very deep tap root. The tap root is kinda woody, so I would say it’s not edible like a turnip or carrot.
The plant is a fast grower, up to 3 feet in 3 months or less. I’ve not let any grow taller than 3 feet, so I don’t know how tall it can eventually get. It doesn’t need any extra water. The ones I cut down yesterday were thriving despite no rain here since early April. The stems are spiny, and the leaves are deeply lobed and very dark green. Any ideas?
I know that many weeds can come back from the roots, so I try to dig up the smaller plants roots and all. When the plant gets to a certain size, it becomes very hard to dig up the entire root. So what I’ve done before was to cut the stem at soil level and pour Roundup on the mini-“stump”, this being half an inch to three-quarters of an inch in diameter. This seems to work. But I keep getting new plants over the yard. I ran out of Roundup, so yesterday I did as before but used brush killer (with 8% Triclopyr). We’ll see if that works also. Pesky plant.

2davidc8's avatar

@LazyMe10 Yes, this plant’s leaves do remind me somewhat of a dandelion, except that it grows a lot taller than a dandelion!

LazyMe10's avatar

@2davidc8 Oh okay, well I did try.

snowberry's avatar

Are you in the USA? If you are you can send photos (the entire plant, plus photos of the leaves and flowers) to your local extension agent. There’s an extension agency attached to every agricultural university in each state. If they don’t know the answer they can find out for you!

They can also tell you how to kill them.

seawulf575's avatar

I ran the picture through my plant app. I think you are looking at Chicory. Might be chinese lettuce, but I believe it is chicory. Do a little research and see if that is it.

snowberry's avatar

@2davidc8 Apparently chicory has white or light blue petals. What color are the flowers on your weeds?

2davidc8's avatar

@snowberry @seawulf575 Ah, no. It’s not chicory. Or Chinese lettuce. The plant has grown to 3 feet and still no flowers. That’s the tallest I’ve let them grow and then I’ve cut them down, so I don’t know at what point they get flowers. Thanks for trying.
I’ll try a garden center or the local extension agent if I can find one.

ScienceChick's avatar

You haven’t convinced me that I’m wrong. Even your unsuccessful attempts at killing it with round up supports my idea that it is some form of wild brassica.

snowberry's avatar

Maybe you’ll eventually land on naming it “the weed from hell”! ;D

2davidc8's avatar

@ScienceChick Oh, Roundup can kill it all right. Those I’ve cut down at soil level and then treated with Rounduup don’t come back. But it keeps sprouting elsewhere in the garden. It must spread by seeds coming from somewhere. There’s open space behind my property and we also have lots of wildlife.

snowberry's avatar

Have you considered bark chips on top of visqueen? Nuttin’ grows on that!

It sure would be interesting to find out what this plant is. Please keep us posted.

seawulf575's avatar

Just out of curiousity…have you tasted it? Is it good to eat?

2davidc8's avatar

@seawulf575 No, it does not look good to eat. Plus, many plants are poisonous, I wouldn’t try before knowing what it is.
@snowberry So, I took the photos to my local garden center, and they had no clue!! The thing is, this is not an uncommon plant. I see it here and there in various places in town, always growing like a weed, not as a landscape plant.
Next step: go to my local agricultural extension…

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