What is this plant?

Discussion in 'Plants: Identification' started by Krista2882, Jul 30, 2011.

  1. Krista2882

    Krista2882 Active Member

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    What is this plant? It looks like a weed to me. But I've never seen it before. It's growing in my front yard, and we were so intrigued by it that we didn't pull it out. now it's about 6 feet tall. It has velvety leaves, and yellow flowers grow out of this thing on top that looks like a corn cob, but only a few come out at a time and then they fall off.
    See pictures below:
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  2. Sundrop

    Sundrop Well-Known Member

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    Verbascum sp. Most likely Verbascum thapsus Common Mullein
     
  3. AmericanWoman

    AmericanWoman Active Member

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    Interesting how "weeds" can be so beautiful!
     
  4. Krista2882

    Krista2882 Active Member

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    Thanks!
     
  5. anza

    anza Active Member 10 Years

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    Weeds are a matter of definition. An Oak tree in the middle of a corn field could be considered a weed by definition of what a weed is. It could be considered to be an undesirable plant in a place where it is not necessarily wanted. Most of what we usually consider weeds in the garden though are ruderals.
     
  6. Michael F

    Michael F Paragon of Plants Forums Moderator 10 Years

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  7. Luke Harding

    Luke Harding Active Member

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    To echo what anza said, I was always told that 'a weed is just a plant in the wrong place'.
    Short and sweet!
     
  8. Michael F

    Michael F Paragon of Plants Forums Moderator 10 Years

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    But what is a "wrong place"?

    Do you measure it objectively (native = right place, invasive alien = wrong place), or subjectively ("I don't like it there, regardless of whether it is native or invasive")?
     
  9. Andrey Zharkikh

    Andrey Zharkikh Well-Known Member 10 Years

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    I can understand gardeners - it is a matter of their tolerance and practical goals.
    But I was surprised to see botanists using this as a feature in identification keys:

    1 - Plant weedy. (2)
    1' - Plant native. (3)

    As if I would be able to tell one from another by just looking at the plant...
     
  10. Michael F

    Michael F Paragon of Plants Forums Moderator 10 Years

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    Ouch!! That's bad!
     
  11. CBVileneuve

    CBVileneuve Member

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    I live in Kamloops BC, and I see them in the native grassland where the soil has been disturbed. We are in a semi-arid area, and they seem to thrive!
     
  12. Luke Harding

    Luke Harding Active Member

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    I guess its up to each individual as to what is regarded as a weed. If its something you don't want for any reason, then it could be considered a weed. Even something beautiful in its own right.
    An example in my garden would be sun flowers. Masses of them came up in a border where I had bird feeders set up over winter. Giant sunflowers look wrong immediatly above a sunken patio. Therefore, I weeded them out.
     
  13. Sundrop

    Sundrop Well-Known Member

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    By the way, Common Mullein is a valuable medicinal plant (herb).
     
  14. Gomero

    Gomero Well-Known Member Maple Society 10 Years

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    To me a weed is a plant growing in a place where I do not want it to be and that I do not want to save to plant it in another place or give it to others.

    Gomero
     

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