Return to the Weeds Forum | Post a Follow-Up

Is this a weed?

Posted by serobins none (My Page) on
Wed, Aug 14, 13 at 15:59

Hello. I'm a complete newbie with a question. I moved to a new house in NW Ohio in early July. The previous owner was a master gardener, but the house had been empty for three years. I know only a little about gardening, just enough to pull the obvious weeds. I don't want to pull any flowers, though. I figure that any flower that can survive untended for three years is just the kind of flower a beginner like me needs. :)

I've been able to research some plants on my own and figure out what they are. This one, though, has me stumped. Is it a weed?

-It's growing in a big patch in full sun, mixed in with some bee balm.
-The soil is heavy clay.
-The plants are about 4 feet tall, growing in individual spikes.
-I can't find any flowers or buds. Either this flowered before we moved in in July, or I'm missing something. (Without flowers, I've had no luck at all finding what it is online.)
-It grows in individual spikes that are about 4 feet tall.
-Leaves are alternate and toothed, long and slender.
-The stem is green, ribbed, and has a few sparse hairs.
-Broken bits of the plant smell kind of like pepper and sassafras, I guess.
-The roots are shallow and it's easy to pull up. I sacrificed one to get this picture
-The top of the plant is a feathery bunch of fuzzy green leaves. (Sepals? I'm new at this....)

Here are the pictures. Thank you for the help!

Follow-Up Postings:

RE: Is this a weed?


RE: Is this a weed?


RE: Is this a weed?

My guess is Mare's Tail. If you post a picture of it growing, I could be positive, but I'm pretty sure. And yes, it's a weed, and it hasn't flowered yet, so get them all up before they do.

RE: Is this a weed?

Thank you for the help! I looked it up, and I do think it might be mare's tail/horseweed. I'm kind of glad it's a weed, because I don't like the look of it, and I've been itching to tear it out. My aunt, though, said she thought it might be a flower, so I stopped myself.

Here's a photo of it, in all it's glory.....

RE: Is this a weed?

As was said, pull it now, before it blooms & seeds.

RE: Is this a weed?

Done! The ones in the middle of the patch were a beast to pull out. Turns out there was a burning bush and a sedum in there, under all the weeds. Glad I looked. Thank you so much again for all the help for a total novice.

RE: Is this a weed?

Now that you know what they look like, you can yank them out early next year - much easier when they are 6 inches or so.
Glad to help!

RE: Is this a weed?

All of the soil I have seen in NW Ohio, except for a short distance inland from Lake Erie, is clay. that is what you have and all it lacks is organic matter.
A "weed" is a plant you do not want growing where you do not want it growing. Mares Tail, or horseweed, is an annual, sometimes a biennial, that grows from seed in any disturbed soil. The plants do not seem to send the seeds out very far, but are molt likely spread around by birds.

Here is a link that might be useful: Mares Tail

 o Post a Follow-Up

Please Note: Only registered members are able to post messages to this forum.

    If you are a member, please log in.

    If you aren't yet a member, join now!

Return to the Weeds Forum

Information about Posting

  • You must be logged in to post a message. Once you are logged in, a posting window will appear at the bottom of the messages. If you are not a member, please register for an account.
  • Please review our Rules of Play before posting.
  • Posting is a two-step process. Once you have composed your message, you will be taken to the preview page. You will then have a chance to review your post, make changes and upload photos.
  • After posting your message, you may need to refresh the forum page in order to see it.
  • Before posting copyrighted material, please read about Copyright and Fair Use.
  • We have a strict no-advertising policy!
  • If you would like to practice posting or uploading photos, please visit our Test forum.
  • If you need assistance, please Contact Us and we will be happy to help.

Learn more about in-text links on this page here