KC Gardens

What is this mystery plant?

Mystery plant
Mystery plant Submitted photo

QUESTION:

I had this plant or weed come up in my flower bed. It is about 5' high and has red, rhubarb-like stalks. Can you identify it? - Marilyn

ANSWER:

This is poke weed. This plant is poisonous. It does have a perennial root system, which can get quite large, as can the plant itself. Any good broadleaf weed controls can be used to control it. If you have only a few, I would dig them out before it completes the production of flowers and fruits.

Birds eat the berries and distribute the seeds. If you do choose to use a broadleaf weed control, please be mindful that at temperatures above 85 degrees, the chemicals in the control can become volatile and drift quite distantly. It is best to spray early in the day, or early evening when it is not windy. Glyphosate (Roundup) would be another option, especially if you can spray without harming other plants.

Hope this helps, and thanks for your question. I have seen a lot of poke weed around lately. Carole - Johnson County Extension Master Gardener

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