This is a weed, right?

Discussion in 'Plant ID' started by Ronni, Jul 27, 2013.

  1. Ronni

    Ronni Hardy Maple

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    My daughter and son-in-law built their new home, and moved into it last year. Both are even more inexperienced than *I* am in the garden....Paige comes to ME for gardening advice, if you can believe that! ;)

    The builder did some very basic landscaping and planting in their front yard, and what with their toddler, and another one on the way, Paige hasn't gotten into the garden the way she wanted to this summer. Basically all she's been able to keep up with is watering and weeding.

    Having not personally planted anything in the garden yet, she has to guess that what's growing is what the builder planted. Mostly it's a no-brainer because the growing things are easily recognizable as plants or shrubs even for a novice such as her. But she showed me this plant? in her garden, and wanted to know if it was a weed. I had no clue. It doesn't look like any weed that's grown in MY garden.

    What do you think, Stewies? A weed? Or some kind of ground cover? (We DID figure out that the clump of stalky stuff growing through IS a weed! :D )

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
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  3. Netty

    Netty Chaotic Gardener Plants Contributor

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    Definitely a weed, although I'm not sure what it is called. I have been fighting with that plant for YEARS in my patio stones and gardens.
     
  4. TheBip

    TheBip Young Pine

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    Its called Spurge. Ive also seen it called Purslane on Google, although thats different I think :-? I also get it in my garden. Doesnt really bother me, I just pull it when I feel like it.

    Found this very interesting video on youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WTjAhPDaZr0. I never knew Purslane (which is indeed a different plant) is nutritious! Spurge is toxic though!
     
  5. Cayuga Morning

    Cayuga Morning Strong Ash Plants Contributor

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    Ah! So that's what that's called! I battle it every year up on our pool terrace. It is not terrible, just a nuisance.
     



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  6. Ronni

    Ronni Hardy Maple

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    I discovered it pulls very easily. It has a very shallow root system. It's a shame it's a weed, because it sure grows fast and covers the ground nicely. :)
     
  7. AAnightowl

    AAnightowl Young Pine

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    It is definitely a weed here, and a pest.
     
  8. Netty

    Netty Chaotic Gardener Plants Contributor

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    The picture above is NOT Purslane. I just wanted to add that because Purslane is edible and we don't know if this weed is.
    Purslane has thick leaves, like a succulent.
     
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  9. purpleinopp

    purpleinopp Young Pine Plants Contributor

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    Cayuga Morning likes this.
  10. Netty

    Netty Chaotic Gardener Plants Contributor

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    Yes, that's it purpleinopp... spotted spurge!
     
  11. Cayuga Morning

    Cayuga Morning Strong Ash Plants Contributor

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    Impressive Purpleinopp!
     
  12. Ronni

    Ronni Hardy Maple

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  13. cherylad

    cherylad Countess of Cute-ification Plants Contributor

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    Weed. I have them all over the place. But it's not my worst weed. Like someone said already... easy to pull up.
     
  14. georgimz

    georgimz New Seed

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    It is a weed. I have a lot of them in my garden. I can't remember it's name.
     
  15. carolyn

    carolyn Strong Ash

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    Ronni, it IS a weed. pull it out and toss it or leave it be or ignore it and move on to more important issues in the garden. It looks like a weed, but it will help keep the ground cooler if you leave it if it is in full sun. it will take the brunt of the sunshine and give the landscape plants roots a little shelter from the blazing sun (if you have any right now).
     
  16. purpleinopp

    purpleinopp Young Pine Plants Contributor

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    Hey, Ronni. I provided the link to images so you could see if you agree with the suggested ID, which everyone seems to agree is the same plant, through different names. By viewing images of plants (on reliable sites such as USDA, universities, botanical gardens,) you can usually decide if yours is the same.

    The binomial (2-part) botanical epithet (proper name in Latin, used globally to overcome both the language hurdle and the fact that most plants have a different common name in different parts of the world, or even within a large country like US) is what is necessary to find to find reliable info about any plant.

    Don't believe that? What happens when researching the words daisy, morning glory, sunflower, rose, or the one being used here, 'spurge?' Too many results to know exactly which plant is being discussed.

    So once you are sure of its' proper name, you can research it. From the google link provided, you can click "web" at the top to go to the regular search page:

    https://www.google.com/search?q=euphorb ... 88&bih=499

    and find this info:

    http://plants.usda.gov/core/profile?symbol=chma15
    When USDA plants has pics of a plant, (not all plants in their database are pictured,) one can know they are reliable, so the first site I use for ID'ing.

    USDA plants says it's native, so your call if you want it in your yard or if you want to pull it. As Carolyn said, it makes a fine ground cover, short enough to not interfere with most other plants. I think it's ugly, so out it goes when I see it. If I had more/bigger beds, I might have a different attitude about it.

    This particular plant, it's not something you can have "just a little" of, at least not after you leave it be for a year or two. It makes a lot of seeds, and will soon form a carpet over a large area. That's great if you want it for a ground cover. Not good if you don't really want it.

    Also on the page are links to info about this plant from VA tech and UC Davis, other reliable sources.

    BTW, any plant in the Euphorbia genus is likely to have irritating sap inside to which some people are sensitive. It's best to wash well after handling these, and make sure not to rub eyes/nose especially between contact with plant and washing.

    HTH!
     
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