Plant ID Help - Please

Discussion in 'Gardening & Plant Propagation' started by kitaye, May 22, 2006.

  1. kitaye

    kitaye Well-Known Member

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    Hubby was mowing a section of the yard that las year was allowed to grow wild and weedy. He discovered a plant that he thinks is wild Rhubarb. I'm pretty sure it is just a look a like weed. I don't have a picture to post so I'll describe it as best I can. I'm also checking the net as soon as I finish this post. He refuses to mow it down until we identify it in case it is a wild relative or some other edible plant.

    Climate - Eastern Ontario Zone 4 - 5

    Environ - Open Woodland mix of Spruce, elm, and basswood Mostly weedy where dead trees came down last year. On the edge of a low area that was used as a dumping ground for old concrete and glass by the previous owners.

    Plant - Leaves and stalks are shaped very similar to rhubarb. Leaves are medium to light green and fuzzy. The stalks are light red near the roots turning to solid green at the leaf junction. Stalks are also very fuzzy. base at root is aprox 5 inches in diameter. Leaf dripline would be 2.5 feet around. Right now it is about 1.5 feet high but has a cluster of new leaves coming up from the center of the root area.
     
  2. Kee Wan

    Kee Wan Well-Known Member

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    Sounds like burdock to me.
     

  3. Pony

    Pony Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Yup, burdock.

    Chop it down before it flowers, and dig up the root.

    Pony!
     
  4. kitaye

    kitaye Well-Known Member

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    Yep, that looks like it. I found several references to the root being edible in soups and such and people even planting it on purpose. Can't imagine that but who knows. Hubby has now decided he likes the thing and will be building a rock garden wall around it lol.
     
  5. Pony

    Pony Well-Known Member Supporter

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    You never know what people will eat! My environmental biology instructor in undergrad said that burdock stems taste great battered and deep fried.

    Frankly, IMO, you can batter/deep fry just about anything and it'll taste good. ;) But I have read in survival guides that burdock is indeed edible.

    Pony!
     
  6. Kee Wan

    Kee Wan Well-Known Member

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    Unless you want to have a REALLY high maintainance garden - I'd get rid of it. If it flowers - and you do not get it ALL, it's going to spread - and short of nuking the yard - its' impossible to kill.....You have to dig up the WHOLE root - or it springs back.....

    I woul'dnt have it around on purpose - and I have had yards where I battled it constantly.....It is REALLY high maintainance
     
  7. kitaye

    kitaye Well-Known Member

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    I'll pass that on Kee Wan. thanks.
     
  8. MELOC

    MELOC Master Of My Domain

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    do not pull on it too hard or you may damage the streets of beijing, china, lol. they go deep. if you let it go to seed and it is burdock, you will see the cockle-burrs. they are like velcro only round. :nerd:
     
  9. woodspirit

    woodspirit Well-Known Member

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    The young shoots are good, but the seeds can cause damage to the eyes of cattle and horses.
     
  10. Jillis

    Jillis Well-Known Member

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    Too true!

    GET RID OF THE BURDOCK! It is the devil's own plant and those little sticky burrs are the bane of my life!!! It will take over!
     
  11. hengal

    hengal Well-Known Member

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    Wow, glad I saw this post. I have this same dang plant in two places. I can't believe how huge it can get!! Thanks for your info!
     
  12. Pony

    Pony Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Just wait until you try to dig out that root... You'll think you're half way to China before you're done... :(

    Pony!
     
  13. Paula

    Paula Well-Known Member

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    The worst thing is that the tiny hooks on those little cocklelburs come off and can get imbedded in your animals eyes, causing terrible irritation and infection. They are almost impossible to find and remove.