Can you help me identify this plant/weed (found in New England)?
June 17, 2012 7:49 AM   Subscribe

Can you help me identify this plant/weed (found in New England)?

I have the feeling that this is a super common weedy plant thing, I just don't know what it is.

Here are some photos including a detail of the leaves

For perspective, these are about 2-3 feet tall, grow very fast (which is why they are treated as weeds here) and the distinguishing characteristic is they are hollow inside which I tried to document in the third photo but failed to do so.
posted by jeremias to Science & Nature (9 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
It looks like a type of goosefoot. There are many species, perhaps someone with a better knowledge of their distributions will take a stab at what species it might be.
posted by mollweide at 8:06 AM on June 17, 2012 [1 favorite]

Best answer: Could be jewelweed.
posted by pemberkins at 8:08 AM on June 17, 2012 [1 favorite]

Best answer: Oh, and in terms of species, in upstate New York I tend to mostly see Impatiens pallida and Impatiens capensis (capensis has orange flowers, pallida has yellow flowers, and the leaves pretty much look the same to me). Those are probably good bets for New England as well.
posted by pemberkins at 8:15 AM on June 17, 2012 [1 favorite]

Most plants are identified by their flower and not their leaves. If you can, why not wait till it flowers and take another picture.

Are those different leaves at the bottom than the top? It looks like the top leaves come to a point and the bottom leaves are rounded at the tips. If I'm seeing that right it could be an important clue.
posted by cda at 8:50 AM on June 17, 2012 [1 favorite]

Yeah, seconding jewelweed.
posted by geegollygosh at 8:59 AM on June 17, 2012

Thirding jewelweed. My yard is lousy with it. At least it's easy to pull up.
posted by mneekadon at 9:01 AM on June 17, 2012

Response by poster: It's looking a lot like jewelweed and I think it does flower a bit later in summer. The bottom leaves aren't radically different but could be slightly rounder.

Here is one more shot of the base which is distinctive in that it is much more red.

It's definitely very easy to pull out, so I think jewelweed is the answer.
posted by jeremias at 9:36 AM on June 17, 2012

Just a heads up: jewelweed and poison ivy grow in the same conditions, and are often found in proximity, so be careful what you're pulling!
posted by theplotchickens at 12:22 PM on June 17, 2012

Jewelweed has juicy, almost plump leaves and stems. You should be able to squeeze a droplet of green, watery sap out of the stem between your fingers.

And ditto on theplotchickens' comment about poison ivy & jewelweed. There's a folk myth that the cure usually grows near the poison; in this case, it's coincidentally true.
posted by IAmBroom at 10:28 AM on June 18, 2012

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