Identification of a wild plant
August 27, 2013 11:36 AM   Subscribe

This bit of invasive greenery has been occupying a growing corner of my back yard. In the spirit of this excellent previous question I'm hoping someone knows what it is.

This is in Montreal, Canada. The plant has been coming under the fence from the neighbour since late May and is growing in a thicket between my back porch and the fence. Most of the plants are about 3 feet high now, but the tallest has reached close to 5 feet. Over the last ten days the plant has produced the small yellow flowers shown in the photo.

Neither the leaves nor flowers has any particular scent, either in place or when bruised. The plant has very plain stems, no spines or anything like that.

My next door neighbour doesn't know what it is either, so I don't think it can be something planted on purpose.
posted by zadcat to Science & Nature (9 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Still digging around online, but you could also post it to the Flore sauvage du Qu├ębec flickr pool to see if it jumps out at any one.
posted by jquinby at 12:16 PM on August 27, 2013 [1 favorite]

Tree of heaven? Also known in my D.C. 'hood as "trash tree."
posted by jgirl at 12:19 PM on August 27, 2013

Does it have any woody stems? It doesn't look like a tree of heaven to me.
posted by gubo at 2:04 PM on August 27, 2013

Best answer: Bidens frondosa, aka devil's beggarticks, devil's-pitchfork, devil's bootjack, sticktights, bur marigold, pitchfork weed, tickseed sunflower, leafy beggarticks, and common beggar-ticks.
posted by elsietheeel at 2:58 PM on August 27, 2013 [2 favorites]

elsietheeel is right, it's beggar-ticks.
posted by release the hardwoods! at 3:05 PM on August 27, 2013

elsietheeel has it! I had landed on another Bidens earlier, but the leaves were all wrong. Excellent! Here's a bit more from the USDA plant database.
posted by jquinby at 3:06 PM on August 27, 2013

I am apparently really good at identifying weeds and spiders. Considering that I actually only know slightly more about weeds and spiders than the average person, I probably have to give all of the credit to my google-fu.

Although I am generally hesitant to use glyphosate, sometimes it has its place and the aforementioned google indicates that it's pretty effective on Bidens.

Just please don't use it on Joe Biden. I love him so...
posted by elsietheeel at 3:17 PM on August 27, 2013

Response by poster: Yes, I believe elsietheeel has it.

It's definitely not a tree or potential tree, and possibly not even a shrub.

posted by zadcat at 5:55 PM on August 27, 2013

Best answer: You may want to chop it back, I think that it will be shedding burrs soon that will get stuck all over your clothes, shoes, dog, house etc.
posted by 5_13_23_42_69_666 at 8:32 PM on August 27, 2013

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