Wisconsin Plant ID—two mystery plants
September 11, 2020 5:43 AM   Subscribe

Hi folks. I have two plant ID requests. The first one grows all over the edges of my driveway and the rest of the yard here and there. It looks a lot like chives and has white flowers. When I hit them with the lawnmower they smell a bit like onions/chives as well. The second one is very tall and I thought it might be some sort of aster, but I don't think so. Flowers must have been really tiny, because I never really saw them, but now it's gone to seed.

Pics are here--the first three are plant #1 and the last three are plant #2.
posted by Slinga to Home & Garden (7 answers total)
Well, plant #1 is a wild garlic of some sort (or at least an allium)
posted by pipeski at 6:01 AM on September 11

And I think plant #2 is a horseweed.
posted by pipeski at 6:06 AM on September 11 [1 favorite]

Seconding horseweed for plant #2. We have it in our Wisconsin yard, too. The goldfinches like to perch on the stalks and eat the seeds. It's a native.
posted by abeja bicicleta at 6:21 AM on September 11 [3 favorites]

#1 made me think of Sweet Woodruff (galium odoratum), but I don't think it has stamen like the picture shows.
posted by JoeZydeco at 8:05 AM on September 11

I have grown garlic chives, and they look like that. You can cook with the leaves, ht estems are too tough.
posted by theora55 at 8:30 AM on September 11

# 1 looks a lot like autumn onion, aka cliff onion, aka Allium stellatum. Note that the flowers can be white, pink, or purple. If that doesn't look right, there are plenty more alliums to choose from at Flora of Wisconsin.
posted by ourobouros at 9:01 AM on September 11 [2 favorites]

The fact that the allium is spreading easily could mean it's a native or also a common exotic. I had walking onions that looked a lot like that, if so the onion bulblets at top after flowering will be the tell.
posted by SaltySalticid at 10:56 AM on September 11

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