What kind of plant is this?
June 27, 2008 3:30 PM   Subscribe

What kind of plant is this?

Northeastern United States, hardiness zone 6 or 7. It is prolific, is a single slender and vertical stalk with leaves branching off along almost its whole height, can get to at least four feet tall (which is about the height of the one in that picture), has a seemingly shallow root structure (or at least is easily pulled out of the ground), and pisses me off.

When I say "at least four feet tall", I mean that's the tallest I've seen before it pissed me off sufficiently for me to kill it. It may get larger; I don't know.
posted by Flunkie to Home & Garden (6 answers total)
Might be goldenrod-- does it flower? Otherwise, it looks like the same sneaky bastard that pops up in my Chicago garden. The shallow root structure is a clue that this is not a cultivar but rather a weed that should be ruthlessly suppressed !!! (wipes spittle). I get them to, and yes they piss me off, especially because they are copycats and sneakily propagate next to Phlox and lilies, which they can resemble, so you don't catch them til they're huge.
posted by nax at 3:40 PM on June 27, 2008

Looking at pictures of goldenrod, I don't think so... I don't think it blooms like this, if it blooms at all. I guess I don't pay enough attention, though. How long does goldenrod typically bloom for?

The current state of the plant in my original picture - i.e. not in bloom - is the way that it always is in my mind.
posted by Flunkie at 3:47 PM on June 27, 2008

Looks like its mugwort, a pretty common invasive weed.
posted by buttercup at 3:58 PM on June 27, 2008

That is it! Thank you.

My enemy now has a name. Advantage mine.
posted by Flunkie at 4:00 PM on June 27, 2008

Wow. I was considering posting this exact question. I've been battling this crap all spring and summer long on the north shore of Long Island. It's brutal where it has been allowed to proliferate - I dug out a 4' by 4' plot of tangled root system that was easily 6 inches thick. Since then I've been picking out the root bits that put out new shoots every two to three days. When it does get tall and the stem gets woody, it is easier to pull straight out of the ground.
posted by mbd1mbd1 at 6:51 PM on June 27, 2008

I agree - it looks like Artemisia Vulgaris. This plant is also known as Wormwood in the UK. I was told that it could produce vivid dreams when ingested in small quantities (or even just placed under the pillow). So - mildly hallucinogenic, but also toxic if consumed in large quantities. Keep any pets from browsing on the uprooted plants - my two dogs seem to consider any uprooted weeds their own private feast ...
posted by Susurration at 3:30 PM on June 28, 2008

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