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Plant, Weed or ..... ?


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armargos
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PostPosted: Thu May 07, 2009 10:30 am    Post subject: Plant, Weed or ..... ? Reply with quote

Hi I found this forum when I was trying to find out what the plant/weed in the below photos is so I decided I would join to see if any of you could help me as I have been unable to locate it on any of the sites I have gone through Question

This started growing only about 5yrs and we've no idea where it came from, the first year there was only 2 of them but each year when it re-emerges there are more of them. The height of it gets to approx 5ft. The root system seems to be tuber-like.

The first photo shows the size it is currently, each leaf is approx 12 inches long and has a sort of suede feeling.



This photo shows the plant after flowering in the autumn (sorry can't find any photo of the flower actually in bloom) which is when the whole thing starts to wilt and eventually dies again until it re-emerges the following spring.



I think I have mentioned everything about it Rolling Eyes

Thanks in advance for your assistance


Sheena Wink
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James Kilkelly
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PostPosted: Thu May 07, 2009 12:24 pm    Post subject: Re: Plant, Weed or ..... ? Reply with quote

armargos wrote:
Hi I found this forum when I was trying to find out what the plant/weed in the below photos is so I decided I would join to see if any of you could help me as I have been unable to locate it on any of the sites I have gone through Question


Ah, I think the folks here on the Irish gardeners forum will be able to help you armargos.
I'll throw my hat quite confidently into the ring and say it is some form of Arctium, probably Arctium lappa the one commonly known as Burdock.



armargos wrote:

This started growing only about 5yrs and we've no idea where it came from, the first year there was only 2 of them but each year when it re-emerges there are more of them. The height of it gets to approx 5ft. The root system seems to be tuber-like.


Sounds about right.
It spreads really well through its spiney gripping seeds which are transported on passing clothes and animals coats.
The tuber like roots sound right as well.
Burdock and dandelion roots were traditionally fermented to make the British naturally fizzy soft drink "dandelion and burdock"



Was this any help?

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Liparis
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PostPosted: Thu May 07, 2009 1:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm going for something else, I have that on my land and I know what it is, but I'm dashed if the name will come to me at the moment. I had photographs of the flower but I can't find them since my PC crash, they are two-toned in colour and hang bell fashion. The name will come back if no one else gives it. They grow wild in this area on the grass verges etc.
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armargos
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PostPosted: Thu May 07, 2009 3:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I don't think it can be burdock as the leaves are straight edged unlike the shape of the leaves in the photo you posted Sad

Do any of burdock's relations have straight edged leaves Question



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JennyS
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PostPosted: Thu May 07, 2009 10:05 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Its definitely not any of the Burdock species, what colour were the flowers?
Like Liparis I'm sure I recognise it .....it wouldn't be Jerusalem artichoke would it?
Confused

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armargos
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PostPosted: Fri May 08, 2009 6:59 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I don't remember the flowers being yellow, I shall have to ask my mother if she can remember what colour they were Rolling Eyes
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Garlicbreath
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PostPosted: Fri May 08, 2009 9:03 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Could it be comfrey? The leaves look about right.
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Liparis
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PostPosted: Fri May 08, 2009 9:15 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

THanks, Garlicbreath, that's the one I was trying to remeber. Knitbone.
Loved by bees and others.
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PostPosted: Fri May 08, 2009 9:47 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

especially gardeners Very Happy
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James Kilkelly
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PostPosted: Fri May 08, 2009 10:00 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'd say you've got it alright folks.
A look at the flowers or a close up of the seed heads would add further weight to the comfrey name.
The more I look at it now the more I see it in the first pic, it was the second pic that threw me right off (he says covering himself) Laughing

Here's an old botanical illustration of common comfrey (Symphytum officinale) to clue everyone in further..... Comfrey

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PostPosted: Fri May 08, 2009 11:36 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I can agree with comfrey. I was thrown by the lightness of colour of the basal leaves and also that I've never seen comfrey gone to seed. I've harvested comfrey in Montpelier, O'Briens Bridge for compost in April and May. In the old days, comfrey was frequently sown on 'fallow' in August I think and ploughed or disk harrowed into the soil the following Spring to provide a strong nitrogenous fertiliser for cabbage. Them war the days, hawwh?

The link below might interest people who want to identify [mainly wild] plants. It should open at Comfrey for you.

http://www.botanicalkeys.co.uk/flora/content/species.asp?711

Comfrey I've seen is definitely way darker than the photo. I must go looking for some around here and check.

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Liparis
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PostPosted: Fri May 08, 2009 12:13 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I think it's non-native and a garden escapee. Highly prized for it's many medicinal uses including the healing of broken bones, hence the name, Knitbone.
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PostPosted: Fri May 08, 2009 4:59 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

walltoall wrote:
Comfrey I've seen is definitely way darker than the photo. I must go looking for some around here and check.


No need to go looking, you are correct Comfrey leaves are darker, it just happens that my mother has comfrey growing in her garden and showed it to me so I'm afraid my photos aren't of comfrey plants Confused Confused

She said the flowers were yellow so I'm going off to look up more info on Jerusalem Artichokes now to see what I make of them Neutral

Thanks for all the imput so far Wink


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Liparis
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PostPosted: Fri May 08, 2009 7:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The leaves will darken, those are the same shade of green on mine at the moment. Flowers vary from yellow to purple and often come in bi-colours of yellow and purple, mine are bi-colour. Never rule out a plant's ID by leaf or flower colour, both can vary a great deal within the species.
But, having said that, it might be something else. I'm convinced by the Borage type foliage another herb in the same family loved by bees and people who love salads with it for it's cucumber-like flavour.
Bill.

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PostPosted: Sat May 09, 2009 12:05 am    Post subject: I'm artichoking with all the dust cough cough Reply with quote

Yo Amargos.
The yellow flowers blow Comfrey into the weeds if I'm allowed a pun. Comfrey flowers are kinda mauve. And if the Mammy remembers the flowers as being kinda like a yellow daisy you can definitely put Jerusalem Artichoke into the frame. If that is the case you've a few nice dinners under the ground.

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