Lee Martinez
Lee Martinez
  • Hometalker
  • Lodi, CA
Asked on Jul 5, 2013

I'm Stumped, Plant Identification Needed.

Lee MartinezGinger ThrockmortonLydia Whitehead Torres
+13

Answered

Has anyone got any idea what kind of plants these are? A little water and they emerged from the flower beds. They quickly grew to 5 feet with thick stalks. There is a tiny spray of what I am assuming are white flowers on the highest branches, visible in the first pic upper left. There at at least a half dozen of them in my flower beds. They look tropical with those long wide bright greet leaves and are growing in a shaded area with limited sunshine. Any help you can give will be appreciated. I am located in Northern California.
i m stumped plant identification needed, flowers, gardening
i m stumped plant identification needed, flowers, gardening
16 answers
  • Luis
    on Jul 5, 2013

    They look like Milkweed

  • Lee Martinez
    on Jul 5, 2013

    that's not milkweed, they're too big!

  • Glenda Thompson
    on Jul 5, 2013

    The small clusters of white flowers tell me that it is poke salad, I think it is all over the US. and birds will eat the berries and "plant the seeds" every where. You should dig deep to remove the roots or it will come back every year bigger and stronger.

  • Luis
    on Jul 5, 2013

    U R right Lee, got my weeds confused that is a pokeweed

  • Lee Martinez
    on Jul 6, 2013

    yikes, so it's not something I should want to keep? never heard of poke salad except in some country song...lol we're going to pull them all out immediately!

  • Cheryl Pfirrman
    on Jul 7, 2013

    Not sure which, but I think parts of the plant are toxic.

  • Luis
    on Jul 7, 2013

    Pokeweed poisoning: The highest amounts of poison are found in the roots, leaves, and stems. Small amounts are in the fruit.

  • Peg
    on Jul 7, 2013

    It's hard to get rid of once it's been in your yard a few years. It will regrow if the tap root is not all out, sometimes hard to do because it grows deep. The berries are loved by birds, their droppings will spread seeds and the pokeweed seeds can last for decades, so they can grow at any time. The plant has medicinal properties and yes, some folks have used it in salads, but not me! I won't take a chance on a toxic plant.

  • Shelley
    on Jul 7, 2013

    Poke salad has red stalks.

  • Patty A
    on Jul 7, 2013

    Since I can't get rid of the pokeweed on the edge of the woods, I cut off the deep red berries and clip off any leaves on that stem. They make a beautiful addition to my flower arrangements. I just wash carefully after clipping.

  • Linda Hopper
    on Jul 7, 2013

    When poke salad is prepared the right way it can be quite tasty. My kinfolk in Oklahoma gather it in the early Spring when it is tender. As for myself...I would NEVER attempt to gather poke salad. It is so good with a piece of cornbread and a hunk of onion. I found this recipe online. My Momma never added the onion but I bet it would be good. http://www.thatsmyhome.com/mainstreet/beans/poke-salad.htm

  • Lee Martinez
    on Jul 7, 2013

    Thanks for the answers everyone, we have chosen to remove all the plants and will watch for them to re-grow as I know we didn't get the entire tap root. I sure thought they were pretty in the far back corner of the yard but I don't want to take a chance.

  • George Snider
    on Jul 7, 2013

    looks to be sumac or poison sumac. the plant is known to grow profusely. i had a 30 ft tree next to my garage in 2 years. my local Armstrong strongly suggested i get rid of it and it wasn't easy. had to cut in down and dig it up. i live in LA county.

  • Lydia Whitehead Torres
    on Jul 7, 2013

    Poke is used in salads only in the early spring when it is first starting to push up through the soil. It is young, tender and goes real good with a little bacon and onions cooked in it with cornbread and a cold glass of milk. Yum, made my mouth water to think about it! However, the berries and roots are poison and will kill some animals. Cut it down before the berries have a chance to form. If you keep the area mowed or trimmed it will eventually die out. Otherwise you will need to dig up the roots or pull it up after a good rain. The roots are not that deep. Good luck.

  • Ginger Throckmorton
    on Jul 7, 2013

    They almost look like citrus trees, have you been eating and discarding any lemon, lime, orange, grapefruit seeds out in this area? They will readily grow from seeds from grocery store fruit.

  • Lee Martinez
    on Jul 7, 2013

    No Ginger, I am 90% certain they are Poke Weed as suggested above. I am from Southern California and I know what citrus trees look like...

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