Does anyone know if this a plant or a weed.

by D
This comes back every year in the same spot. I have tried digging it up and it keeps growing back. Is it a weed?
q does anyone know if this a plant or a weed, gardening
  47 answers
  • Luis Luis on Jun 20, 2014
    Is a weed and I believe that is call Smartweed

  • D D on Jun 20, 2014
    Thank you!

  • Keri Keri on Jun 20, 2014
    awful weed! I pull them out all summer long..

  • Christa Francis Christa Francis on Jun 20, 2014
    Yep weed for sure.

  • D D on Jun 20, 2014
    Thank you! Looks like i wiil be busy this summer!

  • Wendy Willey Wendy Willey on Jun 20, 2014
    Yup...that's smart weed for sure!!!

  • KathrynElizabeth Etier KathrynElizabeth Etier on Jun 20, 2014
    You might be interested to know that it's edible and tastes quite peppery. Google "Smartweed" to learn more.

  • Dtu186937 Dtu186937 on Jun 21, 2014
    Tastes great in a salad..

  • Mssmatch Mssmatch on Jun 21, 2014
    I always pull this up so I think I'll leave one to see if it blooms

  • Clara Clara on Jun 21, 2014
    It looks like Vietnamese cilantro which is a substitute for cilantro (coriander). It does not bolt and will last the entire season in the south.

  • Suzanne Jones Suzanne Jones on Jun 21, 2014
    If it's called "Smartweed" then, why does everyone keep pulling it up, and not using it in salad? DUH!! Wish I could find it here!!

  • Robin Nickel Symes Robin Nickel Symes on Jun 21, 2014
    Looks like an amaranth plant to me.

  • Carole E Carole E on Jun 21, 2014
    All weeds are plants."....... Beauty is in the eye of the beholder. You get to say what you call it

  • Penny Cathey Penny Cathey on Jun 21, 2014
    What are considered weeds in one section of the country are cultivated plants in another. It's a weed if it grows naturally! It's a plant if you have to plant it! We are funny people...

  • Paula Paula on Jun 21, 2014
    Polygonum persicaria, common name Lady's Thumb because the mark on the leaf looks like the imprint of a thumb. Part of the Smartweed family. Used as a medicinal herb by some herbalists.

  • Yom Yom on Jun 21, 2014
    A weed is any plant growing where you don't want it! Queen Anne's Lace is just beautiful with day lilies, but you won't find it at a garden center.😉

  • Suzanne Suzanne on Jun 21, 2014
    Weed. If it keeps coming back, even after you pull it, it probably has one of those root systems that re-propagate from even the tiniest bit left behind. Try cutting it way back and applying Roundup( I use this for the most stubborn infestations) that will kill all the way to the tips. FYI: a permaculturist told me that this is a good weed to plant around the perimeter of your vegetable garden. Japanese beetles love it and will leave your edibles alone.

    • Annie Smith Annie Smith on Jun 21, 2014
      Please no Roundup for any reason. We need to get this poison out of our ecosystem. I can recommend other ways to kill weeds without further harming our environment. And this comment is made with love :)

  • Kim Hudnall Richmond Kim Hudnall Richmond on Jun 21, 2014
    The name of this plant is VIRGINIA KNOTWEED, or RATTAIL (Polygonum virginianum L.)

  • DiannaLynne DiannaLynne on Jun 21, 2014
    amazing how many weeds are actually edible or medicinal. If you can't beat 'em, eat 'm

  • Sally Sally on Jun 21, 2014
    My Grandmother gave me the best advice for gardening (and life). "It all depends on what you like. A rose is a weed if you are planting Queen Anne's Lace". No matter if its a weed or plant, if you like it, keep it and let it spread.

  • Donnie Bouknight Donnie Bouknight on Jun 21, 2014
    I would leave it a pretty weed, I leave a lot in my yard because they add a lot to my flower garden... or bed I have used stumps to put my flowers on to keep from having to try to burn all at once they rot then can get rid of them one at a time...

  • Linda B Linda B on Jun 21, 2014
    I had one of these for about 15 years and it just died this last winter because the winter was so bad. I had other trees and plants die too because of the winter, so it wasn't only this plant that died. We are in Iowa, Zone 5. A few years ago I tried to find out what it was but NO-ONE could tell me. It grew to about 4 ft high and 5 ft wide. It was the most beautiful green plant I've seen. Mine had the sharper pointed leaf with deep red in the center. I know their are a few different shape of the leaves. I couldn't remember if it was something I had lpanted or if it was there when I moved to this p lace. I just now did an extensive search for it on internet, after I saw yours, and have found the name after I found MANY more pictures of it. It is Polygonum virginianum. Do a search. The article also said, " She may be related to Japanese Knotweed, but let’s not hold that against her." It said the Japanese Knotwood IS invasive, BUT THIS ONE IS NOT INVASIVE. So be careful wHich one you buy. Some have white in the center, some had pink or red. I hope to find another some someday :-) My favorite would be the deep red after having one :-) THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR POSTING YOUR PHOTO AND QUESTION. I HAVE NOW FOUND OUT WHAT MINE WAS AND CAN LOOK FOR ANOTHER ONE!!!

  • Kathleen Conery Kathleen Conery on Jun 21, 2014
    It does seem to be a member of the polygonum family, which includes the Vietnamese cilantro mentioned above.There's a good look at a version of smartweed on this page: If you can let it bloom you'll be able to make sure the flowers match.

  • Christy Christy on Jun 21, 2014
    And spread this plant will. My parents bought a home in chehalis, wa. 28 yrs ago. We have been trying to kill this "smartweed" ever since. It does not die easily, I have dug up roots, sprayed chemicals as last resort and still it comes back. It is planted next to their house and the roots extend far under the foundation of the house. So unless I tear the house down, the plant wins. Good luck. Round up kills it for awhile, but it always returns.. 28 years....still here.. mother nature at its best.

  • Sfwou Sfwou on Jun 21, 2014
    Looks like basil

  • Paula Palmer Paula Palmer on Jun 21, 2014
    Ouch people queen Ann is what swallowtails lay their eggs on alot of so called weeds are what our butterflies need milkweed , rue, fennel our birds need mullin, thistle, they ae all beneficial and pretty if culitvated

  • Marie Davies Marie Davies on Jun 21, 2014
    I always say a weed is simply a plant you don't want....and vise versa.

  • Dee Dee on Jun 21, 2014
    It is a weed and a nuisance. I have it all over my flower bed and can't seem to get rid of it. If you find a good solution for getting rid of them, please re-post.

  • Paula Paula on Jun 21, 2014
    I know that make poultices for rheumatism, but there are other uses. I just can't remember them.

  • Barbara Turner Barbara Turner on Jun 21, 2014
    If it's not moving and an aggressive invader, it almost looks like a Hosta variety, I'd leave it alone. I actually have several "weeds" native to VA and although MY yuk neighbor has planted some very aggressive ground covers which are now in MY yard, UGH! - one of which looks like lambs ear and really cute!

  • Pam Clark Pam Clark on Jun 21, 2014
    It is definitely a weed. Pull that sucker.

  • Celeste Silva Celeste Silva on Jun 21, 2014
    IT'S A WEED, No doubt!!!

  • Linda Linda on Jun 21, 2014
    Take a picture and a sample ,if possible ,to your extension agent. They should be able to tell you what it is. I have had it in my yard but just spray it with vinegar,salt,dishwashing liquid solution.

  • Sherry R Sherry R on Jun 21, 2014
    In our area, that is a weed.

  • Renita Stevenson Renita Stevenson on Jun 22, 2014
    It's a horrible weed pull it ASAP cuz if not like I didn't do it's very aggressive spreads like crazy

  • Sherleen Z Sherleen Z on Jun 22, 2014
    It looks like a Hosta to me. I understand there are about 7300 varieties!

  • Jackie Messer Jackie Messer on Jun 22, 2014
    looks like a hosta to me, loves the shade.

  • Change of Art Change of Art on Jun 22, 2014
    Looks a little bit like my dragon flower – which I bought at a nursery. If the stalks/stems are reddish and break apart easily at the 'joints', it could be Red Dragon or something similar. I think there are several varieties. Mine is a darker/bluer green with more of the reddish color. It's not invasive in my tiny garden (Zone 5) – it's grown nicely, but sticks to the small area where I'd planted it a few years ago. Gets tiny white frothy flowers mid-summer that last a long time. Once established, it's very hardy, and you can trim it back (it can get pretty tall) as often as you like. Grows back quickly. I get compliments & questions about mine all summer long. But, if you don't like or want it, by all means -- yank it out. Maybe dig a little bit, too. If it is a native plant, it's likely to have deep, hardy roots.

  • Carol T Carol T on Jun 22, 2014
    I don't think its a weed, but it is very aggressive. Has a pretty flower during summer.

  • Elizabeth Miller Elizabeth Miller on Jun 22, 2014
    It's a weed...I pull them out by the hundreds

  • Sha231360 Sha231360 on Jun 22, 2014
    Yes, very agressive ,but I gave up and let it grow as a groundcover. Does have a pretty pink flower in summer!

  • Delores Lasky Delores Lasky on Jun 22, 2014
    Weed but kind of neat with little pink and white balls for a flower.

  • April E April E on Jun 22, 2014
    it is a member of the ameranth family it grows profusely and is edible. also the difference between a weed and a "plant" is whether or not you like it if you like it it becomes a plant if you do not it is a weed. hence i have this huge weed in my front yard called a silver maple but my husband loves this "weed"

    • Bonnie Spielman Bonnie Spielman on Jun 23, 2014
      @April E Oh my! Talk about Agressive, a silver maple is terrible and impossible to get rid of. Once started they come up every where. My sister has them in her yard and all she can do is mow them off.

  • Carol Pellman Carol Pellman on Jun 23, 2014
    it's a weed and don't put your hands near your eyes or mouth afterwards. We always called it fast weed. And it burns like crazy. (Past experience as a kid!)

  • April E April E on Jun 23, 2014
    well i actually do know how to get rid of them but the husband thinks this invasive patio killing cretin of a weed tree is beautiful ...............sigh

  • Sara Schill Sara Schill on Jun 25, 2014
    definately a weed, wear gloves when you pull it, it burns like hell!(learned that the hard way)

  • Debora Debora on Jul 07, 2014
    Smartweed--couple drops of dilute glysophate will kill it