Asked on Mar 16, 2012

Weed or Flower?

Kay R
by Kay R
My daughter in law dug up some Creeping Phlox from an old abandoned house. In among the phlox were these plants with yellow flowers. Can anybody tell me if this is a weed? It's pretty whatever it is. Thanks for your help.
q weed or flower, flowers, gardening
  86 answers
  • Donna McCrummen Donna McCrummen on Mar 16, 2012
    I don't know- there are lots of gardeners on here that may know but in my opinion one man's weed is another's rose.

  • 3po3 3po3 on Mar 16, 2012
    I am a big believer in the philosophy that a weed is in the eye of the beholder. If she likes it, it's not a weed - to her, anyway.

  • Kay R Kay R on Mar 16, 2012
    I agree - it's in the eye of the beholder. I'll plant it and see how it goes. Thanks for your replies.

  • Sherrie S Sherrie S on Mar 16, 2012
    Kay R, I often find beautiful plants/weeds in my yard. First thing I do is come to hometalk to find out what I have. Then I decide to kill it or put it in a controlled area (I would equate that to jail). Just control it for awhile and then if you like it release it from jail.

  • Donna McCrummen Donna McCrummen on Mar 16, 2012
    My neighbor once pointed out to me that my lawn had dandelions (as if I hadn't noticed them) and I told her "one man's weed is another's rose" and that maybe they would fly over to her yard and take seed. I thought she was going to die. LOL some people are so uptight.

  • Kay R Kay R on Mar 16, 2012
    Thanks for the laugh Sherrie! That was too funny. Shabby, do you need more dandelions? I've got plenty to spare! The plant is pretty and free so it's win/win.

  • Sherrie S Sherrie S on Mar 16, 2012
    Kay R, I do have one plant in jail right now. I found a cute Mimosa and it will be limited to a small concrete bordered bed until I see what it does. I once bought Jackson/Perkins wildflowers and it took years to kill them. They were WILD (as advertised).

  • Kay R Kay R on Mar 16, 2012
    I have this plant that I dug up from heaven knows where. It has spiky dark green leaves and the prettiest tiny little flowers. I know it's a field weed but it's so pretty I just planted it and left it alone. I might have to reconsider putting it in "flower jail" to make sure it doesn't get up to any mischief. I'm still laughing about the jail. Poor little plants.

  • Donna McCrummen Donna McCrummen on Mar 16, 2012
    Let it grow Let it grow Let it grow.

  • Lisa B Lisa B on Mar 18, 2012
    Plant. I have these in my planters and they come back every year! Looks like there is some thrift mixed in also.

  • Kathy O Kathy O on Mar 18, 2012
    looks like a thistle

  • Tami D Tami D on Mar 18, 2012
    I'm no plant expert, but it looked like dandelions to me at first glance. I believe they're officially weeds, but we used to always pick them to give to my mother when we were little.

  • Mary K Mary K on Mar 18, 2012
    I had that when I lived in Tn, its a flower in my opinion :) it does like to spread tho so it needs room :) not sure of the name.....

  • TEX T TEX T on Mar 18, 2012

  • Joe B Joe B on Mar 18, 2012
    Just be careful what you plant and where. Some "weeds" with pretty flowers end up being an invasive species after a few seasons. The original plant turns out to take over everything.

  • Lena D Lena D on Mar 18, 2012
    It is a perennial, related to the phlox family!

  • Christie H Christie H on Mar 18, 2012
    It is NOT a weed. It is a flower just don't know what it is. My mother in law has them. And they are not Portulaca's. Portulaca's flowers don't group like that

  • Rosemary N Rosemary N on Mar 18, 2012
    if it's growing where you want it to grow, and you like it, then it's a flower. If it's growing where you don't want it, or if you don't like it, it's a weed.

  • Diana D Diana D on Mar 18, 2012
    it looks like a yellow creeping phlox to me. hard to tell for sure, because I can't get a good view of it

  • Nancy M Nancy M on Mar 18, 2012
    By the greens it looks like a desert rose or portulaca its hard to tell by the flower as its tipped downward in the picture. Its pretty no matter.

  • Sandra A Sandra A on Mar 18, 2012
    portulaca was my guess as well. if it grows at an invasive rate then you'll know I'm wrong...but don't think so.

  • Lynn Edwards Lynn Edwards on Mar 18, 2012
    looks like yarrow to me...let it grow

  • Sandy B Sandy B on Mar 18, 2012
    Supposedly, by definition, a weed is any plant that's growing where you don't want it to grow. My first experience with growing perennials from seed was the common viola. It was so prolific that for many yrs afterward, I had to pull them out, otherwise they would've completely taken over. But they are lovely litle gems!

  • Jennifer E Jennifer E on Mar 18, 2012
    lloks like a creeping phlox i have those that one looks like it could use some miracle gro some of mine look sick rict now from winter.

  • Sheryl M Sheryl M on Mar 18, 2012
    We call that in SC moss rose it is not a weed!!! It will cover the ground like phlox, and have flowers of all colors!!! BEAUTIFUL when it covers a large area or even at the base of large flower planters, Good Luck!!

  • Nancy F Nancy F on Mar 18, 2012
    This looks like some variety of spurge to me... probably wild. It's definitely NOT dandelion or yarrow! I would remove it from the phlox and, if enough roots are present, try planting it in an isolated spot and observing it to see if you want to keep it. These hitchhikers can be a real pest if they get established in your garden, so be careful.

  • Nancy B Nancy B on Mar 18, 2012
    Looks like yarrow, which can be a variety of different colors.

  • Annie W Annie W on Mar 18, 2012
    Kay, regarding the plant with the spiky dark green leaves, make sure it isn't a Thistle. Once they bloom and the seed spreads everyone will have them and they will hate you. They are pretty but a horrible weed. They have extremely deep roots. We have Canadian and Russian Thistle here in ND and they just don't die!!

  • Nancy H Nancy H on Mar 18, 2012
    A southern weed we don't have this in the NE. A weed is a plant in an unwanted area.

  • Mary E Mary E on Mar 18, 2012
    it has flowers, it's pretty. you like it. it doesn't have thistle-type leaves. enjoy it! it's a gift!

  • Carlene N Carlene N on Mar 18, 2012
    A flower.

  • Sandy B Sandy B on Mar 18, 2012
    Doesn't look like a weed....looks like it will multiply....give it room to grow :)

  • Michelle J Michelle J on Mar 18, 2012
    I believe it is another type of ground cover. You said it was an older house, which means this plant has been living for years along with the phlox. It must have tremendous stories to tell...Keep it!

  • Sandy G Sandy G on Mar 18, 2012
    It looks like "butter and eggs" They are very prolific and abundant in my yard. I can't tell for sure, but if they look like mini-snapdragons.....then that's what they are!

  • Sue W Sue W on Mar 18, 2012
    I have that at my house, it came with hens & chicks that I had transplanted from an old farmhouse. It is a flower or groundcover?? and it will spread but not too fast. I cant recall the name of it though, I did know once what it was called. lol Enjoy, they are pretty, I love the stems too!

  • Sandy G Sandy G on Mar 18, 2012
    I took a close up...could it be "rabbitbrush?" Are there tiny little white hairs on the narrow leaves?

  • Maryann J Maryann J on Mar 18, 2012
    it looks like a portulaca (moss rose) you can always dig it up put it in a container, (to prevent any spreading issues if it is an invasive species) but a weed is just a good plant in the wrong place!

  • Becky P Becky P on Mar 18, 2012
    Don't remember the name of it but they sell that at Home Depot and Loews here in FL. It WILL spread. Don't know the method as it doesn't spread like a ground cover (so to speak). new ones will appear in random places (garden pots) in the yard, etc. So...if you are willing to have it appear randomly, keep it.

  • Bonnie F Bonnie F on Mar 18, 2012
    It looks like lantana gone wild and scraggly. ?

  • Leslie M Leslie M on Mar 18, 2012
    I vote yarrow too.

  • Rebecca M Rebecca M on Mar 18, 2012
    There is vinca minor and possibly a sedum. I have one which produces beautiful yellow flowers in the spring just like those and it only grows so tall and spills out of the containers I have it in onto the ground and looks like your picture.

  • Terry Terry on Mar 18, 2012
    It is purple phlox with yellow creeping phlox. Yarrow is tall Michelle. I have all 3 in my yard. The creeping phlox sometimes hides a year and then returns,,,,strange stuff.

  • Bridgette M Bridgette M on Mar 18, 2012
    its a flower ....But... all flowers are weeds???? if its pretty and you like it then its a flower !!!!! its like painting,not everyone likes the same style so ,in your eyes what do you see??

  • Melissa L Melissa L on Mar 18, 2012
    some weeds are know as wild flowers along the road side. Perhaps you have a wild flower. If you like it, leave it; if not, pull it up.

  • Debbie C Debbie C on Mar 18, 2012
    I think anything GOD makes is a rose, whether it is called a rose or is treated like a rose!!!!

  • Linda C Linda C on Mar 18, 2012
    The yellow flower appears to be 'Basket of Gold" alyssum that has not been clipped to keep it from getting 'leggy'

  • Gail S Gail S on Mar 18, 2012
    The Plant Is Called Sedum....It Is A Ground Cover & Will Be Very Beautiful If Let Go To Do Its Thing

  • Herman C Herman C on Mar 18, 2012
    i am a landscape designer in florida my name is herman yes its a weed but it is being used a plant it is called bulbine we use it as a ground cover

  • Susan J Susan J on Mar 18, 2012
    I read somewhere that all weeds are actually only unwanted plants, so my answer is yes it's a flower!

  • Jean M Jean M on Mar 18, 2012
    I have that in my yard in South Ga. it is beautiful and will over take quickly.

  • Well, if you like it, then it is not a weed! If it becomes a nuisance, and you don't want it anymore, then it is a weed. Steve. R.

  • Green Gardener Green Gardener on Mar 18, 2012
    I'm 99% sure it's dwarf rabbitbrush. Blooms in Spring. Likes it dry. Don't know where the pic was taken but it's a great landscape plant. As it gets older it will get more of a woody stem. Google it. I think you'll agree. :)

  • Maryrose L Maryrose L on Mar 18, 2012
    It kinda looks linke yellow yarrow. Take one of the blooms to your local garden center, they can tell you what it is. I took them a leave off a tree I liked and they knew immediately! Good Luck!

  • Kelly S Kelly S on Mar 18, 2012
    They sell them here at various stores. Like most everybody said, if you like it then it's a flower, if not then it's a weed. My Grandpa used to say it was a weed if it was outside the flowerbed no matter what it was:)

  • Brenda H Brenda H on Mar 18, 2012
    I have the same yellow flower in my yard. Showed up last summer, from where, I have no idea. It is pretty and added a boost of color. But I think it is Spurge. I have Googled many of your suggestions but none of the leaves look like what I have or what I think are in Kay's photo. The leaves almost look like pine needles but super soft. I am yanking mine out, I have enough weeds to tend to.

  • Cindy B Cindy B on Mar 18, 2012
    It would look beautiful in a rock garden amongst ice plants in purple.

  • Cheryl C Cheryl C on Mar 18, 2012
    Yarrow, perennial, not a weed. though what is a weed but an misplaced flower

  • Carolyn B Carolyn B on Mar 18, 2012
    it is not yarrow. yarrow is a tall upright plant nearly 4 ft tall. In NY that is a field plnt that grows wild we it chick weed. it is a perrenniel and will return in larger amounts each year so give it space and when it fills that space remove what you no longer want. it is pretty and nice looking.

  • Diane B Diane B on Mar 18, 2012
    It looks a bit like an artemesia that we had a dreadful time getting rid of, but also like laceleaf verbena that grows will in the south.

  • Terri J Terri J on Mar 18, 2012
    After spending the better part of yesterday weeding the flower bed, I was glad to read all the comments about "it's in the eyes of the beholder." My backyard is covered in little blooming things of al different variety and colors, and I think I am going to let them go.

  • Barbara J Barbara J on Mar 18, 2012
    Looked like portulla but has thinned out and needed more plants to help hold it up

  • Pamela M Pamela M on Mar 18, 2012
    It's moss roses. Makes a great ground cover!

  • Diana S Diana S on Mar 18, 2012
    It almost looks like the sage we got from hubby's sis... it is very invasive! Certainly the same family... My phlox likes to grow among the rocks (keeps the moisture in and provides shaded protection at the roots!)

  • Addygirl Addygirl on Mar 18, 2012
    It seems to be curry! clean it up give it some fresh soil great herb. You can tell by feeling it then smelling your fingers.

  • Sherrie S Sherrie S on Mar 18, 2012
    Terri J, based on all of the honest answers here it appears nobody really knows what it is. So it is special & you should keep it - at least till you determine you don't want to keep it. Then please tell us why/why not.

  • Addygirl Addygirl on Mar 18, 2012
    Yeah the plant with the little yellow flowers seems to be curry

  • Pensacola Accents Pensacola Accents on Mar 18, 2012
    I vote for portulaca. It's an annual in Pennsylvania, but must be a perennial where you are. I comes in a rainbow of colors and will keep the week count down when it thickens.

  • Kara K Kara K on Mar 18, 2012
    Are the little yellow flowers like mini snapdragons? If so, GET RID OF IT! It's a nasty little weed called butter & eggs. *V*E*R*Y* hard to kill once it gets going.

    • Kerry Taylor Kerry Taylor on Jun 04, 2014
      @Kara K I love my butter and eggs. I have it planted at my mailbox and it looks so pretty.

  • Diana S Diana S on Mar 19, 2012
    It is Not moss roses, the flower does look more like yarrow, but I have the sage plant right here in my kitchen (which it looks like), so it is not a weed, but some kind of herbal plant...

  • Angela K Angela K on Mar 19, 2012
    Yarrow? Let us know...

  • Terri J Terri J on Mar 19, 2012
    @ Sherrie S. I am going to dig up and transplant some of whatever it is to a container and see how it does there. The rest is going to be mowed over, as the church doesn't want to try it out as ground cover. If it does well in a pot, then maybe I will use it as ground cover in the front of my house!

  • Carolyn B Carolyn B on Mar 19, 2012
    Culpeppers calls it Cinc Foil

  • Terri J Terri J on Apr 02, 2012
    @ Sherrie S. - the flowers (weeds?) that I transplanted or left alone are thriving in our insane weather. They have become a great border and the best part is that they were free! The ones I actually tried to take care of bit the dust.

  • Sherrie S Sherrie S on Apr 02, 2012
    Terri J, you are doing everything right - the plants showed you how right.

  • Cathy Matthews Cathy Matthews on Jun 03, 2014
    From what I can tell, the one with the yellow bloom on it looks like one of the many varieties of sedum. If it is, once the blooms die, you can cut it back and it will fill out and not look so leggy. Very easy to take care of and looks great in pots.

  • Cheryl P Cheryl P on Jun 04, 2014
    The purple is creeping phlox,,great for hilly areas or rock gardens ..not sure what the yellow is..phlox does well up north as a perrenial.. I now live in Mo. and haven't seen it here.

  • DORLIS DORLIS on Jun 22, 2015
    The yellow one looks like and old farm house flower we always called butter and eggs. If it likes where it is, it can take over. Just pull or mow.

  • Sue Young Sue Young on Jun 24, 2015
    Looks like portulaca.....(moss rose) is a variety of sedum

  • Shirley B Mcdaniel Shirley B Mcdaniel on Oct 05, 2015

  • Kathie Schram Kathie Schram on Mar 16, 2016
    The yellow one is a perennial Snapdragon. It is invasive and is toxic to animals. I used to let it grow because it is kind of pretty, until I found out it is toxic and it will take over wherever it gets started. I pull it every year and it still comes back! If you have animals, I wouldn't chance it.

    • Stacy Stacy on Aug 04, 2016
      Doesn't look like snapdragons that I have in northern Michigan.

  • Judy Judy on Jun 05, 2016
    the leaves look like butter and eggs....hard to see the flowers....but if they resemble baby snap dragons...that is probably what it is....if you google it there are pictures of it and you can see if it is similar. Very invasive wild flower but pretty. I love creeping phlox....lovely around rocks will hang over. I have two colours in my rock garden

  • Jan8388385 Jan8388385 on Jul 18, 2016
    Looks like portulaca. Opens on sunny days and different color flowers on one plant.

    • DORLIS DORLIS on Jul 20, 2016
      flowers are too small for portulaca, I would go with butter and eggs.

  • Sue Kiene Sue Kiene on Oct 13, 2016
    my vote is yarrow.

  • Judy Judy on Oct 14, 2016
    yarrow is 3 ft high

    • Sue Kiene Sue Kiene on Oct 15, 2016
      You need to google that because not all yarrow grows to 2 ft. Or 3 ft or 4 ft as has been stated in peoples responses. My yarrow was approximately a foot tall and it is common to be 6 inches to 8 foot tall.

  • Las Las on Oct 15, 2016
    I think it lools like yarrow. There are many varieties.

  • Van.Isle.BC Van.Isle.BC on Nov 26, 2016
    My first thought, your post is 2 years old. My second was, that's Yellow Toadflax. I can't really see the flowers. I looked at several images on Google. Still think it is Toadflax.