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Identifying Unknown Plants/Unknown plant or weed?

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Question
Mystery Stalk
Mystery Stalk  
My brother studied horticulture for a bit.  He recently passed away and while mowing etc. around his place I came across this plant growing up behind his garage.  We live in Western NY.  I have a picture (from above).  I should have taken one from the side because it has a VERY substantial trunk rather than a stem.  It is early in the year, but it is already about 2 1/2 ft tall.  The little white flowers near it are unknown to me as well, but those are a separate weed I believe.  

Wondered if you have any clue from my photo.  Is it a weed, poisonous, etc.

Thanks for your assistance.

Answer
Nan
It is hard to tell without more pictures...Your picture makes the plant look like it has white stripes on the leaves...Flowering plants (angiosperms) are classified by the structure of the flowers they produce...Plants that grow in your area do not necessarily grow in other areas...
For a quicker and more precise answer I would recommend you take a sample of a section of the plant and a picture of the areas you describe that it is growing in to a local garden center (Not chain store)...Ask them if they can ID it...You may have to visit more than one to find someone knowledgeable...

Hope this helps you ID it...
Good luck...
Rick in southern New Jersey  

Identifying Unknown Plants

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i can answer most questions pertaining to general plant identification. if you e-mail digital pictures to me i can sight ID most plants sold at garden centers. i owned & operated a garden center/landscape company for 20+ years in NJ, selling all kinds of plants (deciduous, evergreen, annual, perennial, tropical, etc.).

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