Identifying Unknown Plants/Mystery plant?


Mystey plant
Mystey plant  

Hi. My name is Douglas or Doug for short. There is a strange plant growing in our backyard. My parents are really wondering what kind of plant this is. Is this a weed or not? And what kind of plant is it? Give as much information as possible. We just never seen anything like it and want to know what exactly is growing. If it helps, it is growing in a garden near our shed and we never seen anything like it on our property before so this is a first and it just suddenly grew over time in our backyard. I have 2 pictures attached for you to study if it helps. The leaves vary in size but the biggest of the leaves were measured at 10-11 inches long, and the stalk width is about an 1 inch wide, and the total height of the plant itself is 41 inches tall. Its stalk is red but reddest at the bottom then turns greener as it goes up.

Hi Doug,

That's an easy one.  Without a doubt, that is a Pokeweed, or Poke Salad, as it is called in the southern US.  It's Latin name is Phytolacca Americana.  It is edible when young, but becomes poisonous with age.  It will eventually make some small, greenish-white flowers followed by purple berries which were once used as ink, but are inedible. Tony Joe White wrote a song about it, which you can hear on Youtube (Poke Salad Annie).  Here is a picture of the plant in berry.

Identifying Unknown Plants

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Susan Tabor


I can identify most weeds, ornamentals,and wild plants by description or photo. If it is completely unknown to me, I can usually type info into a botanical search engine and find it. I am familiar with unusual plants from all over the world.


Thirty-five years of research and experience in horticulture.

You already have that information. I'm just listing myself in a new catagory.

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