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Help with determining whether this is actually a vegetable

Hi everyone -

Please let me know whether this may be a vegetable. I recently moved into a new house last fall and found a bunch of these sprouting up this spring. It seems like it may be a parsnip but I didn't think roots would be coming out of the vegetable like this.

Most likely it's just a weed but thought I would double check. :P

Thanks for the comments!

This is one I pulled (on the smaller side) :

Image

Close up of the root :

Image

A bunch of them are much bigger (5 times larger) :

Image
CJ

evtubbergh
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Re: Help with determining whether this is actually a vegetab

NOT parsnip. Lots of plants have a taproot.

I am sure someone here who knows the plants in your area will help identify it though.

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jal_ut
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Re: Help with determining whether this is actually a vegetab

Doesn't look like any veggie I am familiar with.

Welcome new member.

If you don't mind adding your location to your on screen data, it will help others
to respond to your posts. Gardening and local plants vary a bunch across our country.
Gardening at 5000 feet elevation, zone 4/5 Northern Utah, Frost free from May 25 to September 8 +/-

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Re: Help with determining whether this is actually a vegetab

Sorry jal_ut!

I am in New Hampshire so hopefully that helps people.
CJ

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rainbowgardener
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Re: Help with determining whether this is actually a vegetab

Doubt it is a vegetable! I feel like I should know what it is; it is familiar and very distinctive, but I'm not coming up with it. It looks similar to my pokeweed, but the pokeweed has red stems.

I would leave a bit of it to see if it blooms. It will be easier to identify then.
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cynthia_h
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Re: Help with determining whether this is actually a vegetab

Immature Jerusalem artichoke? Leaves similar to sunflowers; will send up a small yellow flower later in the summer.

Cynthia H.
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DoubleDogFarm
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Re: Help with determining whether this is actually a vegetab

Sorry Cynthia, I don't think it is a Sunchoke.

Jerusalem artichokes start from a tuber and don't have tap roots.
They have heart shape leaves, but don't have the two little leaflets.

I say weed

Eric

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rainbowgardener
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Re: Help with determining whether this is actually a vegetab

Yup, weed, just don't know which one....
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jal_ut
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Re: Help with determining whether this is actually a vegetab

Reminds me of Rudbeckia occidentalis, Western Cone Flower. Perhaps something in that genus?
You are a long ways from the West though. :)
Black-eyed-Susan? If you let it bloom, then it can be identified.
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rainbowgardener
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Re: Help with determining whether this is actually a vegetab

Nope, sorry James, but I have tons of black eyed susan. Neither the plant nor the leaves get anything like that huge. Where's Mr Bobo and all his Latin ID's? :)
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Mr_bobo_
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Re: Help with determining whether this is actually a vegetab

It is some wild plant... but what... I wish I know... :(
...to me looks like giant Polygonum... but I think its not...
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rainbowgardener
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Re: Help with determining whether this is actually a vegetab

So you stumped the experts! I know I have seen it and when I find out I will hit myself over the head and think why couldn't I come up with that. In the meantime, do please post a picture when it blooms!

Any other clues? Are those stems hollow? Does it have milky/ latex like sap? Any particular scent to the leaves?
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n8young
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Re: Help with determining whether this is actually a vegetab

looks like a weed to me. I live in ME, and pull plenty of them that look similar, though smaller in height, and they have that "parsnip-like" taproot. Pain in the butt to get the whole taproot out of the soil too.....

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Re: Help with determining whether this is actually a vegetab

Alright folks - I took some more pictures to hopefully help. To your point rainbowgardener, it does have a "hollow-ish" stem (very light) but not completely hollow. I torn one of the bigger ones open and it was a bit milky inside. They are starting to bloom but not fully yet so I will send more as they come.

One of bigger ones starting to bloom -

Image


Stem broken open -

Image


One of the bigger roots that came up (part of it broke off in the ground when I pulled it up) -

Image



Thanks for all the thoughts everyone - this is quite interesting! :D
CJ

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rainbowgardener
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Re: Help with determining whether this is actually a vegetab

OK, I can see the flower forming. Definitely poke weed! I kept thinking it looked so much like that, but it confused me because all the poke weed I have seen has red stems and pink red veins in the leaves.

But here's what wiki says about American pokeweed:

The plant has a large white taproot, green or red stems, and large, simple leaves. White flowers are followed by purple to almost black berries, which are a good food source for songbirds such as Gray Catbird, Northern Cardinal, Brown Thrasher, and Northern Mockingbird.

Here's pokeweed how I am used to seeing it:

Image
https://www.hort.uconn.edu/cipwg/hogweed ... d_Stem.JPG

But the berries when they form will be absolutely distinctive:

Image
https://www.wildflower.org/image_archive ... G03686.JPG

The plant is aka inkberry, because early American colonists who didn't have other ink, made ink from the juice of those berries. The Declaration of Independence was written in pokeberry ink.
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rainbowgardener
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Re: Help with determining whether this is actually a vegetab

Incidentally the answer to your question is this a weed or a vegetable is yes. Definitely weedy, I pull pokeweed all over my yard. But yes it can be eaten. Another of its names is poke sallet (i.e. salad). Much of the plant is toxic, but if you get the shoots and leaves in early spring, they are edible:


Chop the leaves up into pieces one to two inches long, rinse in cold water and place in a pot filled with cold water. Wash your hands and the chopping knife with soap and water. Bring the pot to a full boil, and boil the Poke for about ten minutes. Pour off the Poke and water through a strainer, rinse the Poke. Rinse out the cook pot and refill with cold water. Place the Poke back in the pot, bring to a boil, and boil for another ten minutes. Strain, and rinse the Poke again. Rinse out the cook pot, refill with cold water, and boil the Poke for another ten minutes.Your Poke is now ready to eat
https://sensiblesurvival.blogspot.com/20 ... eweed.html

All that rinsing and boiling and rinsing is necessary for it not to be toxic.
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Re: Help with determining whether this is actually a vegetab

Very interesting rainbow - thanks for all the help! Glad to know what it finally is.

Think I'll just let it be instead of all that washing and boiling! :P
CJ

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