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Franco
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Dunno if I planted it last year or if it's a weed.

Title is pretty self-explanatory. Does anyone know what this is? It's overwhelming my heuchera so I have to take some action soon. Thanks.

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rainbowgardener
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Re: Dunno if I planted it last year or if it's a weed.

A weed. I think maybe dock, one of them; there are several different varieties, yellow dock, red dock, curly dock, broadleafed dock, etc. If so, it is a difficult weed, that grows a stout branched taproot, down to forever. It's an invasive exotic.

It is in the buckwheat family and the leaves are edible.
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Re: Dunno if I planted it last year or if it's a weed.

Yeah, don't try to dig the whole thing out.
The way I do it is similar to dandelion -- just cut the taproot below the soil line, then keep cutting the (multiple) baby shoots until it's exhausted.

The second photo shows it's sending up flower stalks. Be sure to cut those down before the bezillion seeds mature. :eek:

The older leaves are leathery and stslks are tough -- not good to eat, but they are acidic and make good mulch for acid loving plants and the potato bed.
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Re: Dunno if I planted it last year or if it's a weed.

Hmm.... Must be a case of two plants looking identical but acting differently. These photos look just like the French sorrel I seem to have "perennialized" in my garden. It's a great herb; my primary use of it is in a cold- or cool-weather potato and sorrel soup. Mine hasn't spread as much as I would've liked, but just the fact that it has rooted in the ground from its original 4-inch plastic pot is a story in itself. :)

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rainbowgardener
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Re: Dunno if I planted it last year or if it's a weed.

Interesting... I'm not familiar with sorrel, so I had to go look it up. Turns out they are nearly identical plants in the same genus Rumex. The commonest dock where I am is curly dock which is Rumex crispus. Common sorrel is Rumex acetosa.

Here's from wiki:

Common sorrel or garden sorrel (Rumex acetosa), often simply called sorrel, is a perennial herb that is cultivated as a garden herb or leaf vegetable (pot herb). Other names for sorrel include spinach dock and narrow-leaved dock.

"Narrow-leaved sorrel" and variants redirect here. These terms may also refer to curled dock (R. crispus)


So definitely confirms what I said -- they are all in the buckwheat family and edible. Your potato and sorrel soup is made with the sorrel leaves?

I just made for dinner last night a chinese cabbage and potato soup (to which I added black beans to make it substantial enough to be dinner on its own). I imagine it is a similar idea. When the dock pops up again, I will have to try this. I am working on doing more dealing with my weeds by eating them.

Unfortunately the version I usually have is the unrelated burdock, in the aster family, not the buckwheats. It is also used medicinally and is edible, but not as easily:

Edible parts: First-year roots and second-year stems can be cooked by boiling for about 20 minutes, then season to taste. Before cooking however, the stems should be peeled, and roots scrubbed in order to remove the bitter rind. Immature flower stalks may also be harvested in late spring, before flowers appear; their taste resembles that of artichoke. The Japanese have been known to eat the leaves when a plant is young and leaves are soft.
https://www.ediblewildfood.com/burdock.aspx
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Franco
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Re: Dunno if I planted it last year or if it's a weed.

Always amazing responses on this forum, I love it. Thank you everyone for the great information.

Weird, I can see the sorrel resemblance now that you mention it.

Time to go get rid of it!
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Re: Dunno if I planted it last year or if it's a weed.

Is this the same or related to what's in this thread?
https://www.helpfulgardener.com/forum/vi ... 52&t=52715

Because I have something that looks kind of like a cross between them. :eek:

When it's small it looks quite harmless. I have one each in 4 different flowerbeds.
I eventually cut it down to the root. It never appears to multiply or appear in clumps or anything (like other weeds).

Now today I noticed the one near the dryer vent has again gotten huge. This happened last year after some rains. It seems to suddenly have a big growth spurt after a few rainy days.

I tend to leave it because it gets eaten and I keep thinking that maybe if whatever's eating it eats that, it won't eat other things. (Don't know if that's a sane thing to do though.)
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Franco
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Re: Dunno if I planted it last year or if it's a weed.

No, it's definitely different than the plant in those pictures.

I tried pulling mine out today, and then realized it had a 1" wide taproot that probably goes into the mantle. Had to cut it.
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Re: Dunno if I planted it last year or if it's a weed.

yup, we warned you! :) "If so, it is a difficult weed, that grows a stout branched taproot, down to forever."
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Re: Dunno if I planted it last year or if it's a weed.

Okay what was this and is this thing of mine the same thing?

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:eek:
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!potatoes!
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Re: Dunno if I planted it last year or if it's a weed.

yeah, that's dock of some sort, too.

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Re: Dunno if I planted it last year or if it's a weed.

Yup also dock, and as applestar noted to previous poster, also flowering and about to make a bazillion seeds. Unless you REALLY like it, you definitely need to get rid of the flower stalks. That one looks far enough along, that I wouldn't even put it directly in your compost pile. Put it in a bucket of drowned weeds for awhile, let it get dissolved. Many weedy things can actually complete the process of making seed from flower after they are cut.

(sorry potatoes slid a response in there while I was typing mine :) )
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Re: Dunno if I planted it last year or if it's a weed.

Thanks yes, I cut it down this morning.
I got to it much sooner last year.
It is NOT going in my compost.
I don't put anything dubious in the compost, as per instructions from my MIL.
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Re: Dunno if I planted it last year or if it's a weed.

If you dispose of the flower stalk elsewhere, those big leaves are not "dubious" and would be good in your compost pile. All those deep tap-rooted things are excellent for bringing up minerals and nutrients from deep levels that are not available on the surface.

I used a lot of dock leaves that were available near my community garden plot as part of the mulch for that bed; they are good for that too.
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Re: Dunno if I planted it last year or if it's a weed.

Interesting! I hadn't really thought much about the plants in pieces. :idea:

I don't know if it's one of those cases where once you know about something, then you notice it everywhere...

But I found this at the edge of a parking lot at a park:

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Not quite as hideous as the one in my garden bed.
But then, this one at the park doesn't have the benefit of winter treatments with fabric softener filled dryer vent steam like the one at my house. LOL

When I see the park naturalist, I'll mention it.
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