The Q&A Archives: What is this plant ?

Question: This plant showed up in my garden and so I let it grow. It has a thick stock with reddish colors in it and the leaves are large and green in color. It grows very fast - about 8 feet in one summer season - and it branches out quite nicely, spreading out 10 to 12 feet. It grows small elongated pink flowers about the size of an adults finger and then small seed pods arrive. I dug it up and it had a long tap root.

Answer: Without seeing the plant I can only offer an educated guess. I think the plant is Joe Pye Weed (Eupatorium maculatum). It is very commonly found in your gardening region, grows along trenches, ditches and marshes where the soil is damp but will also naturalize in a garden if it receives enough water. This plant generally grows 6' a year so its habit and appearance certainly match your description!

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