The Q&A Archives: Help In Identifying a Plant

Question: I am trying to identify a very large fast growing perennial- It grows to approx. 6ft, has a yellow flower, has large soft, medium green leaves that have a jagged edge- the leaves grow facing each other and are actually connected to each other at the stalk- the next layer of leaves either below or above it alternate 45 degrees in which they face. The stalks are many and limby. The flowers are much like a small sunflower or Gerber daisy. The plant already is almost 6 feet tall and is getting close to blooming- it enjoys sun and part sun.

Answer: It's really difficult to identify a plant without seeing it, but I wonder if the plant is Jerusalem Artichoke, (Helianthus tuberosus) which sometimes escapes cultivation and can be found growing nearly anywhere in the Pacific Northwest. You might take a flower and a few leaves to the Cooperative Extension office (or a few photos) there in Bellingham. Helpful folks there can positively identify the plant for you. Best wishes with your garden!

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