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May 2, 2020 6:58 PM CST
MD (Zone 7a)
Hi - This tall plant is popping up all over a largely shady and unattended area in my back yard. I don't recall seeing it before. They emerged recently and many are now more than a foot tall. The bottom of the stalks have a reddish color. Here are two views. Does anyone know what it is? I'm trying to decide if I need to pull it. Thank you!
Thumb of 2020-05-03/SparklesGarden/176868
Thumb of 2020-05-03/SparklesGarden/bdad3b
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May 2, 2020 9:16 PM CST
Name: Daisy I
Reno, Nv (Zone 6b)
Not all who wander are lost
Garden Sages Plant Identifier
Have you ever had milkweeds? They look like my Showy Milkweeds.
Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and proclaiming...."WOW What a Ride!!" -Mark Frost

President: Orchid Society of Northern Nevada
Webmaster: osnnv.org
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May 3, 2020 4:45 AM CST
MD (Zone 7a)
Daisyl, No I've never planted milkweeds anywhere near there. That's part of what's perplexing me! If they are milkweeds, I am thrilled and will let them be. But could I really be so lucky that more than a dozen of them spontaneously sprung up in this area? It seems too good to be true!
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May 3, 2020 6:12 AM CST
Name: Sally
central Maryland (Zone 7b)
Let's all play ukulele
Charter ATP Member Houseplants Keeper of Poultry Vegetable Grower Region: Maryland Composter
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I doubt any milkweed would happen that much and that fast. Any chance it was there, smaller, last year? I know most of my garden like the back of my hand, so if you feel sure it was not there before, like I would, then I beleive you.

It does have the opposite leaves and juicy stem look of milkweed.
I had dogbane (a milkweed cousin) arrive in my garden by accident.
Plant it and they will come.
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May 3, 2020 6:33 AM CST
Name: Lynda Horn
Arkansas (Zone 7b)
Eat more tomatoes!
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The seeds of milkweed are very light. The wind can blow them pretty far.
Yesterday is gone. Tomorrow has not yet come. We have only today. Let us begin.
Mother Teresa
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May 3, 2020 9:02 AM CST
MD (Zone 7a)
Thanks for your help everyone. Even though it's in the back of my yard, where I don't often go, I would have noticed it last year. These plants are very striking. It's in an area where deer graze, so perhaps it's something that could be spread by droppings? The stem does look like dogbane, based on my quick online research, because there's a reddish tint.
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May 3, 2020 9:05 AM CST
Name: Sally
central Maryland (Zone 7b)
Let's all play ukulele
Charter ATP Member Houseplants Keeper of Poultry Vegetable Grower Region: Maryland Composter
Native Plants and Wildflowers Organic Gardener Region: United States of America Cat Lover Birds Butterflies
If like my dogbane, it will have much smaller leaves than common milkweed, and a more wiry stem.
Plant it and they will come.
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May 3, 2020 11:34 AM CST
Name: stone
near Macon Georgia (USA) (Zone 8a)
Garden Sages Million Pollinator Garden Challenge Plant Identifier
Ditto on common milkweed.
They have amazing stolons... it could have grown underground from some distance before surfacing in the back of your yard.
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May 3, 2020 11:52 AM CST
MD (Zone 7a)
Wow, I'm trying to not get too excited because I would be THRILLED if they were milkweed! There are about four dozen emerging, often -- but not always -- in groupings of about three. (Sometimes just one or two.) I just took more photos to show you a close up of the stem, which has the reddish tint at the bottom, the leaves, and how they are sometimes close together. Are we still leaning towards milkweed?
Thank you everyone for your help!

Thumb of 2020-05-03/SparklesGarden/555595


Thumb of 2020-05-03/SparklesGarden/609733


Thumb of 2020-05-03/SparklesGarden/e37d43
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May 3, 2020 1:29 PM CST
Name: Lynda Horn
Arkansas (Zone 7b)
Eat more tomatoes!
Bee Lover Lover of wildlife (Black bear badge) Tomato Heads Salvias Lover of wildlife (Raccoon badge) Peppers
Organic Gardener Native Plants and Wildflowers Morning Glories Master Gardener: Arkansas Lilies Hummingbirder
I'm kind of leaning toward milkweed....
Yesterday is gone. Tomorrow has not yet come. We have only today. Let us begin.
Mother Teresa
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May 3, 2020 2:34 PM CST
Name: Daisy I
Reno, Nv (Zone 6b)
Not all who wander are lost
Garden Sages Plant Identifier
Hopefully, this helps.
Thumb of 2020-05-03/DaisyI/f08173
Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and proclaiming...."WOW What a Ride!!" -Mark Frost

President: Orchid Society of Northern Nevada
Webmaster: osnnv.org
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May 3, 2020 2:50 PM CST
MD (Zone 7a)
Thank you, Daisyl. Your photo is indeed helpful for comparison. Unfortunately the plants in my yard do not have hairy leaves like yours, and the leaves on mine begin further up the stem than yours. Sad
Last edited by SparklesGarden May 3, 2020 2:51 PM Icon for preview
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May 3, 2020 3:10 PM CST
Name: Daisy I
Reno, Nv (Zone 6b)
Not all who wander are lost
Garden Sages Plant Identifier
There are a lot of different Milkweeds. That one, Showy Milkweed, is one of our two natives.

Here's the other, narrow leaf Milkweed:
Thumb of 2020-05-03/DaisyI/ad4bf8

To try to identify a plant, look at the leaf venation and general leaf shape, stem, how the leaves are attached to the stem and leaf arrangement on the stem, and flowers (but you will have to wait on that one).
Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and proclaiming...."WOW What a Ride!!" -Mark Frost

President: Orchid Society of Northern Nevada
Webmaster: osnnv.org
Image
May 3, 2020 3:42 PM CST
MD (Zone 7a)
Thank you, Daisyl! I will remain hopeful that it's a milkweed! I need to learn more about how to recognize plants with which I'm not familiar, especially before they bloom. I have some apps, but they haven't been very helpful.
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