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Post  PeggyC on 6/8/2010, 3:20 pm

I have some plants coming up all over my garden. The first ones I saw were in my carrot bed, so I told myself they were strange carrot seedlings. Now normal carrot seedlings are up, so that's not it. Then they sprouted where spinach should be, but then real spinach came up. now they are in my mint/strawberry area. I'm betting you'll say they are baby dandelions, but before I go plucking them all, I wanted your opinion:

The little green/purple things in the middle here:

weed or surprise good thing? (plant ID please) 31392_1489993893098_1331512905_1306185_8267353_n
They are purple underneath.
weed or surprise good thing? (plant ID please) 31392_1489994933124_1331512905_1306188_8035546_n
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Post  middlemamma on 6/8/2010, 3:33 pm

No clue what those are, but they don't look like any dandelion in my yard....
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Post  junequilt on 6/8/2010, 5:56 pm

It's probably a weed, unless you seeded the bed with amaranth. The ornamental Elephant Amaranth seedling somewhat resembles it and can be mistaken for it. I've frequently had this weed germinate from horse manure.
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Post  PeggyC on 6/8/2010, 6:04 pm

thanks all, nevermind this thread. I ripped out all that I could find from my SFG, need to find time to rip them out of my carrot box. thanks!
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Post  Nonna.PapaVino on 3/11/2011, 8:53 pm

Peggy, did you ever get a name for your mystery plant? From the pictures you posted, I think it's what we call pigweed. And, I think it may be distantly related to amaranth, but a weedy thing one doesn't want to keep. Nonna, St. Helens, OR
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Post  Megan on 3/11/2011, 9:01 pm

Pigweed and amaranth look nearly the same, from what I understand. I grew amaranth last year and am (shudderingly) looking forward to a zillion little amaranth sprouts.
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Post  PeggyC on 3/12/2011, 12:24 am

no, I never figured it out, but since I've never planted amaranth, I'm just eliminating everything that wasn't intentionally planted until I have time to learn of all the natural good stuff to forage for (probably in about 40 years and in another state/climate).
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Post  herbarium on 3/12/2011, 8:26 am

Looks like pigweed to me
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Post  Nonna.PapaVino on 3/12/2011, 10:10 am

Thanks, Peggy, for the update. Here's some pictures of redroot pigweed to compare your sprouts with: http://www.ppws.vt.edu/scott/weed_id/amare.htm Being that pigweed seeds itself so generously, we have lots in our garden, a continuous source of irritation. But we also have another prolific wild seeder: lamb's quarters, or goosefoot, a relative of spinach, and delicious stirfried in olive oil with a bit of miinced garlic and served hot with a squeeze of lemon. Image here: http://www.google.com/images?q=lambs+quarters&rls=com.microsoft:en-us:IE-SearchBox&oe=&um=1&ie=UTF-8&source=univ&sa=X&ei=CYx7TdzKIMfsrAG08ZXDBQ&ved=0CC8QsAQ&biw=1345&bih=583

While I pull every pigweed I can find, I always leave a couple of lamb's quarter plants to go to seed, so we can harvest them the following year. BTW, both young stinging nettles and lamb's quarters are great to add to a pizza before you pop the unbaked treat into the oven. Delicious and nutritious. Nonna, St. Helens, OR
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Post  windrider1967 on 3/12/2011, 10:22 am

Lambsquarters ... One of our favorite wild treats. Unfortunatly it only tends to grow in disturbed soil and doesn't take to intentional planting, otherwise I would plant a 4x4 of nothing else. We do ours with polish sausage and garlic and sometimes throw in some fresh tomatoes as well.

We also have greenbriar that grows wild on the outskirts of the yard. A prickly mess but the young leaves are fantastic as a salad addition. Honeysuckle is a fantastic muliviral, pick it when the blossoms are just opening, dry it and make a tea from about a tablespoon with honey and it will kill all the flu bugs, colds, etc...
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Post  Nonna.PapaVino on 3/12/2011, 10:30 am

Being on the West Coast, we don't have greenbriar, but we do sometimes have miner's lettuce come up voluntarily. It, too, is delicious: http://wildfoodplants.com/miners-lettuce
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Post  windrider1967 on 3/12/2011, 1:49 pm

Also a great wild to keep an eye out for is sorrel. There are 2 main types sheep sorrel - that my daughter calls micky mouse ears weed or surprise good thing? (plant ID please) Sheep_10

and wood sorrel
weed or surprise good thing? (plant ID please) Wfshl-10

Both have a tart taste, and the wood sorrel has a sour apple taste.

Maybe we need a thread just for "wilds"
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Post  Megan on 3/12/2011, 3:43 pm

That last looks like oxalis. Are they the same?
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Post  windrider1967 on 3/12/2011, 4:04 pm

Oxalis and wood sorrel are interchangable as far as the name. Same plant.
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Post  camprn on 3/12/2011, 4:05 pm

You are correct! ~ Oxalis stricta L. - Yellow Wood Sorrel
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Oxalis
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Post  Megan on 3/12/2011, 4:14 pm

That's funny, I'm amazed I still recognize it. The last time I saw oxalis was when I was in high school, WAY too long ago! I was hiking with my class in the Presidential mountain range in N.H., our junior year. Our guide pointed it out as something good to chew on while we were walking.
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