What is the plant?

Asked August 27, 2019, 10:26 PM EDT

This little plant popped up in my garden today. Do you know what it is ? Seems to have some buds but hasn't bloomed yet. It is about 7 inches high.

Beaver County Pennsylvania

5 Responses

Hi,
It looks as though your rudbeckia is infected with aster yellows. Aster yellows is a bacteria-like disease known as a phytoplasma. There is no control beyond rouging out infected plants. Looking at the picture, the normal leaves appear to show feeding damage from leafhoppers - those are the pale spots on the leaves. These insects in and of themselves do not cause a lot of damage, but they may have the phytoplasma in their gut. When they feed on an infected plant, then move to healthy plant, they transmit the phytoplasma. Infected plants show the type of growth that you may think is some other plant that seeded into your flower bed.
Best regards,

Thank you very much, Sandy.

Sandy, just for your information, I kept the mystery plant to see what would happen next and found out (which I suspected) that the plant itself is an Echinacea but a Rudbeckia. I do believe your suggestion, however: that the plant has aster yellows. I will be getting rid of that plant in the near future as per your suggestion. Thank you again. Here is an updated photo of the mystery plant (at the bottom of the photo with the three petals).

Thank you for the update! Getting rid of it is the only way to protect you other Echinacea plants. Have a good weekend, Sandy