identify a plant

Asked August 30, 2020, 11:03 AM EDT

Hello, This plant is a "volunteer", growing in my garden in two places. It is large, about 3" x 3" and placed itself next to my white hydrangeas, so it has gone unnoticed until now. I am wondering what it is and should I keep it in my garden. Having moved from Los Angeles about a year ago, I am new to Maryland and the Eastern Shore, Any input would be greatly appreciated. Many thanks.

Dorchester County Maryland

1 Response

The is pokeweed, a native plant here. It is beneficial to wildlife (great berries for birds--who spread the berries), but not something you'd want in a manicured landscape. If you have natural or wild areas, it's great.

It gets a huge tuber, so you may have to dig it out if it has been there for a few seasons. Do so before it gets huge. If you grasp it exactly at the soil line, you may be able to pull it out. Otherwise, the stem breaks off.

Here's more: https://extension.umd.edu/hgic/topics/pokeweed

Although this is the edible plant referred to in the popular song "Poke Salad Annie", it can also be poisonous.

Ellen