Knowledgebase

Can you help me identify this plant? #326407

Asked 2016-05-29 20:03:48

There is quite a bit of this plant growing in my yard in different locations. I thought perhaps it was some kind of a nettle. It is not a stinging nettle. I have those in my yard as well. I would love to know what it is and if it is and if it is a native plant. Also, is this plant useful to any wildlife or insect? Otherwise, I may pull it out. Thank you for any help you can give me. I've been trying to find the answer to this question for months. Maureen Cuthbert

Dakota County Minnesota

Expert Response

I believe this is garlic mustard. The first photo looks more like garlic mustard than the other two and there are a few look-alikes, so I can't be sure. But one way to tell for sure is to crush a leaf and smell it. Garlic mustard will have a garlic-onion smell.

Garlic mustard is an invasive plant:
http://www.dnr.state.mn.us/invasives/terrestrialplants/herbaceous/garlicmustard.html
Dennis White Replied 2016-05-30 21:28:11
Another Master Gardener has said he doesn't think it is garlic mustard. If you could verify whether it is or isn't by smelling as I suggested, and, if it is not, send me a photograph of the flower (it looks like it is about to bloom), I'll give it another try.
Dennis White Replied 2016-05-31 03:02:41
 I checked the plant and it does not smell like garlic. I realized the photos I took were not that clear. So, I cut one off and brought it in the house to take better photos.  Here is a better photo of the close-up of the top. The flower looks more like  tendrils, at least right now.   I have some other photos showing a close-up of the leaf and stem, too, if you need to see more.  Thank you so much for taking the time to look at this! 
The Question Asker Replied 2016-05-31 10:34:15
 I checked the plant and it does not smell like garlic. I realized the photos I took were not that clear. So, I cut one off and brought it in the house to take better photos.  Here is a better photo of the close-up of the top. The flower looks more like  tendrils, at least right now.   I have some other photos showing a close-up of the leaf and stem, too, if you need to see more.  Thank you so much for taking the time to look at this! 
The Question Asker Replied 2016-05-31 10:34:32
 Here is a better close-up of the flower  Plus the entire plant laid out on my table. 
The Question Asker Replied 2016-05-31 10:43:25
Several of us have looked at this plant and I'm afraid we've not got a definitive answer. One suggestion was helianthus 'lemon queen':
http://www.oakleafgardening.com/plants/helianthus-lemon-queen/

In any case, I'd pull it. If you want a better answer, let one plant flower so you can see all stages of development. But don't let it go to seed.

Dennis White Replied 2016-06-06 16:34:30
Hi Dennis. Thank you so much for this response! I had gone away for four days and when I came back, lo and behold, there was a flower starting to open. I did shoot a photo of it, however, I do believe it has not fully opened.  I would love to send you a final photo of the flower fully open, if you don't mind.  It seems that this may be something interesting! It sure is a mystery. I can't thank you enough for taking a look into this.  Here are a couple new photos and I will send more when the flower is fully open. Thank you so much! 
The Question Asker Replied 2016-06-06 21:23:12
Ah yes, that clarifies it greatly. It appears to be a campanula, although I'm not sure of the species or variety:
https://www.minnesotawildflowers.info/search?kw=campanula

You may have to wait until the flower opens to get a better read on the variety. In answer to your original question, it may be a cultivated variety, but campanula is native to North America:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Campanula

Native campanula (C. americana) is a good butterfly and bee plant.


Dennis White Replied 2016-06-07 03:34:13

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