Monday, August 9, 2010

PLEASE HELP: CAN ANYONE IDENTIFY THIS?

This plant/herb is taking over my yard, choking out all the flowers and other weeds (that I actually like) but the upside to it is that my honeybees LOVE it. This is the first time I've seen hundreds of honeybees head straight over to something in my yard. They aren't the only insects in love with this plant either, there are bumble bees, wasps, and other things I can't identify. Can anyone identify this crazy plant/weed?


11 comments:

Cindy said...

My best guess is sow thistle, look here:

http://www.extension.umn.edu/gardeninfo/weedid/broadleaf/upright/perthistle.html

Is that it?

egassner said...

Perennial sow thistle?

http://www.dnr.state.mn.us/invasives/terrestrialplants/herbaceous/perennialsowthistle.html

Anonymous said...

a weed known as 'prickly Lettuce'

Artemis said...

Yup- correct!

Michelle said...

Thank you so much!! Now I have a starting point as to what I need to do with it.

Anonymous said...

Have you tried native plants for bee pollen/honey?

Michelle said...

I planted a bunch of native plants this summer and the rabbits came in and ate most of them :( I think I spent over $200 on the native plants and 80% were devoured. They didn't care for the star flower though so that one still stands. I have to figure out what to next year to keep those little buggers from eating them.

My bees weren't very interested in the natives but the bumble bees sure loved them. There would be at least 3 on each plant every morning. We have a bumble bee haven going on in the backyard.

My bees actually haven't been interested in anything in my yard until this weed appeared. Odd isn't it?

TeresaR said...

Well, cool...I learned something new too! :)

Michelle said...

Actually T, it turned out to be wrong. It isn't prickly lettuce but I did find one prickly lettuce growing in the backyard. It looks nearly identical to this plant I have but the plant I have doesn't have white sap, doesn't poke, and the flower head never opens. Turns out this plant appears to be a common groundsel (the entire description of the CG is EXACTLY the same to what we have, even down the the pictures I've seen) BUT... my plant in some areas is 7 feet tall and all the sites I've visited online say that the common groundsel doesn't get over 2 feet tall. Hmmm... I'm trying to find one of those master gardeners to see if they can help.

Michelle said...

Cindy & Elizabeth,

Sorry it took me so long to reply to your post. Blogger apparently has this new feature and it decides for me what is spam and what isn't. I noticed there were messages in the spam box and I found your posts. I'm very sorry!

It looks a lot like the perennial sow thistle but it doesn't flower. The heads stay closed and never open until they become a puffy white mass of seeds :(

Michelle said...

I contacted the agriculture department at the University of Minnesota and they said it looks like a type of wild lettuce. I have to laugh at that because it seems even the dept. of ag. doesn't know what type of wild lettuce. LOL! The mystery continues....

We pulled them all out. The entire backyard was starting to smell like ammonia. It is a noxious smell given off by these weeds once the white puff of seeds appear. Maybe it is the scent that drives my bees crazy. We had to pull them since they were consuming everything in their path :(