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Plant Identification: SOLVED: elephant ear/cabbage type plant, zone 5

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Forum: Plant IdentificationReplies: 11, Views: 136
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plant_it
Valparaiso, IN

May 25, 2011
11:22 PM

Post #8587763

In woodland margins, in disturbed areas, prefers full sun. End of May in zone 5 and the leafs of this plant are already 3 times as big as my hand. I also see this plant growing in farmers fields that have not been planted yet. Any idea what it is?

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plant_it
Valparaiso, IN

May 25, 2011
11:23 PM

Post #8587764

These are the purplish-green stalks.

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plant_it
Valparaiso, IN

May 25, 2011
11:23 PM

Post #8587766

Here's a picture of the full plant.

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plant_it
Valparaiso, IN

May 25, 2011
11:24 PM

Post #8587767

Here's another specimen that was growin next to it.

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mittsy
Cocoa Beach, FL
(Zone 11)

May 25, 2011
11:46 PM

Post #8587773

burdock?
http://davesgarden.com/guides/pf/showimage/65585/

growin

growin
Vancouver, BC
(Zone 8b)


May 26, 2011
12:00 AM

Post #8587776

Reminds me of Rhubarb. Maybe a type of Rheum?
altagardener
Calgary, AB
(Zone 3b)

May 26, 2011
5:08 AM

Post #8587977

Burdock, not rhubarb.

Resin

Resin
Northumberland
United Kingdom
(Zone 9a)

May 26, 2011
11:05 AM

Post #8588618

Ditto to burdock (Arctium spp.)

Resin
plant_it
Valparaiso, IN

May 26, 2011
9:39 PM

Post #8589917

Thank you all so much for the ID.

Would not have suspected this plant, but now I know where the burs came from that stuck to my clothes last Fall.
plant_it
Valparaiso, IN

May 26, 2011
9:44 PM

Post #8589928

I've been reading about this plant since your posts. Here's what I've found out:
the good-
"The caterpillars of several Papaipema spp. (Borer Moths) bore through the pith of the stems, including Papaipema cataphracta (Burdock Borer Moth), Papaipema arctivorens (Northern Burdock Borer Moth), and Papaipema rigida (Rigid Sunflower Borer Moth). The foliage of Common Burdock is one of the food sources for the caterpillars of the butterfly Vanessa cardui (Painted Lady)." http://www.illinoiswildflowers.info/weeds/plants/cm_burdock.htm

wonderful medicinal value to humans

the bad & the ugly-
Little redeeming value to wildlife. Deer will browse this plant only if no other food is available. Burs stick to clothes, animal fur and can even be fatal to birds: "Common Burdock (Arctium minus) is an invasive, exotic plant that can be deadly to small birds like kinglets, warblers and bats. Burdock’s burrs act like Velcro to trap birds and bats unfortunate enough to come in contact with them." http://www.wihumane.org/wildlife/burdock.aspx

Resin

Resin
Northumberland
United Kingdom
(Zone 9a)

May 27, 2011
5:10 AM

Post #8590235

plant_it wrote:"... that can be deadly to small birds like kinglets, warblers and bats. Burdock’s burrs act like Velcro to trap birds and bats unfortunate enough to come in contact with them."


This has been known to happen, but only very, very rarely - it isn't a serious problem.

Resin
plant_it
Valparaiso, IN

May 29, 2011
5:06 PM

Post #8595273

Thank goodness. That'd be a horrible way to go. I'm glad to hear it's a rare occurrence.

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