SOLVED: Small woodland plant in zone 5

Valparaiso, IN

These plants are growing in small patches throughout the woods. They're also lining the paths in moist areas at woods' edge. Some are an inch high, some are up to 6 inches. Any idea what they are?

Thumbnail by plant_it Thumbnail by plant_it Thumbnail by plant_it Thumbnail by plant_it
Stamford, CT(Zone 6b)

And they will get taller. I've always referred to them as weeds. The more moisture, the more they appear. We've had a lot of rain, and I have already pulled thousands of these plants.

Buffalo, NY(Zone 5b)

Could it be some type of mint? Are the stems square?
Does it have a minty odor when the leaves are rubbed?

Stamford, CT(Zone 6b)

Jack, it's a very watery stem. Opposite leaves like mint, and as I recall, round stems, not square.

Valparaiso, IN

Stems are round. Yes, like Cathy said, these little guys have a watery stem.

I was thinking maybe they are stinging nettle seedlings, but I can't find any pictures of stinging nettle seedlings to compare them to. Now I'm thinking maybe they are Clearweed seedling (Pilea pumila). Here's what makes me think maybe they are Clearweed:
http://www.wildmanstevebrill.com/Plants.Folder/Nettle.html

I've read that Clearweed is one of the few native plants that's developed resistance to garlic mustard. I have a bumper crop of garlic mustard! So if it turns out to be Clearweed, I'll actually be quite happy. : )

Clarksville, TN(Zone 6b)

Possibly Jewelweed?


Lucketts, VA(Zone 7a)

Plant_it - Thanks for the link to that excellent guide to nettles.

Stamford, CT(Zone 6b)

Don't seem watery enough for jewel weed, but considering how they take off in damp soil, kind of iffy.

Clarksville, TN(Zone 6b)

I don't know for certain either from the photos. Here's some I have along our back fence at the woodland's edge where the soil is usually damp to wet.

Thumbnail by Cville_Gardener
Beverly, MA

Quote from plant_it :
These plants are growing in small patches throughout the woods. They're also lining the paths in moist areas at woods' edge. Some are an inch high, some are up to 6 inches. Any idea what they are?


This is a very invasive weed in my garden
Pilea pumila
Common Name:
clearweed, Richweed
Scientific Name:
Pilea pumila (L.) GrayUrticaceae
Family Name:
Urticaceae - Nettle Family

my advice: stay far away from it. once it takes hold in a sunny spot it will spread its seed so thickly that it will overpower everything around it!

Valparaiso, IN

Hi Cville_Gardener,
Your photo is definitely Jewel weed. I have them in my woods too. Mine get a beautiful yellow flower. I've heard some get an orange flower. The deer love them. They have a juicy, liquidy stem which makes me wonder if the deer eat them to get a little water. If you have quail in your area, they like the seeds. Also, if you have a Poison Ivy or Stinging Nettle rash, break a jewel weed plant in half and rub the sap on the irritated skin to soothe it. I tried it on my last case of poison ivy & it really does work! As you can see, I've really come to like my jewel weeds. : )

Lucketts, VA(Zone 7a)

I. pallida and I. campensis both have a single primary vein in their leaf, the mystery plant clearly has more. Don't see how It can be Jewel Weed.

Valparaiso, IN

Thank you so much, beverlyfarmboy. Clearweed it is.

If anyone has a minute, I found this lovely guide to stinging nettle look-alikes: http://littlebrownmushroomwatcher.blogspot.com/2013/01/stinging-nettle-look-alikes.html
It shows stinging nettle, wood nettle, clear weed and white snakeroot.

Stamford, CT(Zone 6b)

Beverly you are correct. It's a real stinker.

Lucketts, VA(Zone 7a)

themoonhowl posted this fine link the other day http://www.wildmanstevebrill.com/Plants.Folder/Nettle.html

Clarksville, TN(Zone 6b)

Well, I don't know what Richweed is and haven't noticed it around here. But then I'm not an expert at identifying things from photos. So now I may be able to spot it up close if it's out there. I know my Jewelweed is Impatiens capensis with a lovely orange flower. I treasure it for it's anti-poison ivy properties. And one thing it does very well is shade out poison ivy which prefers sunlight. I'm very allergic to p.i. and have used the macerated jewelweed and it's "juice" for that purpose among other things. Looks like you can mark this one closed. :)

Thumbnail by Cville_Gardener
Valparaiso, IN

yes, thank you for reminding me.

Stamford, CT(Zone 6b)

Cville, that is jewel weed. Definitely different from pilea pumila.

Clarksville, TN(Zone 6b)

Yes, I know.

Post a Reply to this Thread

Please or sign up to post.
BACK TO TOP