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Mystery Plant

Batavia, IL

I am posting this for someone else and I am at a loss for trying to identify this one. This is the only picture I have. Any help would be appreciated. Thank you.

Thumbnail by bas0406
Batavia, IL

All I can add to this is that the person is a new home owner and did not plant this. She also did not notice whether it has flowered already. We are in Zone 5 western suburbs of Chicago.

For me, this plant looked like a lot of different things, but not exactly; Peony, Acteae, Bishop's Weed, Balloon Vine. The compound leaves appear to be in a whorled arrangement.

Batavia, IL

This is a weird one. Right?

Yankton, SD

I might be off but what about ginseng?

Yankton, SD

the other one that looked similar on my search was wood anemone, mind you both were found in a plant ID internet tool. I hope either one helps in the search!

Batavia, IL

I had thought about those too, but these leaves are not as finely toothed as ginseng and the leaf base is different from Anemone sp.

Trust me, I did my due diligence before posting here.

Yankton, SD

MOST of the ginseng I saw were like you described but a few were rounded and they were all supposed to be pics of the same type.

Batavia, IL

I think we got off on the wrong foot with using common names to describe a species. When you said ginseng, I looked up ginseng and every picture that came up was Panax quinquifolia and has 5 leaflets. Panax ginseng looks nothing like it either.

Panax trifolius, on the other hand, looks a good match.

I haven't used this resource in a while and it seems that some of the old guard have left. ID's had never been given with common names in the past.

Yankton, SD

Quote from bas0406 :
I think we got off on the wrong foot with using common names to describe a species. When you said ginseng, I looked up ginseng and every picture that came up was Panax quinquifolia and has 5 leaflets. Panax ginseng looks nothing like it either.

Panax trifolius, on the other hand, looks a good match.

I haven't used this resource in a while and it seems that some of the old guard have left. ID's had never been given with common names in the past.


Sorry about that, Im no expert but was trying to help and yes that is the one I saw. I am probably a tad above novice at best and didnt realize they varied so much. I also haven't had any luck linking the site(people not trusting random links) I used so didnt do that. The site called it dwarf ginseng. Again sorry for the confusion and glad I might have found your friend's plant!

Batavia, IL

Ginseng was a great call. I am more of woodies type than perennials. If you take a look at Aceraceae family (Maples), you'll see just how different plants within the same family can look so different. Also, different search engines will produce different results.

No harm, no foul. Keep learning and asking questions.

This can't be either of those Panax spp because Panax has palmately compound leaves. I do not know what your plant is. My first impression was Actaea spp but that doesn't seem to match.

Batavia, IL

I see that now. This brings me back to whether these are in fact bipinnately compound leaves with tree leaflets. There can't be many plants out there that have this leaf morphology and arrangement

Batavia, IL

Ignore my last post...

Here's a crazy thought STRAWBERRIES

Not strawberries. I thought it may be one of the Osmorhiza spp., but that doesn't look quite right

Union, CT(Zone 6a)

Quote from leafmebe :
Not strawberries. I thought it may be one of the Osmorhiza spp., but that doesn't look quite right


Osmorhiza is what I keep comparing it to (though I agree that it's 'off'). There's a thread from 2016 on another gardening site asking for ID of this same plant with no resolution. Osmorhiza was suggested there as well, but not agreed upon. The OP was also in Illinois.

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