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SOLVED: Strange tall flowering plant with yelllow sticky sap

Lexington, MA

Many hi-def photos of this plant are at:

I live outside Boston Massachusetts.

This plant oozes a sticky yellow sap when freshly cut.

From the photos you can see that the yellow flowers turn into dandilion like balls of windborn seeds.

The leaves are alternate, slightly toothed and large.

It's such a strange plant, I can't wait to figure out what species it is. It's been very hard to deduce from books.

Thumbnail by castedo
(Zone 7a)

It's interesting, that's for sure. My guess would be a milkweed of some kind? Did it get this tall in one season?

Leesburg, FL(Zone 9b)

OH -- i've got tons of those in the field beside my home.
the flowers are pretty though.... but i'm sure it's a weed of some sort.

as for height.... Mine are taller than me.... 6' or so. I'd have to go out and find one to know for sure.....
(i'm only 5'2" but they are much taller than me)

This message was edited Sep 26, 2007 11:44 AM

Delray Beach, FL(Zone 10a)

I wouldn't let it go to seed if I were you. I know nothing about that plant but it seems it grew in your garden on its own and it seems poised to go invade someone else's garden. Now I wonder: if you pull it all out, will it regenerate from the severed roots next year. I wish I could help you with an ID but I've never seen that one before.


Leesburg, FL(Zone 9b)

OH... i was totally wrong. I went out and found the plant, and it's only about 2' high if that.

I went out and snapped a bunch of images....

I think mine is more of a 'cup plant' or compass plant -- the one that is about 6' tall.

Personally, i dont think it's in the milkweed family, as the leaves are different.

I'll keep searching.... but it is a weed of some sort.

West Pottsgrove, PA(Zone 6b)

I bet it's a Lactuca of some kind

Northumberland, United Kingdom(Zone 9a)

Agree with Claypa. If not Lactuca, then a close relative in the same subfamily of the Asteraceae.

Leesburg, FL(Zone 9b)

OH yea... that certainly looks close to the ones i have.

the whole plant and the leaves... but the flower is a tad different.

Thumbnail by tcs1366
Philo, OH(Zone 6a)

Some kind of lettuce, perhaps prickly yellow lettuce.

Lexington, MA

Thank you for the pointer to genus Lactuca.

I was able to find this species based on that.

I believe it is Lactuca canadensis.

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