Author Topic: Is this a brassica or some horrific weed?  (Read 2097 times)

shelivesthedream

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Is this a brassica or some horrific weed?
« on: August 12, 2015, 08:26:46 AM »
I took on an allotment a year ago and we have had several joyous surprises springing up - raspberries, onions, a gooseberry bush... Thankfully we have recognised them for the delicious comestibles they were. But now we have these (see photo). To me they seem reminiscent of broccoli, but are they actually just a weed which I should be pulling up post haste? There are about a dozen of them in with my beetroot. If they are A Good Thing (TM) then I will replant them somewhere more convenient. If not, to the compost heap!

KCM5

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Re: Is this a brassica or some horrific weed?
« Reply #1 on: August 12, 2015, 09:04:09 AM »
I don't know what it is, but I'm pretty comfortable saying its not a brassica - the leaves have points rather than the uneven lobed look of a brassica.

The flower look like an amaranth or something but the leaves do not.

Edited to add: it looks like it has a square stem? If so, it's in the mint family.

But then I looked again and it could be lambsquarters that's gone to seed? If so, it is an edible weed, but please don't take my word for it and eat it! It's also called goosefoot in some places.
« Last Edit: August 12, 2015, 09:10:59 AM by KCM5 »

peace

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Re: Is this a brassica or some horrific weed?
« Reply #2 on: August 12, 2015, 09:12:08 AM »
I'm not familiar with plants outside my area, but it looks a bit like lamb's quarters.

clarkai

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Re: Is this a brassica or some horrific weed?
« Reply #3 on: August 12, 2015, 09:48:30 AM »
Definitely lamb's quarter. Pretty tasty too, before they go to seed, but this one has already bolted.

worms

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Re: Is this a brassica or some horrific weed?
« Reply #4 on: August 12, 2015, 02:53:37 PM »
It is Fat Hen, Chenopodium album

Edible but not particularly palatable, possibly some parasiticidal activity but pretty prolific and invasive as a weed in UK farmland.

deborah

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Re: Is this a brassica or some horrific weed?
« Reply #5 on: August 13, 2015, 04:31:38 AM »
Everything in the photo looks like a weed except the squash(?) that just snuck in at the top corner.

Rural

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Re: Is this a brassica or some horrific weed?
« Reply #6 on: August 13, 2015, 07:54:06 PM »
Fat hen and lambs quarter are the same plant, and that's what you have. I quite like them, either as a cooked green or a raw salad, and they're good for you. Likely to be bitter since its bolted, but that means you could leave it alone and have more in not too long from the seed, or that you should pull it in a hurry of you don't want lambs quarters.

housefullofbees

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Re: Is this a brassica or some horrific weed?
« Reply #7 on: August 13, 2015, 09:33:47 PM »
Lambs' quarters, yay! I love to eat this stuff raw, in salads, bolted or not.
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bsmith

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Re: Is this a brassica or some horrific weed?
« Reply #8 on: August 13, 2015, 09:51:51 PM »
A "weed" is any plant you don't want growing there. A rose can be a weed if it's popped up in the middle of a turnip patch and you don't want it there.

Send the pic to your local Master Gardeners, usually organized through the county extension agent. They'll help you identify it.

shelivesthedream

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Re: Is this a brassica or some horrific weed?
« Reply #9 on: August 14, 2015, 03:45:39 AM »
Thanks for the identification, all! Disappointed that it is not another surprise treat, but I suppose that would have been too much to hope for. We might have a go at eating a smaller one, but I imagine they'll all be destined for the compost heap.