Help needed in weed ID

Sweet Tatorman's picture

I have managed to identify most of the more common weeds in my garden area. One I am having trouble identifying is pictured below. It can attain a height of 2-3 feet. Does anyone here know what this weed is?

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Sweet Tatorman's picture

Here is a close up of the blossom which is about 5mm diameter. Large yellow center with small petals, often only a few petals present surrounding the center.

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Leaves: Opposite, divided, 2 to 10 cm long and 1 to 3.5 cm wide. Leaf edges are toothed with the underside of leaves being hairy.

Stems: Erect or bending at the base, may root at lower nodes.

Flowers: Daisy-like, yellow center with white petal-like rays.

Seeds: Four-angled and spindle-shaped with 2 sharp-pointed projections at the top.

Life cycle: Annual or short-lived perennial.

Height: Up to 5 feet tall.

Galinsoga quadriradiata

common quickweed, shaggy soldier
Common quickweed, also called Peruvian daisy after its country of origin

Sweet Tatorman's picture

Thanks gkb! I am sure that you nailed it with common quickweed/shaggy soldier.

ClareBroommaker's picture

Oh, well done!

ClareBroommaker's picture

It doesn't look like anything I've ever seen, but it does look like the Verbena genus: The general ugliness of the flower with uneven ray petal presence, the angular branching of the flower stems, the kind of winged (I think?) and hairy flower stems, the shape and serration of the leaves.

Is that all one plant in the first photo?

Are the leaves arranged oppositely one another on the stems?

Are there leaves at the bottom of the plant that look different than the upper ones?

Do the crushed leaves have an oily smell? A minty smell?

Do you know when it started blooming?

Where (state) is this plant?

Well, after looking at plenty of verbena flowers, I'm not at all happy with this suggestion!

Sweet Tatorman's picture

CB, I anticipated that you would be the one to come through for me if anyone did.
I got sidetracked on the way out to the garden to get a specimen as a groundhog I've been stalking was out. Managed to get off six shots but without clear evidence of success.
Anyway, specimen now in hand and answering your questions.
Probably several plants in the 1st photo.
Leaves arranged oppositely on stems.
Upper and lower leaves are similar.
No significant odor of crushed leaves.
In Georgia and USDA zone 7B and now blooming for at least a week.
Stems are hairy but not winged.

Edit: Postscript on Mr/Mrs groundhog. Went out after posting and managed to dispatch.

ClareBroommaker's picture

Here is a very young weedy Verbena (unknown species) for comparison. Upper corner shows the hairy stems.

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Mr Tator, do you eat the ground hogs? I have been reading Harlan Hubbard's Shantyboat and Payne Hollow from the 40s and 50s and he and his wife eat a lot of ground hog.
PS I had never seen a ground hog so I looked them up. They are quite adorable, but I hear they eat your garden. Here in Oz we eat the adorable wallabies that eat our gardens..

Sweet Tatorman's picture

I have certainly thought about eating them as I have many opportunities but so far have not. There would be a lot there to be eaten as I have shot some that were well in excess of 7 kg. I did once ask a couple of the locals about their culinary properties and they did not seem to get good reviews. Perhaps someone on the forum can address this. A women I know who does taxidermy as a hobby who has disassembled one for that purpose remarked that the one she dealt with had an amazing amount of body fat. That would make sense if it was taken late in the Summer as groundhogs are an animal that hibernates.
Fortunately no problems with wallabies in my garden. I don't need any more varmints that aspire to eat it.

ClareBroommaker's picture

There's something to be said for older cookbooks. Irma Rombauer's "Joy Of Cooking" has cooking instructions for groundhog, called "woodchuck" in her section on game meats.

Please read about small game, 513.
After field dressing woodchuck and hanging it for 48 hours, skin as for rabbit, but watch for and remove 7 to 9 small kernel-like glands under the forelegs. Soak refrigerated overnight in salted water. Drain and wipe dry. Cook by any recipe for rabbit or chicken.

Sweet Tatorman's picture

I dunno. Perhaps I over estimate the role of refrigeration in prevention of food poisoning but the idea of hanging a groundhog for a couple of days in the heat of a Georgia summer gives me pause. I would guess that your edition of Joy was published before AC in homes was widespread.