Any plant you don't want in a certain place is a weed. That could mean
dandelions, or it could mean the Four O'Clocks you intentionally planted two
years ago, whose fat seeds are still sprouting all over the place.
Your next step would be to do a google search using the words Janet
provided, and see if you can get a more accurate ID on the plant. You will
need to know where you live, since the plant MIGHT be particular only to
certain region. Your city and state should be on your driver's license, or
anything you get in the mail.
The reason to research it further is that some "weeds" are useful. So, you
need to read more about its habits.
If you like it, it's not a weed. You may want to see how it behaves
and if it is potentially invasive, which it is not in my USDA Zone 8b,
but is definitely perennial. I love mine, but I have a cultivar.
Don't know which at the moment, but the foliage of mine is much darker
purple with darker center splotches with picotee on the edges of
I love it mixed in with Japanese ferns.
I think that's a bit unfair to weeds :-) They aren't all fast or
huge, some of them are designed to be part of a mixed population of
plants and don't do much harm to others (think of meadows, and
woodlands, or hedges piled with with glorious honeysuckle) . Some of
them are attractive plants; I'm glad to have clover, daisies and
speedwell in my lawn although others consider them weeds. I have two
varieties of persicaria growing in my garden which I nurture, propagate,
and pass on to others. Last week when the garden was open for charity,
one of the visitors said my persicaria "Red Dragon" is an invasive thug
and i should get rid of it before it took over. She was horrified to
hear that I love it. The other , whose name I forget, is very close to
the wild version, pink flower spikes and heartshaped leaves, and grows
happily in my bog garden.
If you like your plant where it is, keep it...at least until you find
something you like better.
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