I have some plants growing and I don't have a clue what
they are or where they came from. I've planted quite a
few seeds, everything from basil (sweet and lemon and
purple) to belle peppers and cucumbers and corn, onion,
peas, pole beans, bush beans, watermelon and pumpkin.
The first plant is currently about 3 feet tall, the leaves range
in size from 1 to 4 inches long, and 1 to 2 inches in width. The
initial stems grow out redish in color and gradually turn green.
There are some thorns on the plant. When the plant reaches
three feet in height the base of the plant is slightly bigger than
one centimeter. The roots seem to be shallow but I haven't
dug one of these up. I'm wondering if I got a bad batch of
purple basil seeds. Some pictures of the first plant are here:
The second plant is one that I didn't plant, but it's a vine with
small leaves that is starting to cover a fence. It is growing some
orange cherry sized fruits and it almost looks like some sort of
miniature cucumber vine except the fruit appears oval shaped
and grows slightly bigger than a cherry. Wasps seem to like it
after the fruit has been cracked open. Bees like the flowers,
which are yellow in color, are approximately 1 inch in total
diameter. Here are the pictures of the vine...
That definitely looks like it's the right one.
I'm going over a couple websites looking up information
about it and I'm finding:
1) It's seeds and ripe fruit are toxic...
2) Another site indicates that it is used medicinally,
that the fruit and seeds are slightly toxic, and there's
a ton of information about how different countries use
it to lower blood-sugar, and use it in a variety of other
manners. This site seems to be a very good repository of
information about it.
I've got some cucumbers growing up the fence and the
groups are starting to intermix and I'm wondering if any
one knows if the two plants can cross pollinate. If any
one has done such with and what the results were. In
the mean time, I'm going to cut back the spreading of
the momordica charantia back.
Thanks much for your identification.
I'm still looking for an identification of:
The second picture shows what appears to be something
blossoming... I'm unfamiliar with the terms of what is
going at the top of it, so if someone knows what the
proper term would be for the fuzzy looking seedy things
at the top are, I would be appreciate the help.
Thanks. I was looking at some things on pigweed last week
when trying to find out what this is. I don't know where it
came from, I haven't seen it in the area before. It's making
me wonder... I was just doing some research on Amaranth,
and I found "redroot pigweed" listed as an Amaranth:
The article there indicates that it commonly grows on or near
corn fields... and while I don't have a corn field I have been
growing corn over the last few months. That's really making
me wonder about how it got where it got. :-)
It's definitely taking a liking to growing near corn (within a
couple feet of corn). It's a nitrogen fixing plant ? I've read
that it brings nutrients up to the soils surface.
I think your right about it being amaranth and I'm leaning
heavily towards it being "redroot pigweed" (Amaranthus
Some other site terms "redroot pigweed" as, "Anagallis retroflexus".
They must have made that term up, as I can't find another
reference to that term via Google.
Some sites suggest that it is edible. I found a cabbage worm
hiding in one, and something is eating holes into the leaves.
Another site indicates it is only edible if grown in a non-nitrate
polluted soil, as the leaves can represent a nitrate poison.
I don't know anything about these. Is there anyone out there that
eats amaranth? Is there a way to tell how much nitrate is in the
A couple of the plants have grown to 4 feet in the last month or so.
One is growing in a small pot. It is reported to be a deep-rooted
plant. How deep does deep-rooted usually mean? I think I'm going
to pull the plant out of the pot and ...
I added the following pictures:
The one in the pot looks like it has some sort of other plant
growing next to it. It's too young to tell right at the moment.
So I'm going to pass up on the idea of pulling it right now.
NOTE: I have changed the links to the images. There were too many
pictures building up and I needed to organize them.
A .retroflexus looks like a good candidate. There is also A. palmeri which is
According to the book Weeds of the West, the two species will hybridize.
I haven't eaten amaranth, but the seeds are used as a grain and a flour I
believe, I had a good article on amaranth, but I may have thrown it out in one
of my cleaning frenzies. Will look for it.
There is an Anagallis, but the weedy one that I know of is Anagallis arvensis,
the Scarlet PImpernel, and is a tiny, prostrate plant. Anagallis and Amaranth
are not even in the same Family.
You asked what the flowers might be called: flower spike, or inflorescence,
or flower clusters all could describe them.
You wondered how they might have gotten there: probably birds that ate the
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