I found this “weed” in my asparagus bed a few years ago. Didn’t recognize it so I stuck it in the nursery row thinking it might be more obvious in a few years. This year I found several more little ones so I’m guessing it’s common; maybe some woods shrub or maybe bird planted. But I still don’t know what it is. Anyone recognize it? Leaves are dark dull green, buds are red. thanks, Sue.
I don’t know what the plant is but I would say that is an impressive caterpillar in the background
Looks like a Black Swallowtail caterpillar; these are not typically on asparagus, but use dill and fennel as hostplants.
I would have guessed some sort of milkweed, but from the picture it doesn’t look like it has enough leaf veins.
Looks a bit like hemp dogbane
I think the plant in the foreground with the mildew on the leaves is definitely some sort of French hybrid or common purple lilac. We grow lilacs at the nursery I work at. Going from the photo, that is what it looks like to me. White lilacs will have a large green bud and pink/red/purple lilacs will have a large dark bud.
Yes, the B.S. caterpillar was a beauty! He hung around for awhile enjoying the self sown dill in my nursery row, which kept me from weeding it out. I hope he found a safe place to overwinter. We don’t have a lot of them.
We do have both milkweed and hemp dogbane/indian hemp but this didn’t quite look like either of them. Yet it does look like something that should be familiar. I thought of lilac - we have a lot of generic purple lilacs growing - but it didn’t look like any I have. The leaves are thicker, duller, darker, and stems and buds red (mine are green). It could be a foreigner, of course, via a bird. Lilacs are common around here.
I’ve transplanted it out in a corner in the orchard and will see what it does as it grows and hopefully blossoms. This one did certainly have mildew but it was that kind of year. Usually I don’t have much problem with that.
Thanks for all the suggestions. Sue
Paul, I think you’re right - a lilac. Interesting that earlier, when green, this seeded plant didn’t look hardly at all like my regular lilacs. Now that they are both dormant and bare they are much more similar, enough so that I can say it now looks like a lilac.
I’ve never had a self sown lilac grow that I know of, though we’ve had them for decades and they certainly sucker a lot. Squirrels, birds, chipmunks, mice are prolific planters however (local trees are common weeds in my garden) so I guess I shouldn’t be surprised to have one growing from seed. It’ll be fun to see what it looks like when and if it flowers.