Surprise!

3 photos - the whole plant, the buds, the stem and leaves

Mystery Joe-Pye Weed ā€” Plant (left), Buds (center), Stalk and Leaves(right)

plant with pinkish-purple buds

Mystery Joe-Pye Weed

The fun of a prairie is that things are always changing. Different flowers start to bloom while others are going to seed. What is really interesting is when you are walking and you find something new… or something you didn’t noticed before. Today was one such day. We found a mystery plant. Something we had not otherwise identified or seen in the prairie. The first thought that goes through your mind is… ‘Oh cool, what’s that?’ Then you think… ‘I hope it’s not invasive.’ Then you try to puzzle out what it is. This can be rather challenging when the plant is not blooming. This plant just had buds. We look at the plant characteristics… pinkish-purple buds, four leaves that are opposite, serrated leaves and a purple stem. After consulting our wild flower and prairie flower guide books we determined it is most likely Joe-Pye Weed… but which one? We will need to do a little more research and watch for the flowers to determine which one.

2 photos - hand showing the leaf and hand showing the 4 leaves attached to stalk

Mystery Joe-Pye Weed ā€” Leaf (left), Four Leaves Attached to Puple Stalk (right)

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