Mystery plant

Randy Stauter recently wrote in about a mystery weed, calling on readers to help identify.

Our readers came to the rescue and are all in agreement.

Jan Williams emailed in and said, “The mystery plant in the flowerbed of Randy Stauter’s is called velvetleaf. It’s an annual plant. But you probably already know that.”

Lynn Gallice called in and concurred with Williams saying the mystery weed is a velvetleaf.

An unknown caller also stated the weed is velvetleaf, with emphasis on the “weed.” She added that it’s a noxious weed and he should get rid of it as it spreads terribly. Apparently the farmers don’t like it in their fields.

The Minnesota Department of Agriculture has listed it a noxious weed in various counties such as Cottonwood, Chippewa, Murray, Steele and Waseca.

Jared Goplen, University of Minnesota extension educators, recalls this memory of the weed in a blog, “My dad offered up my brother and me to walk those beans and hoe out the ‘buttonweed’ (velvetleaf) and volunteer corn. At the age of 10 and 11, my brother and I walked beans all summer long. Countless hours of hoeing and pulling weeds – sometimes four rows at a time, sometimes less.”

I personally recall helping an elderly farmer from church walk the perimeter of her field pulling these very weeds. She said we had to get every last one of them.

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