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weed? Can anybody tell me if this is a weed or a nice plant?

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    It is of great help if you tell us what part of the world the picture was taken in. And the use of the area: as in backyard, ditch, vegetable garden.....weeds are opportunistic but they each have their niche to exploit. – kevinsky Apr 13 '16 at 16:17
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    It's not a 'nice' plant, some type of brassica or other as described in the answer, considered a weed in most gardens rather than an ornamental. – Bamboo Apr 13 '16 at 17:00
  • What does it smell like when you rub the leaves? – Shule Apr 13 '16 at 18:14
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Based on the shape of the leaves, It looks like something in the Brassicaceae Family, more specifically probably the Genus Brassica. Although that is far from certain without knowing your location and also maybe not without seeing it bearing flowers.

The characteristic that identifies this as a Brassica to me is the lobes occurring on the leaf stem below the main leaf, although there are other plants that do this too.

Example of Wild Cabbage Leaves enter image description here

This family includes Mustards, Radishes, Cabbage & many other food crops however, there are many, many wild & introduced variants that are considered weeds, even at that though, you would need to more precisely identify it based on location and mature specimens to determine if it is useful or not.

  • Yep, and it could be an asterid as well. There are many low growing types, for instance dandelion and some chicories. – Escoce Apr 13 '16 at 20:10
  • I have a lot of these in my yard in Northeast USA, Zone 6. I usually leave them around unless I need the space for something else. It never occurred to me to taste it - I tend not to do that, but now I'm intrigued. I've never seen a flower. Does that mean I'm not leaving it long enough, or that it's not likely to be in the family you described? Thanks! – Sue Saddest Farewell TGO GL Apr 14 '16 at 14:02
  • I'd be hesitant to give it a taste without a positive ID. Even if your plants are some type of brassica, there are many that although technically edible cause stomach upset uncooked in some people, wild mustards in my area are known for this, but are quite tasty blanched. That said, the likelihood of it actually being poisonous is pretty much nil, unless it produces a milky white secretion when the leaves or stem are broken (check this to help with your ID). If it does go to flower, they will be typical four petaled, 1-3cm in size & depending on the species yellow, white, purple or pink. – renesis Apr 14 '16 at 16:23
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You can tell it's a weed if you didn't plant it and if you don't want it (whether it's a nice plant or not).

It looks a lot like arugula to me, but it looks rougher. It's possibly edible, and is very likely related to arugula, but I wouldn't risk eating it without certain knowledge of exactly what it is. Hopefully you'll get an ID on it.

  • this looks like a plant we call Nipplewort (Lapsana communis) the young plants of this are edible like spinach. might want to google it, but that's what it looks like to me. – Debra Brooks Apr 14 '16 at 17:44

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