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Its growing near many roses and hydrangeas in front of a house we just bought. But no flowers or berries as long as I have observed last couple month's. Location-wise it seems to be intentionally planted, and obviously well established (4 feet tall, substantial lower stems). Look not dissimilar to neighbors laurel bush but much more weed-like. The red stems have me concerned about pokeweed. Small dog and young kids.

We are in south sound region of Washington, and its early summer, and a dry one if that matters.

  • Don't worry about it being Pokeweed, because it isn't (pokeweed has light green, non-serrated leaves). It resembles a Eupatorium, but most of those species have four leaves, not two leaves, per node. Perhaps it's a Western US native? Could also be a heliopsis... If you don't get an answer, please add more photos when it blooms - that will help a lot with the ID. – Jurp Jun 30 at 22:51
  • I think it is not a shrub. It is a flower plant (possibly considered as weed, or as a low maintenance flower plant, depending on people). You should wait more to see flowers. [But I'll not bet a identification, maybe in one or two months you can update the question with a photo of flowers) – Giacomo Catenazzi Jul 1 at 13:10
  • It almost looks like new growth on a Forsythia that has been cut back the previous year. Did you witness it leaf out this spring? If you did, then it isn't forsythia since you didn't mention yellow flowers. – That Idiot Jul 10 at 18:21
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looks an awful lot like a red twig dogwood, but I'm not sure if the leaves of those are serrated like the ones in your pic....maybe one of the other reddish-stemmed species

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I concur with @thatidiot in comment above, Forsythia which has been cut back very hard and forced to sprout out from the base. Reasons are two: first the spots on the twigs and second the somewhat irregular serrations (almost double toothed) on the leaf margins, plus opposite leaf arrangement. Flowers would not have been visible this year since flower buds are formed on old wood; since this was cut out no flowers were produced. The growth is current year material since mature Forsythia bark is a dry light grey colour. You can verify this id by cutting a more mature shoot with sharp secateurs and if there is a hollow pith then this counts in favour of Forsythia.

  • I think the leaves are too broad and the stems too dark for forsythia – Escoce Sep 10 at 3:31

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