Asters or Weeds?


IMG_1251Asters or weeds?
Can you identify the growing plants, which have seeded outside the pipe or barrier?
I thought they were weeds, and left them to act as a barrier against ants moving near the house foundation, and entering, until the peonies finish blooming.
However, after reading your response to a question about “astrids, mums and early identification”, I wonder if they are the asters which have moved by reseeding? They are the tall green plants, and I’ve included one pic of the top, which look like an aster in an early stage.
I looked briefly at a couple of identification websites, but those usually help with the bloomed flower.
I guess I can always wait and see, replanting them where they might be better suited. Edging is something that seems at the end of the gardening list of things to do. What part of the season is that best done, since I would imagine it would be best done at the end of the season in the vicinity of the plants, so nothing is disturbed.




Thank you for contacting Toronto Master Gardeners.

From your picture I am unable to see what size the plant is but I believe it is from the Aster Family. This is a huge plant family with many weeds/ wildflowers . At this point in it’s growth it is difficult to narrow it down to one.

One possibility is Golden Rod, Solidago canadensis. This plant has a history of being wrongly blamed for allergies. It is experiencing a return to favor and has started being sold in nurseries. It is a very common wildflower in Ontario and very pretty and durable. Golden rod is a perennial which spreads with underground rhizomes ( roots) and comes up year after year.

Another member of the aster family is Nodding beggarticks, Bidens cernua. This also has a similar look at this stage of growth. This plant is an annual and grows only through one season and spreads with seeds. At maturity it has small yellow daisy like flowers. It can grow up to a meter tall.

I am including below a link to Ontario Wildflowers. They have a huge list of all the asters you can find here in Ontario. As you said most of the descriptions you find are about the flower. This site explains what characteristics are used to classify an aster and most of them are the structures and features of the flower. As this plant grows it should become easier to identify especially when it begins forming flower buds.

If it does turn out to be an Aster you wish to keep and is a perennial than the best times to transplant are in the fall or in the spring. This gives them a chance to develop a root system when it is not to hot, dry and they are not flowering.

Good Luck.