Identify unknown plant


This plant appeared first time ever in a garden area which has a peony and day Lillies. It has been like h to is for approx a month. I keep waiting for it to bloom more. I live in the Beaches area of Toronto.
Maybe it’s a weed? Thank you for any advice.


It is often challenging to identify plants from photos, especially when these plants are mixed in with a few others.  I consulted other Toronto Master Gardener colleagues, who had a few suggestions.  I believe that your photo is likely of a beggartick (also spelled beggar-tick or beggar tick), a member of the Aster family.  Beggarticks are annuals that reproduce by seed, and several are native to Ontario. The name ‘beggar tick’ reportedly refers to the barbed seeds that stick to clothing and animal fur — like ticks. There are many terrific websites that show excellent photos of the different beggartick species, for example see:

These websites should be helpful in identifying your plant.  Another alternative for you is to take a cutting of the plant (include stems, flowers and several leaves) and show it to someone at your local nursery – they may be able to help identify the plant.

As for whether it’s a weed – if you enjoy it, consider it a welcome (although uninvited) guest to your garden! To prolong flowering and prevent the plant from self-seeding too much, go ahead and deadhead.  If you decide you don’t like it, just pull it out of your garden – best to do this soon, before the plants go to seed.