Mystery plant

(Question)

Please help me to identify this plant.  I live in southwestern Ontario.  I have scoured the internet but cannot find this plant anywhere.  Mystery plant sideSee attached picture.

 

(Answer)

Well, you have us a little stumped, but we have come up with a couple of likely options for this mystery plant.  Identity of a plant is better established if the flowers can be seen, growth habit can be observed and the plant origins known (self seed or nursery grown, planted & forgotten or escapee from a neighbouring garden underneath the fence).  Not knowing any of this information makes a definitive ID difficult.

The options we have come up with are either, Purple Amaranth or Purple Basil.

Below are several links to information on Purple Amaranth.

http://www.gardening.cornell.edu/homegardening/scenea6a1.html#varieties

http://ashsmedia.org/?p=343

Crushing a leaf of the plant in your hands and smelling it will lead you closer to determining if it is a purple form of Basil.  That is, if you are familiar with what Basil smells like.  Here too, is a link to information on this plant.

http://extension.psu.edu/plants/gardening/herbs/basil-purple

Now that you have the above information, I would recommend that you do not ingest any of either of these plants until you are 100% certain of their identity – better to be safe than sorry.