Weed or Plant

(Question)

Hi – In the spring I thought this plant (please see attached pics) was a plant to keep and moved it. Now i think I just allowed a weed to flourish!?

Could you identify this?
Shrub about 3 ft tall now with pink thorny flowers going up stems…
Much appreciated!

 

(Answer)

Weed, I’m afraid. It’s motherwort (Leonurus cardiaca), a Eurasian member of the mint family that was introduced into North America long ago and has since naturalized widely. Although it is attractive in its own way, if left alone it can take over a larger area of your garden than you’d like – which is often the best definition of a “weed.” This fact sheet from Ohio State University contains good information:

https://www.oardc.ohio-state.edu/weedguide/singlerecord.asp?id=700

As does the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture and Food (OMAF):

https://www.omafra.gov.on.ca/english/crops/facts/ontweeds/motherwort.htm

Take care when you dig it up, as the leaves can cause skin irritation in those who are sensitive. Wear gloves and long sleeves, just in case. It’s best to dig it up now, before it sets seed, and remove all the roots. Look around for and remove any seedlings (the fact sheet includes pictures of the plant at all stages). As you have seen, motherwort can grow to a considerable size.

Good luck and happy gardening.