Unknown Short Weed continued

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Date Photo Taken: November 14, 2010
Location: Decatur, GA
Posted By: Kerimbaev


These are 3 more photos of my “Unknown Short Weed” post with photos from Nov 5, 2010. This specimen was 4 feet tall. The stem is light green with 2 distinctive lengthwise dark green stripes going up and down the square stem. Stem doesn’t have sharp corners like the mints do, but indistinct corners, giving it a squarish, smooth stem. The seed heads vary in appearance here (see pic). The fruits do look retroflexed on the spike. They stick to your clothes very easily when you brush by this plant. The leaves on this tall plant are opposite, otherwise I’d think this resembled one of the Amaranth genus (they have alternate leaves). Leaves opposite, minutely hairy, entire margins, soft, thin, limp and flexible. Anyone know what this is? It is fairly abundant in at least two Parks in Dekalb County, Georgia.


  1. Russell Camp Unregistered says:

    I have noticed this plant in the turf area of one of the properties I manage. It didn’t appear until recently, and we have ‘managed’ it with a mower. I think it could be managed with ordinary broad-leaf weed control products. But if you are like me, you want to know what it is, not just how to kill it. I have searched through several books and databases on turf or invasive weeds and have not found it. My guess is that it is more of a woodland ‘weed’ so it won’t be listed among the turfgrass weeds. I continue to search for an answer.

    Russell Camp
    Southern Garden Coach

    November 18th, 2010 at 8:46 am
  2. Kerimbaev Unregistered says:

    Thanks for looking Russell. I still don’t know what it is. Until I know what it is, I won’t be removing it from our Park. Thanks for keeping me updated if you learn anything, and anyone else feel free to pitch in your two cents! This species might be staring me in the face in my field guides, but if it is, I can’t see it.


    November 28th, 2010 at 10:41 pm
  3. Bobby Unregistered says:

    Still searching! What is remaining of the plant this time of year?

    January 6th, 2011 at 10:17 am
  4. Kerimbaev Unregistered says:

    I’ve been trying to write back but after clicking “submit comment,” my comment doesn’t show up on page. So I’ll keep this short ’cause this may not show up either. Haven’t been looking at plants since it got cold; our Parkwood Park Committee went on a holiday hiatus. I’ll try to find this weed again soon to see what remains. I’ve given up on plants for the winter and am too busy birdwatching — bird diversity is incredible this cold winter!

    January 8th, 2011 at 3:28 pm
  5. Kerimbaev Unregistered says:

    This plant has been identified by Blake Watkins of Trees Atlanta as a Japanese Chaff Flower (Achyranthes japonica). It is a relatively new exotic plant being tracked in the Eastern U.S. It’s perennial, grows well in forested bottomlands, ditches, fencerows, and upland forests, and can even outcompete stiltgrass. This info is from http://bcnwp.org.

    Here is a link to a short species alert developed by River to River Cooperative Weed Management Area: http://www.rtrcwma.org/Japanesechafffloweralert.pdf

    More photos are available at:

    Needless to say, we will be getting rid of it in our Park!

    Rebecca Kerimbaev

    January 24th, 2011 at 11:21 am

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