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Sorry, I didn't take a picture before I pulled it up, so that probably won't help you - the stem is covered in very sharp little hairs as are the leaves and it has a long tap root which you can see. It isn't that unpleasant to look at, quite architectural and about 18 inches tall, but I brushed my hand against it and it was like a lot of little pin pricks - the sort that makes you wonder about contact poisons/allergies. Any ideas?
It looks a bit like green alkanet but there are a few things which look similar when young, such as a comfrey. Have you let any of them grow larger and flower? That would help ID it.
If it was just the one plants as opposed to an area of the plant I should think Bob's first suggestion is the one
Apologies, I've only just come back to the thread, so thank you both for your thoughts - I have googled alkanet Bob, and it does look very similar - I wish I hadn't pulled it up now, it's rather pretty, but it kept needling me while I was mulching my hibiscus (a phrase which could probably be open to interpretation, were this not a gardening forum!)
I have only found 2 and I shall take another photo of the one that's still in situ; I have in my head that it's a slightly different leaf configuration to the google images but without looking again I'm not sure.