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we've found a couple of these growing in our garden veggie patch. when small they looked similar to our potato plants however now they're much bigger they don't look anything like potato plants. we've had a lot of seeds move round the garden caused by the wind, animals etc. to the extent of a patch of our lawn being full of parsnips! so i don't want to assume this plant is a weed and just dig it up to find it was actually something edible. i don't want to leave it if it is a weed as it's taking water and nutrients from the other veggie plants. please help!

hopefully the pictures help (coming soon) but the plant has red stems and stalks. leaves are green with a slight purple edge. there are 3 separate leaves on each stem.


Mizz, Dorset




Gary Hobson

Looks like Aquilegia.

A pretty cottage garden flower.


Looks just like an Aquilegia to me. A self-seeding flower that will pop up most places & flower the following year. Very pretty cottage garden type of spring flower, but not nec one that you may want in your veg patch- although have to admit to a couple of magnificent specimens in my fruit cage! J.


thanks very much both of you we'd spent hours searching the net but as it had no flowers couldn't identify it.

 think we'll move to a more useful place in the flower bed rather than centre stage in the veggie patch. is it one of those that justs keeps spreading and taking over the space or would it sit ok amongst other plants?


It is definitely aquilegia.   It readily self-seeds, but doesn't spread.   It makes a little clump and then flowers above it.   It is a perennial.

I love it when you get something for nothing!


fantastic! looking forward to seeing it flower



Just joined the site, this is great. Yes, definitely an aquilegia. As your previous adivce says, they self seed but wont take over so enjoy! Pop up in odd places but lovely. When the flowers die off tip it (the flower) upside down and you will get a handful of seeds all for free - as gardengirl6 said.

Hi all, just joined the site so apologies if this is in the wrong place!  I too have something that I am not sure if it's a weed or not, thought it was a Hosta but don't think so now, partner wants to pull them up but I'm not sure - help!  I know there is a dandelion behind it but my tortoise likes them!


Possibly Mint Bazanti? Give it a rub and sniff your finger.

Nope it just smells of green vegetation, but thanks for the suggestion.


Looks a bit like a foxglove or possibly a verbascum - whatever it is it looks as if it'll be flowering soon so that'll give you a better opportunity to identify it - if it's something you don't want to spread just pull it up before it seeds.


Yes, I agree wih Dovefromabove - I think it's a foxglove. Should be flowering in June.

I would say it is definitely a foxglove - and it looks as if the bud is just forming.    I love them and they self seed easily.     They grow one year and flower the next, so look out for babies later this year and, if necessary, move them to where you want them.

Thank you all for identifying them, I have 4 in a row at the edge of my rockery and another looks like it's coming up in my planted barrell, I thought they looked to nice to be a weed!  They weren't there last year though so strange if they are flowering straight away this year.

I have just googled it and the leaves do look the same, I look forward to a bit of colour in that part of the garden soon then.


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