There are many plants that appear to just grow out of thin air … usually they are seeds that have been distributed by birds, clung onto the fur of animals or simply blown in the breeze. These seeds just grow where they have been dropped and often keep gardeners amused for many months as they try to identify them.
I have had many of these seedlings that have pushed their way through the soil in my garden over the years.One that had me puzzled for quite a while was a common hemp which most probably originated in some bird food. I had seen the same plant in many peoples gardens and noticed how it grew into quite an attractive lacy, bushy, almost exotic plant. The one that grew in my garden took two and a half to three years before any flowers formed on it. The flowers were like green cups and formed on the tips of each of the soft green stems. Once the flowers had been fertilised the whole plant changed and became covered in a thick brown sticky tar like substance that dripped onto everything near it. So if one of these plants appears in your garden … remember that once it has flowered it becomes a would-be ‘triffid.’ I would therefore recommend digging it up for composting as soon as the first flowers have formed. The most amazing thing about this free green plant was the fact that despite having soft green stems it sturdily rallied through ice, frost and snow through two whole Winters.
First picture – small common hemp plant taken with flash
Second picture – the same small common hemp plant taken in natural light