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Celery and the cuckoo in the nest

Busy Bee2Busy Bee2 Posts: 1,005

This year I decided to grow celery for the first time.  I planted it ages ago in the propagator, and pretty quickly a single reddish seedling popped up.  Some time later, other green seedlings appeared.  Now it is clear that the red one was a 'cuckoo in the nest', and the green ones are the celery.  Does anyone have any idea what the reddish plant is? - it's not willow herb, which I did consider.  But the habit is quite different from the willow herb in the garden.  It is slow growing too, so wouldn't make a successful weed.  And also, does celery speed up?  I have never known anything grow so slowly.  It is in the greenhouse now - I shall prick it out soon.  At the rate it has been growing, I could probably expect a harvest in 2016. 


  • Busy Bee2Busy Bee2 Posts: 1,005

    done it again - no picture!!!  Here we go.....



  • BobTheGardenerBobTheGardener Leicestershire, UKPosts: 9,731

    Looks like it might be one of the willowherbs - damn things get everywhere here!

    A trowel in the hand is worth a thousand lost under a bush.
  • Busy Bee2Busy Bee2 Posts: 1,005

    If you look closely at it, and compare it to willow herb it is much less robust and doesn't grow straight - the willow herbs don't have the starter leaves that this has, and the leaves come straight out from the main stalk, whereas these leaves have a stalk on them.  The leaves are rounder too.  If it is willow herb it would have to have come from wherever the seeds were packaged, or the seed compost, as it was all done in our kitchen, so I couldn't have picked it up from outside, and the propagator inserts were brand new clean plastic. 

  • nutcutletnutcutlet PeterboroughPosts: 26,160

    Enlarged it doesn't look like a willowherb.

    more like something out of a packet of salad leaves

  • Busy Bee2Busy Bee2 Posts: 1,005

    I suppose that would make sense if it got in with celery, but the leaves are a bit thick looking for salad - like they would be a bit leathery-ish.  I have grown winter salads before, and those leaves can be a bit more tough, but this doesn't look like any of them.  I guess I will just have to grow it on out of curiosity and see what happens.  It's just that once you've grown things from seed, you tend to recognise the seedlings (and weedlings!) and I was hoping that someone on here would go 'oh yes, that's definitely a... whatever'.  As long as it's not japanese knotweed or marajuana, there will be no harm in it!! 

  • nutcutletnutcutlet PeterboroughPosts: 26,160

    We won't tell if it's marajuana BBimage

    Have you prodded the leaves to see if there's any clue from smell?

  • pansyfacepansyface PEAK DISTRICT DerbyshirePosts: 17,231

    Maybe some kind of polygonum?

    Apophthegm -  a big word for a small thought.
  • DovefromaboveDovefromabove Central Norfolk UKPosts: 63,814

    One of the cultivated orache famly come to mind ...................image

    “I am not lost, for I know where I am. But however, where I am may be lost.” Winnie the Pooh

  • Busy Bee2Busy Bee2 Posts: 1,005

    Nut that's a really good idea!  I'm quite good at plant smells.  I will check out polygonums and oraches because I don't know what they are, so they sound like a possible lead!  Hope I like them.  Anyone know if celery is meant to be slow to start? 

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