This little guy showed up, with about fifty friends, in a shady spot in my backyard where nothing was growing. Now it’s full of stiltgrass, this, a silktree that thinks I haven’t spotted it, and some sneaky wisteria. I intend to burn this section to the ground and sow the fields with salt, but I’d like to know what this guy is before I embark on my scorched earth policy. (I assume it’s a noxious weed, because it’s ALWAYS a noxious weed. I just wanna know what kind, and whether mere removal will suffice, or whether I need a priest and a flamethrower.)
Unwilling to drag the camera out, I just clipped one of these suckers and scanned it. It’s not a perfect solution, I grant you, but it beats me flailing around with hand gestures going “Sorta…purply thing…ya know?”
The stems are bare and branching, emerging from a flat thicket of leaves that lay flat to the ground–in some cases partly under dirt–and vaguely resemble primrose or African violet, in that they’re fairly fleshy, veined, and the classic oval-pointed-at-one-end shape. The stems have no spines, but are hairy. Each flower head is bracketed by three heart-shaped leaves forming a little rosette. The flowers themselves are small pale purple sprays set into a head rather like a clover. Two or three of the flowers would pop out at a time, rather than the whole flower head blooming simultaneously. The flowers are very small, the plant about eighteen inches high.
I’ve scoured wildflower listings, and I am stumped. An ID would be greatly appreciated.
X-posted to gardening