It would be easy to call this "a weed" and be done with it, forget about it, and continue on with life.
In the short time I've been trying to study and learn herbs, though, one thing I've learned is that we people in general have been conditioned to call things weeds mostly because many of us do not otherwise know how to identify them, so we call them weeds. I'm estimating that there are conservatively hundreds of weeds that have been identified and for each of these, there may be several to dozens of separate names that people have come up with to call the same basic weed / herb... so this sort of helps to make it even more confusing. One good example I presently know of as a plant that was identified long ago, but for which many of us today still think of only as a weed is Plantain. For over40 years I recognized this one particular weed to the extent that over the years, I would see it and think "weed.... I've seen that weed before". It was only in the last 2 years that I've finally learned this one particular weed is also known as Plantain "ripple grass"; posssessing valuable herbal properties that can help remove certain kinds of infections and "blood poisoning" from the body.
The photo was taken about a month ago which was just about the time that winter was makign it's second exit for the year and spring returning in ernest. In that month's time, this weed has now grown to be about 4 feet tall and now has several quite healthy and virously growing main stalks (upright) each with many branches that have lots of leafy foliage. Those who don't know better may think it is now actually several plants, but it is one. It's close to having completely taken over a small section of flower garden in the front yard. The thing is, if I can better determine what this weed is, I can also better determine whether or not I should whack it, or let it live.
I've seen this particualr weed one time prior, about 3 years ago, while living in a different location, different yard, where that one also just sort of showed up one spring. When I first noticed it, I was doign yard work, and like a good little brainwashed yardworker, I whacked most of it away, but there was still a little stump left over with one or two branches still connected. By the end of the summer, the stump of this weed grew, and grew heavily. It grew so heavily that I sort of developed a new respect for it expecially given how I had tried fairly well to kill it, whatever it was.... more latent human progamming. By the end of that summer it had gotten to be the size of a small tree about 8 feet tall. This left me to wonder, how tall would it have gotten had I not harmed it so in the beginning?
Thing is, even though I don't know what it is, I'm pretty sure it's not really a tree... it just sorta kinda grows like a tree. With that one from 3 years ago, after I finally let it grow without further molesting it, when it got to be late fall I cut off one of the main stalks that had several leafy branches on it. Both the stalk and branches were like hollow tubes on the inside, and not of a woody substance like tree, but more like just normal green plant substance. After the first couple of hard frosts, it gradually turned yellow and mostly died up and shriveled away, leaving behind a few remnants.
Ideally, I would just love to find out that this plant has well known herbal / medicinal value.... I can dream, can't I.