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Look what I grew!
An occasional series highlighting items from home gardens
Corry Moolenaar holds a leaf from a mysterious, fast-growing plant beside her Flowery Branch home.

Some might call it a weed, and some might call it a unique specimen. (Our friends at the Hall County Extension office suggested it might be a cottonwood or an empress tree.) And while Corry Moolenaar of Flowery Branch doesn't know exactly what it is, she's had fun letting "it" grow about two stories high and marvel at its paper-like leaves, some more than 30 inches across.

What she grew: "Nobody has told me definitely what it is," Moolenaar said, adding that some people have called it a sourwood tree.

Why she decided to grow it: "I didn't plant it; last year, last summer, I thought it was a weed. That's what I call it," she said. "It's my weed. It kept on growing and growing, and this winter it completely disappeared. But then this spring it came up again."

Does it require any special care: "No ... I've just been watching it, because it's amazing to me."

How the plant will be used: "I told my friend last night I had to chop it down - it's too close to the house!"

Would she grow it again: "I don't know what I'm going to do," Moolenaar admitted. "It all depends if I have to take it out. After the drought, it never withered. I have never watered it. It must have roots deep under the house."

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