Virginia Buttonweed?


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Hello!

Can I seek your help in ID’ing this plant? It’s been growing in a giant 3D looking lump/cluster in the corner. It blooms white and pink flowers.

I used one of those plant ID apps which identified it as a Virginia Buttonweed plant? Can someone please confirm? If so, is it invasive or harmful for the garden?

Whilst we’re on the topic of weeds, can someone explain what is a weed technically? And should we be getting rid of weeds in our garden? I looked at my local government’s website which provides a list of the weeds in our local area. Some of them of which are actually quite beautiful. https://sydneyweeds.org.au/impacts-of-weeds/weed-identification/
It website says that weeds are harmful to our ecosystem. Is this true and does it apply to all weeds?
 

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I'm not seeing the angled stems or opposite leaves of Virginia Buttonweed (Diodia virginiana, Rubiaceae), but I want a better look.
If possible, could you post a tighter, close-up photo, and of course, a pic of the flowers would be ideal.
 
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I'm not seeing the angled stems or opposite leaves of Virginia Buttonweed (Diodia virginiana, Rubiaceae), but I want a better look.
If possible, could you post a tighter, close-up photo, and of course, a pic of the flowers would be ideal.
I’ve attached some close-ups. The flowers haven’t fully bloomed yet, however small flower buds have appeared. My memory was wrong, they’re actually more purple coloured.

To provide some further context, we had a staghorn fern which was attached to an oak tree. The staghorn fern subsequently died and this plant started growing in its place, and the cluster eventually fell off the oak tree, so we left it in the corner of the garden to do its thing, since we didn’t really know what it was. Hope this helps.

Thank you again!
 

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Ah yes, you have a lovely orchid there. It looks like the Australian native, Dendrobium kingianum, or something quite similar. It is native to parts of Queensland and New South Wales. I do hope you keep it. Also, be sure to smell the flowers. The one I grew had flowers that smelled like strong honey.

As to your earlier question, the modern definition of a weed is simply a plant growing where somebody doesn't want it, a subjective determination to say the least. Governments and others may declare a plant an 'official' weed due to various agricultural and ecological concerns.
 
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Ah yes, you have a lovely orchid there. It looks like the Australian native, Dendrobium kingianum, or something quite similar. It is native to parts of Queensland and New South Wales. I do hope you keep it. Also, be sure to smell the flowers. The one I grew had flowers that smelled like strong honey.

As to your earlier question, the modern definition of a weed is simply a plant growing where somebody doesn't want it, a subjective determination to say the least. Governments and others may declare a plant an 'official' weed due to various agricultural and ecological concerns.
Thank you Marck! I’m glad I asked on here to confirm. I actually thought it was a virginia buttonweed.

Do you know this orchid is ordinarily grown and cares for? It’s definitely been neglected so far too many years, but somehow has managed to survive.

Thanks for clarifying re: the my second question. Australia is a quite strict with protecting its agricultural, everything seems to be a danger!
 
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In cultivation Dendrobium kingianum is a robust and easy-care orchid, and obviously you've grown an excellent specimen without even trying. Continue on with what have or have not been doing. It basically wants full sun or bright indirect light and excellent drainage.
I understand that it grows natively as far south as the Newcastle area, but unsurprisingly it is also well-adapted in Sydney.
 
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In cultivation Dendrobium kingianum is a robust and easy-care orchid, and obviously you've grown an excellent specimen without even trying. Continue on with what have or have not been doing. It basically wants full sun or bright indirect light and excellent drainage.
I understand that it grows natively as far south as the Newcastle area, but unsurprisingly it is also well-adapted in Sydney.
Thanks Marck! I was surprised to hear that it was an orchid, especially considering it was literally left neglected and it survive on its own.

Sydney is only 2 hours drive directly south from Newcastle along the coast. Our climate and day to day weather is pretty much identical. The climate changes a little once you go further south past Sydney.

Would you recommend I giving my orchid a bit of a prune or trim at all?
 
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I would only clip off completely dead stems, if any. If you wanted to propagate it, you could divide a section off and pot it up in orchid bark or rock.
 

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