Somehow I thought I had nettles growing my raspberry bed, so I let them go thinking I could eat some nettle soup next year.
I realized belatedly that they were not even remotely that. Next I hoped they were cardoons so I could eat the labor intensive blanched stems. But as they bloomed they really did not look cardoonish.
After some research I think they are some knapweed or starthistle. The foliage seems to be unlike most of the varieties I can find online, but it is pretty close. Turns out some of this species can stunt the growth of nearby plants, which is the last thing our poor stunted raspberries need.
I was going to let them grow anyway, but I remember that three years ago I not only let the sweet pea vines go to seed, but may have strewn them about a bit. The result is that they are thriving everywhere, including places that never get water. I pulled as many as I could find last year, but I still have more this year, I thought these were annuals? Maybe I am still being punished from seeds from three years back? As a non-fragrant variety with pea like pods that are inedible and seem to be able to outcompete the roses and raspberries, I really wish I had not let them go.
effin sweet pea vines everywhere
So in conclusion, I don't know what they were, but I kilt the hell out of em. I hope. I did save the seeding heads in a plastic bag in case I want them later. Seems like they are infested with larvae of some sort, little reddish wiggling thingies all over the bag.