Mystery Plant – Help Please!

unidentified plant-showing close-up-of-seed-dead
If anyone can help me to identify this plant, I’d be very grateful. From a distance, it appears to be purplish flower bracts on a plant with heath-like leaves. On closer inspection it seems to be a seed head.

A couple of weeks ago, I came across a mystery plant which I had not noticed before. As I often do, I took a couple of quick snapshots to take inside to identify the plant.  Once I have identified a plant, I then go out and take more photographs if it is an interesting species.  However, this time I have searched through the web and field guides in vain. I can’t see anything that is remotely like it.

From a distance, the plant appears to be a small herb, with long upright flower-heads in shades of reddish-purple.  When I say long, I mean about 10 to 15 cm flower heads with leafy stems about 20 cm high.  The entire plant came almost to my knee in height.  Returning for the Macro lens to get a better view, I was surprised to find that the ‘flower heads’ seemed to be more like seed heads.

close-up -of-unidentified-seed-head.
Is this a weed? I would really like to know.

I’m guessing this plant is an exotic (weed) and if so I would like to pull it out.  Any help you can provide in identifying this plant will be gratefully accepted.   Here are a few more photographs to give different views of the seed heads/bracts and leaves.

A view of the top of the seed head/bract
In this photograph it is possible to see how the seed head resembles a flower.
the colour of the seeds/bracts can be seen in this shot.


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