Invasives: Goutweed

Discussion in 'Plants: Conservation' started by Shuswap Kathy, Apr 5, 2008.

  1. Shuswap Kathy

    Shuswap Kathy Member

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    I am fighting an ongoing battle with goutweed in my garden -- by digging. How can I get rid of it when it has invaded perennials that I really don't want to lose? (At this time it is sprouting amongst the mature peonies and hostas.
     
  2. Robert Flogaus-Faust

    Robert Flogaus-Faust Active Member 10 Years

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    Goutweed is really tough to get rid of because of its rhizomes. I know this weed from my father's garden. He usually plucks off all the leaves and stems of the goutweed plants that he cannot dig up and he does it as soon as possible. After a while the goutweed will become weaker and weaker and eventually die. But it is a lot of work.
     
  3. dawnh

    dawnh Member

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    I'm attaching a .pdf file from the Plant Conservation Alliance's Alien Plant Working Group. It's a factsheet on goutweed that thoroughly describes the plant, its biology and management options. If for some reason, you can't open the file, you can find it on the web at www.nps.gov/plants/ALIEN/fact/pdf/aepo1.pdf
    Best of luck!
    Dawn
     

    Attached Files:

  4. Michael F

    Michael F Paragon of Plants Forums Moderator 10 Years

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    If it is any consolation, you can eat the young leaves (provided you haven't put weedkiller on them!)
     
  5. Shuswap Kathy

    Shuswap Kathy Member

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    Thanks everybody -- I guess I will have to continue with my digging and leaf-pulling strategies as I do find that it does weaken the plants and eventually there are fewer of them to deal with -- just seeing all those little leaves coming up in the perennials at this time of the year did make me wonder if there was another way of handling it. Hmm-m-m goutweed salad for supper . . .
     
  6. Buddleia

    Buddleia Active Member 10 Years

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    Superstore was selling this stuff in their garden centres, can you believe it???? I looked at the pots in horror. I then imagined someone not knowing any better bringing home the cute little plant with variegated foliage and then the next thing you know the entire street has it.
     
  7. kaspian

    kaspian Active Member 10 Years

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    The variegated forms are supposed to be not so aggressive. But over time, from what I've seen, they can apparently either revert to the wild type or produce viable seed which has the same effect.

    Seriously this is THE most pernicious weed here in Maine, if you happen to get it. I've heard of people -- serious vegetable gardeners -- who give up and sell their house in despair.
     
  8. bjo

    bjo Active Member 10 Years

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    I had greatest success by spot treating with glyphosate "roundup" amongst my perennials. As I remember two treatments were sufficient. Certainly repeat leaf picking did weaken and eventually kill the plant, but if I missed one leaf hidden amongst the other plants it put the whole process back.

    You cook the leaves just like spinach. Again as I remember it has an "interesting" taste - not at all like spinach - but probably not one you'd get addicted to.

    GOOD LUCK !!
    BrianO
     
  9. Buddleia

    Buddleia Active Member 10 Years

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    My last house had variegated goutweed in the garden FROM THE NEIGHBOURS PROPERTY. He asked that I try to get rid of it but it didn't respond well to several Round Up applications. I moved LOL
     
  10. Shuswap Kathy

    Shuswap Kathy Member

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    Well, I have reduced considerably the goutweed in many of the perennials -- through constant pulling of roots I can get at and removing leaves when that's the best I can do. I know it is still there but at least it gives me the illusion of no goutweed for a while :) It is now in bloom, of course, and I am picking the flowers to add to bouquets in hopes of also reducing the number of seeds that get scattered around to start even more of the dastardly plants. Now, about the comfrey that I can't get rid of . . .
     
  11. karma

    karma Member

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    i've seen invasive species being sold in a garden centre and a couple of grocery stores (Extra Foods and if you can believe it, Whole Foods!). i'd encourage anyone seeing invasive species being sold to follow up with an email or phone call to the manager or head office.

    with goutweed specifically, i was shocked to hear from a master gardener who coordinates a community garden here that she was intending to keep one invasive species (periwinkle) because she thought it helped control goutweed. the periwinkle was beginning to trail from a pot nowhere near the goutweed. i think all invasive species should be removed. i'm wondering what others think.
     
  12. woodschmoe

    woodschmoe Active Member 10 Years

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    Last edited: Apr 21, 2010
  13. dawnh

    dawnh Member

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    When I read misinformation put out by internet loons like "J.L. Hudson, Seedsman", I do not know whether to laugh or cry. I hope that thinking people who read his diatribe have the sense to look at his claims and ask critical questions, such as where is his evidence that invasive species have no impacts on biological diversity?

    For a much more considered and sane perspective on the subject of invasive species, take a look at any book by Dr. Edward O. Wilson, a man who understands the concept of biodiversity possibly better than anyone on the planet. Or look at things from the perspective of entomologist Dr. Douglas Tallamy in his highly readable book: "Bringing Nature Home: How Native Plants Sustain Wildlife in our Gardens."
     
  14. karma

    karma Member

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    I'd have to agree that the referred Hudson link is quite uninformed, and dangerous. I'm guess I'm naive to still be shocked by people preaching ignorantly about subjects they're not familiar with (I'm assuming he also thinks climate change claims are fraudulent). Invasive species are recognized as the 2nd largest threat to biodiversity. And unlike Hudson's view, invasive species can threaten native species east of the Atlantic too. (Yes, humans of European descent moved and displaced native North Americans. Because we recognize invasive species are a threat doesn't correlate to human entitlement.)

    There is a worrisome decline in amphibian species due to invasive species (e.g., in BC's lower mainland bullfrogs and green frogs), fungal disease, and habitat loss. This is not natural selection or Hudson's "prehistoric indigenous species arguement", it's human manipulation of natural processes resulting in problems that grow out of control.
     

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