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What kind of invasive weed is this?  RSS feed

 
Posts: 13
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This weed is highly invasive, and I haven't been able to identify it online. Hopefully, ya'll can help.  Its growing in my orchard with mostly peat soil, and it's very nutritious soil. It has broad leaves, hairy stem, red stolons, and a deep thick taproot. The only way I can pull it is to drive a shovel through the root. It easily bent my garden trowel.

I'm hoping that its beneficial, like a dynamic accumulator. I live in San Diego, and this property hasn't had any chemicals out on it in a very long time.

Thanks for the help.
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garden master
Posts: 806
Location: Officially Zone 7b, according to personal obsevations I live in 7a, SW Tennessee
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The vein structure reminds me of yellow and curly dock. The leaf shape is wrong. Perhaps it is another dock? Something else in the Rumex family?
 
gardener
Posts: 1462
Location: Ladakh, Indian Himalayas at 10,500 feet, zone 5
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Yes, the little one in the upper right hand corner of the top picture looks just like the dock or rumex that grows here. But maybe a lot of things do, and San Diego is a very different climate than any that I've ever lived in, so I wouldn't know. Docks tend to be edible, but some are too high in oxalic acid so they are no so good to eat. Check if there's a native plant website for your region.

Regardless of what it is, if it were mine and I wanted to get rid of it, I'd try two different tactics.

If it is a space that you can leave unused for a while, it might be helpful to lay down several layers of plain cardboard or paper, with a pile of woodchips or similar on top, and water it from time to time. If the pile of woodchips is deep enough, you don't even need the layer of cardboard or paper, but you just want to be sure those plants can't shoot up through the mulch. After a few months, the plants would lose strength, and the soil would get soft, so you could dig it out getting most or all of the root. And you'd have lovely soil, then, too.

If it's too close too other stuff or you can't spare the area for a pile for months, then consider chopping it frequently and using it for mulch around other plants, never letting it go to seed. It would lose strength, though the taproot might remain firmly in the ground, so it wouldn't be a final solution. In this case you could consider it a "dynamic accumulator" whose taproot is bringing up nutrients from the deep soil and allowing you to provide the nutrients to other plants as mulch.

I planted French sorrel (a Rumex) last year, after reading how it is so hardy, and the earliest green, and a nice sour lemony taste, etc etc. Turns out I really don't like it, and now I want to get rid of it. So I'll be doing one of those tactics myself, too!
 
gardener
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Location: Morongo Valley
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Funny!  It’s not what I would call an invasive weed, though I can see why you would think so do to the vigor and runners. It’s a native plant to the SW, especially California.  I’m pretty sure that is Yerba mansa, Anemopsis californica.

Here’s a pdf on it: Yerba Mansa

It's a medicinal plant, native to the west coast, and is considered a "to watch" medicinal plant in it's native habitat by United Plant Savers.  It grows in moist areas, and many of the regions it is native to are now heavily polluted and should not be harvested from.

Here's a pic showing the pink runners, and flowers.



And here's an article about people who are trying to cultivate it in New Mexico as a commercial herbal: ABC News article "Yerba mansa 'calming herb' may be next echinacea"

And here is a page with a nice rundown of it's medicinal uses: Mother McCaul's Herbals Yerba Mansa

Have you seen it flower?  They are just starting here in Morongo Valley, near Joshua Tree.


 
Byron Bacon
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That's it! Thank you so much. It looks lush and beneficial. The reason I call it invasive is because of it's insane growth rate. It's also very hard to pull up. Knowing that there's medicinal qualities will help a lot. Now I can harvest it, instead of putting it straight in the compost bin.

Permies always pull through for me, and I'm very appreciative.
 
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