Thursday, March 20, 2008

A case of gout.

(Weed, that is.)

Goutweed, Aegopodium podagraria, is the latest vile thing to invade my garden. It's also known as bishop's-weed (which seems for some reason creepy), and snow-on-the-mountain (which is too nice a name). It is a herbaceous perennial plant, another devious Eurasian carrot-thing (Apiaceae), like this one:

Giant hogweed, very devious Eurasian carrot. ( Thoroughly, and literally, irritating.)

As a herbaceous perennial, goutweed dies away to its roots in the fall, then re-emerges in spring. But it cheats. It wakes up while native perennials sleep the regulation time. Goutweed ignores local custom, is a crass, botanical door-crasher

Goutweed sprouting, overrunning garden and lawn while more respectable perennials snooze the recommended 5 months.

I don’t know how it got into my yard. Perhaps, rat-like, it rhizomed its way under the fence from a neighbour's garden. Or maybe a shard of root was intertwined among the roots of one of my legitimate perennials --which one, I cannot say. It has been smothered.

The only solution to completely rid my yard of this pest is to dig it ALL out. Roundup also will kill it, but will kill everything else too. Plus, it’s Roundup.

No matter what I do on this side of the fence, like the rats, goutweed will linger on the other side, and when the soil is free and clear, return.


pookie said...

Roundup. That stuff is evil. After cutting down trees and pouring cement over a large percentage of our mountain cabin property, my father used to spray Roundup on anything living that managed to survive the cement onslaught. aack.

A few days ago, I drove the few hours it takes to get to the nearest decent-sized town to do some shopping. Was looking at hatchets, as I wanted to hack away at the gorse here. The guys at the hardware store just shook their heads and said that unless you pull it up by its extensive root system, you're lost. They both said, in their Kiwi accent, "Roundup." I bought the hatchet.

BerryBird said...

I have that same problem with garlic mustard in my garden. I pull it out, but it always comes back. The woods out back are just full of it.

J Short said...

I feel so bad for you and your garden problem. I really don't have anything personally to compare it to as I don't do any gardening, but I know that I'm the one responsible for ridding our backyard of poison Ivy every summer which is something I never look forward to but something that always seems to need doing every summer. Best of luck to you to get rid of your weeds (even though those little white flowers look kinda lovely to an untrained eye)

Hugh said...

BerryBird - I looked up Garlic mustard. The pictures of infestations look very similar to the spread of goutweed --and as daunting.

J Short - Thanks. Yes, at least our weed isn't toxic. And it is somewhat pretty, is here because people wanted it in their gardens...but then things got out of hand. The way of weeds.