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The Red Weed and Parson Nathaniel


 
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jmb
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PostPosted: Mon Apr 26, 2010 11:35 pm    Post subject: The Red Weed and Parson Nathaniel Reply with quote

I've come to think of this annoyance as the Red Weed from The War Of The Worlds. It's everywhere in our garden, and seem to have designs on the rest of the world, but I've been unable to identify it. It doesn't seem to match anything else I've been able to find people complaining about, and I just checked through the rest of the postings here too.

It's noticeable by its reddish stalks, and runners which very quickly spread it to new areas. The leaves are rosulate in 5s, serrate, arcuate I think, and probably other morphology words I can't remember. Fine hairs both sides. Up to a couple of inches long.

I've added a few pictures below of the leaf cluster, the stalk, and a section of plant showing the runners striking out over a moss-covered concrete area. I'd be grateful if someone could help me find out what this is. Does it qualify as "invasive"?

Thinking now (if I may conflate my sci-fi themes across many years) of lifting off and nuking it from orbit.



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Last edited by jmb on Tue Apr 27, 2010 12:50 am; edited 1 time in total
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ormondsview
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 27, 2010 12:23 am    Post subject: looks like potentila Reply with quote

http://spam.edu/weeds/weed.asp?potentilla
Here's the pic from a weed site with images. It has shallow roots so shouldn't be too hard to rip up.
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jmb
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 27, 2010 12:57 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks! I think it's a different variety to that one, but I've just done a little reading and apparently there are about 500 so possibly no surprise.

It does seem to be easy enough to rip up individual plants (if the whole garden isn't by now a single individual!) but it keeps coming back - hence I'm wondering if it's one of those where a tiny bit of broken root can quickly regrow. Also, while ripping up works when you can get at the base of the plant, it's harder to do when it's running riot all through the garden, which I think had little attention from the previous residents.


Last edited by jmb on Tue Apr 27, 2010 1:10 am; edited 1 time in total
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jmb
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 27, 2010 1:00 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

(I didn't mention the Convolvulus, but that has plenty of irate coverage here and elsewhere!)
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kindredspirit
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 27, 2010 6:10 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

We have that in our garden as well.

It even comes up through the newspaper, which I laid down under an inch of compost as a weed suppressant.

I've never done botany but is it related to the strawberry plant?

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walltoall
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 27, 2010 7:44 am    Post subject: potentilla cinquefoil and roses all the way Reply with quote

Yup! The potentilla IS related to strawberry and both devolve from the rose family! Potentillas are "cinquefoil" FIVE leaves, generally elongated and with teeth all round and generally yellow flowers. Wild Strawberry (fragalia) has three round leaves (trefoil), white flowers which produce fruits.

A single plant of potentilla is capable of producing 30,000 seeds in a season and it can operate as an annual, a bienniel or a perennial! It is indicative of chalky (and poor) soil. So I('d suspect you have no nettles in your garden?

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jmb
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 27, 2010 9:22 am    Post subject: Re: potentilla cinquefoil and roses all the way Reply with quote

walltoall wrote:
It is indicative of chalky (and poor) soil. So I('d suspect you have no nettles in your garden?

I don't know about chalky soil, there seems to be quite a bit of heavy clay, and we have outright forests of nettles. We're on a farm here and have been told by the owner's mother (a keen gardener) that the soil is wonderfully fertile and everything grows like mad.

Maybe that means everywhere but our patch of garden.

And yes, the first time I saw the leaves and runners (is the word "stolons"?) I thought wow, rampant strawberries, going straight out for some cream now - but sadly not.

I don't think we've ever seen any yellow flowers on them, though.
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kindredspirit
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 27, 2010 2:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

My three main weeds are "The Red Weed", nettles and creeping buttercup (the one with the little white bulbs under the ground.) All growing in our heavy yellow clay.

The worst BY FAR is that creeping yellow buttercup. It hides under the flags in our front garden and then when I'm not looking, it pops its leaves out. It even grew rapidly under the snow when we had the cold spell. Other plants died but creeping buttercup thrived! Evil or Very Mad

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PostPosted: Tue Apr 27, 2010 9:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hiya Kindred Give the creeping buttercup a small taste of roundup from time to time and damn dem that wants to save the earth. But use a tiny spray or even a brush so as not to do damage to anything else.

JMB: You then got the best fed potentillas in Munster. They will grow anywhere as they are pure opportunists but if growing on their OWN it's usually bercause of poor ground. Love your avatar BTW

Heavy clay can actually be very nutritious. I have London Clay and it will grow just about anything. Don't try to dig it though!

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