30 June 2010

Snow on the Mountain aka Goutweed

Be it ever so lovely in its ability to grow virtually anywhere, be careful when selecting its site!  Goutweed (Aegopodium podagraria Variegatum) has many names:  Bishop's Weed, Goat's Foot, Snow on the Mountain.  It is a great plant for the cottage in a site where nothing will grow, ie under a spruce, or another such site if contained within a barrier but NOT for the generic flowerbed. 

Today I was at one of the Edmonton Light Rail Transit (LRT) stations and noticed the mistake of one who should have known better.  I assume a city employee was instructed to plant there!  I should hope it wasn't a rogue gardener!  At any rate it is growing everywhere, including in the junipers! 

Rather attractive in a pot in the store with light green and cream variegated leaves and creamy clusters of flowers held up above the foliage on thin long stems, the innocent gardener may be fooled.  It is enticing in its ability to grow in sun or shade, dry or moist conditions, regardless of the Ph.  But beware!  Goutweed has its purposes but I recommend strongly that you create a very deep border/barrier to prevent spread beyond the selected location.

I feel for the poor soul who is assigned the task of eliminating this "weed" from the LRT station grounds or for the gardener who was drawn in by its virtues.  Don't try to pull out this one!  Digging it out, using the "smother" method (wherein you cover completely with thick black plastic to cook it out or old carpet), or Roundup seem to be the only methods that have proven effective in eliminating this plant.  When digging, dig down, lift the runner roots completely, and remove.  If root is left, it will regrow.  Remove flowers as they will seed themselves too.

9 comments:

The Weaver of Grass said...

I wish it would invade my garden!

Thanks for visiting - sorry about the Noma link it seems to have disappeared. If you are interested then Google Noma the disease of Africa.

Do pop over and see me again.

albertaperennialtrials said...

Shirley,
I too have fought with goutweed in my early gardening years. I finally resorted to Roundup to get rid of it, which is something I am loath to do.
In the perennial trials we have a plant called Peucedanum ostruthis 'Daphnis', or peuce masterwort, which is a possible replacement for goutweed. It looks similar, but does not appear to be at all invasive. It grows in shady spots, but burns in too much sun. So far it has survived two winters in the trials and is healthy and vigorous (just not nearly as vigorous as goutweed!).
Ann

albertaperennialtrials said...

Shirley,
I too have fought with goutweed in my early gardening years. I finally resorted to Roundup to get rid of it, which is something I am loath to do.
In the perennial trials we have a plant called Peucedanum ostruthis 'Daphnis', or peuce masterwort, which is a possible replacement for goutweed. It looks similar, but does not appear to be at all invasive. It grows in shady spots, but burns in too much sun. So far it has survived two winters in the trials and is healthy and vigorous (just not nearly as vigorous as goutweed!).
Ann

Shirley said...

Ann,

Welcome and thank you for your comments! It is good to know of your success with peuce masterwort in the trial gardens. Can you think of another plant with similar virtues that will grow in the sun under similar conditions?

Shirley

Shirley said...

Welcome Weaver!! I enjoy your site and visit frequently! Come back soon!

Shirley said...

Thank you to my wonderful husband for the photo!

BT said...

Wow, what an invasive little thing it is! Quite attractive in the right place I'm sure. It's so easy to make those sort of mistakes and garden centres even sell invasive plants at times if they look pretty in the pot.

Thanks for visiting my blog. Re the hanging baskets. Just ordinary potting compost and this year they are planted with hessian as a base - it seems to work well. Also, I have put an empty plant pot in the centre which makes watering easier and it gets to the bottom of the basket quicker. I'm sure that's helped. I always used to overfill my baskets but this time have tried to limit the plants and it's given them room to grow to their full potential. I hope that helps. We have also had a very sunny Summer this year - rare in Ireland!

Shirley said...

Thank you for following up on my question BT! Excellent idea with the empty plant pot in the center.

Shirley said...

Upon going for my evening walk, I checked out my neighbors front garden, recently made over. I was dismayed to see she used Goutweed mixed in one bed with Heuchera and juniper. I think she will be sorry for that addition. Should I tell her?

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