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Re: Fw: Unwanted plant in yard


I'm glad to have a name for that pest. I have let it get established everywhere due to my laxity in weeding. After reading about its being related to Cosmos I realize how similar their seeds are. I can tell you the plants are very difficult to extricate once they've gotten big.
zem
zone 7
West TN
----- Original Message ----- From: "pdickson" <pdickson@sbcglobal.net>
To: <gardenchat@hort.net>
Sent: Saturday, November 11, 2006 2:31 PM
Subject: [CHAT] Fw: Unwanted plant in yard


Re: Unwanted plant in yardI wanted to share this info on what might be the
unidentified weed... this is the weed that I was thinking it might have been.
I have had it and thought it was a cosmos and regretted not pulling it up.
Tricia

I believe this weed is Bidens bipinnata. It originated in Europe and Eurasia
and has spread over the world as a cosmopolitan weed. It has many common
names, two of which are Spanish Blackjack and Spanish Needles. For photos of
this plant, see <http://plants.usda.gov/java/profile?symbol=BIBI7>. One of the
photos shows the mature seed heads, another the ferny leaves. It is important
to pull up these weeds before they seed. Once they form seeds you will have a
major problem in your yard. They tend to grow best in disturbed soil, but if
they seed you may find them anywhere in your yard. If you brush against a seed
head you will spend a significant amount of time removing them from your
clothes. The plant is a member of the cosmos plant family and has some similar
characteristics but its blooms are not attractive.


I found a plant that was about three feet high growing behind my back fence
one summer. After pulling it up and throwing it away, I spent about 30 minutes
pulling the needle-like seeds out of my hair, socks, jeans, and shirt. They
were everywhere. Never again. I try to get them when they are just 6-10 inches
high. They pull up easily. If seeds have formed on a plant try to surround it
with a plastic bag before pulling it up and disposing of it in the dumpster.
Because these weeds are broadleaf plants, you could squirt a bunch of very
young plants with some 2,4D. Once the weeds are showing flowers, I would pull
them up to prevent seeds from forming before a herbicide worked. Commercial
lawn treatment would prevent them from coming up in the spring. However, any
disturbed soil will be susceptible to seeds as the summer progresses.


Tricia, thanks for the leaf photo site for weeds. A site that has a fairly
comprehensive listing and description of weeds (but no photos) can be found at
<http://www.gardeningeden.co.za/gardening-weeds.html>.

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