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Invasive Plant Accidently Spread

March 4, 2012

Florida Betony or Stachys Floridana

After my mother-in-law passed away a few years ago, we set to work cleaning up her flower beds and dividing the many bulbs that grow there. There was one, rather interesting looking bulb that we couldn’t identify. It looked much like a rattle snake tail. Well, we dug those beds, fluffed up the soil and added some mulch. We also brought some of those bulbs home with us along with a baby loropetalum that had sprouted off of the bushes in front of the house.Little did we know that we were creating perfect conditions in the country garden for an invasion. Now we also have an infestation in one of the raised beds in the Carolina Victory Garden as well.

According to the folks at Clemson University Co-operative Extension, this plant is part of the mint family so it spreads like crazy. It is a cool-season perennial and grows through a tuber, like the ones we couldn’t identify, that resemble a rattle snake’s tail. This stuff will take over both your flower beds and your lawn if not stopped. The Extension report has a whole list of suggestions for how to get rid of this stuff and so does the University of Georgia’s Extension office. Pretty much all of the remedies involve herbicides and this may be one of those times when I am cool with spraying liberally. I have never seen a plant take over so thoroughly! I’ve included a photo so that you can see what it looks like. If you click through, you can enlarge the photo. If you click through to either Clemson or U. of Georgia, you can access the reports they have posted on the subject. These reports include more photos of both the plant and the tubers.

Do you have this stuff in your yard? Have you been able to get rid of it? If so, how did you do it?

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4 Comments leave one →
  1. March 4, 2012 4:34 pm

    Wow, just read what Clemson had to say about it. You have your hands full trying to keep up with this weed. Guess I would start with digging up the roots…ugh! Good luck.

    • Lauren permalink*
      March 4, 2012 8:29 pm

      Janet, I hope things are well in your neck of the woods.

      All I can think is I must have replanted the tubers thinking they were one of the flowers. When I arrived at the country garden about 3 weeks ago the stuff was everywhere. In the grass, into the middle of the azaleas, even in the north facing beds with the hydrangeas. I took a photo of it when I went to the Botanical Garden to meet Lisa and she is the one that gave me the bad news.
      We can dig up some of it after the bulbs bloom, but not the entire yard!

  2. March 18, 2012 12:37 am

    I noticed a couple of weeks ago that it’s invaded the upper reaches of the ‘garden’ area beyond the Duck Pond. Yikes. I’d not seen it there before. Along with the winter hardy arum that spreading, too!

    Lisa

    • Lauren permalink*
      March 19, 2012 7:37 am

      What was the other invasive you showed me when I visited? The one with the purple flowers? My neighbor has that one all over his yard.

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