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Poison Ivy

We can't say for sure, but it looks like poison ivy. Until we figure this out, please don't touch the plant. But if you could take another photo, showing whether the plant has groupings of 3 leaflets or 5 leaflets, that would help. The adage "leaves of 3, let it be" is important for poison ivy because it can be a clump, shrub or a woody vine. Found most everywhere, it adapts to sun or shade conditions, various soil types, as well as wet or dry environments and can have different leaf shapes. But usually when the plant is young, its stems are a light reddish-green and can be hairy or hairless. When the plant matures more, the stems become brown and woody. If it is growing in your garden as a volunteer, suggest you dig it out as a precaution and wear gloves in case it is poison ivy. Dispose in the trash, not a compost pile. You also have other weeds and ivies growing in there so it would be best to clear out the whole area and start over.

By | 2016-03-06T04:46:04-08:00 March 6th, 2016|Weeds|0 Comments

Curlycup Gumweed

Annual, biennial, native, to 3 feet tall, with 1 to several branched stems. Grows from a taproot, branching above. Starts growth in early spring, flowers July to August, reproduces from seeds.Leaves are gummy.

Favors dry areas, but grows on moist soils that lack other vegetation. It is most common in dry prairies, waste places, roadsides, railroads, depleted rangelands, and abandoned croplands. It often forms almost pure stands. It is found at elevations from 3,000 to 8,000 feet. Curlycup gumweed increases under drought conditions.Associated Species: Rubber rabbitbrush, big sagebrush, western wheatgrass, and associated roadside weeds.

Curlycup gumweed is unpalatable to cattle, sheep, and horses, though sheep will occasionally crop flower heads in the absence of other forage. Tannins, volatile oils, resins, bitter alkaloids, and glucosides give it an unpleasant taste. If curlycup gumweed is consumed, it may lead to poisoning due to the selenium the plant can accumulate. It is resistant to grazing and drought.

By | 2017-10-08T01:37:26-07:00 March 5th, 2016|Weeds|0 Comments

Poison Ivy

This may be poison ivy. The adage "leaves of 3, let it be" is important for poison ivy because it can be a shrub or a woody vine. Found most everywhere, it adapts to sun or shade conditions, various soil types, as well as wet or dry environments and can have different leaf shapes. When the plant is young, its stems are a light reddish-green to red and can be hairy or hairless. When the plant matures more, the stems become brown and woody. In the summer, the leaves tend to have a shiny coat, making it difficult to spray with a product to kill it. Also forms tiny flowers in the summer followed by berries. If it is growing in your garden , we suggest you dig it out and wear gloves. Dispose in the trash, not a compost pile, and do not burn as the toxins will become airborne.

If a small patch, pouring boiling water on them repeatedly can weaken them enough so you can defeat more of the plant, more quickly. (We do realize that hauling boiling water around can be a daunting proposition.)

By | 2016-03-03T12:53:48-08:00 March 3rd, 2016|Weeds|0 Comments

Buffalo Bur Or Kansas Thistle

uffalo bur, sometimes called Kansas thistle and prickly nightshade, is an taprooted annual weed. It bears long, yellow spines on stems, leaves, and flower heads and can grow up to 2 feet high. Drought resistant, its highest occurrence is in dry, exposed soil. The oblong leaves are 2-3 inches long with deep rounded lobes and are covered with very dense, stiff, and sharp spines. Bright yellow flowers can be seen in summer. In the fall, berries up to 3/8 inch in diameter are enclosed in the dried flower parts and are filled with black, wrinkled, flat pitted seeds. Control of this weedy plant is important as it is a host for the Colorado potato beetle. When mature, the main stem breaks near the ground and the plant rolls like a tumbleweed, widely scattering the 8500 seeds that each plant produces. Buffalo bur can be pulled when the soil is moist. Be sure to wear gloves to avoid injury from the spines.

By | 2016-03-03T12:45:14-08:00 March 3rd, 2016|Weeds|0 Comments

Japanese Stiltgrass

It looks like a Japanese stilt grass. Japanese stiltgrass was introduced into the United States in Tennessee around 1919 and likely escaped as a result of its use as a packing material for porcelain.
It is highly invasive. Organic methods aren't really viable for this plant. Spray with round-up or other herbicide. It will take a few treatments because new seedlings will continue to appear. You may want to spray the perimeter area as well to get any smaller seedlings. Seed can live as long as 30 years so it is important to kill all the seedlings you find.
Stiltgrass is currently established in 16 eastern states, from New York to Florida. It occurs on stream banks, river bluffs, floodplains, emergent and forested wetlands, moist woodlands, early successional fields, uplands, thickets, roadside ditches, and gas and power-line corridors. It can be found in full sun to deep shaded forest conditions and is associated with moist, rich soils that are acidic, neutral or basic and high in nitrogen.

By | 2017-09-11T15:49:22-07:00 March 3rd, 2016|Weeds|0 Comments

Willow Aster

We may have found your rock garden "thug." It looks similar to a native aster called Willow Aster or White Panicle Aster. Here's a link so you can compare your live plant to this image. You'll need to scroll down the page a little to find it - http://wildflowersofcolorado.com/html/pg__7_white.html

Asters, even hybrid, tame ones, can form large clumps and take over garden beds. Some varieties spread by root and seed. We can't find any scientific data on how yours spreads but based on your war with this weed, it's probably root and seed. You'll want to make sure they don't bloom and seed in your rock garden. In addition to hand pulling, if you have a large clump you could try using a broadleaf herbicide which kills the plant and root. Broadleaf herbicides, however, will kill anything with broad leaves so proceed with caution! Let us know if the picture doesn't match your plant by sending us another photo of it in the garden. We'll gladly try again!

By | 2017-09-11T15:49:22-07:00 February 28th, 2016|Weeds|0 Comments

Weed Or Wildflower

Unfortunately all of our advisors studied your photo and no one could identify it definitively for you. There is a fine line between a native wildflower/plant or an offspring of a cultivated plant and a weed. If it appeared suddenly amidst your cultivated plants, the chances are good that it is a weed/wildflower. There are many different weeds/wildflowers, but if it is not competing with your established plants, then leave it be if you like it. And if it is competing, then pull it out before it gets established, especially if the seed heads are allowed to mature and disperse. If you did not plant it, chances are good that it has been planted by the wind or a bird and will soon compete with your cultivated plants. Suggest you show your photo and some of the clippings to a local garden centre/botanical garden to see if they can identify further for you. If you do find out, please let us know as this is how we learn as well. The buds resemble a species of a dandelion, but the foliage does not so unfortunately we are stumped.

By | 2017-09-11T15:49:22-07:00 February 26th, 2016|Weeds|0 Comments

Buffalo Burr Or Kansas Thistle

Thorny Buffalo Bur, sometimes called Kansas thistle and prickly nightshade, is an taprooted annual weed. It bears long, yellow spines on stems, leaves, and flower heads and can grow up to 2 feet high. Drought resistant, its highest occurrence is in dry, exposed soil. The oblong leaves are 2-3 inches long with deep rounded lobes and are covered with very dense, stiff, and sharp spines. Bright yellow flowers can be seen in summer. In the fall, berries up to 3/8 inch in diameter are enclosed in the dried flower parts and are filled with black, wrinkled, flat pitted seeds. Control of this weedy plant is important as it is a host for the Colorado potato beetle. When mature, the main stem breaks near the ground and the plant rolls like a tumbleweed, widely scattering the 8500 seeds that each plant produces. Buffalo bur can be pulled when the soil is moist. Be sure to wear gloves to avoid injury from the spines.

By | 2016-02-21T17:16:51-08:00 February 21st, 2016|Weeds|0 Comments

Crabgrass

It's hard to tell from the picture, but the solution is the same regardless of the type of unwanted grass you have. You have several options. You can selectively remove the unwanted clumps and replace them with healthy sod, which in your case might be a big task. Or you can carefully spray the unwanted grass with an herbicide (see the link below before attempting), being cautious not to get overspray on desirable grass, remove it when it's dead and replant with sod or allow your lawn to fill in the bare areas. The other option would be to consult with a lawn care company in your area. They are often able to apply herbicides that remove unwanted grass types while at the same time applying fertilizer to the desired lawn to improve it's health so weeds and unwanted grasses can't invade. The key to keeping lawns weed free, which includes weedy grasses, is to adopt a lawn maintenance program. Healthy grass is much less likely to have unwelcome weeds and grasses.

By | 2016-02-18T21:50:57-08:00 February 18th, 2016|Weeds|0 Comments

Weed Or Wildflower

Unfortunately all of our advisors studied your photo and no one could identify it definitively for you. There is a fine line between a native wildflower/plant or an offspring of a cultivated plant and a weed. If it appeared suddenly amidst your cultivated plants, the chances are good that it is a weed/wildflower. There are many different weeds/wildflowers, but if it is not competing with your established plants, then leave it be if you like it. And if it is competing, then pull it out before it gets established, especially if the seed heads are allowed to mature and disperse. If you did not plant it, chances are good that it has been planted by the wind or a bird and will soon compete with your cultivated plants. Suggest you show your photo and some of the clippings to a local garden centre/botanical garden to see if they can identify further for you. If you do find out, please let us know as this is how we learn as well. Or wait until it flowers again, take another photo and we will try again for you.

By | 2017-09-11T15:49:24-07:00 February 17th, 2016|Weeds|0 Comments