All Things Gardening forum: Chalara fraxinea fungus and Hydrocotyle ranunculoides (Floating Pennywort)

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Name: Neil
London\Kent Border
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NEILMUIR1
Nov 23, 2012 4:58 PM CST
There is growing concern all over the UK about Ash die-back disease caused by the Chalara fraxinea fungus. Denmark has lost 90% of its Ash trees very quickly due to this fungus! Like Dutch Elm disease it has now hit the UK from imported saplings to a Scottish nursery, some 200,000. These were planted in Scotland and Northern Ireland and it has been confirmed to infected parts of East Anglia already.
It does not kill all the Ash trees and the hope is the miracle tress as they are called can give seed that saplings can be grown from that are immune from the disease.
This is terrible news for forestry and the environment, let alone gardens with specimen Ash trees in.
Then another problem we have is a north American plant called Floating pennywort or Hydrocotyle ranunculoides
This is clogging our waterways and killing our fish stocks off. So far it is costing £25 million a year for some of its removal, a lot is being done by volunteers as well. It is a nightmare.
Regards.
Neil.
p.s. This is a river and is clogged. Animals are dying in it as they think it is solid, and it is not!
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Name: Greg Colucci
Seattle WA (Zone 8b)
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gg5
Nov 23, 2012 7:15 PM CST
Hi Neil, Hydrocotyle ranunculoides is a huge problem in the US too, many lakes have signs asking for boaters to check their boats for the plant so it doesn't get spread to other lakes Sad
The Ash disease sounds really bad...I remember the American Elm disease (from Detroit MI, we lost so many trees in just a couple of years, streets that had a lovely canapy before hand, never looked the same afterwards!)
Take care,
Cheers
Plants bring me peace and calm, more of what we all need Smiling
Name: Lynn
Dallas, OR (Zone 8b)
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valleylynn
Nov 23, 2012 7:25 PM CST
Neil that is very disturbing news.

Greg, I didn't know that we have Hydrocotyle ranunculoides (Floating Pennyroyal) here in the United States. Where has it started invading?
Name: Greg Colucci
Seattle WA (Zone 8b)
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gg5
Nov 23, 2012 8:12 PM CST
Lynn, you're right I was getting this mixed up with Myriophyllum (watermilfoil)...
Hydrocotyle ranunculoides is from N and S America, its not an invasive species here though, according to the USDA list of invasive species. Sticking tongue out
Plants bring me peace and calm, more of what we all need Smiling
Name: Lynn
Dallas, OR (Zone 8b)
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valleylynn
Nov 23, 2012 8:28 PM CST
Whew, I thought, 'Not another invasive water pant.' Thumbs up
Name: Greg Colucci
Seattle WA (Zone 8b)
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gg5
Nov 23, 2012 8:59 PM CST
*Blush*
Plants bring me peace and calm, more of what we all need Smiling
Name: Lynn
Dallas, OR (Zone 8b)
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valleylynn
Nov 23, 2012 9:47 PM CST
Rolling on the floor laughing No need for blushing Greg. Group hug
Name: Neil
London\Kent Border
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NEILMUIR1
Nov 24, 2012 4:55 AM CST
Dear Lynn, the pennyroyal is an endangered species in America. For some reason it likes our very clean water ways, and mild but damp weather, not that it is bothered about damp as it is a water plant. Rolling on the floor laughing
It takes the oxygen out of the water and completely clogs up even large rivers, to the point that even small fish cannot get through. There have been a lot of animal deaths already due to it, as it looks solid, and of course the Authorities are worried that in the spring they do not want human and especially children fatalities due to it. As children would try to cross over it not knowing there is in fact a stagnant river underneath it.
The reason I put it on for you is because in Yorkshire where we have lots of wild Semp. colonies in the dry stone walls, by clogging the rivers this pennyroyal has damaged whole ecosystems. The small streams that bring nutrients down from the mountains and pure water are getting clogged up with this pest, the small rivers and streams are like the main arteries to where the Semp. and our carnivorous plant stands are. Cut the arteries off and these wild plant areas are in danger.
All this because someone thought they would get someone to send them a bit of this dre4adful plant so he could have it as an ornamental plant in his pond. What an idiot, don't play god with nature, it bites back.
Hope you all are recovering after Thanksgiving Day?
Kindest regards to all from a wet England.
Neil.

Name: Lynn
Dallas, OR (Zone 8b)
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valleylynn
Nov 24, 2012 9:29 AM CST
This is such an important topic Neil. You are correct in wanting us all to think twice before adding a new plant species to our gardens. Just like Kudzu was brought to the U.S. as a source for feeding cattle. Huge sections of some southern states have been consumed by it. Sad
Name: Greg Colucci
Seattle WA (Zone 8b)
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gg5
Nov 24, 2012 10:36 AM CST
I agree
Throughout the years of living in the NW states I've considered bringing wild asclepias (milkweed) whenever I've traveled back east, but since arriving in Seattle I've heard stories about the "broom" that was brought over in the early 20th century and now is all along the western North American coast, even down into Mexico, so I never brought any...its easy to want a plant from home/travels, in your yard or pond, I don't blame anyone, it is very important though to think about what that plant may do in its new environment. I am sorry to read this story, especially when so many species are effected.
Cheers
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Name: Sharon
Calvert City, KY (Zone 7a)
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Sharon
Nov 24, 2012 11:57 AM CST
Hydrocotyle ranunculoides is commonly known as floating pennywort, not pennyroyal, I think. I need to check that out but to my knowledge Pennyroyal is an herb in the mint family, Lamiaceae.

I might be mistaken about this, but I have never heard of floating pennyroyal, which only means I'm in the dark, not you.

It sounds like a real problem, Neil, and we have too many water problems already. And just as Lynn said, kudzu is taking over where natives used to be here in my state too.
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Name: Lynn
Dallas, OR (Zone 8b)
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valleylynn
Nov 24, 2012 1:39 PM CST
You are correct Sharon. I mailed Trish and asked her to change the name in the Thread Title. Thumbs up
Name: Neil
London\Kent Border
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NEILMUIR1
Nov 24, 2012 3:08 PM CST
Thanks Sharon, and I saw all about this on a BBC program at first and they called it pennyroyal! I have looked at countless newspaper Articles and on the web about it and they call it that as well. That is the problem with common names.
Pennyroyal is indeed a herb of the mint family.
Group hug
Neil.

Name: Greg Colucci
Seattle WA (Zone 8b)
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gg5
Nov 24, 2012 3:18 PM CST
I agree
Wikipedia calls it "floating or water pennywort"
Greg
Plants bring me peace and calm, more of what we all need Smiling
Name: Sharon
Calvert City, KY (Zone 7a)
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Sharon
Nov 24, 2012 3:34 PM CST
I've never known pennyroyal to grow in water and that's what grabbed my attention. Its leaves are typical mint leaves, maybe a little smaller.

Pennywort leaves look like baby waterlily foliage, I think, roundish and flat.

Anyway, it's good to know I hadn't totally lost my mind. Smiling
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Name: Neil
London\Kent Border
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NEILMUIR1
Nov 24, 2012 4:20 PM CST
Dear Sharon, you have not lost your mind at all. it is not a British native plant and there were no close up pictures of it. I have now complained to the BBC about it and they cannot say it is a common British name as it is not a British plant.
I do not know what kudzu is?
Group hug
Neil.
+ Phoenix.
Name: Lynn
Dallas, OR (Zone 8b)
Charter ATP Member Garden Sages I helped plan and beta test the plant database. I helped beta test the Garden Planting Calendar I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Plant Database Moderator
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valleylynn
Nov 24, 2012 4:46 PM CST
Kudzu Blinking
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kudzu
http://www.maxshores.com/kudzu/
Name: Marilyn
Greenwood Village, CO (Zone 5b)
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CDsSister
Nov 24, 2012 5:04 PM CST
Also see:

http://thegreenists.com/its-complicated/first-kudzu-then-the...

to see how it changes the landscape.

Thumbs down Thumbs down Thumbs down

Name: Lynn
Dallas, OR (Zone 8b)
Charter ATP Member Garden Sages I helped plan and beta test the plant database. I helped beta test the Garden Planting Calendar I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Plant Database Moderator
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valleylynn
Nov 24, 2012 5:27 PM CST
I remember when I lived in Yazoo, MS and we would drive to Jackson to visit family. Mile upon mile was covered in Kudzu, everything, even the power and telephone poles/wire. Occasionally you would get a tiny glimpse of a car or house/barn peeping through. Blinking
Name: Neil
London\Kent Border
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NEILMUIR1
Nov 24, 2012 5:36 PM CST
Dear Lynn, thanks for the links! That stuff looks terrible, but to farmers it must mean $$$$$ or they would not use it! Like bindweed over here, I use my flame gun on that stuff whenever it appears, which is often.
Fancy the Japanese brought you Pearl harbor in 1941 and now this. Then Japanese4 knotweed for us as well, who won the war? Rolling on the floor laughing
Group hug
Neil.

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