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Avatar for Lucy7550
May 6, 2018 10:02 PM CST
Name: Lucy Siegel
Provincetown, MA (Zone 7a)
I just bought a house on Cape Cod this winter and have a mystery plant coming up that I'd love to identify. I've attached a photo. It's obviously a perennial. The plants are appearing in multiple places around the garden, in both sunny and very shady places. The first one to pop up appeared a couple of weeks ago (mid-April) and it is already about 2 feet tall. The soil here is mostly sand, by the way.

I'd really appreciate help in identifying it!
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May 7, 2018 8:22 AM CST
Name: Tiffany purpleinopp
Opp, AL 🌵🌷⚘🌹🌻 (Zone 8b)
Houseplants Organic Gardener Composter Region: Gulf Coast Miniature Gardening Butterflies
Garden Sages Plant Identifier Million Pollinator Garden Challenge Garden Ideas: Level 1 Hummingbirder Foliage Fan
The golden rule: Do to others only that which you would have done to you.
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Avatar for Lucy7550
May 7, 2018 11:52 AM CST
Name: Lucy Siegel
Provincetown, MA (Zone 7a)
Purpleinopp, thank you very much for answering my question. I thank you because even though your identification was incorrect, it was close. It led me along the right path and enabled me to find the correct answer. Very unfortunately, the plant is Japanese Knotweed, an invasive species that is evidently very hard to get rid of due to its thick web of roots - rhizomes. A speck of the root that breaks off is likely to start another plant. Now I have to deal with getting rid of this. I believe this came into my yard because if work that was done to install a new septic leach field. This required that an excavation company come in and dredge out 3/4 of my small yard, and because there was no place to put the soil, they took it offsite and then when the work is done they brought it back. It seems likely that some pieces of the root got mixed into my soil.
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May 7, 2018 12:18 PM CST
Name: Lin Vosbury
Sebastian, Florida (Zone 10a)

Region: United States of America Region: Ukraine Region: Florida Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Million Pollinator Garden Challenge
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Yes, Japanese Knotweed (Reynoutria japonica) is apparently an invasive, plant in many areas.

https://www.massaudubon.org/le...
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May 7, 2018 1:15 PM CST
Name: Tiffany purpleinopp
Opp, AL 🌵🌷⚘🌹🌻 (Zone 8b)
Houseplants Organic Gardener Composter Region: Gulf Coast Miniature Gardening Butterflies
Garden Sages Plant Identifier Million Pollinator Garden Challenge Garden Ideas: Level 1 Hummingbirder Foliage Fan
Happy to suggest but so sorry to hear about what happened.
The golden rule: Do to others only that which you would have done to you.
👀😁😂 - SMILE! -☺😎☻☮👌✌∞☯🐣🐦🐔🐝🍯🐾
The best time to plant a tree is 20 years ago. The 2nd best time is now. (-Unknown)
👒🎄👣🏡🍃🍂🌾🌿🍁❦❧ 🍃🍁🍂🌾🌻🌸🌼🌹🌽❀☀🌺
☕👓 The only way to succeed is to try! Try to be more valuable than a bad example.
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May 7, 2018 5:47 PM CST
Salt Spring Island, BC (Zone 8b)
Region: Canadian Cut Flowers Dahlias Region: Pacific Northwest Keeper of Poultry Million Pollinator Garden Challenge
I agree
He who plants a garden plants happiness.
Avatar for Lucy7550
May 7, 2018 6:10 PM CST
Name: Lucy Siegel
Provincetown, MA (Zone 7a)
I learned a lot once I realized what the plant was. I confirmed my identification by taking a piece of it to a local garden center. For anyone reading this, a couple of the key things I found out are that the plant's root system can go down several feet and spreads horizontally. It's very tough and can grown in sun or shade and the poorest soil. It can get into cracks in foundations of buildings and ruin the foundation. It can easily destroy a driveway. In the UK, people who have this stuff on their property can be denied a mortgage and are likely to have trouble selling the property. Here are a few ways to get rid of it: 1) dig it out (but very thoroughly because tiny pieces of the rhizome will regenerate the plant, and can lay dormant for 20 years and then spring up again. 2) cover it tightly with black plastic and let the plastic cook it in the sun until it dies. 3) Inject the stalks with pesticide. 4) spray the plant with pesticide. Both 3 and 4 are not one-time operations, and may take several years. After consulting with the garden center, I decided on a combination of 3 and 4.
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May 7, 2018 6:25 PM CST
Salt Spring Island, BC (Zone 8b)
Region: Canadian Cut Flowers Dahlias Region: Pacific Northwest Keeper of Poultry Million Pollinator Garden Challenge
We have a herd of local goats that are commissioned to clear properties of this plant:
http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/...
They also go after the roots.
He who plants a garden plants happiness.
Avatar for Lucy7550
May 7, 2018 6:31 PM CST
Name: Lucy Siegel
Provincetown, MA (Zone 7a)
I forgot about the goats - I read that people rent out their goats for this purpose!

I also forgot another viable solution, to bring in a particular insect that eats the plant. I forget it's name. Evidently researchers have not found any problems to other species by going the insect route.
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