Plant Bullies in my Yard

Trying out a new tool-

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Weed Watchers Guide for the Tualatin River Watershed is a handy tool for identifying EDRR weeds. (It’s presented at a Weed Watchers Workshop, to train local folks how to identify and report invasive plants that have the potential for being eradicated through Early Detection and Rapid Response).

  •      I’m relieved that none of the Class A weeds are in my yard.
  •      One is in the guide, in the “Secondary Target” category: Lesser Celandine

The other known invasive plants in my yard are beyond the scope of an “Early Detection and Rapid Response”

  •  Armenian/ Himalayan Blackberry
  •  Reed Canarygrass- is so widely spread, I wonder if this announcement by Oregon Invasive Species Council relates to our infestation. I will check with the SWCD*.

    “Record of changes to the list 2014- Removed common reed (non-native subspecies) – Lost the battle!

    The subspecies is causing serious problems for many other North American wetland plants, including the native Phragmites australis subsp. americanus which is markedly less vigorous. Surveys now indicate that this subspecies is more widespread and in locations that would not be suitable for large-scale control programs.”

    *06-30-15 note: Reed Canarygrass scientific name Phalaris arundinacea; different species


    SOLUTION- pulled and thrown away in trash.


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    THE SOLUTION: encourage other wetland sedges, grasses, rushes, and cat-tails.



    THE SOLUTION: removal of Himalayan Blackberries!!!

    Planting and restoration of native berry populations like this relative of the raspberry- native Thimbleberries.

    This post is a response to: UNLESS… Earth-Friendly Chroniclers Challenge 9.


  1. Jane, we have problems with the Himalayan blackberry here too (highly aggressive!). Looking through website, it is similar in appearance to native California blackberry. The difference I see is the Himalayan types flowers all summer long, while the California one flowers only until May…

      1. I have never been either and it is so close for us. It has made its way up to near the top of the list though, so hopefully this year or next. . ..

  2. It’s interesting reading the comments on what is indigenous or endemic in one geographic location to another. A lot of the Australian plants have become problem invasives here while I know that is the case vice-versa yet both countries have common plant histories going back to Gwondwana. I understand about the invasives, but not all aliens impact negatively, and it seems to me that there is too much emphasis put on eradicating all! There is much debate here over saving ‘historic’ trees, and then there are the grape vines and olives etc which flourish! It’s a topical subject here!

    1. It can get complicated, to be sure. That conversation received a fair amount of discussion at the Weed Watcher class. The most troubling plants are the ones that have negative impacts: reproduce in multiple ways, replace native plants, spread prolifically from year to year, create harm in some way, topple ecosystem balance, and create an economic stress. I’m sure there are more negative impacts on the list, but these are the ones that come to mind.

    1. Annette, it sounds like you’ve “conquered” the blackberry problem. How are things going with the Lesser Celandine? In our yard, early detection and a shovel is doing the trick. This is our third year: first year, we didn’t recognize the plant as an invasive; second year, recognized and dug up; third year, smaller patch- recognized and dug up. When digging up to eradicate, it’s important not to use as compost, but to actually throw away as trash. (That works in our area, see what the best procedure is where you live.)

      I enjoyed a visit to your blog about gardening in Scotland… very lovely. Searched to see if you had a post on Lesser Celandine- would you consider writing one and participating in the UNLESS… Challenge 9?

      1. I have tried for years to remove the Celandine, but I find the more you dig it up the more it spreads. It is not too big a problem as it mostly grows at the top of the garden under trees where there is little grass anyway. Unless I am prepared to use chemicals, which I am loath to do, I think I will just have to put up with it. How long does the challenge last? I will see if I have time to write something. I also have ground Elder, but in only a limited area. That seems to be easier to dig up. I have done posts on very invasive garden plants (Crocosmia and Houttuynia), but I don’t think they are affecting the eco system – I am not even sure if Celandine is in this country. I will need to read more about it.

    2. I was just thinking about our conversation again. It occurs to me that what is considered invasive in one ecosystem may not be in another. I wonder is that is the case with Lesser Celandine in Scotland.

      A couple of days ago on, The Wilden Marsh Blog, Mike wrote about Yellow Archangel. It is on the EDRR list in my watershed, but not a problem there because it is a native European wildflower.

      A complex, and important topic. Glad we are having these conversations 🙂

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