Thursday, June 25, 2009

A Weed is a Weed

Meet my Goutweed! This plant is doing a number on my garden and I didn't even plant it here! It came over from the garden behind ours. My neighbour thinks it's nice. And I will admit that the leaves are very pretty and it does look nice in the dark corner of the garden. But now that it's here, it is my job to try to keep this herbaceous perennial under control. If I don't, it could take over my entire garden. They don't call this plant a 'weed' for nothing. Goutweed spreads by rhizomes. If I dig them out and leave even one small piece of root, it will grow back.
It is a member of the carrot family. This seems strange until you see the flowers which are borne in umbrella-like clusters. They have never flowered in my garden, but I think that is because they are growing in a dark, shady spot and don't get enough sunlight. Apparently it is possible to pick the leaves of this plant in early spring and eat them much like spinach. I have never done this. Goutweed just doesn't sound appetising to me. There is also evidence of this plant's early use as a treatment for gout and arthritis. Hence the name 'Goutweed', but a weed by any other name is still a weed! Hours of back-breaking weeding fun are in my future!

Family: Apiaceae. Genus: Aegopodium. Species: A. podagraria
Common names: Goutweed, Bishop's weed, Snow-on-the-Mountain, Ground Elder

1 comment:

  1. Wouldn't we have a wonderful world if our flowers and veggies grew as fast as the weeds and vice versa? I think about that idea quite often while I'm weeding.