Saturday, October 10, 2009

Fighting the Flora

"Weed — a plant whose virtues
have not yet been discovered."

— Ralph Waldo Emerson

This innocent, happy-looking flowering plant
has become the bane of my existence.

This photo is from the
University of Texas at Austin's website,
which helped me identify my enemy.

Helenium Araman,

aka Bitterweed or Yellow Bitterweed
is a member of the Aster Family.
Plants are between 1-3' tall,
with wispy, dill-like leaves.

It blooms from April thru September,
thriving in crappy soil with almost no water.

Entire pastures are rendered worthless,
overrun with this vile weed.

Once it gets to that point,
the only way to get rid of it is
a controlled burn,
then till the whole thing under,
and you may have to do it
the next year.

I don't think even goats will eat it.

This and the previous photo were shot
at random on my way home from work.

Yellow Bitterweed takes root and takes off.
It's so invasive, if you see one or two plants this year,
you will have a problem next year.

And that's what has happened here.

After a short ride on Poco,
I spent the next 4+ hours pulling
the noxious weed.

The good news:
it was easy to pull the entire plant
out by the roots.

The bad news:
there was a LOT of it.

Don't pollinate this crap, ya little turd!
I don't care if UT Austin does classify it
as an "aromatic ornamental."

Rocks, weeds, fire ants, and other
would-be usurpers of the land abound.
We have to fight for every
decent mouthful for the Boyz.

Ornamental, my ass.


Anonymous said...

We don't have that one here - yet. It is pretty, but it looks incredibly invasive.

cdncowgirl said...

Ugh, frustrating!
Is it the kind of plant that seems to propogate like magic? Meaning that even if you take very good care of your land if its anywhere else in the neighbourhood you still have a fight on your hands?

For the last 3 or 4 years I've had that problem. I'm in the city so its just my yard I'm fighting for but still super annoying.
Some genius had some sort of viny plant in their yard and now its in mine. The greenhouse people say once you have it the only way to get rid of it is to destroy all plant life in your yard and till everything under. As you said with your weed it may take doing this a few years.
Not something hubby wants to do. So now I just pull and pull and pull that sucker (while I curse at however brought it into the neighbourhood! lol)

Laughing Orca Ranch said...

It sure is pretty! I hope your back isn't too sore today.

Die weeds, die!


AareneX said...

Wow, what a pain. Looks like it's toxic to goats, too, what a bummer!

Here in the Swampland, we have blackberry vines (which goats will eat) and bracken fern (which they won't eat, also it's toxic).

Is there a noxious nasty in every region, I wonder?

(contemplating pasture possibilities in Antarctica....)

City girl turned Country Girl said...

Wow that's crazy!! We have something around here but I don't know if it's the same..I haven't gone out into any of the pastures to see it upclose but I hope it's not that!!

Laura said...

Oh man - 4+ hours pulling those suckers? Yikes. Good for you for keeping on top of it though - looks like it is a total menace to pastures!

Pony Girl said...

Oh goodness, up close& far away, it looks kinda pretty in those fields! :) But I know how annoying those weeds can be. Do you know if it is toxic to horses? Maybe a good freeze will do it in?

Leah Fry said...

PG, doesn't matter, they won't touch it. Neither will cattle or goats.

Unknown said...

Like so many things in life, pretty and worthless. :)

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