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Circle of Life For This Yellow Spiny Weed

Ask The Plant Expert: Here we go again. You identified my crocus (which I suspected) and now I have another “just showed up” plant. She’s cute. She could be a weed. If she’s a plant or flower I will keep her, put her somewhere else. She is in the middle of a landscape project. If she’s a weed, no matter how cute she must go. The circle of life. –Rochelle

Solanum rostratum - Buffalo Bur

Flower Shop Network Plant Expert Reply: It is a Buffalo-Bur (Solanum rostratum). Depending on your thoughts on poisonous plants, you may want to get rid of it. This plant is in the nightshade family. The leaves and green fruits are poisonous and contain glycoalkaloid solanine.

If humans or animals come in contact with the burs (spines) intense lingering pain can occur. This is especially problematic for dogs who will chew and lick their feet if they step on this plant. It is sad that beautiful plants like these also come with dangers.

Hope this information helps!

Ridding A Rock Garden of Weeds

Ask The Expert: We had rocks brought in for the space between the foundation of our home and the lawn. They are the size of a small fist or smaller, and seem to catch every weed seed that is floating in the air.  Needless to say I can’t seem to get a handle on ridding the area of weeds.  The worst is the creeping Jenny, it has now started showing up in my lawn… I do have some perennials planted in the rocks, therefore am looking for an idea to rid the “rock flower bed” of weeds without killing the flowers. Any suggestions?  Any suggestions about killing the creeping jenny from my lawn? Thanks! -Lisa (SD)

Flower Shop Network Plant Expert Reply: I am afraid you will need to do a little hard work first and then I have a solution for those weed seeds. First you will need to pull all the unwanted plants up. Once this has been done you can apply a pre-emerge to the rock bed. This pre-emerge will keep most seeds form germinating thus keeping your garden free from unwanted visitors. However, it will also keep certain wanted seeds from germinating as well. So be very judicious where deciding to use pre-emerges. I use American grass and weed stopper as my pre-emerge of choice. There are several good pre-emerges out there. You can find these pre-emerges at your local garden center and nursery.

I hope this information was helpful.  Please let me know if I can assist you with any thing else.

Mystery Visitor Is A Weed Called Acalypha

mystery-weedmystery-weed-from-moAsk the Expert: what might this plant be?
Foud it in my wildflower garden next to False Sunflowers and New England
Asters. Might be a weed, Earl

Plant Expert Reply:

I believe it is a Acalypha virginica (Virginia threeseed mercury).  It is considered a weed with mild allergen properties.  It is a member of the Euphorbiaceae family.

Just a side note:  This plant is a sister to a houseplant called Chenille plant (Acalypha hispida).  Which just goes to show you one man’s weed is another man’s treasure.

Please Idenitify This Invasive Ground Cover

Ask the Expert: what kind of weed is this?
My dad has a garden that has been growing an invasive ground cover weed that has clover shaped leaves with tiny white “flowers”. He has sprayed with all sorts of weed killers and nothing seems to work. It seems to stay only in the garden and has not crept onto the grass. It’s very viney like.. grows like a carpet. Has been tilled repeatedly.. he left the garden area unplanted for a year to see if that would help get rid of it but it keeps coming back. They seem to grow from the root. When pulled from the garden they always seem wet even when there has been no moisture applied to the garden at all. He suspects that it started in a small area and was spread by use of the tiller. They grow very close to the ground only.. max of 2″ inches tall. He has tried to pull them many times and when he does the base of the weed (green) will pull off from a white, slippery, more solid structure. I do not have a photo available at this time but if you are not able to identify it I can post a picture soon for you to see. Any suggestions are welcome! Thank you for your time! Please let me know if a picutre is needed. My poor dad, an avid gardner, is completely stumped! I hope you can help! Thank you!  Misty McCollough

Plant Expert Reply:

It is difficult to make an identification just from the description you have given.  So I found some pictures of plants that could possibly be your dad’s problem.  Please take a look at them and let me know which you think look the most like his.  Once we idenitify the plant, I will help figure a way to get rid of the problem.