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Gout Weed Puts Up A Fight

(credit:  Phran Novelli)

(credit: Phran Novelli)

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By Phran Novelli

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) - There aren’t many plants gardeners fume to see in bloom quite like ‘Gout Weed.’ Aegopodium Podagraria, is also called ‘Bishop’s Weed’ or ‘Snow On The Mountain’ for its umbrella-shaped white flowerheads blooming right now.

‘Gout Weed’ is an aggressive alien plant that’s terribly invasive – it came with my house and I’ve been trying to eradicate it for a decade without much luck. Its roots reach eight inches down and work their way under rocks and edging – intertwining with perennials and shrub roots. If you try to dig it out and leave the teensiest bit behind, a new plant grows from that root shred – so you can spread it when you divide invaded perennials to share with friends.

History records that ‘Gout Weed’ has been out of control for hundreds of years in Europe where it was planted as a medicine for…gout. Who knew when it was sold here as a groundcover that gardeners would be forever trying to dig it, spray it, or smother it with black plastic, cardboard and mulch?

Take it as a warning to be careful what you plant, or you may spend more time trying to kill things like ‘Gout Weed’ than nurturing the rest of your garden.

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