By Laura House, Account Manager
If you live in Portland, as I do, you may have spotted a ground cover plant in the neighbor’s yard with a heart-shaped, waxy, green leaf and a yellow, daisy-like bloom this past month. The Lesser Celandine (shown below) can offer a nice punch of color, especially on a gray, rainy day in March, but they may also take over your entire yard (and the neighbors!) if not properly managed. Along
with several other plants, it is labeled as invasive or noxious plants and is important to be aware of for the health and well-being of our plant community.
Many of the plants on the invasive species list were brought to Oregon from other parts of the world. Some plants were introduced for their ability to thrive in poor conditions and others provided a unique, ornamental appeal. English Ivy (Hedera helix) was once coveted for its evergreen foliage and ability to climb walls and fences through production of aerial roots, but it can also damage building materials and choke out nearby plants and trees as a result of its rigorous growth habit.
A few of the other invasive or noxious species include Morning Glory (Calystegia sepium), English Holly (Ilex aquifolium), Scotch Broom (Cytisus scoparius), Traveler’s Joy (Clematis vitalba), Tree of Heaven (Ailanthus altissima), Butterfly Bush (Buddleia davidii), and more. They have all been found to cause harm to our local environment, either by negatively impacting the intended use of a recreational space, successfully competing for the nutrients and soil space of native and/or desirable plant species, or being especially toxic to humans or wildlife.
Eradication of invasive plants can be hard work and, since many will re-sprout from root fragments or plant tissues left in the soil, they require ongoing monitoring even after the primary specimen(s) are removed. Initial removal may require hand-pulling, digging, mowing, or use of equipment such as loppers or chainsaws. Herbicides may be optimal for certain species, but should be applied with extreme caution and only in accordance with the instructions and specifications of the product label.
You can find more extensive listings of invasive/noxious weeds through the USDA and ODA:
If you need help to eradicate an invasive species from your landscape don’t hesitate to call the experts at DeSantis Landscapes 503-639-0151 (Portland) 503-364-8376 (Salem)