"New" quickly spreading weed. #744412 - Ask Extension


"New" quickly spreading weed. #744412

Asked April 14, 2021, 11:32 PM EDT

In a front bed of sedums, ferns, ground cover - an unfamiliar weed has started taking over ground and all plants.....extremely invasive. Very difficult to pull as it is entangled in the other plants. Have used weed puller but this damages original plant. Spraying not an option as wanted plants will be destroyed. Afraid this weed will spread to other planted beds, too. Any idea what it is and what control may be short of sterilizing the whole area and starting over?

Benton County Oregon

Expert Response


Are you able to take a picture of it? Maybe with your phone? This will help us to identify and then suggest management options.  If you can get a picture of it in the ground and then pick the plant and take a picture of the whole plant from root to top, then one more close up of a leaf, that would be ideal.

You can then attach it to your reply here and we will see if we can confirm identification. 

Teagan Moran Replied April 15, 2021, 11:26 AM EDT
Thank you for replying - did not realize the picture I attached did not transfer to you.  Will try again.
On 04/15/2021 8:26 AM Ask Extension <askextension@eduworks.com> wrote:
eacarlson1 Replied April 15, 2021, 11:44 AM EDT

Thank you for the picture. I can't be sure, but it looks like a Self-heal (Purnella vulgaris). If you want to let it go to flower, we would be able to give a more definitive ID. 

 Some info on Purnella vulgaris:   a member of the mint family and like mint is a rapid colonizer. It can be hand pulled, but it regenerates from shoot fragments. It also spreads by rhizomes, stolons and seeds.

Here is an info sheet with picture: 

I hope this helps. 

Deborah Kern Replied April 15, 2021, 5:53 PM EDT
Thank you for the information.  Very likely this is the weed and it really is a difficult one to eliminate.  May have to try a direct shot type
of weed killer spray but this will endanger other plants as well - unless it will die from just a direct shot at the center of the plant.
Because we are on wells in this area, I am extremely careful about any toxic sprays and try to keep control with vinegar and chlorox
(for moss).  And then there is the ivy, too.....another invader that responds best to pulling out the roots.  Oh, the joys of spring and
great days it does bring in spite of the challenges.
Again, thank you for the help!
Elizabeth Carlson
On 04/15/2021 2:53 PM Ask Extension <askextension@eduworks.com> wrote:
eacarlson1 Replied April 16, 2021, 1:05 PM EDT

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