What Is This Weed?

Discussion in 'Crops & Gardens' started by Ken Anderson, May 23, 2016.

  1. Ken Anderson

    Ken Anderson Greeter
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    This is a weed that grows along my fence. I've been here since 2000, and I first started seeing these only a few years ago. Since they are growing along the fence and they aren't exactly ugly, I have let them grow but I don't know what they are. Any ideas?

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  2. Babs Hunt

    Babs Hunt Veteran Member
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    Well the good news is that it is not Poison Ivy. :)http://www.weedalert.com/

    Hope that link helps you identify your weed. If my internet connection was better I would probably be able to name it.
     
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    Last edited: May 26, 2016
  3. Yvonne Smith

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    The picture looks like it has little berries on it. Does it actually have berries, @Ken Anderson ? If so, what color are the berries when ripe, and what color are the blossoms when it blooms ?
    It looks really similar to a huckleberry the way that the leaves are, but if it was that, you would know it since huckleberries and blueberries are a lot alike, but these leaves seem longer and widen out differently than a huckleberry leaf does.
    Have you ever tasted a berry from these bushes?
     
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  4. Ken Anderson

    Ken Anderson Greeter
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    I seem to remember small red berries but, if at all, they did not look like they were edible.
     
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  5. Babs Hunt

    Babs Hunt Veteran Member
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    This is a barberry thicket...that reminds me of your weeds.

    jbarberrythicket.JPG
     
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  6. Ken Anderson

    Ken Anderson Greeter
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    That looks very much like it. It's too early in the year yet but I am pretty sure they had yellow flowers and then small red berries, but ones that didn't look like they'd be edible. They seem to like growing out of piles of leaves that I raked along the fence. I wouldn't mind my back yard growing into a thicket since I wouldn't have to mow it. Well, maybe I would. I can imagine trying to find the cat. They are supposed to grow in subtropical zones, though. Strange.

    According to Wikipedia, some barberry species, the European barberry (berberis vulgarism) and the American barberry (berberis canadensis), native to Appalachia and the Midwest) can host a grass-infecting rust fungus, and was nearly eradicated for this reason, and is now rarely seen.

    These plants appeared after we had lived up north for three spring/summer/fall seasons in a row and, at the same time, much of our lawn had turned to moss, which is green at times but rust-colored when it doesn't get enough rain.
     
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    Last edited: Jun 2, 2016
  7. Babs Hunt

    Babs Hunt Veteran Member
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    http://bangordailynews.com/2014/06/...-invasive-plants-in-maine-is-a-full-time-job/

    You might find this very interesting....
     
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  8. Ken Anderson

    Ken Anderson Greeter
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    Thanks. I hadn't noticed anything eating the berries and, in the past few year that it's been here, it hasn't spread from that one area along the fence, but I'll watch it closely this summer to see if I can figure it out. I'm pretty sure that it is a barberry now though, so it's a matter of the species.
     
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  9. Ken Anderson

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    Poison ivy showed up at about the same time. We had moved up north during the growing season for three years in a row, coming back just to mow the lawn a couple of times a month. That's when this particular weed showed up, and I also found that we had poison ivy growing on a tree that I had cut down in the center of our lawn, and along our fence on three sides. I think I got rid of the poison ivy though, or at least pretty much so. The good news there is that I have never reacted to poison ivy so I could pull it up by the roots, although it required some digging as well.
     
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  10. Chris Ladewig

    Chris Ladewig Very Well-Known Member
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    It looks like barberry to me too. Does it have thorns?
     
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  11. Ken Anderson

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    Yeah, sharp little thorns. Looking online, it seems to be as evenly recommended for landscaping purposes, as warned against as an invasive species.
     
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  12. Chris Ladewig

    Chris Ladewig Very Well-Known Member
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    Yes it is barberry and can be invasive if not closely controlled.
     
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  13. Joe Riley

    Joe Riley Veteran Member
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    It looks like a barberry. They should be cut back some or will take over. The birds like to eat the berries.
     
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    Last edited: Jun 2, 2016
  14. Yvonne Smith

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    It sounds like you have the exact opposite problem of the one that we have, @Ken Anderson . I was grumbling in another thread that because we feed the birds and squirrels, they now all hang out here in our yard, and they also eat any other fruit and berries that we are trying to grow for our own use.
    You also feed birds, and apparently, your birds have found some of the barberries elsewhere and ate them, and then came to your yard for their next meal, and left bird-droppings with barberry seeds along the fenceline.
    If they were in the yard, you probably kept them mowed so the barberry plants didn't have much chance to grow and spread; but along the fenceline, then they were able to grow.
    Even if you get rid of these plants, your helpful little birdie friends will undoubtedly bring more seeds and "plant" them for you each fall.

    Looking at your pictures again, it does look like you might have some poison ivy there along the fence as well.

    Edit to add: it looks like the berries are not only edible, but have lots of vitamin C, and other medicinal uses, according to this website.
    http://www.home-remedies-for-you.com/herbs/barberry.html
     
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    Last edited: Jun 2, 2016
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  15. Ken Anderson

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    I kind of like it so I am not going to be too quick to remove it.
     
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