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Sunday, June 3, 2012

Early Bird Invasive Warning

Two summers ago, I was introduced to Artemisia vulgaris (Mugwort) by my summer intern who had extensive knowledge of the local flora and fauna.  He was telling me about this invasive plant, Mugwort, that had been a problem at the property he had worked on previously.  I had never really noticed the plant until that summer.  We found a few small populations on the property we were working on and took care of them.  In the past two years, I am starting to notice this plant in more places, and I can see it becoming more of an issue.  I just noticed a hayfield where the mugwort had out-competed both the thistle population that I was trying to diminish, and the grasses in the field. 

I have found the plant touted by herbalists as having great qualities, and while I know nothing about this trade and do not discount their opinion about what it may do for your health; I can attest to the fact that I have seen this plant rapidly spread over the past two years and would recommend that anyone who has a Mugwort population on their property removes it as quickly as possible.  Diligence may help us win this battle before it goes into stage three. 

Mugwort is a clump-forming rhizomatous (spreads through roots) perennial that reproduces primarily by vegetative spread. Reduction of the plant can occur by repeated mowing or herbicide application. The repeated mowing of the plant seems to eventually deplete the rhizomes energy stores.  A broad-leafed herbicide is typically a good bet for chemical control.  This will target A. vulgaris and the other broadleafed plants but not any grasses that may be growing near the plant. 

Keep your eyes out for this plant and remove it by digging, mowing, or chemical control before it is given the opportunity to spread on your property. 

If you have more invasive/identification concerns on your property, feel free to schedule an appointment today with TLC's Landscape Visionaries team by clicking HERE.

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