Friday, August 11, 2017

Farmers urged to destroy new weed

John Benham, weed inspector for Wellington County, is advising farmers to look for Dog Strangling Vine weed in roadsides and ditches near their farms.

It’s a new and aggressive weed that can poison cattle and wildlife.

It’s a member of the milkweed family, grows into a ground-covering carpet that frosts kill, but comes back strong.”

“It appears as a dark green plant with opposite, oval to oblong leaves with a pointed tip growing erect before leaning over and entwining with another plant to start the carpet effect. 

“The flower is dark maroon with five petals forming a small star that matures into a long slender smooth pod containing a large number of seeds that are similar in appearance to the Milkweed seed that will be dispersed by the wind. 

“The roots are fibrous, fine and spreading, bearing buds that can produce several shoots.  Pulling to eliminate the plant and digging must remove all the roots or it will regrow,” advises Benham.

Another negative to this plant is that it attracts Monarch Butterflies to lay their eggs on it, but the emerging worms are unable to feed on this plant and so perish. 

“Do not let this plant establish on your property,” says Benham.