Crown Vetch and Quack Grass

Crown Vetch taking over an iris patch

I cleaned out a client’s bed of iris rhizomes.  They were being taken over by quack grass and crown vetch. It was a hard afternoon of digging, pulling, and picking out long tentacles of roots.  It also was a rewarding afternoon because now those iris will have an opportunity to bloom…

Crown vetch is a perennial herb in the pea/legume family.  The leaves are dark green, compound and bear fifteen to twenty-five leaflets. The seed pods are narrow, segmented, pointed, born in crown-like clusters and maybe two to three inches long. Deer love the seeds…

Crown vetch has long been used to prevent erosion in ditches and hills.  It can easily get out of control and is very hard to eradicate because it has a multi – branched root system and can spread by it’s strong rhizomes.  The vegetative growth habit can rapidly cover and shade out native vegetation.

Quake Grass is a perennial weed in Minnesota, and a troublesome weed to eliminate from the home landscape. The underground root system has nodes almost every inch and produce fibrous roots. The creeping rhizomes are so tough they can grow through a potato tuber and can form a dense mat in the upper part of the soil.  One plant can produce extremely long runners of rhizomes a year.

 

This entry was posted on Tuesday, May 10th, 2011 at 1:45 am and is filed under Gardening Tips, Perennials, Projects. You can leave a comment and follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed.

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