Yarrowish-looking 'thing'...from hell. HELp!

LesIsMore1(4/5 - Colorado)March 13, 2012

It was here when I bought the house, previous owner told me it was Yarrow. Since then, others have suggested it's NOT Yarrow... during summer, it gets about 3 feet tall, with clumps of yellow colored, button-like 'things'. To me, they don't seem like flowers, as they're really HARD... maybe flowers, but without petals? Not sure. (the deer don't touch it.) It's in a 3' x 10' bed, which is immediately adjecent to the cement foundation of my house. (west side) Over the last couple years, this 'thing' has driven out sedums, Iris, Lily's, etc... Today, I decided to 'thin it out' to make room for a few new bulbs.


Turns out, its some kind of terrifying plant monster. An evil spirit, in plant form... Its taken me all day, and still failed to get all the roots out. Not sure its possible. For all I know, the rest of it goes all the way under my foundation. Its nutso. So far, Ive filled eight 3-gallon nursery pots HEAPING FULL with only roots (taproots?) from this plant. Most are the size of coax cables, many are twice.that diameter; stacked on top of each other in tangled layers, running the whole length and width of the bed. The roots are super strong too, like rope... but also segmented, so they will eventually break if you pull hard enough (which us really dang hard) I have a horrifying feeling I made a new plant for each root I managed to break off today. (24 gallons worth...omg)

Does yarrow behave this way? I thought yarrow was supposed to belicate and white....but what do I know. Then, halfway through the process, I ran into this enormous bulb-like 'thing'... totally engulfed by tap-root-like 'tenticles' on this monster plant. The tuber-like thing was also surrounded by a very densely matted (huge) wad of short/fine roots...so different from the long cord-like things... I felt sure it had to be part of a totally different plant; that it was being smothered, perhaps even consumed by...this monster. Spent the next 2 hours trying to excavate the poor thing... now I think it's just another part of the same (very) tenatious plant, but can't be sure. It got dark before I could figure it out...

The other weird thing about it, many of the roots come out of the ground clinging to these strange 'rocks' that I've never seen in my soil before. Turns out, they aren't even 'real' rocks. I think they might be minerals...is that possible? You can squish these 'rocks' between your fingers, and they turn right into a ultra fine shimmmery powder... reminds me of mica. Even weirder, I'm finding these [mineral chunks?] attached to the roots in 3 distinctive colors. (dark metallic purple, seafoam green with cobalt blue chunks, or a burnt orangish red.) So...this plant has assigned seating for minerals...each one gets stored on its designated root? I don't get it. I know some plants have the ability to "mine" certain nutrients from the soil with really long tap roots, but ....this seems a bit extreme.

The roots seem to be ignoring all the 'real rocks' but really clinging to these other 'mineralish pseudo rocks'... And keeps them organized by color? Erm....Weirdest of all, once I finally got that huge bulb-oid part of that plant free from the soil? Underneath was a huge 'stash' of this same distinctivly colored mineral 'stuff' - as if the plant itself was stockpiling it, and then sitting on it...literally. So weird... It doesnt strike me as something you'd find under a normal plant... it doesnt look natural.

Can't certain minerals be toxic in high proportions? Maybe someone tried to kill that plant before, and thats where this mineral-like residue came from in the first place...yikes. Honestly, this is the first time I've ever felt truly afraid over adding something to the compost pile. What if the pile doesn't cook hot enough: will I end up with these yellow yarrow monsters all over the place?

Hoping it will let me attach pictures. My computer is busted, posting this with my phone... I'd really like to know what this plant is, if any part of it is toxic. (fine time to ask, after manhandling it all day...oops) If I cant get all of those long roots out...will it eventually die anyway? Are the roots really strong enough to lift my house off the foundation, or...does it just seem like it.

And why does this plant seem to be hoarding all those mineral-like substances? What is all that stuff, should I start over with brand new soil, or...?

If it turns out to be a hard thing to get rid of...are there alleopathic plants that might help speed the process? I have never seen such a massive volume of roots come from such a small place before... And had no idea they were under there...creepy.


Ps..its telling me the image size is too big...ill try to tinker with that. I dont have pics of it while in bloom though...and its just starting to come up. Someone might know from the descrption though...sorry it got so long. Please ignore typo's, spell check on this phone is pretty messed up....lol

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LesIsMore1(4/5 - Colorado)

Having trouble posting pics now, long day...

Here is a link that might be useful: Link to yarrow monster pics...i think.

    Bookmark   March 13, 2012 at 1:01AM
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LesIsMore1(4/5 - Colorado)

If that link doesn't work, try this one... Should be more pics on this one, much faster than photo bucket.

Here is a link that might be useful: more yarrow monster pics...i think.

    Bookmark   March 13, 2012 at 1:18AM
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flora_uk(SW UK 8/9)

The description sounds like Tansy. Pics support that id. Tanacetum vulgare.

    Bookmark   March 13, 2012 at 6:17AM
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LesIsMore1(4/5 - Colorado)

Really!?! Wow, I'm glad you said that... been reading about companion plants and Tansy was on my list. (lol... I don't think I'll be trying tansy with my strawberries this year after all. Thank you!)

I'll do some research on tansy now, stuff the monster plant remains in thick black garbage bags, let them cook in the sun until my compost gets hot enough....thank you again. :)

    Bookmark   March 13, 2012 at 1:54PM
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wantonamara Z8 CenTex

Tansy just died in my garden. Couldn't take the heat. Great story!!

    Bookmark   March 14, 2012 at 2:56AM
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roselee z8b S.W. Texas

Thank you for putting words and humor to the frustration many of us have experienced in trying to get rid of a take over everything plant. I would love to know the answers to the 'assigned seating mineral' question and also be able to offer some tips to help you in your endeavor to get rid of it, but all I can do is wish you success. I'll be checking back to see how it goes, pun intended :-)

    Bookmark   March 16, 2012 at 12:17PM
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