|Call it “Carolina Kudzu.”|
Powell tells me it’s the South Carolina state flower, and it’s illegal (in SC) to transplant from the wild. I don’t know why; it’s not like you can kill this thing without a thermonuclear strike. I cut the whole thing down last year, and it came right back. The wife is talking about chemical warfare (Roundup). Me, I’m thinking more along the lines of wrapping a stout rope around it and pulling it out with a tractor. Either way, it has got to go. It is busily trying to strangle every other plant within reach, and its reach gets a little longer each day. I thought butterfly bushes were obnoxious… at least they just get taller.
Vandamir (an Oregon resident, which makes sense) was there with the ID.
The leaves are very holly-like, although its growth pattern is unlike any true holly—they get about three feet high, and put out an umbrella-like set of leaves at the top. And it’s classified as (are you seeing a pattern here?) a “noxious weed” outside Oregon. I only noticed it starting to spread from the four or five planted plants we had, when we first moved to FAR Manor, in the last couple years. I dug up five of them and put them in pots, and they’re all surviving quite well. Before I knew what they were, I’d planned to sell them in a yard sale, but that would be like selling a butterfly bush—laughable, but people (or nurseries, rather) do it. There might be laws about distributing invasive plants; it certainly isn’t horribly moral in any case. I wonder if the non-nutty sister in law kept the two I gave her, though…
Unlike a true holly, Oregon Grape is supposed to be edible. But “edible” doesn’t exactly mean “tasty.” They are very pretty, nice and green through the winter. They put out yellow fruits that turn purple in spring.
And I learned that the wild violets in our yard are also edible, like just about all the other weeds around here. It makes me wonder why we bother going to the grocery store.