Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Lamiastrum galeobdolon

Yellow Archangel
I was so proud to have identified a plant in our yard as a mint (square stem, opposite leaves) and brought in to class as we were instructed to do for the third class in the Plant Identification course. Well, what a dunderhead I am. As I was showing the instructor the plant, little Miss Smarty Pants (another student) walked by and practically shouted “Oh my gawd, that’s a Class C noxious weed. I HOPE you don’t have that in your garden!” Well, in fact I do and it can be quite pretty growing in deep shade and offering a splash of color.

Turns out the plant in the mint family that I brought in, Lamiastrum galeobdolon, is a non-designated Class C noxious weed in King County. Miss Smarty Pants was right. Class C weeds are non-native weeds found in Washington. Programs for suppression and control are optional. That said, after reading through the way to deal with this plant I realized that we have been dealing with it more or less correctly. 1. We haven’t planted near parks or natural areas. 2. We pull the plant and otherwise “contain” it every year. 3. We discard of the cuttings in the “Clean Green” recycling bins. However, I really am thinking of removing it totally considering that impact this plant can have.

The genus name “Lamiastrum” I’m guessing means of the Lamiaceae (mint) family. The species name, according the Dave’s Garden means “smells like a weasel”. The common name for this mint is “Yellow Archangel”.

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