HELP...spreading weed/plant

Asked June 20, 2013, 12:24 PM EDT

Can you identify this weed/plant and possibly tell me the best way to kill it? It's spreading both in my grass and under a large bed of pine trees. A MSU rep at the Northville Farmers Market recommended I submit this. Thank You!

Wayne County Michigan

1 Response

Hello, Your picture looks like a weedy plant called Helloborine. We have had a few questions here in Michigan about it. Here is a response written earlier for this weed. If you have more questions, please write back. Thank you-------

This plant is in the orchid family and has shown up in Michigan landscapes over the last several years. Below is a link to a recent MSU article with more details about the "weed" and control methods. You will see in the article that the plant can be removed by digging or you could use products containing 2,4-D or triclopyr which may be effective.
In my landscape beds, I have had some success with cutting off the plant (leaving 1-2" of stem) and painting the remaining stems with an undiluted glyphosate product (such as Roundup). When doing this, I make sure to wear the appropriate protective gloves and use a small paint brush to paint on the product right after it is cut so the orchid wound is still open and susceptible to the chemical. Hope that helps!
Diane Brady Master Gardener Volunteer