Asked June 16, 2015, 9:54 PM EDT

What plant is this, and how can I get rid of it? It has a chemical odor like plastic, sturdy ivy-shaped leaves, and white flowers. The roots are thick like pachysandra. The roots are deep and spread like crazy. The leaves are about 1.5 - 2 square inches. The plants grow close to the ground unless they have to reach for the sun. I've seen them up to 10 inches tall.

Baltimore County Maryland chameleon plant houttuynia

1 Response

Can't say for sure. Sounds like houttuynia cordata--a horribly aggressive plant that should never be--but is--sold as a groundcover. Look at some Google images to see if it matches your plant. It is often sold with variegated leaves, but then reverts to solid green leaves.

If you want to kill it, digging or smothering do not work. Use a glyphosate herbicide that has 50% glyphosate. You will probably have to apply it many times, at intervals of two weeks. Late summer/early fall is a good time.