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We moved into a new house in January of this year and now spring has arrived the garden is throwing up some interesting plants... one of which is some worrying looking weed around our pond, which we'd appreciate some help identifying.

Some photos below, it's some sort of bindweed, we hope not Japanese Knotweed, but we really don't know. The stalks are quite bamboo like, although not hollow it seems, the leaves are arrow shaped with a point, and the stems and leaf veins are red. They are only about a foot high at most and don't seem to have spread too far. They have not flowered yet, so hard to tell what they will look like but we don;t want to leave it too long if more urgent action is needed. There is a photo we have from the estate agent advistisement that shows the weed with more growth and flowers, but not the best resolution, that's below too.

any advice gratefully recieved!





 Here is a photo of a thicker stem which we cut (in was very near the pond hence the algie)


It's a thug right enough

thanks nutcutlet, how confident are you it's this?


have found more photos now, believe it's definitely Houttuynia cordata, thank you.

At least it's not japanese knotweed, we will look into how invasive etc it is, it looks like it's been there for a few years and not spread too much, plus other plants around it are doing ok, so fingers crossed.

If you want to get rid of it you have to dig down and get every tiny bit of thr root. Any which is left will start a new plant .

If it was not near your pond I would say attach some lengths of it in a poly bag  ,   Bruise the leaves and spray lightly with Gipsophalate , close the bag up . This will get through to the roots . The bag idea stops the weedkiller getting on other plants .

BUT as it is near the fishpond Im not sure, Trouble with bindweed it smothers everything else.


But it isn't bindweed lucky3. The roots are different colour, bindweed roots are white those are black/brown.

This is a plant dealt with best with glyphosate.  Digging will simply make more and more roots. Whenever you see,this emerging from the ground zap it with glyphosate.  You will see lots of it and think the weedkiller hasn't worked but it's simply more shoots from other plants.  make it your number one obsession this summer.viz.  to spray every little piece.

I had its cousin, chameleon, few years back and it's now disappeared....mainly after the first summer.  if its wet when you spray cover with piece of glass needs 5 hours or so of dry weather to work properly


Glyphosate is a risk near ponds because it is usually sprayed, and the overspray gets into the water, where it can be harmful to fish etc.. However, if you are careful and are willing to put a lot of effort in, you may be able to apply glyphosate directly to the leaves without any getting into the water. I use a hand spray using the gentlest of twitches on the trigger when weeding very close to desirable plants. I just get right up to the weed and give it the smallest of applications. You only need to get around 20% of the leafage for it to get right through the plant. It is absorbed within four hours and won't then run off if it rains. 

Two weeks ago I applied glyphosate to long grass blades coming out of the centre of a clump of sempervivums. I wore a rubber glove on my left hand, sprayed a few drops of  glyphosate onto the glove fingers, rubbed the fingers together so the fingers were wetted but no glyphosate droplets were left free  to run off onto the sempervivums, and then drew the grass blades through the glove fingers. Today the grass is dead and i will pull the dead stuff up in a week.  

James P wrote (see)

thanks nutcutlet, how confident are you it's this?

Totally James. 

Houttuynia cordata has a very ... interesting .... smell.

Yes....orangey. Joe.  Quite like it.  

I have Chameleon in the pool and in a pot.  If moisture is retained .....I put a saucer under the's a lovely looking thing.  A palette of foliage, pink, cream, orange, white scented flowers makes an attractive feature.

Never in the ground though.  Never let it escape!


Never noticed a smell and haven't got the plant anymore. Is it the leaves or the flower?

I didn't want mine to go. If it gets over-shadowed by trees, engulfed by ivy and has several dry years in a row it won't survive


You're right, Verdun. I've never been able to work out what it's most like, but that's it. I wouldn't have a career in perfumery!

Houttuynia - a smallish pot of this was on sale at my local garden centre for £14.99! Maybe james p could pot some up & sell on to cover the cost of the weedkiller!!


the best way is to allow a plant to make its maximum amount of growth, round about august for those two weeds, and then to pull it or cut it at the base.  all that strength the plant has built up over the summer will not go back into the root-system.  do this every year and you will weaken it.



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