Foliage Friday: Perennial Peavine

Today’s Foliage Friday is another weed! I’m actually starting to run out of plants that I can’t name in our yard. I really had to walk around for a while before finding a plant I couldn’t put a name to. Here’s a weed that had sprung up in the middle of my garden bed.

And actually I’ve seen quite a bit of this guy around the yard.

Its growth habit, and its flowers (which I don’t have any photos of – it blooms earlier in the summer) are not unlike sweet peas. This weed is called Perennial Peavine, and, indeed, it is related to sweet peas. Lathyrus latifolius (Perennial Peavine) is in the same genus as Lathyrus odoratus (sweetpea).

Perennial Peavine is native to Europe, not the US, but is now found in essentially every state in the lower 48. Its main mechanism for spreading is via rhizomes. Oregon classifies it as a Class B noxious weed and it is on the “watch list” of noxious weeds in Washington.

Up to now, I’ve mostly left these weeds be in the yard because they they’re kind of pretty, and they don’t seem to be quite as aggressive as some other weeds, like buttercup. But it’s not native, and I don’t want to perpetuate it in my yard or elsewhere. From here on out, I vow to yank it up every time I see it! (Okay, this may seem a bit hypocritical, because I’m not pulling up the Japanese anemone that are also not native, but in my defense, Japanese anemone is not on the noxious weeds list.)

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