I have a gardenia bush that was "taken over" by a delicate thorny fern I
can't identify. It is very bright lime'ish green with soft "bristle"
type leaves that grow out from the slender shoots in all directions. (I
assume it's a fern but don't actually know.) The "bristle" leaves are
less than in inch in length. The shoots grow tiny but very sharp thorns.
I was doing some weeding around my gardenia bush and wanted to take this
fern out (which came from 'nowhere') because it seemed to be growing out
of the very root ball of the gardenia. When I cut back the shoots (some
of them a few feet long) and got pliers to try to pull each shoot out by
the root, but they just break off at the base of the gardenia, which has
a V-shaped branch configuration at the root ball. This fern seems to be
imbedded in that V. I can't distinguish it's root ball from the base of
Anyone know what this plant is, or how to get rid of it? Thanks so much
for any info!
Good guess! :) I haven't noticed this plant flowering or getting
berries, but maybe it has. It seems less lush than the above plant. Less
bushy. It doesn't grow straight up once slender stems get ober 6 inches
or so, unless vining into the gardenia using it for support. Otherwise
the stems fall outwards. (They're very thin. I'd take a digital picture
and post it but I already got rid of the plant! D'oh!) Also, it said
this plant has "weak prickles." These prickles aren't weak except maybe
on the newest shoots that are still young. But the asparagus densiflorus
is close. You could be right. I'm going to look into it more.
Thanks for the feedback. :)
(picture of asparagus densiflorus for anyone interested)
You haven't said your location, but in the deep south /A. densiflorus/ is
quite a pest. Also, the pic you linked to is of a potted, well cared for
plant. What you're seeing invading your garden will most likely not be as
lush (although, if it's quite rich soil, it may be). And, it's thorns can
be very painful if you get hold of some of the old growth. ;)
-Every snowflake in an avalanche pleads not guilty.
Thanks again, Eggs. I'm in So. Ca. in the South Bay (beach area
southwest of Los Angeles proper). And I think this is the plant after
looking at more pictures. :) My problem now is how to get rid of its
roots -- or even find its roots! The shoots "dead-end" in the rootball
of the gardenia... or so it looks. I'm thinking I might have to dig up
the gardenia to see if I can then tell where the AD root ball starts and
ends compared to the gardenia root ball. (Obviously I am no gardner. I'm
trying to help out my folks while my Dad recovers from chemo. He wanted
me to take it out and I was hoping to keep it from coming back so he
doesn't have to deal with it again.)
Thanks again for all of your help.
These plants have a very large root system which includes the rhizome, a
mass of fibrous roots and tuberous storage organs. If digging plants
out, remove all of the root system only in the smallest plants, as the
amount of soil disturbance involved with larger infestations would be
unacceptable. When digging it is essential to remove all of the rhizome
as plants can re-grow from small fragments left behind. However, it is
OK to leave tubers and fibrous roots in the ground. A sharp knife or
secateurs can be used for this job. Rhizomes should be disposed of
carefully and not left lying in contact with the ground. If plants are
fruiting at the time of treatment the fruits should also be disposed of
carefully, preferably by burning or deep burial."
Oh boy. This is gonna be fun. ;)
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