Winter flowering heliotrope

This horrible stuff is ALL OVER THE PLACE in the IoW.

Winter flowering heliotrope
Winter flowering heliotrope

It’s a bit like bindweed, except the leaves are bigger and look as though they belong in a lily pond.  For ages I didn’t know what it was (someone once mentioned celandine but that has yellow flowers and much smaller leaves) but now I know.  I really can’t emphasise just how invasive this thing is.  It only has male flowers in the UK but spreads through tubers underground.

Last year I planted a load of periwinkle to compete with it but the periwinkle had no chance.

As we are on an island, someone must actually have chosen to plant this thing and let it spread everywhere.  Seriously, I’ve seen it as far as Ventnor.

It's taken over EVERYWHERE
It’s taken over EVERYWHERE

It doesn’t appear to much like being in direct sunlight which, considering it is originally from north Africa, is surprising but now that Autumn is here, it is getting everywhere again.  I ended up tweeting the nice people at Crocus in April, who said that digging it up can spread it (ugh) and that if I really want to get rid of it, I need to remove all the plants I like and then spray glysophate weedkiller everywhere.  I can’t face doing this.

One way that this stuff can be killed off is through sub-zero temperatures.  Which I am totally hoping for.  Unfortunately, the IoW is incredibly temperate and if there is ever a frost overnight, we talk about it for ages.  Humph.

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