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Has this ever happened to you? A plant shows up in your garden. You don’t remember planting it, and it’s not an obvious weed – in fact there’s a lot to like about this newbie.
Carex pendula FB photo 2

You might even let your imagination run wild (as, ahem, I may have done), and dream for a moment that you’ve been blessed with a new sort of hybrid seedling. A beautiful plant, one that was free! This particular plant reminded me a lot of an astelia, both in form and leaf shape. But then reality sunk in as I realized it’s growing so darn fast it had to be a weed.
Carex pendula FB photo 1

What to do? Well as a blogger I’d usually post a photo on my blog, and quickly receive several comments that identify the mystery plant, along with advice on how to handle it. But what if you don’t have a blog? That’s where Facebook comes in! There’s a great group on Facebook called Plant Idents. People from all over the world vie for the chance to be the first to identify your plant, it’s a wonderful resource. It’s also quite fun when you’re the first to identify someone else’s “what am I?” Of course there are also folks who post challenge photos, things they know the name of and they want to see if anyone else does. If you’re on Facebook you should check out the group and join!

Back to my mystery plant…I posted a couple images on “Plant Idents” and in within minutes learned it’s true identity: Carex pendula, invasive and often a “by-product of putting seed mix out to feed the birds” (something my neighbor does, and technically this was growing on his property, in a part that I maintain).

It came out the next day, dug, not pulled–as recommended.
Carex pendula dug out

And yikes, it was fixing to bloom!
Carex pendula bloom

Sure was pretty while it lasted.
Carex pendula it's pretty

Since we’re talking about possible thugs here are a couple I’ll confess to have growing in my garden, nobody’s perfect: