Beware the skyrocket

Michael AKA Leekle2ManE - Zone 9a - Lady Lake, FAugust 19, 2014

As I had mentioned some time ago, I had neighbors who had one side of their home lined with Skyrocket Clerodendrums. These plants might have looked good in a border but the way they had them planted made them look just plain gaudy. They also had a nasty habit of reseeding themselves everywhere, even my yard. Well, for reasons unknown to me, I came home from a trip up north to find their home (a single-wide) gone. Regretfully, a part of me was overjoyed. This was the same Crazy Cat People house that stunk of cat waste and drastically affected the quality of life of their neighbors. After a brief talk with the park manager, I voluntarily took on the job of keeping the lot mowed and 'beautifying' in the process.

While I have been working over in that lot, pulling up spreading taros, splitting overgrown clumps of daylillies (I think) and mowing the grass, I have also been pulling up the Clerodendrums. In the process I have learned that these plants have not just been reseeding, they have been spreading by half inch thick runners. I traced one runner as far as 20 ft and found the sprout coming up inside one of my firebushes. And despite their thickness, these runners are brittle. They are frequently breaking and I am sure I am going to be re-pulling some that I thought I had gotten as well as extras from the broken bits. In frustration, I sprayed a few of them with glysophate and after three applications the leaves are finally starting to yellow, but the roots are sending up new growth to counter this loss.

Last I looked, this plant was not on the Invasive Exotics list, but it probably should be.

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All of the Clerodendrums spread by those nasty runners. I have Starburst (C. quadriloculare) that went into the ground from a 3-gallon can ten plus years ago. The bloody thing pops up yards away from the mother plant in every direction and it's impossible to pull up the entire runner.

    Bookmark   August 19, 2014 at 8:48AM
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tomncath(St Pete Z10a Heat 10)

Floridata does list it as invasive.

    Bookmark   August 20, 2014 at 12:41PM
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