Bishops Weed (snow on the mountain)

GeeGee_(z5 IA.)June 24, 2004

I just planted some Bishops Weed that my Mom gave me. After I planted it I read that it is very invasive. What has been your experience with this plant. Should it stay or should it go??

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Just rec's some from the neighbor girl she called it snow on the mountain. Now I'm not sure if I want to plant it. Guess I'll wait for the responses.

    Bookmark   June 24, 2004 at 10:38AM
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Well --it grows wells in the shade --takes over many beds --is always easily available at yard sales and plant sales. Once you have it --you always have it and seems to be somewhat resistant to Round-up!!!

Invasive is in the eye of the beholder! If I was doing a mixed perennial bed and someone gave me snow-on-the-mountain --I would toss it in the garbage. BUT if I was doing the north side of a house where nothing else would grow --it makes a great ground cover!

You decide.


    Bookmark   June 24, 2004 at 4:02PM
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uicricket(z5 IA)

I agree with Cathy. In the right place and in the right circumstances it can be the perfect plant. It does well on shady slopes that are hard to mow and under trees where the grass won't grow. I actually have it growing under some roses on the east side of my house. The two coexist well and both were there when we bought the house. The roses are hardy and healthy and the bishops weed is a nice contrast at the bottom. Bear in mind that it is contained between the house and the sidewalk. In this case it's pretty and "if it ain't broke don't mess with it". I moved some to surround our LP tank. Covers the bare ground and DH mows off any escapees.

Where did you plan on planting yours?


    Bookmark   June 24, 2004 at 5:23PM
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I would not use this in a mixed bed,but as a groundcover where it can't get entwined in the roots of other flowers,it can be useful. I have it at the base of evergreens
along the east side of the house.
Then I wanted to put in an iris bed,so hub pounded in a barrier made from some left over vinyl siding & no problems. I have visited many,many lovely gardens & I will say more people had Bishop's weed than did not.Doris

    Bookmark   June 24, 2004 at 6:10PM
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Thanks for the update. Actually I was informed by neighbor girl that i should put it on the north side where I have nothing but evergreens would they work under evergreens?
which one of you live near IC, I'm south of W'Burg.

    Bookmark   June 24, 2004 at 7:45PM
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Baumer(z5 Ia)

I agree in the right spot does well. But wish i had read more before planting it. Got it in the main bed. It is pretty. I'm also in Iowa county. East of Marengo. Koszta pop.29 and GROWING.

    Bookmark   June 24, 2004 at 9:51PM
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GeeGee_(z5 IA.)

Thank you for the replies. I planted it on the edge of my hasta's wich are on the north side of the garage. They seem so tiny and harmless now. Hopefully they wont kill out my hasta's as they spread.
I live in Poweshiek County in the HLV School district.

    Bookmark   June 25, 2004 at 8:55AM
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uicricket(z5 IA)

I've had it planted near hostas for the last 8 years and haven't had a problem. The hostas create so much shade that it seams to be a natural barrier.

    Bookmark   June 25, 2004 at 9:09AM
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okay that's it --i'm planting them (YES!) they are pretty
i'm also Ia. County (south of w'burg)

    Bookmark   June 25, 2004 at 6:32PM
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fergie05(z4/5 IA)

I love it under my big evergreens-- brightens it up--it's filled in a WHOLE bunch in just one year. I can't wait for it to fill in entirely.

    Bookmark   June 26, 2004 at 7:01PM
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You asked for opinions and here is mine.
Where I have mine planted I consider it one of my gardening mistakes. It is pretty, however blooms out and the blooms distract from the variegated foliage. It is very invasive. If you can keep it contained you will be good. It is hard to destroy. Weed killer is not working for me. The only plus is it will grow in very poor soil, the gravel type and also clay. I would consider using it in roadside ditches with wildflowers where it can grow and grow and invade just everywhere. The contrast would make a pretty area that need not be contained.
Good Luck
apt/Pat in Buchanan County.

    Bookmark   July 1, 2004 at 12:30AM
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I have it around a big old maple tree in my East yard. It seems to be doing just fine and doesn't seem to be invading where it shouldn't be, but of course, I mow around the maple tree and that keeps it in check. I'd probably be very leary of putting it into any of my flower beds, tho.

IA Z5a

    Bookmark   July 1, 2004 at 1:36PM
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I think everyone has essentially captured the cultural considerations of growing Aegopodium podagraria 'Variegatum' outlined by so many above. However, there is one aspect of choosing to introduce any plant into oneÂs garden design that has been overlooked. How does it perform? As a ground cover, this plant performs poorly because it wimps out long before the growing season is over. As a rule, the leaves eventually acquire rusty ulcerations and become very ratty.

Yes, one could whack these all back to acquire fresh regrowth. However, IÂm looking for plants that donÂt require infusions of extra labor  especially during the heat of summer. As a ground cover, there are many better choices that give a solid performance without declining into a woefully, ratty appearance.

Of course, one has to set aside the "grandma factor" when talking about some of these plants. Lily-of-the-valley (Convallaria majalis ) is another of these plants so often used as a ground cover. It starts out strongly but always collapses into a dismal appearance long before the end of the growing season.

Personally, I prefer something like Sweet Woodruff (Galium odoratum), Kenilworth Ivy (Cymbalaria muralis) or Tiarella (the list goes on and on) when choosing ground covers. If one desires the effect mentioned above of lighting up a shady area, perhaps one of the many Lamiums (ÂPink PewterÂ, ÂWhite NancyÂ, ÂOrchid FrostÂ, etc.) would be a much better choice.
Lamium maculatum


    Bookmark   July 1, 2004 at 8:50PM
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I am not sure what your SNOW ON THE MOUNTAIN plant looks like, but the one I refer to as that is not the one pictured above (although I have THAT plant too but definately have no invasive issues w/ it.)

The SOM plant that I have could be invasive so I have used those black plastic pots that you get store bought plants in and container planted it. I then planted the pot. So far, I have had no problems w/ any runners sneaking out and it really looks great IMO. Just my 2c.

Stacey near CF =)

PS I really love mine amongst my plain green hostas. Adds a bit of interest against the plain green background.

    Bookmark   July 25, 2004 at 7:34PM
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What Ironbelly pictured was not Snow-on-the Mountain but a wonderful alternative called Lamium. After 4 years in a bed, its beginning to self-seed --but is easily controlled.


    Bookmark   July 26, 2004 at 9:42AM
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When I bought my house 16 years ago there was a bed (8'x4')on the east side of my house, surrounded by square landscape timbers, and full of nothing but snow on the mountain. I have not had any problem with invasiveness. Once in a great while one will grown under the timbers, but I just pull it out. It has stayed contained for all these years and who knows how long before I bought the property.

    Bookmark   August 10, 2004 at 11:58AM
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buttercupia(zone4 IA)

We have had snow on the mountain on the northeast side of our house since moving in twenty years ago. It is very dry shade in the summer, and pretty enough until midsummer when it gets rusty red and dark brown over about half of the foliage. It looks real bad. Last year I pulled most of it out by the roots and thought it was about gone, but this year it's back again. I think it must be pretty hard to get rid of. Probably have to cultivate another plant that will do well in the same place. Like an assortment of hostas?

    Bookmark   August 12, 2004 at 10:51PM
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I agree with what Iron Belly and Buttercup say about Snow on the Mountain. It really does look ratty come the middle of July and through August. I think the thing with SotM is that it seduces you early in the year when it's lush, full and beautiful. Atleast, that's what it did with me. :) If I get time (some day) I'm probably going to get rid of mine from around the tree and put in something that is a bit more drought friendly.

IA Z5a

    Bookmark   August 15, 2004 at 6:38PM
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I have what is know as "Snow on the Mountain"(Euphoria) Mine is an annual and seeds it's self back each year. I have had the bishops weed. It is a very hard plant to control. The "Snow on the Mountain" I have is a show stopper this time of year. A picture af the annual plant can be found in "The Complete garden and flower book" by Laurel Glen. The book refers to it as "Snow on the Mountain" It is confusing. One is invasive and the other isn't. The proper name is Euphorbia marginata. hope this helps

    Bookmark   August 19, 2004 at 11:14AM
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i bought a home that had snow in the mountain in the mixed beds. after fighting it for two years (i thought i could get rid of it) it did take over my other plants, we sold our home to some unsuspecting buyer. i swear i would not buy a home that had this in the yard. and i most certainly would not plant it anywhere in my yard, there are less invasive plants that will grow in difficult areas.

    Bookmark   August 20, 2004 at 2:13AM
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lbs1028 I am worried after reading all the postings.

Any advice? I just planted yesterday in a dry shady top of a slope in our backyard...trying to give some life to the area under two Sycamore trees so there is dappled sun.

The plants I picked:
2 Bugbanes
2 Dale Strains Coral Bells
1 Christmas Fern
1 Foaming Bell
and then 1 Bishop's Weed!!!!!!

My husband is an Episcopal Priest so I thought it was a appropriate name and now that I read that it takes over everything and you can't kill it....LOL It sounds more like it should be called Devil's weed. At least the Bishops of the world would not probably like the attributes of this plant.

So...should I rip the one plant out? We don't have a lot of money being a clergy family. :) I can't afford to lose all the rest to this one marauder plant in Bishop's vestsments(so to speak).

What do folks think? Shady, clay soil (amended with Organic soil builder in each spot I planted a plant), on the top of a slope so all the water ends at the bottom...? Will the Bishop's weed be the last one standing at the end of the summer and choke everyone else out?

Thanks for any advice, I feel like running out there and ripping it out just out of fear. I have something (from previous owner) in my front yard that is already the bane of my existance and must fight a losing battle there in my lawn and front bed. So I don't need another thing like that.

Sincerely, Laura

    Bookmark   May 13, 2007 at 9:29AM
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Seriously, I'd probably just pull it out now and be done with it. I had it around a large old maple tree, well, the tree died and we cut it down, but the Bishops Weed is still there. I mow it off all the time, but I suppose I'll end up spraying it with 2 4D to finally get rid of it..

Good luck. :)


    Bookmark   May 17, 2007 at 12:46PM
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lindac(Iowa Z 5/4)

Bishop's Weed is also called goat weed and gout weed....yank it out before it gets too settled in.
As a ground cover under evergreens it will come up in the center of the bush and look will tunnel under landscape timbers and it will also seed itself....and I have even seen it get infusions of a reverted plant which is plain green....and still invasive!
Pull it! Replace with a'll be happier.
linda C

    Bookmark   May 24, 2007 at 12:04AM
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We live in Sask, Canada. Last fall I dug up tuns of this plant, and re-planted it under an evergreen tree that we have built a flower box around the outside, to keep the weed under control. However, I notice this year (May) there is nothing growing yet. Will the plants come back?
What can I expect from this plant for overal appearance this year. I was hoping it was going to look like a million bucks. :)

    Bookmark   May 7, 2008 at 10:45PM
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I strongly agree with everyone suggesting that you to pull them now! I'm painfully digging and pulling ... nit picking really ... trying to eradicate, as they have woven their way every where!!! Quite invasive and will not cower to weed killers! I have Lamium in 3 colors & Myrtel easier to keep in check!

Good luck!

    Bookmark   May 22, 2008 at 1:11AM
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Hello. Just joined this forum today and started looking at entries.

I have two sets of Bishops Weed (Aegopodium). The variegated variety spreads quickly, but I'm not finding it invasive. I have an older variety, from previous planting, that is on the 'hit list' for invasive. It IS taking over sections of various areas, including overrunning the variegated stuff.
Here is a link showing how bad this is:

As long as you stick to the variegated variety, you're ok. I have to warn you that as you can read about it, it does look very bad in warm, humid weather. It gets blighted and turns brown. It will come back, but is really ugly stuff until the heat/humidity passes. So, it's a trade-off. If you want to cover a large area as I have (full shade under an old oak), and don't experience too much hot/humid weather, it's a good plant (variegated only).
The stuff I really like is pachysandra --- stays evergreen even over Chicago-area winter. Doesn't spread as quickly, and needs a more humus-enriched soil, but is a great plant.

    Bookmark   June 28, 2008 at 9:50AM
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I love my Pachysandra too and is just now starting their little white blossoms - no big Wow but lovely little snow-flakes on top of the thick & shiny, dark-green carpet of foliage. I'm opening up a bit more space for them to stretch, as I simply love them!!! Â:)

I'm beginning to succeed trying to eradicate B.Weed from a shade bed. by patiently pulling every new shoot that shows up - it is actually that collapse, into the ugly, muddy look in the hot & humid days of Aug, that made me decide to pull them. However, like a fool I replaced them with cuttings from my Periwinkle patch ... just found out - can be thugs too! Oh well I'll just watch them closely ... my Periwinkle patch was so beautifully, covered with blossoms in May!

    Bookmark   July 13, 2008 at 11:18PM
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What does kill Snow on the Mountain? If is everywhere and I just want it gone.

    Bookmark   October 29, 2008 at 4:09PM
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If anyone close to SC has any they want removed, please let me know---I'd love some to fill in part of my yard where grass won't grow and it's welcome to spread all it wants there.......

    Bookmark   March 27, 2009 at 3:04AM
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Hi how true the saying goes ... ",,,someone's coal is another's gold!"... another beautiful prairie plant in the list of (nearly) forbidden, is "Dame's Rocket" that grew & re-seeded faster than I could blink my eyes (almost) truly beautiful in all shades of pinks & lavenders ... glorious, wafts of lovely scent can make one forget the dangers of growing them in our area. To unsuspecting 'butterfly gardeners' this Phlox-looking garden beauty of European origin, has taken over & has endangered wild prairies of the mid-West. I guess for very CONSCIENTIOUS gardeners it is forgivable to keep them & keep them in check - we are asked to enjoy them ... dead-head before seeds mature for birds to harvest & sow!!!

Many years ago their seeds were included in the 'Wild Flowers' packet I scattered in my newly created 'Butterfly Patch' - I since found out that their mature seeds can survive as long as 7 years in the compost pile. They are no longer allowed in seed packets distributed in our area.

Gardeners from the South & West as well, simply love to have as much in their
perennial patches ... I envy the fact, that they are not invaders in their part of the country!!! Please correct any misinformation & warning I have shared.

FWIW ... just a few more weeks & we're off dirt digging once again! Â:)

    Bookmark   March 31, 2009 at 12:02PM
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shadey(z5 Chicago)

I've had bishop's weed on the north side of my house, under a magnolia, for 13 years! Now that I've removed a nearby maple, it is beginning to spread. When a plant gets invasive (lily-of-the-valley) I stick these vinyl edging things into the ground and create a barrier -- you can't even see them -- works well.

I really *love* the look of the bishops weed -- it brightens up this dark, shadey area. When it gets tatty in July I move it or weed wack it and it sprouts beautiful new growth! It is bordered by a driveway on one side and a spruce tree on the other -- so, I'd say the right spot is important for it not to get out-of-control.

I think that some invasive plants, like this one and lily-of-the-valley, have there place if you have a good means of control and you know what you're getting into.

Just my two cents,

    Bookmark   April 15, 2009 at 1:50PM
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I keep pulling it out and it just spreads.. Even in the high sun.. I did find one weed killer that will kill it but not roound up, that does not touch it.
Good Luck getting it all out..somehow it spreads from bed to bed...

    Bookmark   July 26, 2010 at 6:23PM
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Without killing off other trees,plants,and veg. how do u get rid of this very invasive plant???

    Bookmark   June 20, 2011 at 9:16AM
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Could lead to divorce. My wife loves it; I hate it. This year the flower stocks are 2-3 feet high. The hostas can't be seen and some of the evergreens are disappearing. Can you put it in salads.
What will kill it without killing everything else.

    Bookmark   July 12, 2011 at 2:42PM
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I have loved my snow on the mountain plants for 3 yrs. but this year they have all come up and not been varigeted!!!??? They are just plain ol' green...What happened? Now that I hae planted them all over my house???

    Bookmark   July 18, 2011 at 5:33PM
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I loved my variegated bishops weed, but in the last few years, it has turned a solid green color and has taken over the garden. Why did the color change? It was not invasive when it was variegated.

    Bookmark   May 19, 2012 at 10:04PM
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I have had this filling in beautifully for many years and just this year, some areas are beginning to turn plain green and not pretty at all. It doesn't look as good in midsummer, but I slow that yellowing down by cutting off all the flowering stems and maybe that is why it hasn't taken over too much. It is still 60% verigated and the plain green is in one area, so I'm going to try to kill that. I always get compliments on how nice it looks bordering the yard, so I don't want to kill it all.

    Bookmark   June 3, 2012 at 5:58PM
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I inadvertently killed off my bishops weed (snow on the mountain) several years ago! We have deep shade in the back yard now with 4 large trees. Around the Ash tree in the corner I planted snow on the mountain in the flagstone bordered bed when nothing else would grow. The grass was nearby was suffering so I used Revive with the water mix sprayer all over the grass and sprayed it on the snow on the mountain too. It started dying soon after. I did not plant anything else for two years and it has not come back. I just pulled up the dead debris the following year when it did not come back. I have recently rebuilt the flagstone border of the bed and planted 5 hydrangea and 6 hosta, sweet woodruff, and lamium. It all seems to be doing well for about 6 weeks now. But, keep Revive off your plants you want to keep.

This post was edited by DianenColorado on Tue, Jul 15, 14 at 18:17

    Bookmark   July 15, 2014 at 4:35PM
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