Help me identify this Frankenbush!
We bought this house about six years ago, and there was always a corner of the yard that had a beutiful azalea that was being crowded out by a prolific perennial "bush". The previous owners, as well as the next door neighbor, were not yard people, so they let their lanscaping go, and that included this particular plant. This thing had grown into a monster of sorts, and would reach heights of around eight feet. I temporarily trimmed it back figuring it would take a while to grow back, but it responded prolifically with new shoots. To make matter worse, I discovered this "Frankenbush" (the bush that will not die) had sent out runners as far as 20 feet all around the plant. I was determined to erradicate it.
Last summer, with pick mattock, pry bar and shovel, I attacked. I got the large root ball of the mother plant out after much fighting, and pulled up many of the large runners at least six feet out from the plant. There were also many minor runners as well, but I figured with the mains gone, the minors would die out. So after feeling quite smug that I killed off the main plant, I went off on other gardening pursuits.
The plant started to return, but this time, new plants were emerging everywhere the roots had been chopped. I dug more and pulled more roots. Maybe now.
This spring, a host of new shoots started emerging. I was also digging runners out of my side garden where they had travelled down the side yard. The most infuriating thing about this plant was the fact that every square inch of it, including the roots, are brittle. If you pull on the plant, it snaps. If you bend a stalk, it snaps off. If you dig down 8 inches where the runners are and attempt to pull it from the roots, the roots snap off. And every root you leave in the ground results in a new plant emerging in about three weeks.
I have figured out how to get rid of it, but it does require digging down one foot, putting the dirt into a wheel barrow, and then hand-sifting the dirt to remove every single root from the soil. I'm still seeing new Frankenbushes crop up because of little root sections that I missed in my initial sifting. (I'm close to getting it all out at this point, but not yet.) The roots are almost whitish in color, and about a 1/3 inch in diameter. It doesn't seem to take much root to produce a new plant.
I have pictures, but don't see a way to post them here in the forum. If someone can tell me how to do that, then you can see what this thing looks like. Short of bamboo, I have never seen a plant as prolific as this. Does anyone know what it could be?