Cardamine hirsuta

Kipp McMichael
Wed, 03 Apr 2013 23:26:16 PDT

  You were not the list member who suggested GMO contamination as a cause for your weed problems. I was not calling your reasonable post about invasive weeds illogical or superstitious.

  Invasive plants are certainly a problem. We had a grass called "Johnson grass" in Alabama that is invasive, impregnable and emerges via razor sharp shoots - the kind that can pierce tarps, pool liners and even soccer balls. I also remember a succession of "invasions" during my youth in which a sea of one weed gave way to a different invasive swarm after different kinds of disturbances: fire, mowing, plowing, en especially cold winter. 

  But the rangeland weeds you struggle with are not (yet) related to herbicides or GMOs - they are merely natural plants who've been dropped into ecosystems without their natural cohort of parasites and predators. 

  To bring this back to bulbs: Sparaxis elegans seems to be a nascent invasive here in the Bay Area. I see it regularly in rocky natural areas from Mount San Bruno to Marin County. I'm hoping a gregarious sparaxaphile is the culprit rather than natural dispersal from garden populations. I do feel a twinge of guilt uprooting those gorgeous flowers when I see them in natural areas - but natives in the Bay Area have it too hard to let myself be seduced by the beauty of such South African belles.


> From:
> To:
> Date: Wed, 3 Apr 2013 22:56:26 -0700
> Subject: Re: [pbs] Cardamine hirsuta
> You are correct that correlation is not causation, but in the case I gave as
> an illustration, this was the only instance with this result and believe me
> I had tried everything else I could think of - fire, vinegar, tilling,
> flooding to allow hand weeding....  In discussion with others in this
> valley, I found similar experiences.  Yes, there may be something happening
> we are not seeing, but it is interesting that many people seem to be having
> the same result.
> When yards and ranch land are being taken over by plants that the university
> specialist haven't a clue as to how to deal with, it can be darn scary.  I
> know herbicide resistance is not necessarily related to GMO use, but GMO use
> does increase the use of herbicides.  When I can't plant bulbs without them
> being either smothered by Whitetop or literally skewered and choked by grass
> rhizomes that are as sharp as needles, I get very frustrated.   When a
> person owns acreage, but has to resort to growing plants in pots, something
> is wrong.  I don't think my reaction is either illogical or superstitious.
> As a health professional I am very aware of the downside of herbicide use,
> the health consequences of  which can actually be tracked by zip code in
> California.  I don't want them on me or in me.  As for organic, UC Davis
> found years ago that there are real differences between the way bugs react
> to organic and conventional plants.  No I'm not a bug, but I see no reason
> to think that my body is not able to tell the difference.
> Colleen 
> -----Original Message-----
> From: []
> On Behalf Of Kipp McMichael
> Sent: Wednesday, April 03, 2013 9:14 PM
> To: Pacific Bulb Society
> Subject: Re: [pbs] Cardamine hirsuta
> Greetings,
>   We all know the adage "correlation is not causation" - but human nature
> makes it very hard to apply this concept consistently and we frequently fall
> prey to exactly this logical error. The ability of an organism to "come back
> with a vengeance" after disturbance is what makes a plant a problemmatic
> weed in the first place. As one of the most commonly-used herbicides on the
> planet, surely someone has run the 10x10 experiment Nhu suggests.  If
> roundup were such a potent weed stimulant, how could we not have
> documentation of this effect?
>   Concerning Calfornia law and organic farming, the 5 year wait for organic
> land is not driven by concerns about Roundup specifically but about all the
> other persistent herbicides common in modern farming. Since we cannot know
> for certain what herbicides, insecticides or other chemicals have been used
> on a piece of land, the law includes a blanket 5-year wait (even though
> Roundup alone does not persist for anywhere close to 5 years). Further, 5
> years is not actually long enough to insure farmland if free of all
> previously used chemicals. But there has to be some reasonable standard that
> allows people to gain organic certification (especially since nearly all the
> ag land in California was conventionally farmed for decades before the rise
> of organic agriculture).
>   It is also quite clear from this thread that "GMO" is a topic loaded with
> confusion and influenced by what can only be labeled superstition: Why else
> would a gardender speculate that GMO contamination was responsible for weeds
> being weedy?
>   There are indeed serious questions raised by modern farming monoculture,
> the overuse of pesticides/herbicides, and environmental impacts of GMO
> crops. At the same time however, the organic farming industry also has a
> monetary interest in convincing consumers to pay a premium for their
> products. Because few of the the actors here can be trusted, it's important
> to demand evidence concerning claims from either side.
> -|<ipp
> > From:
> > To:
> > Date: Wed, 3 Apr 2013 18:32:26 -0700
> > Subject: Re: [pbs] Cardamine hirsuta
> > 
> > A few years ago I caved on my position of having an all organic garden 
> > and used some Roundup on a grass that is rhizomatous and endemic to this
> area.
> > The Agricultural extension could not identify it, but it is broadly known.
> > Many go to raised beds as a last resort.  Anyway, the Roundup appeared 
> > to kill the stand of the grass in a corner of my vegetable garden, but 
> > the next year it came back with a vengeance as if I had spoon fed it a
> tasty meal.
> > 
> > Lepidium latifolium commonly known as Tall Whitetop or just Whitetop
> >…  , 
> >…
> >  is another plant that seems to ignore Roundup.  The flowers are 
> > similar in appearance to Baby's Breath so vendors often come to this 
> > area to collect the flowers for free and then sell them as Baby's 
> > Breath thus spreading the seeds.  It is starting to invade our 
> > property and I am at a loss as to how to deal with it.  In the past we 
> > have kept it mowed hoping to stunt its growth.  This year I'm 
> > considering using a weed burner on it.  The Rancher across the road 
> > keeps it controlled by grazing, but it grows in the right-of-way along 
> > the road and the seeds blow onto our property.  Grazing controls it in 
> > our fields, but I do prefer to have flowers, lawn and vegetables on some
> of the land!
> > 
> > Point- if Roundup left no residue, there would not be the requirement 
> > (law) to wait 5 years after the last application to be considered 
> > organic
> > 
> > Colleen
> > NE Calif
> > 
> > 
> > -----Original Message-----
> > From: 
> > []
> > On Behalf Of Alberto Castillo
> > Sent: Wednesday, April 03, 2013 5:31 PM
> > To: Pacific Bulb Society
> > Subject: Re: [pbs] Cardamine hirsuta
> > 
> > Jadeboy, this is what we have been discussing in this thread. I assume 
> > everybody would know but clearly not. Genetically engineered soybean 
> > and other crops are being widely sown in South America, Africa, and
> elsewhere.
> > This soybean, etc., has been genetically modified to become resistant 
> > to Roundup; this will kill most of the existing weeds AND native 
> > vegetation of all sorts but not the soybean. This way competition from 
> > other vegetation is eliminated.
> > 
> > Christian, it seems Roundup has a sort of hormonal effect on Cardamine 
> > hirsuta boosting is germination to abnormally succesful rates. 
> > Otherwise there is no evidence that an effect on Cardamine was among 
> > the goals when projecting the product. As a matter of fact, 
> > germination improvement of no plant was ever mentioned among the 
> > product's "benefits". However there is not the slightest doubt that 
> > this actually happens from postings in this same thread.
> > 
> > 
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