I have no one to blame but myself, thinking this fast-spreading ground cover wouldn’t be a problem for ME, in MY garden. See the hubris here? Problems are for lesser gardeners. And if I don’t like ‘em I’ll just pull ‘em out, like I do every other plant I try and don’t like.
So I added Bishop’s weed to a border (location, location, location) because I loved how its light-green-and-white foliage brightens up even the darkest spot.
Well. Here’s what the Missouri Botanic Garden has to say about it.
Avoid use of this plant in any mixed planting with other perennials such as in a rock garden or border. Best in a pure, contained planting (surrounded by natural or installed barriers) where it can be allowed to grow and spread solely as a ground cover. Can be quite effective when grown in the shade of trees or large shrubs.
Having done exactly what they so wisely say not to do, I can tell you why. Because unlike, say, a stray black-eyed Susan seedling that’s easily dug out, the roots and runners on Bishop’s weed secretly inhabit your garden from below. This photo only hints at the problem – I’ve found even longer roots that could only be removed in pieces, and still some bits remain, to emerge and annoy me another day. See, they have the ability to entwine their sneaky selves through the roots of every single plant in the border. I’ve gone through the border carefully removing every single fleck of the stuff, then done it again, and I’ll be doing it until the end of my years gardening here.
Bishop’s weed (Aegopodium podagraria ‘Variegatum’) photo courtesy Missouri Botanical Garden.