SOLVED: Cute little nightmarishly invasive purple-flowering weed

Cochranville, PA

This little flower was a stow-away in a perennial pot that I bought at a nursery a few years ago. It was cute, so I left it. What a mistake! This plant flowers in early April in SE Pennsylvania, in partial to full shade at height of about 6-8 inches. It then forms little tubular seed pods on the upright stems that, if allowed to ripen in early May, explode, sending seeds everywhere, and taking over the landscape. Because I was away the last two Springs, these plants were all over the yard, concentrated in and around the main side garden. but they had also travelled, or been carried along with leaves, up to 50-75 yards away, into the side woods and covering the bank by the road. I spent April and May tearing them out. To buy me time before they went to seed, I mowed the ones in the lawn a couple of times. That helped, but they reflowered, and would have still made some seed pods if not pulled. The hundreds of tiny single-stemmed seedlings that are new this year, I will continue to pull out, including the small little bulb from which they grow. This will be a multi-year project, but I hope the worst is behind me. Any control suggestions other than pesticides, are welcome. I wish I could go back in time and throw that stowaway out. Thanks for your help.

Thumbnail by Lucille1 Thumbnail by Lucille1
Chesterfield, VA(Zone 7a)

Could be Erodium cicutarium (Restem filaree). It is a weed.

Bretten, Germany

Looks like Corydalis incisa.

Scott County, KY(Zone 5b)

I'm in suse's camp.

Cochranville, PA

Is it Corydalis incisa. It is a nightmare. Because this thread is closed, I might write up my hellish experiences with this plant so others can reduce their suffering.
I spent another 6 weeks,from mid-March to 1st week of May, hand-pulling masses of this plant that invaded the stream bottom down the hill, in the woods from our house.
If you have this plant, you must get it out before the seed heads ripen and explosively spread seeds a meter in all directions. It is biannual. so if you don't dig or pull out the other (handreds-thousands of )little baby plants that grow from tiny bulbs this season, they will become the big vigorous purple-flowering plants that can invade and choke out your native plants and gardens.
1. Make sure to get the roots, which can remain as a fleshy-colored V-shape, if you don't get the while plant, or it will grow again, shorter and wider and still flower and develop seed heads. I use this curved Japanese spike tool on a handle to get to the roots. This narrow point is also good when extracting single plants among the irises or ferns- get the point u under the weed and pull straight up.
2. If they are growing on a hill, pull the plant out from below, upwards, as the root most likely started upbove the plant.
3. I tried a little glyphosate last year, which, as a chemist I NEVER use. It was not very helpful. I haven't tried the blowtorch mentioned elsewhere. That might torch those little bulbs, if no precious plats are in the way.
* I studied the hill that was inundated with the plants last year, where I spent days and hours on my knees pulling up the mature plants, and there were only a couple of plants this year vs hundreds. I am pleased that, if you can get the plants out of there, you break the cycle of seeding. Good luck to you.

This message was edited May 12, 2022 1:29 PM

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