TWIN FALLS — An invasive noxious weed that resembles the smothering Kudzu vine of the southern United States is creating difficulties for Idaho landowners, especially in the Magic Valley region, state noxious weed officials say.
“Cassia County and Twin Falls weed control experts are reporting the first infestations of white bryony in their area” Roger Batt, Idaho Weed Awareness Campaign Coordinator, said in a statement.
White bryony is a vigorous perennial climbing vine that poses a major destructive potential to native vegetation. This noxious weed — also known as western kudzu — forms sense mats which shade out all vegetation it creeps upon, eventually killing it. Its rapidly growing vines can reach a length of 50 feet that can cover the tops of large trees in a single season.
White bryony is a very difficult weed to control and has a large tuberous root system that resembles a beet or turnip. It is also a poisonous plant — especially the root tuber — so it’s very important to wear rubber gloves and other protective clothing when handling this noxious weed. So far, the best method is to simply dig up this root system, bearing in mind that each fibrous root-hair left behind may develop into a new tuber.
“Be sure to place the tuber and other parts of the root system that you dig up into a garbage bag because, if you leave it on the ground, it can re-root itself,” Batt added.
White bryony is one of 67 noxious weeds listed in Idaho. Each year state and local landowners spend upwards of $30 million to combat noxious weeds. Since it is a new noxious weed found in Twin Falls County and Cassia County, it is considered to be one on the Early Detection and Rapid Response List. That means if you spot white bryony on your land in the Magic Valley, immediately contact the Cassia County Weed Control Department or Twin Falls County Weed Control Department for technical expertise in dealing with this noxious weed. This will help it from spreading to surrounding land areas.
For additional information about white bryony and how to control and manage it, go to idahoweedawareness.com or Facebook at IdahoWeedAwareness.