Spotted Knapweed


Yet another invasive plant…

Beaver Island Phragmites Control


Continuing the “countdown” of top ten invasive plants here on Beaver Island, let me introduce Spotted Knapweed.

This herbaceous (non-woody) perennial has a unique island story. I made several attempts to have my facts verified and clarified last week, which resulted in only delays. I am betting that – if I get the story wrong – I’ll quickly be given the corrections, so I’m going to tell it as I’ve heard it. Beaver Island is big on nicknames. Over the years we’ve heard names from “Tight” Gallagher to “Killer” Burke to “Red Pup” and “Hannah”.

This invasive plant has a Beaver Island nickname, too. Here, it is often referred to as “Denemy Thistle”. It was unintentionally brought to the island in a load of hay that William “Denemy” Boyle (a relative, by marriage, of “Harlem” Gallagher) shipped over. It came here when agriculture was still an important  industry on Beaver…

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About cindyricksgers

I am an artist. I live on an island in northern Lake Michigan, USA. I have two grown daughters, four strong, smart and handsome grandsons and one beautiful, intelligent and charming granddaughter. I live with two spoiled dogs. I love walking in the woods around my home, reading, writing and playing in my studio.

2 responses »

  1. Growing up in Everett, Ma., I had a friend whose backyard was inpenetrable with this stuff! Once in a while her father would take a sickle to it, but it really needed a complete “pull up” (To be fair, he worked 3 jobs, had 5 kids and no time…and ended up dying of a heart attack at 36!! Weeding wasn’t high on his priority list!)
    Boy do i hate that plant! (and i don’t say that about too many growing things!)

    • I always assumed this was a native weed, as it’s always been such a common sight along the roads. My cousin, who is trying to work the family farm, has been battling it, and hates it like you do. I’m learning more and more as this job continues! Thanks for reading, Karen, and for your comments!

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