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1999-06-23
Boise, ID. The Noxious Home Depot Weed

State officials from the Idaho Department of Agriculture were scurrying through Home Depot stores in at least 3 Idaho communities, scouring the stores for Sparganium erectum. It seems that Home Depot buyers in New Jersey bought an entire shipment of plants from the Netherlands that officials in Idaho want to root out of the stores. "We do not want this plant established in Idaho," said one state official. According to the state, Sparganium erectum, known commonly as branched bur reed, actually has some features in common with certain big box retailers that come to mind. Consider the qualities of this plant, as described by state officials: "It will get into an area and wipe out the desirable plants and native species...Once it's established, it's almost impossible to eradicate." These noxious weeds are blamed for taking hundreds of acres a year from Idaho grazing and farmland. Does that sound like a metaphor for the company that mistakenly bought the plants? Home Depot is now appealing to the public to help them collect all the noxious branched bur weeds, but the company admits it has no idea how many plants have been sold. The Depot sent an urgent fax alert to all the stores across the country that received some of the exclusive Home Depot shipment. State agriculture inspectors took 13 containers from the store in Boise, and 18 from Meridian -- but who knows how many other Sparganiums are on the loose, waiting to wipe out the native species. The state officials may have removed the plants from Home Depot, but they left the real weed behind.

What you can do: Botanists do not categorize Sparganium Depot, a weed plant that moves into a community, reproduces with underground stems, and destroys the native species and more desirable plants. Sparganium Depot, once established, is almost impossible to eradicate, some say, so the best thing a community can do is prevent the weed from putting down roots in the first place.










 
 
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