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That pretty purple plant is a weed?
County’s Noxious Weed program hosts Weed ID courses through June 19.
BREMERTON — Dana Coggon has seen same nasty, persistent little buggers penetrating yards and gardens throughout Kitsap. And no, the buggers aren’t neighborhood children or dogs — they’re the weediest of weeds, deemed noxious and prevalent.
Coggon, the Kitsap County’s Noxious Weed coordinator, is a master at identifying and eradicating plants that grow where we just don’t want them. She’s hosting weed identification classes throughout the county from June 17-19 to share her knowledge and give homeowners the edge in the war on weeds. Kitsap County’s Noxious Weed program is sponsoring the classes in which the public is invited to attend and bring plants they need identified.
The sessions, Coggon said, will essentially answer the questions, “What is this?” and “How can I get rid of it and its friends?”
Residents are encouraged to attend and bring their mysterious plants along. If it is at all possible, Coggon recommends bringing the plant’s flowers, as the flowers make the identification process much easier.
To help the process, Coggon will bringing some weeds of her own, which she refers to as her “traveling menagerie.” The weed road show includes Kitsap’s Dirty Dozen — the most noxious (and obnoxious) weeds Kitsap has to offer. Some may recognize these offenders as the ones setting up camp on their properties, she said. But sometimes there are surprises.
“I have seen brand new plants I’ve never seen before coming in,” she said. “I’d rather catch them early on than catch them late.”
If she is unable to identify the plant on the spot, she’ll ask the weed presenter for contact information and will have an answer within a couple of weeks, she said. She does beg for the public’s patience.
“There are millions of weeds and only one of me,” she said.
This is the third year the Noxious Weed program has taken its show on the road. The first year the classes were used to test the waters, while last year some of the classes saw a couple dozen attendees.
One noxious weed that’s becoming problematic on Bainbridge Island is knotweed, she said.
“(Knotweed) can break concrete,” Coggon said. “There are places in the UK that have had to spend millions of dollars redoing parking lots and home structures. It will push its way through any available crack and can break apart concrete and asphalt.”
Noxious weeds, as defined by state law, are plants that have been “introduced accidentally” or as a decorative plant in a garden. Some are poisonous and grow — pardon the expression — like weeds, according to the Noxious Weed program’s Web site.
The Noxious Weed program was created to comply with a 1969 state mandate that all counties must create and enact a program to control noxious weeds.