we just bought a house with a yard that seems to have been neglected for sometime. I can’t identify the major weed growing in the yard. It can grow up to over a meter in height and the shaft gets very thick. Nothing prickly. Spreads very quickly and is running into our neighbor’s yard. Any idea what it is or the best way to get rid of it? Right now i am thinking mulch.
Thank you for submitting your plant identification question to the Toronto Master Gardeners.
Your plant looks to be Mugwort ( Artemesia vulgaris.), which fits the photograph and the eventual height and characteristics you described.
Mugwort is an invasive herb that tends to colonize and spreads with rhizomes underground. Using a pitchfork, you can pry up the clump and also follow the lateral rhizomes outward. If you if you miss a few rhizomes, they will pop up new shoots that will indicate to you where to dig some more. If you are persistent in this approach, and make sure to cut down before their fruiting seeds ripen, you can be successful in eradicating them.
This could become more complicated if there are some that have spread to your neighbors yard, in which case you will have to be diligent in not allowing rhizomes to spread back into your yard, or perhaps helping your neighbor to eradicate theirs.
While I am sure you view this plant as an uninvited weed, there are some interesting herbal applications if one is so inclined. As a point of interest feel free to more on this plant in the following link;