BANNOCK COUNTY, Idaho (KIFI/KIDK) - From a distance, it might look like a nice ground cover plant, but white bryony is anything but nice.
Idaho land owners can find white bryony all over Bannock County right now.
"This year it seems to have really exploded in some areas," said David Herter, Bannock County's noxious weed supervisor.
The weed resembles Virginia creeper, but you can tell the difference because white bryony has a five leaf structure instead of a four leaf structure. White bryony also has berries that turn black and small white flowers.
"It's covering everything and it's growing eight to 10 inches a day on a good sunlight day," Herter said.
The weed will grow near water and overtake fences, trees and other plants. It can choke out whatever plant it decides to grow on by taking up all the sunlight with its large leaves. Plus, it's easy to spread.
"It carries berries, which birds love to take those berries and when they drop them, that is a seed so it will replant," Herter said.
The perennial plant is poisonous if eaten, especially the roots and berries.
"You can touch it, but once you break it, if it gets on your hands and kids put that in their mouths or by their eyes, it can cause a lot of damage, so we don't want them to even play around with it," Herter said.
If you find white bryony in your yard and want to get rid of it, follow the vine down to the root, but don't pull out the tuber.
"Once you find that tuber, you want to inject it with a product like round up. Then, just cover it back up and it'll die. If you remove that tuber, any of those hairs on that tuber will create a new plant." Herter said.
Bannock County Noxious Weed Control can help property owners with removing this plant by providing tips and education. They can be reached at 208-236-7407.
In Bonneville County, contact Weed Control Supervisor Jeffrey Pettingill at 208-529-1397.
If you see white bryony in public areas, call your county's weed control department to let them know where it is so they can take care of it.