Here I am happily moseying along a forested road, when I see several gorgeous plants that appear spaced evenly apart as if planted by invisible hands alien to the evergreen surroundings. I think, hmmm, never have I seen these before, but they look like tiered elephant ears bowing gracefully in wind, and their flowers are certainly delicate.
It turns out one person’s gorgeous, bamboo stalked elephant ear bowing gracefully in wind is another person’s noxious weed. As in Class B Noxious Weed in Washington State and many other states. Class B is of medium frequency, Class A least frequency and Class C, bring out the big guns. This was education for little old me, because I had no idea we have a Noxious Weed Control Board and State Weed Laws. Apparently Washington State passed its first weed law in 1881 against the Canadian Thistle. Of course, I always knew about roadside spraying, but somehow I did not connect the dots until this apparently innocuous row of plants whispered to me.
Thankfully I have never owned property so legally I am not required to dispense of this beautiful specimen and it can remain anonymous, unless my conscience gets the best of me and I wake up in the night wondering, “What will happen to the natives? Will this Giant Knotweed devour everything in its path?” Just goes to show an ethical dilemma can happen anywhere any time, even while happily walking down a country road.