Killer Weed in Thailand

October 25, 2018

Plants can grow amazingly fast in Thailand. How fast? Let’s take a look.

 

Native bamboo grows all around the countryside that surrounds D&G Resort here in north central Thailand. I see it all over the place. Scientists say that this plant can grow 18” a day and I can believe that. Throughout the years and even today the locals use bamboo any various ways in their daily lives.

The vegetarians in my family enjoy a dish made from the bamboo shoots. To me it tastes like what I thought bamboo would taste like. But it is safe to eat.

But the killer weed is not safe to eat. I’m talking about the philodendron. There are 489 species and we still don’t know very much about these plants. They are poisonous to humans and pets. Eating them can cause burning, swelling of the lips, tongue and throat. Expect vomiting and diarrhea. I don’t know how many leaves it would take to kill a person, but regardless, I have plenty.

 

Basically they are vines that often climb trees in their native, tropical habitat where I live. I don’t eat them and I don’t particularly like them.

Unfortunately, the red ants love this killer weed. The ants' nest is built among the plant's roots, plus the philodendrons secrete nectar to attract the ants. The philodendron then obtains nutrients from the surrounding ant nest and the aggressive nature of the red ants protects the plant from other insects which would eat it. It hurts when a red ant bites.

 

I’m originally from Midwest America where philodendrons are grown as indoor plants and treated with kid gloves. Not here. I chop, whack, rip, tear and fire up the weed eater on these bad boys. They are no longer the luxuriant and expensive tropical plants. They are all killer weeds. It is a constant chore.

Plants in Thailand can literally take over a house in just a few months. Down the road is a house that was built a few years ago, but no one has ever lived in it yet. But someone comes by a couple of times a year to do some yard work. Here is a look at the house on June 6th 2018.

The plants love the rainy season. July 11th.

September 20th. The end is near.

Killing these weeds may kill me yet…

 

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