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Hello, We have recently bought a new house and can not identify a huge plant that is growing against (but not really climbing) our garage wall. It does not seem to be flowering, has very large green leaves with pinky coloured hairs and gives off a pungent smell, a bit like drains! It has huge tenticles (about 12ft above ground level) that are growing around each other. We are desparate to cut it down but worried about how big its roots will be, as they will be under the garage. Could anyone help? Thanks in advance, Sam.



The pink coloured hairs make it sound as if it might be a Virginia Creeper, but without a photo it's hard to be sure.
Depending on the plant and its root system, most climbers don't produce root systems that would destroy the foundations of a modern garage. One of the problems when you cut something down is that it stops taking moisture from the soil around the foundations, and the change in soil humidity can cause 'heave'.
Try digging around the base of the wall once you've identified the climber and see how large the root system appears to be.

28 Jun, 2010


Could it be Vitis coignitae? In which case you can cut it back quite hard. Do you want to get rid of it or just reduce it?

28 Jun, 2010


The leaves sound more like a Vitis, but the "pink hairs" sound like the aerial roots of a Parthenocissus (inc. Virginia Creeper), both of which flower, but not to any great ornamental effect. The Vitis doesn't attach to a wall, (it has to have a support to climb up) where the Parthenocissus is self-clinging...I've never known either to have any kind of smell though......

A pic woud be a big help on this one....

28 Jun, 2010

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