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Someone told me it is mugwort, but it doesn't have a rhizome and it doesn't bloom. It also doesn't have long stems; it's pretty low to the ground. It choked out an entire perennial bed last summer. We had that bed dug out to 4 inches, and the soil and plants replaced, but bits and pieces are coming back there now, and it subsequently took over another perennial bed on the other side of the house

Photo one from a distance.

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It appears that even a tiny piece of the root left in the soil is enough. Because it was in a perennial bed, I didn't want to spray Round-Up but I did paint it on fairly heavily, to no avail. Can you identify this pestilence? Any suggestions? I am ready to have the back bed dug up out 6 inches, but I can't afford to keep doing this!

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    Please post at least one photo of the weed. A far shot and a close-up would really help us to ID the weed. Also - where in the world are you located?
    – Jurp
    Apr 26 at 22:46
  • Thanks for the photos. Your user name mentions "Long Island". Is that Long Island, New York or one of the many other places called Long Island en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Long_Island_(disambiguation)?
    – Niall C.
    May 5 at 22:26
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It appears to be a buttercup (Ranunculus spp.) but which one depends on the smaller details. The OP states that it has runners but not rhizomes; by this we conclude spreading sideways but above the ground and not below. The buttercup that fits this is R. septentrionalis (Swamp Buttercup) which has no rhizome like R. repens (Creeping buttercup) but does grow stems that instead of growing up straight will grow sideways and root along the stem. Buttercups like wettish soil and presumably are growing from seed set in a previous season and brought to the surface.

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