Thursday, November 12, 2009

Invaded by Beauty

Most the of invasive plant species around here were introduced to this country as ornamentals, then escaped and spread all over the place by means of their very successful reproductive strategies. We have purple loosestrife; Russian olive; that USDA darling of the 1930s, the multiflora rose; and my personal favorite, the bush honeysuckle, which is so shallow rooted that in a fit of pique you can tear one out of the ground with your bare hands, even if it’s 10 times your size. We also have a few pyracanthas, or firethorn, pictured here. They’re a nasty customer, and good luck getting rid of one without chemicals. Fortunately, their successful reproductive strategy involves these beautiful red berries, a real treat at this brown time of year.

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