[Homestead] N.E. states are declaring war on harmful non-native plants - The Boston Globe
billj at harborside.com
Wed Sep 28 17:15:03 EDT 2005
There's no butterfly bush taking over around here, but there are a few
volunteers over at the coast, nothing approaching the famous monoculture
of gorse at Bandon. But there is Cotoneaster under almost every tree, a
pretty little invasive shrub with tart, but otherwise bland, berries.
So far I haven't heard any of the local weed know-it-alls mention it.
You're missing the point. Invasiveness is secondary to these
ideologues. You're probably familiar with "chittem" or Cascara Sagrada
(Rhamnus sp.), a common "native" in the Buckthorn family. Here it is
sometimes called "mother of millions" because it's so weedy, far beyond
wild cherry. In my lower overgrown "pasture" there's a giant tree with
a million stunted seedlings under it. I don't know if cattle eat them,
since we're just about to open that area to _browsing_. (-; But you
wouldn't believe the dumb people I've heard talking about what a
beautiful native they are.
By contrast, last spring when the cover crop of deadly crimson clover
that we planted for the landscape project started to look a bit old, the
folks at the local extension office just got hysterical at the thought
of letting a "non-native" reseed itself. I mean, I understand that city
people don't know anything about such stuff... You make the call.
There is no such thing as a plant having a "right" to be here. With
circumboreal plants like nettle (Urtica spp.), no one knows where it's
"native" to. What matters to real environmentalism, besides clean water
and such, is that the earth be covered in a lush growth of anything
green. Obviously some plants are more useful than others, but that's
not considered relevant in this ideology either.
S. Oregon coast
>Bill, Bill, Bill, that is one BIG assumption. The problem with invasives is
>that people are just plain lazy or just plain stupid. They plant bamboo
>because it is such a pretty little plant in that cute little Oriental dish.
>Then they wring their hands and cry "woe is me, whatever shall I do" when
>the damn stuff takes over the whole neighborhood and their neighbors are
>threatening to shoot them.
>A butterfly bush that Joe Suburbia is going to deadhead over day? Give me a
>break! It ain't gonna happen!
>And, I'd suggest you take a closer look, I've been traveling up the coast to
>Coos Bay and points north and up the middle of the state since the 50s.
>I've seen star thistle, so are you sure you know what to look for?
>The reality is that people don't stop thistle or anything else. The person
>who is a good manager of their property is RARE! In fact, in some areas
>they are an endangered species or already extinct!
>----- Original Message -----
>From: "Bill Jones" <billj at harborside.com>
>>Unfortunately this is classically representative of the ignorance of
>>which I speak. The point is that a newly acquired butterfly bush can be
>>prevented from spreading simply by cutting off the spent flowers.
>>Period. So if you live in an area where there is none now, you can keep
>>it that way. Just as if you live in an area not currently burning down,
>>it can be kept that way by not throwing a match into it. The danger
>>from matches so far eclipses the danger from butterfly bush by many
>>orders of magnitude. Kudzu should not be planted in the South, but I
>>don't think it would even thrive here, without summer water. Kudzu is
>>an inherently differently sort of plant than butterfly bush, because it
>>spreads asexually, rooting everywhere it hits the ground. So
>>deadheading won't work for that. But this isn't the end of the ignorance.
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