[permaculture] Blueberry/willow guild design critique

Paul Cereghino paul.cereghino at comcast.net
Mon Jul 23 03:38:15 EDT 2007


>This is all nonsense.
>
 >From a metaphysical philosophy perspective I agree.

> The plant is not invasive, no plant represented in the genus Iris, is.
>
You'll need to define invasive... all plants 'invade'.  Some plants form 
monocultures in some environments due to their competative abilities.  
You could easily shape your definition of invasive to exclude the Genus 
Iris if you wanted to.

> 
>
>See bottom of this links page...http://www.heraldica.org/topics/fdl.htm. and
>http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fleur-de-lis.
>  
>
The potential historical origin of the Fleur-de-lis is a side track to 
making a level headed decision about plant selection.

>This plant has demonstrated its usefulness for many centuries and if it is growing well then it is
>providing a service to the environment.
>
yes it has a history of human use over its range... WE HUMANS like it... 
the plant also provides goods and services to some other creatures.  If 
it replaces a variety of vegetation accross a landscape it may change 
the composition of those goods and services... some creatures may be 
served less well, others served better.  For example, The bulk of our 
native frogs appear to depend on thin leaved plants in sunny shallow 
water (Juncus effusus serves well...) for their egg laying.  Iris does 
not offer that service, and may replace plants that do provide that 
service.  Thus reducing opportunities for frog egg laying.  Might not be 
a big deal, might be a really big deal if frogs are stressed by other 
factors.  Don't think we really can tell.  The services of a plant is 
not provided to "the environment" but rather to other components of the 
environment through beneficial or detrimental relationship (its not the 
number of components but the relationship between them).  I think your 
invocation of the environment is a smokescreen.

> The above links demonstrate it's other values beyond it's
>biology.
>
it has european cultural value... should we assist its spread?

> Plants can survive each other better than they can survive our activities placing
>billions of tons of cides into the environment each year. What hubris to legislate this, our
>policies are truly the invasive.
>
This is likely true in many cases... and furthurmore many 
invasive/opportunistic plants follow in the footsteps of our wonton 
destruction, so turning about and then spraying the plant could be 
double the crime.  Furthermore, in wetland environments our abuse of the 
land results in changing hydrology increasing the dynamism of the plant 
communities, forcing them to seek a new equilibrium.. we create the 
vacant niches.  Kneejerk extermination of Iris is wrongheaded.  I wasn't 
talking about Iris pseudoacorus extermination, but rather assisting in 
its dispersal.

The idea that either 1) iris is invasive or 2) human hubris is invasive; 
but not both is a false dichotomy and a distraction from a design 
analysis of Iris pseudoacorus.  Iris pseudoacorus is:
1. not historically present in the Pacific Northwest.
2. disperses rapidly along stream corridors.
3. forms monocultures that occupy niches that may have been occupied by 
other species that were historically present and coevolved with other 
flora and fauna.

To spread Iris pseudoacorus out of contempt for legislation is perhaps 
as hubric as spraying poison in water to get rid of it.  The ditch by my 
road runs to a pond that drains to a seasonal watercourse that empties 
into Woodland Creek.  There is no Iris pseudoacorus in Woodland Creek 
that I have seen.  I have no real ability to predict what would happen 
if I introduced this new species.  I am humbled by this responsibility.  
I think it would be hubris for me to knowingly introduce Iris 
pseudoacorus to this system because I like Fleur-de-lis and have a 
contempt for legislation.

Thus I am hesitant to use Iris pseudoacorus in my design, and am still 
looking for suggestions of starch producing plants with a similar function.

I am curious why this position evokes such contempt.  And to be fair, I 
have heard similar contempt on the native plant side of the fence.

Paul Cereghino



More information about the permaculture mailing list