Blog Archives

Phenology updates: Deptford pink, Japanese barberry, garlic mustard, purple loosestrife, Queen Anne’s lace, mimosa, Chinese yam, and orange daylily

Hey AOWCP blog followers.  Uploading photos with updates of plant phenology has been one of my favorite things to post.  Unfortunately,  the main computer I am using doesn’t like loading pictures very well.  I will try harder to get to a different computer to keep loading pictures up.  Here are some highlights from the last month.

DSC_0568

Deptford pink – Dianthus armeria : flowering

DSC_0561

Japanese barberry – Berberis thunbergii : we used our weed wrench to pulled this guy up at a workshop

DSC_0559

Garlic mustard – Alliaria petiolata : here are some garlic mustard basal rosettes (intermixed with some japanese stiltgrass – Microstegium vimineum).

DSC_0545

Purple loosestrife – Lythrum salicaria : Blooming along the Ohio River.  Purple loosestrife blooms from early July to early September

DSC_0543

Queen Anne’s lace – Daucus carota: Queen Anne sure does own a lot of lace around here.  Here is some flowering (white flowers) intermixed with some dried curly dock (Rumex cripsus).

  DSC_0595

Mimosa – Albizia julibrissin : Most have finished flowering by now, you may find a couple more still flowering the further north you are

DSC_0587

Chinese yam – Dioscorea opposita: agressively growing, should have tiny bulbils (think of a tiny potato aboveground) forming at axis.

   DSC_0573

Orange daylilies – Hemerocallis fulva : Still flowering

Cultivating Awareness: Ornamental Plants Invading Natural Areas

MIPN has just completed a video that demonstrates the impacts of a few popular ornamental plants (common buckthorn, Japanese barberry, burning bush, and Callery pear) on natural areas in the Midwest. Please watch and share with your colleagues and neighbors.

The smart phone app mentioned in the video can be downloaded for free from the Apple store for iPhone or iPad. The Android version is coming soon.

Escaping Ornamentals…Is your garden spreading into the countryside?

Burning bush excaping

Burning bush excaping

We all want our yards to look nice and many of us enjoy planting and caring for the plants that enhance our landscapes. Gardeners do important work, but can be unknowing spreaders of some dangerous non-native invasive species. From bush honeysuckle, barberry, burningbush and ornamental grasses, gardeners are often responsible for the spread of these invasive species into Ohio’s natural areas.

Burningbush, or Euonymus alata is one of our most popular landscape shrubs. Burningbush is nicely shaped and attractive all year, but in the fall, it sparks to life with vibrant red foliage. This shrub’s color and because it seeds well and is easy to dig make it popular among gardeners.

But burningbush has a dark side. It is an invasive species; a non-native species whose introduction causes economic, human, and/or environmental harm. In the case of burningbush, it spreads out beyond our yards into the surrounding woods displacing native shrubs and tree seedlings. Once established, burningbush grows so densely that it out-competes most native plants. With native plants diminished, the wildlife suffers and the ecosystem starts to unravel.

Japanese barberry

Japanese barberry

Several other gardening favorites have the same bad habit of spreading into natural areas. These include bush honeysuckle, privet, Japanese barberry, autumn olive, and ornamental grasses like Miscanthus

Bush honeysuckles are prolific shrubs with fragrant spring flowers and red fall berries. They blanket roadsides, waste areas, and many wooded yards and parks. Japanese barberry is a small shrub with purplish foliage and small thorns, tending to grow in shady woodland sites. Autumn olive is a large shrub that can reach 15 feet and infiltrates woodland edges. Ornamental grasses create thick mats in waste areas and prairies and create fire hazards.

Some might question the damage that invasive species cause. Green is good, right? But in nature not all plants are created equal. While these invasive species have berries that are eaten by wildlife, research shows that the nutrient content in honeysuckle and autumn olive fruit is inferior to native fruit like viburnum, Virginia creeper, sassafras, and spice bush. 

So if you have these invasive species in your garden, consider removing and replacing them with native plants. Several native shrubs have beautiful fall color, nice flowers, nutrient rich berries, and ecosystem benefits. These include Virginia sweetspire, smooth or fragrant sumac, nannyberry viburnum, arrowwood viburnum, blackhaw viburnum.

The good news is that invasive species are controllable. They typically pull out of the ground easily after a rain. Big ones can be cut down and their stumps treated with an approved herbicide. The best way to keep them from returning is to fill the spot with desirable vegetation. As with all things, it is easier to deal with them when they are small and few and far between as opposed to waiting until you have an infestation.

To learn more about these invasive species visit these links:

burning bush

bush honeysuckle

privet

Japanese barberry

autumn olive

Miscanthus

You can also contact Eric Boyda of the Appalachian Ohio Weed Control Partnership by phone at 740-534-6578 or email at appalachianohioweeds@gmail.com.  Article author: Ann Bonner

More Findings on the Link Between Japanese Barberry and Lyme Disease

Interesting article about why  japanese barberry should be controlled.

http://nativeplantwildlifegarden.com/more-findings-on-the-link-between-japanese-barberry-and-lyme-disease/