I've been asked to give the keynote address to a regional gathering of Garden Club of America clubs in October. The theme that the organizers chose for the gathering is "invasive plants," which gives me a lot of leeway for my talk. I'm going to focus on introduced ornamentals that have escaped and become invasive pests.
One of the organizers wants to create a poster board of "bad actors," and she wants to include Japanese knotweed (Fallopia japonica) among the plants. I needed to find images of knotweed for her, and on the way back from the grocery store yesterday I saw a perfect patch just begging for a photograph. So, I parked and walked over to get some shots.
The area is on the floodplain of a small tributary to my creek just upstream of my preserve. It is - to put it bluntly - an invasives hell. An ecological nightmare. A complete write-off.
The floodplain is an impenetrable thicket of Japanese knotweed. It's 10-feet tall - the tallest knotweed I've ever seen. But wait, there's more! The knotweed is being over-topped by porcelain-berry (Ampelopsis brevipedunculata). And, just outside the area where the knotweed is so thick, there's a thriving stand of purple loosestrife (Lythra salicaria). About the only plant I didn't notice was mile-a-minute weed (Persicaria perfoliata), but it certainly could have been there amid the green chaos.
I will admit that bees were enjoying the scene - and not just non-native honeybees, but native bumblebees, too, so I guess the site is not a complete write-off.
|Knotweed in flower|
|Porecelain-berry is rapidly engulfing the trees in the background|
|Knotweed (background) and purple loosestrife|
|Purple loosestrife (mostly) with a little porcelain-berry in the foreground|
|The knotweed in the foreground is being over-topped by porcelain-berry|