Thursday, November 11, 2010

Spotting Invasive Plants

        We all know how invasive plants are a detriment to our ecosystems. They take over everything, leading to a lack of biodiversity. In NOFA's Guide to Organic Land Care, you can read an article by Andrew Keys, who stresses the importance of biodiversity and how damaging invasive plants can be to our ecosystems. In his article, "Native Plants Fight Back Against Invasive Species Eco-Attack", Keys says:

"Invasive out-compete whole communities of native plants, replacing ecosystems that support an abundance of life with communities that support little more than the invaders themselves...plants have evolved alongside other living things for millions of years and...when communities of invasive species replace native plant communities, that system falls apart."

        Fall is a good time to spot invasive plants. Take for example this picture taken by Bill Duesing near Southford Falls State Park in Oxford, CT.
        While that red may be intriguing to look at, it is actually Winged Euonymus, more commonly known as "Burning Bush". Burning Bush is an invasive species that make itself known by turning a bright scarlet in autumn. This species, which can grow up to 15 feet, will take over native shrubs making it impossible for plants underneath to survive.
        The most important step we can take to combat invasive plants is through early detection and rapid response (lesson learned while attending the CT Invasive Plant Working Group Symposium!). Once we allow a plant to grow, it can spread right before our eyes.
        Don't know where to start? Check out the website for the CT Invasive Plant Working group - They offer a full list of invasive plants in CT with fact sheets that tell you how to spot and remove various species of invasives.
        Want to read the rest of the Andrew Keys article? Click here! How about the entire NOFA Guide to Organic Land Care? Call the office 203-888-5146 and we'll send you one!

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