Wednesday, September 10, 2008

A new plant enemy

I had an urban site to check out for wetlands. Luckily I had a co-worker because urban sites can be crazy. I swear I rather have a zillion acre Sussex-tucky site with 20 bears than an urban site any day. You have garbage, high body/sketchy folks/homeless person potential, and super disturbed areas. The soils typically make no sense so you have to rely on other senses. Pretty quick we ran into a new invasive plant that will probably take over most of the state. It's call Devil's tearthumb or mile-a-minute. Pretty ominious names that reveal its evil nature! It has barbs which tear into you. I just pulled out a splinter in my thumb. The plant will live in any condition. It's happy in the woods oIt was creep/crawl/drape itself over anything in its way. It's so invasive that it invades monocultures of other invasive plants. Here it is draping itself on trees ala spanish moss. At some point the devil's tearthumb will overwhelm the trees and that'll be the end of the woods.

Here it is forming a mat over other shrubs and plants.

Here's tall sunflower, which was a new find for us. It was one of the only pleasant plants at the site.

Here's a more pleasant invasive plant called porcelain berry, but the devil's tearthumb has draped itself over it. At least the berries look like those easter malt balls.


Hooligan said...

Do they have seed pods? Cause I know some guy that likes to photograph that kind of stuff!

Colleen said...

Those berries are so prett! Why does that happen with invasive species? We have kudzu doing that in these parts.

Kartek said...

Generally invasive plants are from different parts of the country/world so they upset the balance of the existing plants. It gets worse when it's a plant from Asia since our deer won't eat it. Lots of hungry deer = only Asian plants left.

Jules said...

Wow those porcelain berries are gorgeous. Do they dry pretty or no?