Ron Wilson Plant of the Week
Our plant(s) pick of the week has been chosen for two reasons: when you look around after most all the other plants have lost their leaves, these plants still have them, and two, they are on the Top 10 most invasive plants list in Ohio (and many other states). And being they have their leaves after everything else if finished, is a great time to bring to your attention just how invasive they are, and basically where they don’t grow…which would be on top of concrete and blacktop (but watch out for those cracks!). Here, let the ODNR tell you all about our picks:
“Bush Honeysuckles: Amur, tatarian, and morrow honeysuckle (Lonicera species)
There are several species of closely related bush honeysuckles that were introduced for ornamental use, wildlife habitat, and erosion control. These deciduous shrubs are invasive in woodlands, reverting old fields, fencerows, utility right-of-ways, along highway corridors, river corridors, and in unmanaged green spaces. Amur, tatarian, and morrow honeysuckle are all similar in appearance. They all have long arching branches, with bark that appears striped. Dark green leaves are arranged oppositely along the stem. The leaves of amur honeysuckle are larger than the other two species and have an abruptly long pointed tip. The leaves of tatarian and morrow honeysuckle are smaller and more oval or egg-shaped. All of these shrubs have fragrant tubular flowers in the spring. Amur and morrow honeysuckle have white and yellow flowers; tatarian has pink or crimson flowers. Clusters of small round berries are produced in the mid summer and persist through the fall. Berry color is commonly red, occasionally orange or yellow.” -ODNR
So why are these not wanted? I mean, hey, they provide a natural screening and grow in places nothing else seems to grow. “ Problem: Asian bush honeysuckles grow so densely they shade out everything on the forest floor, often leaving nothing but bare soil. This means a great reduction in the food and cover available for birds and other animals. Serious infestations can inhibit tree regeneration, essentially stopping forest succession. Higher rates of nest predation have been found in Amur honeysuckle than in native shrubs due to nests being more exposed to predators. Some bush honeysuckle species also release chemicals into the soil to inhibit other plant growth, effectively poisoning the soil.” (IPASWG)
So, what to do if growing on your property? “Get rid of them by physical removal (cut off at ground and treat stump immediately after the cut with a brush / weed killer or vegetation killer, or dig them out – getting the immediate 15-18” of the crown and roots is all you need), or by treating with Roundup / Killzall once most other leaves have fallen from surrounding plants.”
Joe Strecker Plant of the Week
Members of the genus Hamamelis open and close the season for woody flowering plants. Flowering begins with Hamamelis vernalisand Hamamelis x intermedia hybrids in the spring and end with the flowering of Hamamelis virginiana in the fall and Hamamelis mollisin early winter. One Hamamelis mollis selection, ‘Rochester Superba’, typically flowers the week before Christmas at Secrest and continues through January.