Tag Archives: invasive

Wild fennel is an invasive weed, but I still like it.


Actually, it’s not truly wild. It’s escaped and naturalized, and it has been for a long time. Wild fennel is like fennel found in nurseries and stores, and you can find it anywhere. I ran into a bunch of it … Continue reading

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Mexican petunia is almost as beautiful as it is invasive


I have a thick stand of Mexican petunia (Ruellia brittoniana or Ruellia simplex) next to a couple of the greenhouses at school. The plants have been established for close to 20 years. This past week we replaced the plastic covering … Continue reading

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Bull thistle sure is tough like a bull


You’ve probably seen that tall spiny plant with purple flowers along the roadside. Sometimes the flowers are yellow. It’s called bull thistle and related to the artichoke. Playing ball in a pasture field teaches kids to learn to identify this … Continue reading

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Vinca vines are tough and beautiful but can be invasive


Few ground covers can fill any area as effectively as periwinkle vine.  There are actually two species commonly used and both have prolific bluish purple flowers. Both also have the ability to spread where they aren’t wanted. Lesser periwinkle (Vinca … Continue reading

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When it comes to plants one’s trash is another’s treasure


A weed to one person can be a beautiful flower or table delicacy to someone else. I can think of numerous plants that fit that bill. It seems every season of the year is full of examples. Sometimes we even … Continue reading

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Duckweed has many uses but brings many problems


That green stuff all over our still waters is probably not algae like most people think. It’s a floating flowering plant without stems called duckweed (Lemna sp.). Its growth rate can be phenomenal. Under good conditions duckweed can double its … Continue reading

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Asian invader


Now that most of our trees have lost their leaves we notice other plants in the native landscape. Especially in low areas the Chinese privet (Ligustrum sinense) dominates. Initially planted as an ornamental, this invasive olive relative has taken over … Continue reading

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