WellesleyWeston Magazine

FALL 2013

Launched in 2005, WellesleyWeston Magazine is a quarterly publication tailored to Wellesley and Weston residents and edited to enrich the experience of living in two of Massachusetts' most desirable communities.

Issue link: http://wellesleywestonmagazine.epubxp.com/i/148623

Contents of this Issue

Navigation

Page 19 of 211

gardening in bloom greenhouse flower beds the green scene flora Beware the Invaders R U T H F U R M A N writer horticulture shrubbery there are approximately 2,300 species of wild plants growing in Massachusetts, of which 45 percent were introduced from elsewhere in the world. Some of these "exotics" were brought here accidentally as ballast on ships, in packing materials, or even in some cases stuck to travelers' shoes or clothing. Others came intentionally via plant hunters (keen horticulturists) and were sold by nurseries, while some were deliberately imported for agricultural purposes or for soil stabilization. These non-natives eventually spread and kept spreading. Without the natural predators from their native lands there was nothing to keep them in check, and their ability to thrive in a variety of habitats has compromised our native flora and fauna, impover- CHRIS EVANS ishing the biodiversity of local ecosystems. Massachusetts has taken steps to prohibit the sale, propagation, and importation of approximately 66 species considered invasive. (For a full list go to www.mnla.com and click on "invasive plants.") While it is illegal to sell these plants in Massachusetts, they are present in many gardens where they continue to multiply and invade We l l e s l e y We s t o n M a g a z i n e | f a l l 2 0 1 3 surrounding areas. Nurseries regularly get requests for some of the more striking invasives like the Norway maple, Acer platanoides, particularly the red-leafed cultivars. It was commonly planted as a street tree in the mid-twentieth century as a replacement for American elms which were wiped out by Dutch elm disease. Seeds can be carried along by the wind up to 100 feet and with its ability to tolerate shade it is commonly found in urban woodlands. 18 With vigorously twisting stems, Oriental bittersweet eventually smothers its host plant.

Articles in this issue

Links on this page

Archives of this issue

view archives of WellesleyWeston Magazine - FALL 2013