Surprise! Here I am

September 1, 2017

A major environmental and gardening issue is invasive species.  We focus on the hardy exotic (non-native) species as regards invasive plants, largely because these foreigners lack the natural control elements in their new territory (e.g., insects and diseases).  A contributing factor to the issue is that most people neglect considering adaptability and reproductive potential before getting and planting a specimen--instead focusing on color, et cetera.  Moreover, things can change.  Species that we thought were okay because they behaved over the years (i.e., were not invasive) become so (i.e., callery pear, numerous grasses, etc.).  In other cases the species is native, at least regionally, and sometimes seemingly sterile (i.e., incapable of producing fruit or viable seed).  Imagine my surprise when I saw this weeping mulberry along a road near my house in August 2017--notice the wall of young Callery pear (AKA Bradford pear) in the background.  White mulberry (another non-native species) is a terrible nuisance for gardeners and land managers.  In this weeper, are we looking at a near future addition to the list nasties, an aberrant waif or a sterile (?) mutated upstart?

 

 

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