Friday, December 16, 2011

Bittersweet: splashy killer exposed

Oriental Bittersweet  - December 2011
photo by Jonathan Schechter


The berries are beautiful adding delightful splashes of yellow and red to many trailsides of
Oakland County. But make no doubt about it: This rapidly spreading invasive species is a real
killer and has proven to be a successful invader of habitats across the Midwest.  The berries are
not  now "just getting ripe" as some may think, but they have been there since October, hidden
among the foliage. But now as the winds of Decemeber wash the woods clear of the
last leaves these prolific and non-edible fruits are exposed for all to see.  And how do they kill?
They strangle other plants with their numerous wrap around vines and in the process change the native landscape and the species that live there.
But that too is nature's way for nature respects no boundary and has no preference.
We are one Earth and it will always change, for better or worse, but it is human behavior
and our ways that serve as the greatest catalyst.

2 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Jonathan,
Thank you for this article and photo. This vine and berry are so beautiful that I have picked it to put in arrangements at home and then disposed of indiscriminately. I won't do it again.

December 16, 2011 at 11:58 AM 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Any plans to remove it? How about hacking it out or burning the root? Invasive species will only get worse . . .I cringe at all the Garlic Mustard I see . . .

December 21, 2011 at 8:35 PM 

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