Just the back yard!? Nah, I want the front and side yards landscaped in natives too.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Spicebush & Japanese Honeysuckle

The spicebush's buds are swelling, so I took a picture. Noticing the green of some Japanese honeysuckle in the background, I went to pull it out.

That is when I noticed it seems to be a branch from one I'd removed the year before--

--it rooted where it was left in various spots where it was in contact with the ground!

Needless to say, I won't be making that mistake again. I had no idea that it was so relentless and persistent.

When I was young, I always loved to see the early green coming through at the base of the woods after a long winter. That was before I knew it was the invasive, non-native Japanese honeysuckle that blocks the sun, starving the spring ephemeral wildflowers of much needed light. In addition to that they are allelopathic*, "poisoning" the ground preventing germination and growth of many understory species.

Here is the spicebush without the green behind it. I'd much rather see the green of wildflowers and their various flower colors. Removing the honeysuckle and planting native understory shrubs is the first step toward lush swaths of wildflowers and blooming shrubs...a much better sign of spring than the oppressive Japanese honeysuckle.

* al•le•lop•a•thy (-l-l p-th, l-) n. The inhibition of growth in one species of plants by chemicals produced by another species (from freedictionary.com)


Rebecca said...

I rip out honeysuckle, but I will always love the scent.

David said...

You love the scent? Hmm...around the time that they bloom, there is an odor that permeates the air at times. My partner always says he hates it. I don't think I'm too fond of it either. I've always assumed it was the Japanese honeysuckle--or he always associated it with them. Next time I'm up close to its flowers, I'll find out for sure if I find it unpleasant or not. :)

Now, I don't even know if the native honeysuckle vine has a scent (I think it might). Hopefully I'll purchase some someday soon and find out.

David said...

Oh, and thanks for making the supreme sacrifice by ripping it out anyway. :)