Monday, December 1, 2008

Invasive Treatments and Wetlands Revealed

A second round of spraying has just been completed in the Back Woods. You may still notice blue marker dye on treated plants like this camphor tree (Cinnamomum camphora) that has been both girdled with a chainsaw and treated with herbicide. More before and after pictures coming soon!

There is a little fall color developing on the tupelo, red maple, cypress, and sumac particularly around the wetlands.
If you are intrepid, the wetlands are mostly dry and have all kinds of interesting plants and structures to see like the hummock above found in the center of the central wetland.
Lizard's tail (Saururus cernuus), an aquatic herbaceous perennial, is still in bloom in the central wetland.
Bottle based swamp tupelo (Nyssa sylvatica var. biflora) stand sentinel in the winter light at the wetland edge. Lichen and moss lines on their trunks reveal the history of water levels in the central wetland.
Fetterbush (Lyonia lucida) grow in wet flatwoods but can also be found growing in the midst of the wetlands on hummock islands of roots and decaying vegetation. Even when not in bloom they can be readily identified by the very distinct vein that runs along the outside edge of the leaf blade.
(Lyonia lucida leaf closeup courtesy A.C. Moore Herbarium)
And last but, certainly not least, climbing aster (Symphyotrichum carolinianum) are making a show in the eastern wetland. You may also know this plant by its synonym Aster carolinianus. This woody vine is frequently found along riverbanks and swamp margins. Its lavender-pink flowers attract bees and butterflies alike. Should you come across some; it is easily started in your own garden from collected seed.

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