Beguiling Invasive Exotics

lonicera2 You can see why plants like this bush honeysuckle (Lonicera maackii (Rupr.) Herder), are taking over. They’re lovely to look at, and the birds love to eat the ripe berries. But oh golly! The shrub forms dense thickets in the forest and along edges, out-competing and shading out native plants. This plant is native to Japan where, ironically, it is listed as endangered. Here in the eastern United States it has naturalized beautifully, easily spread by birds, which distribute the seeds in their droppings.  Don’t be taken in by this pretty plant’s charms. It’s an aggressive invasive here on the Cumberland Plateau.


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