Wednesday, June 15, 2011

One non-native I'm keeping, and a truckload that I'm not

    Here's a story of another non-native on our property. It's name is Ligustrum vicaryi, or Golden Privet. Privet is a well known invasive shrub across much of the country, and there are many different varities which can make identification a problem. In fact, it took me years to finally identify mine. The problem with privet is it usually spreads by both suckering and seed dispersal by songbirds eating the fruits. Luckily Ligustrum vicaryi neither suckers or makes fruit, and I have not been able to locate it on any invasive lists. (If anyone knows otherwise please let me know.) In the 8 years we've lived here I've never observed any naughty behavior from it.
   What makes this privet so special? Why would I want such an ordinary bush in my yard? Because the butterflies and bees love it. Eight feet tall and eight feet wide, they are literally covered in pollinators when blooming and we have two of them. The only downsides are it's kind of scraggley looking and the flowers smell a bit stinky.

   Just in case you're starting to think we're not commited to the removal of non-native invasives from our properties, here's what we're not keeping: Asian Honeysuckle Bush, Autumn Olive, Tree of Paradise (Ailanthus), Multiflora Rose, Wisteria and several others. This is an ongoing, neverending project, as many of you know. We (mostly Jeff) fill up this truck about once a week with invasives as we try to reclaim a 13 acre property from the evil grips of these plants. If it wasn't for the poison ivy, we could do even more. I'm extremely fortunate that my husband shares my enthusiasm for habitat restoration and creation, critters, birds, and bugs. In case I don't say it enough, thank you Jeff!


  1. You need to chill little Miss Thang! Non-natives and invasives are everywhere. Don't let them take all the fun out of your work/play.

  2. Beautiful butterfly mate, great blog.


  3. Julia,

    I really commend you on what you and your husband are doing...and yes, you are lucky that he shares your enthusiasm.

    I'm sure all of the work you are doing will pay off. As the natives you remove are replaced by native plants, you will see much more diversity in birds, butterflies, and the like.

    Don't let them get you down, but enjoy the transformation.

    We have two acres (which I feel lucky to have), but five or ten...or thirteen sounds even better. :) (and a lot more work).

    Thank you for sharing what you are doing.

  4. Hi Julie! These pics are amazing, the skunks are definetely adorable:) We are enjoying all your lovely photos,some courtesy of Jeff:) This is really cool!
    Maddy and Marnie