Oh, Jeff. That crazy wonderful husband of mine. I love his enthusiasm.
He was out trail running yesterday morning on one of his favorite trails on Mill Mountain when he came across something he thought was special.
Oh, it's special alright.
So special that he pricked off a piece to bring home for me to identify, dutifully carrying it with him the remaining miles of his run.
"The birds are gonna love this! What is it?"
Well, sorry to burst your bubble, it's not a good thing, in fact it's one of the worst non-native invasives we have around here. It's Asian Bush Honeysuckle. We only ripped out about a hundred or so over at Dean this spring. But since they were in bloom then, and now they have berries on them, he didn't recognize it. Now he'll never forget. It can be tricky to identify since it looks similar to some native Honeysuckles when in flower. However, the give-away is if you break off a stem or branch of Asian Bush Honeysuckle you will notice it has a hollow center. The natives do not not.
|It's OK, you can come out of the corner now|
Two years ago I was running on the same trail as Jeff when I came across the same plant. I thought it looked great, loaded with berries, just waiting for a flock of Cedar Waxwings. I tried so hard to identify it and never could, it made no sense. The problem was my ID books contained only native shrubs and trees and I didn't know the difference. I had no idea we could have non-natives growing "wild" in our woods. The only problem plant I knew about was Kudzu. Now, having learned about non-native invasives, I realize why I couldn't find that, and many other plants in my ID books.
Oh, how far we've come!