Ok, after our one-day interlude into poetry, and I thank the (oops! zero) people who commented, back to our look at the invasives.
And this is one I have a love-hate relationship with that probably leans to the love side since I love, love, love to inhale its fragrance when it is in full, splendiferous bloom and blanketing the countryside.
And that’s the problem, it blankets the countryside, crowding out other plants.
But when you run across a honeysuckle as pretty and inviting as this morrow honeysuckle you get, well, sucked in.
Ah, the sweet smell … and the sour result. Alien honeysuckles tend to leaf out earlier than many native honeysuckles and other shrubs and hold their leaves later into the fall, aiding in their takeover of the land formerly occupied by native plants.
Take a walk along the shores of parts of Frances Slocum Park and just about all you’ll see is Morrow and Tartarian honeysuckle —both aliens — and dogwood lining the shores, to the exclusion of everything else.
Additionally, researchers found increased nest predation of robins using alien honeysuckle as a result of plant structure that provides easy access to nests by predators such as snakes. While the fruits of exotic honeysuckles provide some nutrition for birds, they do not compare to the lipid-rich fruits of native species that provide greater energy to sustain migrating birds.
Amur honeysuckle, one of the invasives, was brought to a hothouse in Canada in 1896 because of its attractive flowers. For a time, the U.S. Department of Agriculture even promoted its use for wildlife and as a shelterbelt.
Native honeysuckles can be told from aliens by their stems. Natives are hollow while alien stems are a solid white pith.