Wednesday, April 4, 2012
The Autumn Olives are blooming and they look just beautiful. While cleverly hidden before because most were not mature enough to bloom, they do indeed stand out with their radiant cream colored blossoms against the gray green foliage. Perhaps they stand out like red flags.
Autumn Olives, whose home is Asia, were originally introduced in this country in 1830. Their purposes were as ornamentals (which usually means in gardening circles), as wildlife habitat and as erosion control. Trouble is that introductions of flora and fauna whose homes are elsewhere often spells disaster for native habitats. Such species are not at home in their regular habitats where a system of checks and balances evolved over time. Without that system of controls, they can and often do become invasive weeds, knowing no bounds.
Autumn Olive does produce a wonderful berry in the late fall. Its soft brilliant red is beautiful on the fall landscape. Birds love them. We humans are known to graze them on the landscape too. Birds move the seeds freely about inadvertently planting even more trees. There is a spot east of Kirksville where Autumn Olives have nearly choked out all native vegetation. With that comes the loss of flora and fauna who call this place their home. What were we thinking? Are we thinking?
I am hopeful that many of these shrubby trees will be removed before the berry season. I do note that the Missouri Department of Conservation states that "cutting alone should be avoided because it can lead to a thicker, denser stand." http://mdc.mo.gov/sites/default/files/resources/2010/08/9674_6620.pdf http://www.invasivespeciesinfo.gov/plants/autmnolive.shtml
It is supposed to be colder tonight and tomorrow night. I wonder how this will affect the plants and all the living organisms. This evening, we walked about the gardens and yard to wrap our hearts of love around these beautiful things.
Posted by Butterfly Hill Farm, at 10:45 PM