I cringe when I see new exotic plants in her yard. Even so, there’s never been any conflict between us since there’s nearly a mile of woodland and fields between our homes. Problems began, though, when her plants started spreading outside her yard and taking over the ‘wild’ area between us.
The two worst alien invaders creeping my way were:
Elephant Ear or Wild Taro (Colocasia esculenta) – personally, I have no idea what the attraction is with these gigantic heart-shaped green leaves. There are no flowers; all they do is tower over all the other vegetation, smothering everything in its path. These invasive monsters have taken over a large portion of the roadside bordering her yard and have even somehow jumped across the road, taking over that side as well.
Elephant ears are considered a major invasive weed in the southeast, displacing native flora and are next to impossible to get rid of since they spread underground.
Luckily, they’re partial to the wetter areas around the ditches and aren’t spreading too far from home. Hopefully, they’ll stay in the swampy spots and leave the rest alone.
Earlier this summer, a lovely stand of volunteer lance-leaf coreopsis beautified the grassy edge. However, within a few weeks, they fell victim to the fast-growing daylilies. There’s no stopping them!
The faster growing Mimosas (Albizia julibrissin), Bradford Pears (Pyrus calleryana), Chinese privets (Ligustrum sinense), and non-native wisteria (Wisteria sinensis), along with lots of weeds like sicklepod (Senna obtusifolia) have taken advantage of the unoccupied space and created a haven for themselves.
Unfortunately, vines from native morning glories (Ipomoea) and muscadines (Vitis rotundifolia) have totally overgrown most of the other vegetation, so now it looks more jungle-like than forested.
So please refrain from introducing non-native flora to your neighborhood and help keep our ecosystems strong with lots of diverse native plants. Thank you