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David Beaulieu

Invasive Plants: The Deceitful Dozen

By January 5, 2013

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Most of the 12 examples I discuss in my article on invasive plants are quite pretty. That's why I call them "The Deceitful Dozen": don't be taken in by their good looks! In the case of one of these invasive plants, though, it's hard for many of us (myself included) to understand how anybody could ever have found it pretty....

Many specimens we now deem "invasive plants" didn't sneak into their new homes, they were invited in. And it's easy to see why: many folks agree they're attractive. An exception is Japanese knotweed, which, at year's end, leaves behind ugly dead canes. But a few people, at least, way back when, would have disagreed with my appraisal of Japanese knotweed's looks: the plant was brought to the West for its ornamental quality, of all things! So Japanese knotweed makes my Deceitful Dozen list purely on historical grounds.

By contrast, there's nothing passť about the allure of another invasive plant on my list, burning bush, which tempts people far and wide to plant it. This is a good time of year to steel yourself against burning bush, now that those fiery leaves have abandoned its branches. When this invasive plant puts on its autumn finery, it's easy to lose your resolve....

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