Saturday, April 10, 2021

Search and Destroy

Euonymus bungeanus

This is a great time of year to rogue out invasive aliens.

Euonymus bungeanus is closely related to the Eastern Wahoo (a name that cracks me up). The best way to tell the difference between the two involves the color of the flower.

Wahoo flowers, the good one

Eastern Wahoo has sepals the color of Boisenberry yogurt while bungeanus has sepals the color of Key Lime Pie filling.

Asian Bush Honeysuckle

Celandine majus

The reason this is a prime time to search and destroy is because many of the invasive aliens leaf out before our native species. This gives them a leg-up, photosynthetically. It also makes them easy to see from fifty yards away.

I use loppers (and chainsaw) on the honeysuckle and Euonymus bungeanus. The Celandine is very vulnerable to a sharp shovel skimmed just beneath the crown.

Gratuitous Garden pics

Romaine lettuce. I moved them to a flat to give the dirt in Mrs ERJ's salad garden time to dry a little before one more tilling

Tomatoes. Seeds planted March 22 and seedlings moved to a flat March 31

This is what they looked like on March 31

Foxglove seedlings on the left side of this tray, softwood cuttings on the right

Multiplier onions. Very few food plants thrive with as little care as multiplier onions if they are planted in their happy-spot. These are on the south side of the raised soil immediately next to a mature Honey Locust tree. I have also seen them cheerfully growing in ditches.

I was also able to talk Mrs ERJ into helping me moving some Pyrus calleryana seedlings to use as rootstocks later on. We planted them into their permanent locations and I will either bud in July or graft next spring.

Pyrus calleryana is considered an invasive alien but it makes a fair rootstock for pears. Since calleryana is of marginal hardiness in the coldest winters, it is advisable to make the graft/bud within two inches of the ground so snow covers the rootstock-and-graft during the coldest part of the winter.


  1. When I was in the Coast Guard on the east coast I knew some real eastern wahoo's .

  2. Invasive plants taking over and destroying everything in the garden - what a good metaphor for this year.

    Here in NH the worst invasive is Asian Bittersweet. It winds its way along anything, especially up. I removed a huge bunch of them which were choking an old apple tree last month, and the tree has thanked me with better buds than I've seen in years. Impenetrable thickets of the stuff clog the edges of the woods and ruin good pasture. I've cut down a few thousand square feet of it around the house to make room for more fruit trees and bushes.

  3. In the Pacific North West our worst invasive is the Himalayan Blackberry. Nasty prickly thing to fight with. A stand can get 15 feet high in sunnier areas and totally cover unmaintained acres near the coast.

    We have a nice new pigeon that showed up 10 years ago. The Eurasian collared dove. Some birders speculate that it is taking up the vacant slot of the lost passenger pigeon.

    Nice to see your tomatoes are doing well.


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