It’s strange how I forget to take some pictures for so many plants. My quest to fill in these blanks took me back to ShawneeMac Lakes where I also found several invasive plants.
What is an invasive plant? It’s a plant usually from some other country that is now spreading through native habitats.
How do these invasive plants get here? Some arrive by accident. Colonists brought over crop seed to plant and the invasive plants were mixed in. These are such plants as the plantains, shepherd’s purse, corn speedwell and many other common weeds.
Another way such plants arrive is by invitation. Some are herbs or edible and are brought over as crops. Some are pretty and gardeners bring them over to decorate their gardens.
Once growing, plants flower and produce seeds. The seeds scatter growing into new plants. Consider the dandelion and how many seeds one plant produces.
Walking around the trail at ShawneeMac I was not concerned with invasive plants. I had a list of plants I needed winter bud pictures for. Even though I knew about where to find these plants, I’m always on the lookout for new ones.
Japanese honeysuckle is an invasive plant. It can be a terrible problem piling up over native plants, smothering them under thick vines and leaves that stay green through the winter. There is a lot of this at ShawneeMac Lakes.
The little vine climbing up the side of a tree was a bit similar with opposite green leaves. It wasn’t Japanese honeysuckle. Those leaves have smooth edges. These had teeth. The winter bud is different too. I took pictures to look it up later.
The American holly plants are pretty this time of year. The hawthorn had nice buds on it. One of the hazelnuts still had a few nuts on it.
When I first saw this plant, I noticed the red seeds with wings over them. There are a number of plants with such seeds including the wahoo tree. But this wasn’t that plant. I took some pictures of bark, bud, twig and seed to look up later.
I knew about the bittersweet vines. There are two similar ones. One is a native plant. The other is an invasive Oriental vine. I tend to think the ones at ShawneeMac lakes are the invasive one, but won’t be sure until spring when the vines flower.
Once home I took out “Shrubs and Woody Vines” from the Missouri Department of Conservation. That vine seems to be wintergreen, as invasive species. The bush is burning bush, also an invasive plant.
Invasive plants grow wherever they can find a place. More than these few find a place at ShawneeMac Lakes.