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In Praise of Invasives

Naturalists like to talk about "invasives" in derisive terms. Here's a snip from the wikipeida entry for the term:

They disrupt by dominating a region, wilderness areas, particular habitats, and/or wildland-urban interface land from loss of natural controls (i.e.: predators or herbivores). This includes non-native invasive plant species labeled as exotic pest plants and invasive exotics, in restoration parlance, growing in native plant communities.

But I wonder if this isn't an unfair take on the species we consider "invasive". I'm guessing the mothers and fathers of these so-called invasive plants think that their offspring are right at home!

Broadleaf Cattail (Typha latifolia) with fall-blooming fuzz at Lincoln Marsh, November 2010


Kevin Anderson

Please don't anthropomorphize the plants - they hate that.

Daniel X. O'Neil

Best comment ever


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Daniel X. O'Neil: Chicago-based writer and internet developer. I am a co-founder of and the People Person for EveryBlock, a site that pulls together local news and public information. I run dozens of personal projects and websites for clients, and also own half of a poetry book company.


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