What is a weed? A plant whose virtues have not yet been discovered.
Blue Plate Special: Garlic Mustard
It’s spring, and garlic mustard is sprouting up all over the East. Time to get out the food processor and pesto the invader. Alliaria petiolata Native range: Europe, Asia, Northwest Africa Invasive range: Much of the Lower 48, Alaska, and Canada. (See map.) Habitat: Moist, shaded soil of floodplains, forests, roadsides, edges of woods, [...]
Native to the Old World, burdock’s introduction to North America was noted in 1672 by John Josselyn, a sharp-eyed English visitor, who used Gerard’s Herbal: The Historie of Plants of 1597 as a field guide. . . .
George Washington ate weeds. That is, he ate what he thought of as garden vegetables: Martha’s Booke of Cookery and Book of Sweetmeats, includes a handwritten recipe for Pickled Purslane. The manuscript . . .
It’s the 1880s. Frederick Law Olmstead, who, in his thirties, co-designed a little patch of ground in New York called Central Park, in his forties sells Boston on the Emerald Necklace, a whole new…
Stare out across the empty lots and fields on the outskirts of Denver, Colorado, and you will see scattered clumps of dark green leaves towering above the grass. In spring the…
Undaria pinnatifida Native range: Japan Sea Invasive range: Southern California, San Francisco Bay, New Zealand, Australia, Europe, Argentina Habitat: Opportunistic seaweed, can be found on hard substrates including rocky reefs, pylons, buoys, boat hulls, and abalone and bivalve shells. Description: Golden brown seaweed, growing up to nine feet. Forms thick canopy. Reproductive sporophyll in [...]
Asian Shore Crab
The first sighting of the Asian shore crab in the United States was at Townsend Inlet, Cape May County, New Jersey, in 1988. Though the source is unknown . . .
The common periwinkle, which first appeared in New England in the 1860s, is now found along the coast wherever there’s hard substrate–rocks, riprap, broken concrete, or docks–from Labrador to . . .
Some say it started in 1992 in Miami when Hurricane Andrew smashed an aquarium tank. Don’t blame the weather, others say; in the mid-nineties, disappointed yet softhearted hobbyists…
Since the green crab was first recorded off southern Massachusetts in 1817, it has been hard to ignore. A few minutes of rock-flipping in Maine can turn up dozens of them, brandishing their claws as they retreat…
“They live in a wide variety of habitats, colonize new ones readily, and eat everything that fits into their mouths,” says Dr. Peter Moyle of the Center for Watershed Sciences at UC-Davis…
His sister was ailing, and the man in Maryland remembered that, back home in Hong Kong, there was a fish that was considered a delicacy and a restorative. He would make a fish soup…
For a bottom-feeder, what is the good life? The common carp isn’t very demanding: any body of water that’s sluggish and murky will do. One catching sewage or…
Nutria, also known as coypu and river rat, is native to temperate and subtropical South America. It has been introduced to Europe, Asia, and Africa, mainly for fur farming. These voracious. . .
They can swim up the Mississippi River. They can fly over a fishing boat, ten feet in the air, hitting fishermen with the force of a bowling ball. They won’t take bait from hook, and they’re bony––what’s to like…
Pathways to Invasion
How do invasive species enter North America? We bring them in. Our ancestors.The early colonists, brought pigs, which they let range free, and seeds to plant as crops. Others just hitched a ride: on their shoes, in fodder, on animals, on boat hulls, and stowed among ballast cobbles. Our tax dollars at work. Since the [...]
Malicious but Delicious
What should we eat to save local ecosystems and the future of civilization? Frank Bruni discusses a recent event in Austin, Texas, that served up feral hogs, tiger prawns, and Himalayan blackberries, in the New York Times.
New Requirements for Ballast Water
In a good move for our coastlines, the Environmental Protection Agency has issued new guidelines on ballast water. Incoming ships must continue dumping their ballast 200 miles from the U.S. shoreline, but they also must treat ballast water with ultraviolet light or chemicals to reduce the risk of transporting new invaders to the coast. Many [...]
Eat the Invaders in Cape Breton
Steve Sutherland interviews Joe Roman about eating Maritime invaders on CBC Radio.
Invasive Species Cook-off in Oregon
Earlier this year, the Institute for Applied Ecology held a cook-off for invaders in Corvalis. Dave Budeau won with his pulled smoked nutria. Read more about the event and the institute here.
“They’re utter destruction is what they are.”
Jan Loven, USDA official in Texas, of feral pigs
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