Monday, May 6, 2013

Periwinkle in Montfort Woods (Ottawa)

Copied from: Fletcher Wildlife Garden Newsletter, May 2012
Author: C. Hanrahan
Image from: S.E. Amesse 2010 ©

"Walking through Montfort Woods earlier in the month was an interesting experience. I've not
been back to this spot since about 1996, before it was exchanged for Moffatt Farm in a land
swap with the National Capital Commission (which now manages and patrols the woods).
At this time of year, you can see the remnants of what was once a magnificent forest, which
would have covered an extensive area. There are still small patches of some interesting native
plants, such as Cutleaf and Broadleaf Toothwort (Cardamine laciniata and C. diphylla), both
White and Red Trilliums (Trillium grandiflora and T. erectum), very small stands of Hepatica, a
few tiny stands of Canada Mayflower (Maianthemum canadense), which should be abundant
there, big swathes of Trout Lily (Erythronium americanum), and so on.

BUT, the sad thing is that the really huge swathes are Periwinkle (Vinca sp.) and Deadnettle
(Lamium sp.). Garlic Mustard (Alliaria petiolata) is not abundant, but it will be. I found one
Barberry (Berberis sp.), and Norway Maples (Acer platanoides) are beginning to intrude.
The area where the Periwinkle, Deadnettle and also Day Lilies were found is adjacent to what
used to be CFB Rockcliffe, and it looks very much like garden waste was dumped over the fence
with the resulting invasion! If anyone needed to be reminded why these plants should be kept
out of natural areas, this provides a good lesson. Sad. In the photo, that huge swathe of green
is all Periwinkle. I actually like Deadnettle and Periwinkle as fast spreaders in a garden setting,
BUT. . .not out here."

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