Monday, April 4, 2011

Get Rid of the Privet and What Do You Find?

Five years ago Chinese privet, was removed as part of a study funded through the USDA Forest Service’s Special Technology Development Program. Subsequently a rare plant called yellow fumewort, Corydalis flavula, was discovered on plots where the invasive shrub had been removed. Yellow fumewort is an small annual in the same family as bleeding heart. Hugh and Carol Nourse, nature photographers extrodinaire, discovered the site and the identification of the rare plant was confirmed by botanist, Linda Chafin. What an exciting discovery! The Yellow fumewort was just awaiting the proper conditions to reappear. This shows just how important it is to remove privet from riparian habitats and other natural areas and that we all do our part to make sure there are no seeds available for reinfesting these sites. If you want to know how you can help to make a difference, join the Georgia Native Plant Society and the Georgia Exotic Pest Plant Council. Volunteer with Georgia DNR, Rivers Alive or become a Botanical Guardian with the Georgia Botanical Society. Learn more by becoming a Master Gardener and a Master Naturalist. There are many ways to volunteer, just find the program you like and pitch in. There is lots of information on invasive plants, learn about a plant before you add it to your landscaping. Read the Homeowner's Guide to Preventing the Introduction and Spread of Invasive Species,  visit or the Georgia Invasive Species Task Force website. Many native plants which are beneficial to our native wildlife as well as beautiful in their own right are available to fill your landscaping needs. Check out the CoastScapes and the Lady Bird Johnson websites as well as the Native Plant Society's for more information on natives and their benefits to wildlife.
Corydalis aurea, a native wildflower in the same genus, photo by Dave Powell, USDA Forest Service,