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This species, Multiflora rosa, was introduced to the US by Japan in 1886. It was used as an under stock for ornamental roses. Unfortunately it is considered invasive. The Soil Conservation Services recommends it to be used as hedges for maintaining livestock in a given area and for erosion control.

I had wild roses in my backyard meadow. They showed up even after mowing and I managed them which means they were heavily cut back in early spring and then again 1-2 x’s as the summer unfolded. I found them to be beautiful, offering refuge for birds and small critters like rabbits. I would cut blossoms  and place them around my home enjoying the subtle fragrance especially at night when a breeze wafted around the house. Blossoms last at the most 7-10 days but they were prized. Some rose petals were infused in almond oil in preparation for a skin creme I enjoyed making. Once they finish blooming then the hip begins to form. I would gather the hip in the early autumn when bright red, dry and save them for winter teas.  The photo below shows a developing rose hip.

Invasive species take over.  The wild rose is spread by birds and like many invasive species the seeds can live a number of years.  Some invasives can be managed like I mentioned above or not. Mile a minute vine grows so fast and literally chokes the life of surrounding growth including trees. Hogweed difficult to remove can cause a disfiguring dermatitis.

So the question is how do we manage invasive plant species? Some suggest mechanical, other sources offer chemical and biological means. My question is can we try the least harmful means first? What is the site used for? do we need to dump more chemicals into the ground harming all manner of species? Tough questions can perhaps best be answered site by site with mindfulness and a consciousness that our actions affect the next 7 generations.

Food for thougtht…any thoughts?

Enjoy this beautiful spring day. Judith

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