Pests/Weeds/Invasives

Invasive Water Hyacinth

March 7, 2016 lawanda Magazine Columns

Well, this one snuck up on us!  Invasive water hyacinth has been a huge problem in the lakes, rivers and streams of Africa, South America and the southeastern United States for many years.  We thought we were protected from it up here in Wisconsin above the 40th parallel, the supposed northernmost reach of the plant.  […]

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Three Japanese Invaders

November 17, 2015 lawanda Magazine Columns

Our country’s earliest invasive plants originated mostly in Europe as our ancestors brought them from their homelands to grow in the new world.  Today invaders come from the world over as they are imported intentionally as nursery stock to decorate our landscapes or inadvertently in soil along with those landscape plants. Three of today’s worst […]

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Wild Parsnip is Invasive and Dangerous

August 2, 2015 lawanda Newspaper Columns

I try not to repeat topics here but one of the invasive plants I’ve mentioned before has become so prevalent and is so dangerous that it merits another go round. Wild parsnip is blooming now in mid-summer and you might mistake it for a dill plant. It has a wide umbrella of tiny yellow flowers […]

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Spotted Knapweed

March 9, 2015 lawanda Magazine Columns

If you’ve been aware of and familiar with invasive plants for any length of time, you’ve probably realized that the majority of invasive plants are very attractive, and that an inordinate number of them are purple. The same is true of this issue’s featured invasive, spotted knapweed. At first glance, knapweed looks remarkably like the bachelor’s button […]

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Mistletoe

December 21, 2014 lawanda Uncategorized

Here in Wisconsin, mistletoe comes to mind only at Christmas time, and then only to those hoping to kiss or be kissed beneath it.  Come January, nobody gives it another thought.  It’s not that way in some parts of the U.S., but we’ll get to that later. The tradition of kissing under the mistletoe comes […]

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0 MiscellaneousPests/Weeds/Invasives

Can Our Ash Trees Be Saved?

November 14, 2014 lawanda Magazine Columns

Last summer I spent an hour a week walking around in circles on baseball diamonds, staring at the ground.  People probably thought I was a crazy person.  What I was really doing was biosurveillance.  No, I wasn’t wearing a hazmat suit or carrying high-tech spy equipment.  I needed only my eyes and a pencil and […]

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Creeping Bellflower

September 21, 2014 lawanda Newspaper Columns

When my husband and I moved to our home 23 years ago, I discovered a pretty purple flower in the flowerbed called creeping bellflower.  I thought it an odd name, since it didn’t appear to be a creeper:  the two-foot stems were upright and held cute purple bell-shaped flowers along their sides. Years went by […]

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Could a Wasp Save Our Ash Trees?

August 3, 2014 lawanda Newspaper Columns

I spend an hour a week walking in circles on baseball diamonds doing biosurveillance.  I’m not wearing a hazmat suit or carrying high-tech spy equipment.  I need only my eyes and a pencil and paper to record what I see. I am searching for nests of cerceris wasps, a non-stinging – to humans – native […]

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0 MiscellaneousPests/Weeds/Invasives

Creeping Bellflower: The Purple Monster

July 8, 2014 lawanda Magazine Columns

Here’s what happened.  When my husband and I moved to our current home twenty-three years ago, it was beautifully landscaped with many flowers, shrubs and trees, most of which I couldn’t identify.  One pretty little purple flower that I eventually identified was called creeping bellflower.  I thought it an odd name, since it didn’t appear […]

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0 Edible Wild PlantsPests/Weeds/Invasives

Remove Invasive Plants from Your Property!

June 1, 2014 lawanda Newspaper Columns

It’s quite likely that you have invasive plants on your property.  I’m not talking about dandelions or creeping Charlie, but something much more insidious. Wisconsin’s Department of Natural Resources defines an invasive species as “non-native plants, animals and pathogens whose introduction causes or is likely to cause economic or environmental harm or harm to human […]

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