I recently received the latest update to the Virginia Invasive Plant Species List. In the High Invasiveness Rank group is Japanese Honeysuckle, the vine that climbs up and over shrubs, small trees and fences and produces a powerful perfume in June. This honeysuckle was introduced into the United States before 1900 as an ornamental plant, and is now found in all states east of the Mississippi. It occurs here in Pocahontas in abundance. Mostly it persists as a sparse ground cover, held in check by the shade of our forest overstory. But where the tree canopy is thin or broken, honeysuckle vine can develop enough canopy of its own to suppress native undergrowth and to deform trees. I found and photographed one such open site where pine harvesting some years ago opened the tree canopy. Sites like this are put on the invasive plant registry as candidates for control during invasive species volunteer sessions.
Thoughts on the park, its residents and how to preserve its natural beauty.