A New Weed in the Woods
The Flora of Virginia calls it "a rapidly spreading and potentially invasive Asian exotic". This is Youngia japonica, or Oriental False Hawksbeard. I have found it now on four trails, three all-purpose and one mountain bike, as well as in one off-trail spot, so it is no longer just "potentially" invasive. And it does spread quickly once established. To control it without herbicide (and avoid killing desirable vegetation), each plant must be uprooted with a weeding tool, before it blooms and makes more seed. At this point, with just five patches, I hope to get it out of the park, at least for a while.
Last year's plants and this year's seedlings start growing on warm days in the winter. The photo shows plants from last year developing rosettes of leaves. Flowers will develop in early spring.
Thoughts on the park, its residents and how to preserve its natural beauty.