Touches Flame

This morning a pair of Northern Cardinals landed in the branches right outside our front window. While these bright red birds add a touch of flame to almost any branch, the branch being lit at the moment was a Winged Burning Bush. The two birds ate several of the orange berries, then left.

Winged Burning Bush (Eunoymus alatus), a popular landscaping tree, is currently banned in over twenty states, including adjacent Wisconsin. The reason for these bans has to do with this plant's potential for becoming a problem invasive. Like Buckthorn, the seeds of Winged Burning Bush are efficiently dispersed by the many birds that eat the berries. In addition to the morning's Cardinals, I've watched many other birds dine upon these berries: Robins, Hermit Thrushes, and Cedar Waxwings to name but a few. Interestingly, Winged Burning Bush belongs to the Bittersweet Family, Celastraceae. Having just observed the family’s namesake plant the day before, it was easy to recognize the similarity in berries. So similar in color and the design, I was surprised I hadn't made the connection before.

On late autumn days, especially at dusk, the leaves of this bush almost glow, like smoky sunsets or well-banked coals. Even so, the responsible thing to do would be to depose of this and other non-natives, replacing them with native species. Smooth Sumac, with its crimson fall foliage, might be a good alternative.

Publicado por scottking scottking, 16 de março de 2017, 04:02 AM

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scottking

Data

Março 15, 2017 05:04 PM CDT

Descrição

Winged Burning-bush
Northfield, Minnesota

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