Wineberry (Rubus phoenicolasius) is a deciduous, woody shrub with arching stems that reach 3 to 6 feet. The stems and petioles are covered in dense reddish glandular hairs and prickles with alternating heart-shaped leaflets that have serrated edges, purplish veins, and silvery white hairs on the leaflets' undersides. Small green flowers with white petals and reddish hairs occur in spring. The very edible raspberry-like fruit ripens to a bright, clear red in June and July.
Wineberry’s rapid growth poses a threat to native plants by creating dense patches that crowd out desirable species. It spreads not only vegetatively by tip-rooting but also by seeds that are transported by birds and mammals, including humans, who seek out the delicious fruits.
Wineberry is difficult to control. Small infestations can be handled by pulling individual plants, if the soil is moist, or by digging them out with a shovel or spading fork.
The spotted lanternfly is an invasive insect that causes damage when they feed, sucking sap from stems and leaves. This can weaken the plant and eventually contribute to the plant's death.
Spotted lanternfly lay their eggs in the fall, and the first instar nymphs hatch starting in April. The newly hatched nymphs are black with white spots, and starting in July the oldest nymphs will have patches of red. Shortly after, they will begin to assume their adult forms, which have wide colorful wings.
Spotted lanternfly poses a significant threat to the U.S. economy and environment. To stop its spread, the Maryland Department of Agriculture and other neighboring states have issued quarantines for counties where the presence of this pest have been confirmed – Anne Arundel, Baltimore, Carroll, Cecil, Frederick, Harford, Howard, Kent, Montgomery, and Washington counties as well as Baltimore City. Businesses operating in the quarantine zone must have permits to move equipment and goods within and out of the zone.
If you see something that looks like a spotted lanternfly, take a picture and send it to DontBug.MD@maryland.gov or call 410-841-5920. Eradicating invasive species is a costly and challenging task, but stopping them from spreading and keeping tabs on where they are makes that job easier. If you can, try to catch the bug. There is a simple and effective way to catch the spotted lanternfly, as the Integrative Ecology Lab at Temple University explains in the video below. It is called the empty water bottle method.
For more information on the spotted lanterfly, click the button below.
Spotted lanternflies are continuing to spread. Four counties in Maryland have documented spotted lanternfly infestations. Maryland is still in the early stages of an infestation, which shows no signs of stopping. The insect has reached new places this year and poses a serious threat to the state’s agriculture industry, with the potential to cause millions of dollars of damage.
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English ivy, Hedera helix, is a popular evergreen ground cover for the shade and grows almost anywhere. It is a climbing or creeping plant with a woody stem, and can reach up to 100 feet with the aid of its aerial roots on the undersides of the shoots. Dark glossy evergreen alternate leaves are triangular, three to five lobed. In some areas, yellow-green flowers produce bitter black berries, which ripen the following year.
These plants are useful as well as attractive. Unsightly views can be hidden by growing English ivy as a screen on a trellis or unattractive structure. The vines also make an ideal ground cover under a tree where grass refuses to grow. However, it can completely enshroud the trunk and main limbs and shade out so many leaves that the tree dies due to lack of photosynthesis.
English ivy is both beauty and beast. Although it is invasive, it can be beautiful if it is contained and restrained.
Horticulture Chair Nancy Percivall discussed invasive plants at our November meeting. Many invasive plants are being sold at local nurseries and garden centers. Effective April 11, 2017, Maryland is banning the sale of three agressively spreading ornamentals: yellow flag iris, shining cranesbill and fig buttercup. It also requires warnings be posted next to retail displays of burning bush, border privet and three invasive vines that are non-native members of the wisteria family – Chinese wisteria, Japanese wisteria and an Asian wisteria hybrid. For a list of commonly planted invasive plants click the link below.