Thursday, August 30, 2012

Dog Strangling Vine on the Border

milkweed bug (Lygaeus kalmii)

Earlier this summer I went for a walk at the Fletcher Wildlife Garden where they have a serious Dog Strangling Vine (DSV) problem. In some places all you could see was Dog Strangling Vine; it shocked and saddened me. Previously, I hadn't worried too much about this new invasive species as I figured it would eventually find its place along with all the other non-native species in the roadside environment. Now I'm concerned that it may invade and come to dominate the naturalization areas.

There is a small patch of the very invasive Dog Strangling Vine about 200m west of the 2011 planting area. Earlier this summer I tried pulling out as much of the DSV as I could find. You can't kill it just by pulling off the stem but you knock it back enough that it is unlikely to produce seed this year. The seed pods on the plants I missed are now opening and releasing the fluffy seeds so it is too late to do anything more this season.

I thought it was interesting to see the milkweed bug feeding on this Dog Strangling Vine plant. Dog Strangling Vine is related to Milkweed and is so similar that monarch butterflies may place their eggs on DSV instead of milkweed. Unfortunately the monarch caterpillars cannot survive on the DSV so it is yet one more threat to the monarchs.

1 comment:

  1. Oh no! Just was out on a bike ride today on the eastern part of the Parkway and noticed some - hopefully the N.C.C. has an invasive program and can address it there!

    I work at Fletcher and heard that one group was doing good work with the DSV - mushing up the roots and going back weekly to keep it back. Depending on how much you have this might be an option.

    If nothing else, we try to take off the pods before they release seeds. Good luck - I hope it can be controlled where you are!