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Picture of WinterBranch
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I'm currently reading Janet Lembke's book Despicable Species: On Cowbirds, Kudzu, Hornworms, and Other Scourges.

I came across this sentence:

"And our particular hybris has consisted of making heedless assumptions about water's ability to flush away chemical insults."


"HAHA, methinks I found a typo!" I gloat to myself, running to onelook.com.

Nope--that is a variant of the word hubris. I have never seen it before.

Just thought I'd share that. Razz
 
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Picture of Kalleh
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No, WinterBranch, I haven't seen it spelled that way, either.

However, I was quite interested by your book. Never having heard of cowbirds, I find that they lay their eggs in the nests of other birds and are often seen accompanying herds of grazing cattle. Nor had I heard of the Asian vine, "kudzu", nor "hornworms", the larva of hawk moths. Just call me illiterate! Roll Eyes

Might I ask what brought you to that book?
 
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What! You've never heard of kudzu, the vine that ate the South? Kudzu is one of many plants that have been introduced to the United States from overseas that has become a pest. Without its natural enemies, it is able to flourish and, if not kept under control, will cover everything in sight. Don't believe me? Check out this site. You can click on links to see houses, barns and vehicles covered with kudzu. It will grow about a foot a day. Currently it covers over seven million acres of land in the deep south. It was declared a noxious weed in Illinois in 2003, and has been found in Evanston, IL.

Tinman
 
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<Asa Lovejoy>
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Even plain old English ivy can be a "noxious weed." It grows rampantly around here, choking many native species out. Ah, but so do rich yuppie Californians!
 
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Oh, Tinman, thanks for those wonderful sites. Evanston, IL, is about 5 miles from us!

I do have a lot to learn, I know. Red Face That's why I post here!
 
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Originally posted by Asa Lovejoy:
Even plain old English ivy can be a "noxious weed." It grows rampantly around here, choking many native species out. Ah, but so do rich yuppie Californians!

English ivy (Hedera helix) was declared a noxious weed in Oregon in, I believe, 2001. Washington classified 5 cultivars of it a noxious weed in 2002. On December 3, 2002 Arlington County, Virginia, adopted a resolution to list it as a noxious weed there. It truly is a terrible weed. It grows pretty much like the kudzu, though not nearly as fast. In a way it's worse than kudzu. English ivy is more shade tolerant than kudzu, allowing it to penetrate forests more easily.

"Noxious weed" is a legal term, generally meaning a non-native plant that creates serious economic or ecological problems. The Federal definition "... any living stage, such as seeds and reproductive parts, of any parasitic or other plant of a kind, which is of foreign origin, is new to or not widely prevalent in the United States, and can directly or indirectly injure crops, other useful plants, livestock, or poultry or other interests of agriculture, including irrigation, or navigation, or the fish or wildlife resources of the United States or the public health".

Noxious weeds are a serious problem, causing $35 billion damage per year in the United States (1999 study). And it's not just a problem in the USA. I understand that salal (native to the Pacific Northwest) is a problem in Britain, and that Oregon-grape is a noxious weed in Scotland. Introduced species other than plants have also sometimes created problems.

So, Asa, the law in Oregon favors exterminating English ivy there. As to Californians ...

Tinman

[This message was edited by tinman on Wed Oct 29th, 2003 at 3:17.]
 
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Originally posted by Kalleh:
I do have a lot to learn, I know. Red Face That's why I post here!

We all have a lot to learn. And you're one of my teachers.

Tinman
 
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I believe (and Max should be able to bear me out here) that gorse is classified as a noxious weed in New Zealand. Early settlers took it with them as a garden plant and it spread like wildfire, to the point that now gorse can be found all over New Zealand, even in the almost totally deserted areas. I was surprised to see it there - I'm more used to seeing entire hillsides covered in yellow gorse in Wales and Scotland.

One thing that ought to be classified as a noxious weed, but I don't think it is, is buddleia (sp?). Damn thing gets everywhere, self seeds, comes back from the dead, and particularly likes putting out roots in walls, thus destroying the wall in the process. London is full of them...

My mother's definition of a weed, which seems apposite here, is "a plant that grows where you don't want it to". Sounds about right to me!

Ros
 
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Picture of shufitz
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Kudzu was deliberately planted in this country. During the Great Depression, the Civilian Conservation Corp. planted great amounts of it, to control erosion.
 
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Yes, correct spelling. The plant was named after the English botanist Buddle, who died in 1715.

The old English name for the shrub (and which some people still use - as do I - is Butterfly Tree - because of its attraction to these insects.

The Butterfly Tree grows best in very poor soil (or even no soil) which is why it can live quite happily on walls of buildings. The reason why it's so common in London because of the many empty bomb-sites that were there for years after the war. Lots of nice rubble - just right for a Butterfly Tree. Now it's there it will stay there since the seeds are very viable.

The easiest way to get rid of a Butterfly Tree is to plant it in some nice fertile soil. Then it will just not grow.

Richard English
 
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The plant was named after the English botanist Buddle, who died in 1715.



Speaking of which, did you know that forsythia is named after an ancestor (grandfather, I think) of Bruce Forsyth?
 
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And fuchsia after a Fuchs. Helped me spell it right.
 
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Picture of WinterBranch
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Kalleh:
quote:
However, I was quite interested by your book. Never having heard of cowbirds, I find that they lay their eggs in the nests of other birds and are often seen accompanying herds of grazing cattle. Nor had I heard of the Asian vine, "kudzu", nor "hornworms", the larva of hawk moths. Just call me illiterate!

Might I ask what brought you to that book?


I actually haven't gotten to the Cowbird or Kudzu parts of the book! Or hornworms, actually. It's been fungi and fishkiller dinoflagellates so far. Some stuff about starlings.

As far as finding the book--it just looked interesting while going thru the Natural History/Science section at my favorite bookstore chain: HalfPrice Books.
 
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Tinman:
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What! You've never heard of kudzu, the vine that ate the South? Kudzu is one of many plants that have been introduced to the United States from overseas that has become a pest.


Kudzu can look very pretty, too. As long as you aren't think about everything else it's killing.
Another example is the Chinese yew. It's one of the few trees around here that changes color in the fall. It's another non-native species--I remember reading that's it's an "ornamental that escaped". (Can't all of you imgaine a tree picking up its roots like skirt and just taking off!?)
 
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