Persistent Plants: The Downside

Blue forget-me-nots

Shortly after posting the item on an amazing tree that clings to life from the cliffs at Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore in Michigan, I got to thinking about another aspect of persistent plants: the invasives. These, too, find homes on the sandstone cliffs off of the south shore of Lake Superior — and once they’re established they don’t want to go away.

Clintonia borealis
Miner's Castle on Lake Superior

While visiting Miner’s Castle (photo below), we admired the pretty forget-me-nots (Myosotis spp.), blanketing the forest floor nearby. It turns out these are not natives to the area, but a very aggressive plant that is displacing trout lilies and other plants of the region. Since this is a rare ecosystem, the National Parks Service is taking some steps to remove (or at least reduce) the forget-me-nots and other invasives such as garlic mustard and spotted knapweed from the area. We also saw what I think is Clintonia borealis (yellow corn lily), which is native to the Upper Penninsula.

One Reply to “Persistent Plants: The Downside”

  1. Here is a blog entry with some photos of the forget-me-nots that are taking over our island in Lake Huron, off the eastern U.P. Each year, unfortunately, they crowd out more of the delicate native twinflowers (Linnea borealis), which are one of my favorite wildflowers in the world.

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