Asian flora ... and perhaps fauna


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Re: Asian flora ... and perhaps fauna

Postby AlexZorach » Jul 13th, '12, 16:58

A lot of Asian plants are invasive where I live. Although many of them are beautiful here, they do not always integrate in with the natural ecosystems in a healthy way. A major problem here in the mid-Atlantic U.S. is Japanese Knotweed, a beautiful (and edible) plant, which forms dense thickets shutting out the growth of native plants.

For this reason, I recommend people to exercise great caution when cultivating non-native plants. As beautiful as these plants are, they can wreak massive devastation to natural ecosystems, and in some cases, they can have immense economic costs as well (think of what Kudzu did to the south).

Many Asian plants have native analogues in North America. For example, there is a native version of pachysandra, Allegheny Pachysandra which integrates well with the ecosystems in Pennsylvania. But, typically, the Japanese variety is planted. As most gardens who have planted it know, it can become somewhat of a pest, and is difficult to remove.

I think that a new sort of beauty is obtained when people replicate Asian styles of gardening using native analogues, rather than non-native plants. This can be a challenge, but it ultimately creates something new and beautiful, something that is in harmony with nature. Keep in mind that in Asian gardens, planted with native Asian plants, the plants are in harmony with nature. When planting these same plants in North America, the harmony is lost. In order to truly replicate the essence of these gardens, one must actually do a lot more work in locating the corresponding plants from our own wild ecosystems, and working to cultivate them.
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Re: Asian flora ... and perhaps fauna

Postby Chip » Jul 13th, '12, 19:17

... or just plant proven non invasive plants that are have been here for a while. Realistically, 95% of the plants planted in virtually all gardens are not native to our individual locales ... as I drove past a huge wholesale nursery located around a mile from "home," I could easily see this. And these are all non invasive.

I am not ready to give up Japanese maples and numerous non invasive Asian conifers.

Do not get me wrong, if anyone wants to plant a completely native garden, power to them, but planting already available Asian plants, that have been here for generations and show no invasive tendencies, in our personal space is not going to upset the ecosystem. Plant what you like/want, like/want what you plant.

And albeit, there are horrendous escapees such as Russian Olive and wild rose (forget the name off hand). Ironically, these two species were promoted/distributed by state wldlife agencies for PA ... our government in action.
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Re: Asian flora ... and perhaps fauna

Postby AlexZorach » Jul 14th, '12, 08:47

Yeah, some plants are much safer than others, and I think a large number don't pose too much of a problem. One of the tricky things though is that we often don't know where there is a problem until it's too late. Even a plant that does not spread can harbor diseases which do.

But lack of invasiveness or hosting diseases is not the only reason to go with natives. It's not only what you're planting, it's what you're not planting. A lot of non-native plants create a more sterile environment, with less insect and other invertebrate food for birds. This provides less food for migrating birds; even if few bird breed in a yard or garden, they are more likely to utilize it during migration. Supporting resident birds can also help gardening, because if there is more of a supply of insects and other invertebrate food from native trees and shrubs, it will support a larger population of birds, which will be happy to eat insects and caterpillars from your garden!

Native plants grown from healthy seed stock can also provide a healthy seed population which can help repopulate nearby ecosystems. This can have economic implications: when land which was cleared is allowed to grow back as forest, if there is a healthy seed source nearby, the cost of removing non-natives is minimized. This can thus create both ecological value, and value for the forestry industry, which benefits from faster regeneration of forests.

Cities and suburbs in the US right now tend to be seed sources of non-natives. I'd like to see that turn around. We've already screwed up our ecosystems enough and we could be playing a fully positive role in our ecology by making a few simple changes...and using the native analogues (which in many cases, look very similar to their Asian or European counterparts) is one of those simple changes.
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Re: Asian flora ... and perhaps fauna

Postby Chip » Jul 14th, '12, 09:58

Of course, this can be your mantra, but this is an Asian flora topic. Please feel free to post a native plant topic under Miscelleny. 8) :idea: :arrow:

Asian plants, gardens bring us closer to cultures of interest to tea drinkers. People are not going to stop planting the wide variety of plants that are available to them. In neighborhoods this poses no more threat to our ecosysystems than the neighborhood's infrastructure.

I am certainly not condoning planting Asian plants in our wild lands. (although as mentioned in my previous post, PA government agencies have done this with invasive plants, brilliant :roll: )

And if not Asian ... look at the wider yet variety of European plants that are used. And even domestics have been hybridized, etc. The melting pot society does not stop with the people.

... not to mention food crops ... eating would get pretty boring if we were restricted to local natives.
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Re: Asian flora ... and perhaps fauna

Postby apache » Sep 9th, '12, 14:54

春蘭
Cymbidium goeringii (Rchb. f.) Rchb. f.
Image

Image
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Re: Asian flora ... and perhaps fauna

Postby jayinhk » Sep 10th, '12, 15:11

While I don't have a garden, I do have some herb and pepper plants on the balcony. Hong Kong has incredible biodiversity, so I let the wild plants that shoot up in my pots coexist with my scotch bonnet peppers and Indonesian cabe merah keriting chili plants. The native flowers attract some amazing butterflies and I swear I saw a tiny hummingbird, but apparently there aren't any on this side of the world!
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Re: Asian flora ... and perhaps fauna

Postby Poohblah » Sep 10th, '12, 15:39

apache wrote:春蘭
Cymbidium goeringii (Rchb. f.) Rchb. f.
I believe this is a Spring Orchid, for those of us who can't read Chinese or botanical Latin :wink:
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Re: Asian flora ... and perhaps fauna

Postby apache » Sep 10th, '12, 16:52

Here is some information about Latin Name in general. When Latin names are used there would be no ambiguity about the plant as two countries (even English speaking) can give different common names to the same species or same name for different species and this happens very often.

Also, with Latin name you can tell straight away these plants are closely related to Cymbidium which grow in the U.S. and they could possibly be crossed to make hybrid.
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Re: Asian flora ... and perhaps fauna

Postby BioHorn » Sep 14th, '12, 19:43

Chip wrote: People are not going to stop planting the wide variety of plants that are available to them. In neighborhoods this poses no more threat to our ecosysystems than the neighborhood's infrastructure.
.

Hi Chip,
Sorry to have to chime in. I am not trying to be the bio-police, but your statement needs some clarification.

Non-natives, even in residential settings, can cause big problems. One example, Purple loosestrife Lythrum salicaria, is a huge problem in areas of the US. Capable of producing many many seeds, they are easily carried through watersheds, extending their range. I have witnessed firsthand over the past 4-5 years their devastating effect here in Northern Ohio.

It seems Purple loosestrife is native to Asia and qualifies for this thread. :mrgreen:
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Re: Asian flora ... and perhaps fauna

Postby Chip » Sep 14th, '12, 21:02

BioHorn wrote:
Chip wrote: People are not going to stop planting the wide variety of plants that are available to them. In neighborhoods this poses no more threat to our ecosysystems than the neighborhood's infrastructure.
.

Hi Chip,
Sorry to have to chime in. I am not trying to be the bio-police, but your statement needs some clarification.

Non-natives, even in residential settings, can cause big problems. One example, Purple loosestrife Lythrum salicaria, is a huge problem in areas of the US. Capable of producing many many seeds, they are easily carried through watersheds, extending their range. I have witnessed firsthand over the past 4-5 years their devastating effect here in Northern Ohio.


It seems Purple loosestrife is native to Asia and qualifies for this thread. :mrgreen:

Very true!

The swamp across the road from us was simply a native swamp decades ago when we moved in. It has evolved over the years. First up was the multiflora rose from Asia: http://www.nps.gov/plants/alien/fact/romu1.htm
that was distributed by many government agencies (for wildlife). The swamp became filled up with them choking out everything in sight, seemeingly. The government had to distribute the thorniest nuisance alien invader possible.

Next up as the multifloras subsided a bit was the Asian loosestrife you mention. Every available square inch was filled with them.

Oddly both have subsided a bit and natives have come back ... but I know the next Asian demon is coming as it is wild almost everywhere in our county but here so far, Russian Olive, yet another thorny nuisance invader distributed for wildlife by our government.

Well, obviously there are mistakes made, but there have been so many beautiful Asian additions as well that are not invasive at all. These are the intended topic of this discussion. :idea: :mrgreen: :!:
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Re: Asian flora ... and perhaps fauna

Postby Maneki Neko » Feb 10th, '13, 10:33

What a lovely gardens/plants! :mrgreen:
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