Can anyone ID this plant?
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  1. #1
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    Can anyone ID this plant?

    I keep running into this plant. It seems like some form of ground cover, and I assume, non-native to northern Michigan.

    Am I correct?

    Click image for larger version. 

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  2. #2
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    can't remember the name, it's none native up here, usually found by cellar holes.....
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    Periwinkle!

    It's at most of the old house sites in the woods. If we see that or English Ivy, we know someone was at that spot, and brought those plants with them.

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    Rook

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    I'm not sure the name but it looks like what I'm getting in places around my hood. It's a low crawler, doesn't bloom and will destring my weed whacker.
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  5. #5

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    Also called Myrtle. In the process of transplanting a bunch of it from an old homestead site. It gets small purple flowers on it.
    It will definitely be there longer than I will.
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  6. #6
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    It's Vinca minor, in the creeping myrtle / periwinkle family.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by IMAUDIGGER View Post
    Also called Myrtle. In the process of transplanting a bunch of it from an old homestead site. It gets small purple flowers on it.
    It will definitely be there longer than I will.
    I would definitely not recommend transplanting it. It is an invasive, exotic species which originates from Europe and Asia. It displaces native plants and doesn't benefit our wildlife. I'm not sure where you're located, but you should look into native groundcovers that will do what you want while benefiting wildlife. Please check with your local native plant society or your state's Department of Natural Resources to find a suitable alternative. Controlling invasive, exotic species and crop losses due to invasive species cost billions of dollars annually and controlling them and replacing them with native species is a large part of my job and my personal life around my property. Few people recognize that we are currently facing serious threats to biodiversity and that the extinction rate is at least 1000x the baseline extinction rate, largely due to habitat loss. However, invasive exotic species pose serious threats to biodiversity due to their ability to outcompete our native species. To control Vinca, triclopyr (Garlon 3A) or glyphosate can be used at the maximum rate with a non-ionic surfactant. Make sure to follow all applicable laws and regulations when using herbicides and follow label instructions, including the use of proper personal protective equipment.

    Kindest regards,
    Kantuck
    Last edited by Kantuckkeean; Oct 14, 2018 at 08:43 PM.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Carolina Tom View Post
    Periwinkle!

    It's at most of the old house sites in the woods. If we see that or English Ivy, we know someone was at that spot, and brought those plants with them.
    The seeds of English Ivy are also dispersed by birds. Many of the invasive, exotic species are spread by birds which eat the berries and poop them out into our natural areas. The Baskins at the University of Kentucky found that most prevalent seed in the soil of one of Kentucky's old-growth forests (Blanton Forest) was autumn olive (another invasive, exotic). It was largely brought in by birds. The seed source was undoubtedly coal surface mines in the surrounding area, many of which have been converted from forests into "hay/pastureland" or "wildlife habitat" as the post-mining land use. Autumn olive was formerly planted by the millions on surface mines across Appalachia, before reclamationists understood the problems associated with it. I cannot overstate the importance of using native species.

    Kindest regards,
    Kantuck

  9. #9
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    I have seen this plant at many cellar holes, rarely anywhere else, and never though much of it. One cellar hole had the ground within 50 feet of it in any direction completely covered with it, to the point where you can't even see the ground. I always find it cool seeing non native plants at cellar holes, that were planted sometimes centuries ago. My favorite example of this is a cellar hole deep in the woods, abandoned in the 1830's or so, with tons of daffodils that bloom in the spring.
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  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by coinman123 View Post
    I have seen this plant at many cellar holes, rarely anywhere else, and never though much of it. One cellar hole had the ground within 50 feet of it in any direction completely covered with it, to the point where you can't even see the ground. I always find it cool seeing non native plants at cellar holes, that were planted sometimes centuries ago. My favorite example of this is a cellar hole deep in the woods, abandoned in the 1830's or so, with tons of daffodils that bloom in the spring.
    Hi coinman123,

    This is a perfect example of the drawbacks of invasive plants. The cellar hole that you found that had periwinkle 50' in any direction is now essentially a biological desert that is of very little use to native wildlife. What likely started as a small patch near the house was probably no greater than 100 sq. ft. and was likely much smaller than that. That patch of periwinkle has now grown to ~2,000 sq. ft. area. In a healthy, undisturbed forest understory, one might find 50, to more than 100 different species of plants in a 2,000 sq. ft. area, depending on the geographic location, soils, slope aspect, etc. Now that the periwinkle has established, the species richness has certainly declined to the point where you may find fewer than a dozen species in that 2,000 sq. ft. area. And as bad as it is, I don't consider periwinkle to be that bad of an invasive exotic species. Some invasive species are so much worse than periwinkle and choke out everything, so that only one species remains... the invasive. For those in the south, they're probably thinking that I'm referring to kudzu, but I'm not. Even kudzu allows a few plants to survive under its dreadful, choking canopy (e.g. Mayapples). Japanese knotweed is a truly evil invasive, exotic plant that I wouldn't wish upon my worst enemy. Folks from Pennsylvania likely know it all too well. Oriental bittersweet is another exotic invasive that I have nightmares about. For every non-native horticultural plant, there is a native alternative that is much better.

    Some species, though non-native, are not invasive. I like seeing the daffodils as well, even though they're not native, they're rather benign and quite pretty.

    Kindest regards,
    Kantuck
    Last edited by Kantuckkeean; Oct 15, 2018 at 12:10 AM.

  11. #11
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    papa

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    Quote Originally Posted by Kantuckkeean View Post
    Hi coinman123,

    This is a perfect example of the drawbacks of invasive plants. The cellar hole that you found that had periwinkle 50' in any direction is now essentially a biological desert that is of very little use to native wildlife. What likely started as a small patch near the house was probably no greater than 100 sq. ft. and was likely much smaller than that. That patch of periwinkle has now grown to ~2,000 sq. ft. area. In a healthy, undisturbed forest understory, one might find 50, to more than 100 different species of plants in a 2,000 sq. ft. area, depending on the geographic location, soils, slope aspect, etc. Now that the periwinkle has established, the species richness has certainly declined to the point where you may find fewer than a dozen species in that 2,000 sq. ft. area. And as bad as it is, I don't consider periwinkle to be that bad of an invasive exotic species. Some invasive species are so much worse than periwinkle and choke out everything, so that only one species remains... the invasive. For those in the south, they're probably thinking that I'm referring to kudzu, but I'm not. Even kudzu allows a few plants to survive under its dreadful, choking canopy (e.g. Mayapples). Japanese knotweed is a truly evil invasive, exotic plant that I wouldn't wish upon my worst enemy. Folks from Pennsylvania likely know it all too well. Oriental bittersweet is another exotic invasive that I have nightmares about. For every non-native horticultural plant, there is a native alternative that is much better.

    Some species, though non-native, are not invasive. I like seeing the daffodils as well, even though they're not native, they're rather benign and quite pretty.

    Kindest regards,
    Kantuck
    Thanks for sharing your knowledge of invasive plant species. Truly appreciated, and needed.
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  12. #12
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    vinca major is just as invasive. And much more of an eye candy plant as it is the variegated variety....do not transplant to your house....
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  13. #13
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    Also annoying to dig through too, my shovel often gets tangled in it while digging, and pulling the shovel out of the hole. Normally at cellar holes with it, there are just a few patches in certain area, but like I said, some can have huge amounts up to the 50' at one cellar hole that I mentioned before. I also don't see it very often at cellar holes that were abandoned in the 1700's or early 1800's, not sure if this was because it wasn't planted by settlers then, or farming in the 1800's and later destroyed the plants.
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  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kantuckkeean View Post
    and that the extinction rate is at least 1000x the baseline extinction rate, largely due to habitat loss.Kindest regards,
    Kantuck

    I don't believe the "6th great extinction" stuff. Extinction rate 1000X baseline? Please name three or four species that have gone extinct in the last 10 yrs. I'll bet you can't. Gary

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kantuckkeean View Post
    Japanese knotweed is a truly evil invasive, exotic plant that I wouldn't wish upon my worst enemy. Folks from Pennsylvania likely know it all too well. Oriental bittersweet is another exotic invasive that I have nightmares about.
    I completely agree, and would like to submit Wild Parsnip and Poison Hemlock to the list of vile invasive plants.

    Regarding encouraging native biodiversity, I successfully established some colonies of Wild Leeks (Ramps, Allium tricoccum) at the family property in Central IL, which I transplanted from Columbus, OH. Prior to habitat destruction the wild leeks were known to exist in central Illinois but I had never seen any in all my hiking around. Also trying to get American Persimmon established, it apparently has been reported in the county but being at the northern extreme of its range it will take some seedlings with superior cold-resistant genetics to get established. A very lovely and quite uncommon prairie plant is the "Prairie Mimosa" or "Illinois Bundleflower", truly beautiful and also very worthy of nurturing. I tried getting the interesting edible American Groundnut going too but was unsuccessful, gotta try again.

    It's a lot of work but very good for the soul.
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