Monday, June 14, 2010

Deceptive Beauty


One man's weed is another man's nightmare.   By early June, the woods at either side of my house are thick with all kinds of invasive green, glowing, and growing plants.  This one above is one of them.


This lovely plant is the very sturdy Smilax rotundifolia.  There are some lovely inns and restaurants through out the United States named after this vine as its common name is Greenbriar Vine.  Before you fall in love with its spring beauty, I must let you know that it is invasive and can form impassable thickets.  It has nasty argumentative thorns and with bursts of energy climbs trees without pause.  The vine is strong enough to pull down young saplings.  The leaves become a pale waxy green with age and their heart shape grows quite large.   I even read on the internet a story by one person in Texas who said that a small dog had become entangled in a Greenbriar thicket and he had to go in and  rescue it!  If you declare battle with it, you will not come out unharmed.


I must admit that I have pulled or dug up a number of these plants at the edge of my lawn as they creep toward my yard.  I never got down to the root which is supposed to look like a potato.  This photo above, taken at the edge of a swamp in a nearby park, is most deceiving but perhaps worth framing?


Below is another beauty that grew just a few yards away at the edge of the same water feature.



11 comments:

TSannie said...

Though I don't think we have greenbriar here in CT, I routinely go through our woods cutting back invasive vines that, if left on their own, would swallow and eventually kill the trees. The beautiful bittersweet and Virginia creeper would swallow everything here. And, of course, there's also poison ivy - truly a gorgeous vine - but I have to be very careful cutting that...steroids are in my future if I come in contact with it.

And you are so correct - that first photo, it is a beautiful photo and worth framing!

slommler said...

I have heard of Greenbriar thickets but have never really seen one. It is a pretty leaf.
The wild iris is stunning. I love Iris...it is my fav flower!
Hugs
SueAnn

Hilary said...

I think that both are worth framing. I imagine the vine provides good cover for birds.. not so good for trees and other plants.

One Woman's Journey said...

I do not know if greenbriar is in my woods. Do not think so. I walk with clippers all the time - clipping vines and a thorny vine that I do not like - looks like a rose vine. Trying to be careful ... usually get poison ivy several times a year - in the country.
The pictures are beautiful.

Betsy from Tennessee said...

Hi Tabor, What a pretty little flower. How can it be so BAD????? I've never heard of the Greenbriar Vine I don't think... (Probably have seen it and didn't pay any attention)... ha.... We do have the Virginia Creeper vines and they are invasive also...

Love your little American Iris picture...

Have a great week.
Hugs,
Betsy

Eyewitness said...

Glad to see another nature lover's blog.
I really love the photos.

Best Wishes!

Brian Miller said...

as with many a beauty there are hidden dangers...entangling just one of them...smiles.

nice pics...

lakeviewer said...

IT LOOKS iNNOCENT! We have blackberries here that take over your lawn and everything else.

Peruby said...

Yes! Worth framing!

sheri... said...

oh, tabor...your photography is stunning!! the greenbriar vine is gorgeous and i wouldn't give it another thought before saying to you, frame it!! now, whether or not you want it growing in thickets around the yard is quite another story!
we have kudzu here in kentucky and although i've heard it can be quite nasty, it creates the coolest looking 'topiaries', covering everything in its path!

Kerri said...

You've certainly captured the spring beauty of the Greenbriar Vine. We have our own beautiful invasives here...honeysuckle is one, and the white rose bushes are so picturesque in fields and on roadside banks at the moment. Their name escapes me right now.
Just over the bank from my lower rock garden, down by the creek, is the prettiest patch of wild blue irises.
Your little purple bloom is a beauty.