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Spring 2010

Urban Jungle

The changing natural world at our doorsteps | Illustration and text by Patterson Clark      

April 13, 2010

A violet competition with celandine

Advancing mats of invasive lesser celandine crowd out many native spring wildflowers, but common blue violets -- native, but weedy in their own right -- manage to pierce the alien yellow carpet to add some complementary color.

One reason that lesser celandine is effective in overwhelming its native

counterparts is because it emerges earlier. Land managers who wish to curb its spread sometimes use that trait against it, by spraying herbicide on the leaves in late winter, while it's the only plant exposed.

SOURCES: Plant Conservation Alliance; National Park Service

lesser celandine and common blue violet