July 30, 2012
Fresh Pond Stewards at Work
This group of volunteers is removing the pods of the invasive vine black
swallowwort, (Vincetoxicum nigrum) from the fence around Fresh
Pond. The vine, which is an invasive species from Europe and Asia, is
a relative of our native milkweeds. Unfortunately, our native monarch
butterflies mistake it for the local species on which they normally
lay their eggs, and which the larvae eat exclusively. The larvae eating
black swallowwort soon sicken and die due to toxins in the plant.
This weed spreads far and wide because the seeds are carried in the
wind. It can be found all over Cambridge on chain link fences and in
hedges, and in unsuspecting homeowners' gardens. It should be dug out
carefully to remove the roots, and disposed of in a plastic bag with
the trash - never recycled with yard waste.
As we were working
someone noticed this katydid, and showed it to everyone.