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.