Wild Notes Summer 2010 edition

Summer 2010

*You can also download the entire issue in PDF form.

Cosmo the flying squirrel


Weed It and Reap: Have you seen this weed?

Pale Swallow-Wort

Pale Swallow-Wort

Aliases: Cynanchum rossicum, Vincetoxicum rossicum, European swallow-wort

Last Seen: Twisting its way around farm fields, woodlands, riverbanks and roadsides in parts of Pennsylvania, Maryland, New York and New England.

Description: A twining vine with pairs of 3 to 4 inch-long leaves. Five-petaled, pale pink to reddish brown flowers appear in June or July. Flattened seed pods release downy seeds, like its relatives the milkweeds, from mid-summer through fall.

Hard to swallow...When pale swallow-wort, and its invasive cousin black swallow-wort, enters an area it has been shown to ruin habitat for ground nesting birds and insects, as well as chase out threatened native plant species. No one is quite certain how widespread the plant is in Pennsylvania, so be on the look out for it. For information on how to
stop this invader, go to: www.nps.gov/plants/alien/fact/cyro1.htm.


Text and illustration by Jessica Sprajcar, Conservation Program Manager, PA Department of Conservation and Natural Resources Office of Conservation Science.

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