One of things I miss after moving to the south, is the brilliant orange fall color of the sugar maples (Acer saccharum) ubiquitous to Southern Ontario in Canada where I grew up. Which is why, I was pleasantly surprised last November by the similarly brilliant color of my recently planted Fothergilla ‘Mt. Airy’ cultivar. Although not a tree, this shrub is well known in the south for its gorgeous fall color among its other attributes.
Fothergilla ‘Mt. Airy’ Basics
Fothergilla‘Mt. Airy’ is a deciduous shrub native to Southeastern United States. It is a member of the witch hazel family (Hamamelidaceae) and its common names are dwarf fothergilla and Mt. Airy fothergilla. ‘Mt. Airy’ is a hybrid fothergilla cultivar and was discovered by Michael A. Dirr at the Mt. Airy Arboretum in Cincinnati, Ohio–not in Mount Airy, North Carolina. It may be a cross between two natives Fothergilla gardenia and Fothergilla major. The shrub prefers acidic organically rich, well-drained soils with medium moisture in both full sun and part shade conditions. The shrub grows to three to five feet in height and with a similar spread. There are no serious insect or disease problems with this cultivar but recently, in 2019, leaf spots resulting in defoliation were observed in South Carolina caused by Pseudocercospora fothergillae. Avoiding plant stress and practicing good plant hygiene by collecting up the diseased leaves should control this problem. It has showy white flowers that bloom in April, deep green foliage in the summer, excellent late fall color and an upright branching habit that is attractive in the winter. It definitely has appeal in the garden landscape during all four seasons.
Below: Fothergilla ‘Mt. Airy’ shrub through the seasons: Spring (April 2020), summer (2020), fall (November, 2019) and winter (photo taken December, 2018 shortly after it was planted.)
Gorgeous Fall Color
The fall leaves range in color from yellow to orange and red. They are frost resistant resulting in a late November show of intense color in the Piedmont area. Of course, the color depends on the weather of the previous growing season but Mt. Airy Fothergilla has better fall color than other cultivars like ‘Blue Shadow’.
Below: Close up photographs taken on November 28, 2019 of the beautiful orange and yellow foliage of the shrub one year after it was planted in an area that receives afternoon sun.
Other Attributes: Spring Flowers, Summer Foliage and Attractive Branching Habit in Winter
The shrub is most easily identified by its distinctive flowers that are like ‘bottlebrush-like spikes’, one to three inches long that start out globular and then stretch out to become columnar at the ends of the stems. An interesting fact is the flowers have no petals and are comprised only of stamens. The flowers are fragrant and have a faint honey-like sweet scent which attract bees and butterflies.
The leathery deep green leaf is ovate-shaped and bluish gray underneath. The margins of the leaf are serrated at the top and smooth at its base. Birds love the thick leaves of this understory shrub as it provides them cover and shelter at midlevels in the vertical landscape. The rounded shape of the mature shrub lends itself to a low maintenance hedge. Fothergilla ‘Mt. Airy’ is also deer and rabbit resistant. The zigzag branching habit is particularly noticeable in the winter and adds interest in an otherwise dormant garden landscape4. My young shrub has a unique branch habit that reminds me of up stretched arms.
If you need a shrub for a border, hedge or foundation planting consider the cultivar Fothergilla‘Mt. Airy. It will improve the aesthetic value and ornamental interest in your garden landscape year round while also providing support for wildlife. I have to wait another few weeks for my Mt. Airy Fothergilla leaves to turn from green to that familiar orange color but it will be worth the wait as my dull garden landscape this time of year needs a splash of color even though it is on a smaller scale than a maple tree.
I also hope you had a chance to enjoy the bright fall colors in our beautiful state of North Carolina this fall but in the future I highly recommend a trip to see the brilliant orange colors of the Sugar Maples of Southern, Ontario when you can travel again.
Below: The brilliant orange color of Sugar Maple trees is beautiful next to a clear blue sky, the deep green of pines or the gray limestone buildings of Kingston, Ontario on a crisp fall day in October 19, 2016. Photos by Wendy Diaz
On July 9, 2020, the New Hope Audubon Society (NHAS) revisited my suburban yard to evaluate it after I implemented their recommendations of their initial visit two years ago. I wrote about this very interesting experience in three installments for the Durham Master Gardener Blog[i] in November 2018. I earned the “Gold” level of certification from the NHAS Bird Friendly Habitat back in August, 2018 but I did not receive the highest level of Platinum, largely because greater than 10% of my available property, which is about 13,250 sq. ft. of a total of 16,117 sq. ft., was still covered by high-threat invasive species despite already having removed some exotics. These areas were located mostly along the north side yard and east-facing back yard of my property and native plants only covered 30% of the remainder of my yard. I had to increase the native plant coverage from 30% to 50% and remove the invasive species to less than 10% in order to achieve the platinum level. This was a fair amount of work but surprisingly easy when I did it in stages over two years. This time, two representatives (Alan Johnson and Jeanne Arnts) came from the New Hope Audubon Society and walked around my yard and natural buffer area and patiently answered all my questions. Jeanne Arnts took notes and both of them pointed out species of plants that were good for the birds.
It is well documented that planting native plant species is beneficial for birds and other wildlife[ii]. Native plants, especially native trees, host a variety of insects that are necessary for birds to feed their young and these plants host the insects that are vital to birds and the complex food webs that evolved in our local area. Not only do native gardens provide food, they provide shelter and nesting sites for birds. They also have the added benefit of reducing the need of added resources such as fertilizer because they are uniquely adapted to and thrive in our local area. Even with a portion of my suburban backyard preserved as a natural area with mature hardwoods, much of my yard space had at one time, 10 of the 17 most invasive species listed as species to avoid in the Piedmont North Carolina[iii]:
English ivy (Hedera helix),
Privets (Ligustrum spp.),
Autumn olive (Elaeagnus umbellate),
Chinese wisteria (Wisteria sinensis),
Japanese honeysuckle (Lonicera japonica),
Mimosa (Albizia julibrissin),
Periwinkle, Vinca (Vinca spp.),
Bradford pear (Pyrus calleryana)
Japanese stiltgrass (Microstegium vimineum)
Sacred bamboo (Nandina domestica)
In addition, I unwittingly planted the non-native invasive species: Golden rain tree (Koelreuteria paniculata), burning bush (Euonymus alatus) and monkey grass (Ophiopogon japonicas) and other invasive plants just appeared in my yard without my help, like purple beautyberry (Callicarpa dichotoma) and Chinese holly (Ilex cornuta).
The 2018 visit was a custom assessment of my yard and garden with respect to native plant species and wildlife habitat and a very educational two hours. I was delighted to be informed that I had several native wildflowers growing in my natural area like the diminutive native Crane-fly orchids (Tipularia discolor; also a subject of another blog article https://durhammastergardeners.com/2020/07/) under my beech tree (Fagus grandifolia) as well as another shade-tolerant native Redring Milkweed (Asclepias variegata L.) near a very large white oak. In the natural buffer area there was one of North Carolina’s smallest woody plants, Spotted Wintergreen (Chimaphila maculate). A native ground cover of Virginia snakeroot (Aristolochia serpentaria) was also scattered throughout the leaf litter. Other native shrubs of arrowwood (Viburnum dentatum) and St. Andrew’s-cross (Hypericum hypericoides (L.) Crantz) were quite common in my backyard, not to mention a young Black gumtree (Nyssa sylvatica), which sadly succumbed to a dry spell in September, 2019 when I was out of the country.
A few weeks after the first visit my husband and I started to tackle the invasive species removal. We waited until there was a substantial rain to loosen the soil around the plant roots. We took out the invasive species armed with hand pruners, lopper, shovel, lawnmower and chainsaw. In a matter of a few days stretched over the past two years we completed Stage 1 and 2 of the removal of invasive species. One of the advantages of pulling and rolling the periwinkle (Vinca major) after a rain to loosen the soil or just mowing was that I did not have to use an herbicide which may have harmed the soil and prevented germination of native plants which could germinate now that they were exposed to sunlight.
Clockwise from left: On November 5 and 12, 2018 Chinese wisteria (Wisteria sinensis) was removed with loppers and the trunk was cut with a chain saw. A woodpecker and robin immediately investigated the newly exposed soil. On November 3, 2018, after a good rain, the periwinkle was pulled up by the roots behind the birdbath and near the concrete bench. I found the periwinkle stems matted and could be rolled as I progressively pulled up the roots and made a ball. My husband used a chainsaw to take out the firebush on December 16, 2018. The following year on May 7, 2019 I dug out the coreopsis and monkey grass that was taking over my front perennial bed. The monkey grass roots were so tangled that I was able to remove it in one long caterpillar-like piece. On April 28, 2019, I mowed the large patch of periwinkle and Japanese honeysuckle along the north side yard with the lawn mower. My son mowed it again several months later when new shoots appeared but the second mowing along with a dry September finished it off for good except for an occasional plant that I weeded this year.
I also planted some pink and white muhly grass (Muhlenbergia capillaris) to replace the crabgrass that inevitably takes over the strip of lawn between the driveways. The last job was the removal of the forsythia hedge (bottom right corner) for a spring planting of Fothergilla bushes (purchased just before the Covid-19 lockdown) behind the birdbath in addition to a bed along the south side of the house on March 14, 2020. I did not have a chance to purchase any more native plants this year but Mother Nature helped out with the abundant rainfall this spring and many Eastern red cedars (Juniperus virginians) grew and filled in the area on the north side along with Virginia creeper (Parthenocissus quinquefolia). Plants that I purchased like Virginia sweet spire (Itea virginica), dwarf crested iris (Iris cristata) and wild ginger (Asarum canadense) became established and spread. It has been an excellent year for moss and it has spread downslope with little encouragement, from our fairy garden to our cedar bench along our property boundary. I also collected wild columbine seeds and spread them around the newly exposed areas. I did not amend the soil other than spreading leaves and pine needles, which I gathered off my fescue lawn, around my native plants.
We managed to complete both Stage I and Stage II Removal plans as outlined in my blog article of November, 2018 without complaint but, due to Covid-19 and other extended family duties, I did not plant as many of the alternatives recommended to me by NHAS in their report from the first visit. I wasn’t having much luck sourcing some of the native ground covers I wanted to plant anyway like Frog fruit (Phylla nodiflora). I updated my plant list with the recent purchases of native plants in the fall of 2018 and spring of 2019 and 2020 (muhly grass, wild ginger, dwarf crested iris, fothergilla etc.) along with other natives pointed out to me by the Audubon Society representatives on their second visit: American pokeweed (Phytolacca americana) and American boneset (Eupatorium perfoliatum). I transplanted some blueberries from under my beech tree to the south yard. This year several plants of spotted wintergreen (Chimaphila maculate) have now appeared under my beech tree along with four more groups of cranefly orchids (Tipularia discolor). I developed a nursery of Eastern red cedar in an area mostly covered by wild columbine, which tended to have numerous red cedar seedlings anyway. I will transplant them along my southern property boundary as a privacy screen when they get a bit larger.
They don’t call them invasive species for no reason and some species need constant vigiliance and weeding. It is a task that takes very little effort now that our new Covid-19 habit of walking through our yard reveals new invaders when they first appear and are easily dealt with. A new crop of mimosa seedlings sprouted up in the north side yard after the abundant August rain this year but they were easily dispatched. And it has been five years since we cut down the mimosa tree! In addition, the occasional golden raintree seedling shows up in the bed behind the birdbath. If I find myself missing the bright yellow blossoms of the golden rain tree out my bedroom window I will look at this photograph instead which is just as enjoyable but without the additional work of weeding.
Also, new alien plants appeared in the north side yard like the Chinese elm (Ulmus parvifolia), Japanese hop (humulopsis scandens) and the dayflower (Commelina communis) which were also pulled up. Photographs from left: Golden rain tree seedling, golden raintree in bloom (now removed) and mimosa seedlings in foreground next to dwarf-crested iris.
I would like to purchase some spice bush (Lindera benzoin) to fill in the areas where the forsythia hedge was removed and also to increase the midlevel landscape with shrubs in my yard and shade out the weeds. I plan on replacing the non-native morning glory at the mailbox next year with the native clematis viorna (Clematis viorna).
I was delighted to see many native wildflowers either spread or appear for the first time without me planting them in the areas I cleared of Chinese wisteria, periwinkle and Japanese honeysuckle and observing the garden become more vibrant. I also refrained from applying a thick layer of mulch in other parts of the natural tree area this year. It is amazing what nature can do with a little less competition from invasives and a little more sunlight. And of course, it helped that my neighbors and I organized and advocated to preserve a 30-foot tree buffer between our neighborhood and the proposed new subdivision, which replaced the forest behind my house back in 2003. Photographs clockwise from left: Blue-eyed grass (Sisryrinchium angustifolium), lyreleaf sage (Salvia lyrata), spotted wintergreen (Chimaphila maculate), redring milkweed (Asclepias variegata L.), flowering spurge (Euphorbia corollata), hairy skullcap (Scutellaria elliptica), American boneset (Eupatorium perfoliatum) and wild columbine (Aquilegla canadensis).
The abundant rainfall this spring produced native plants such as Coral honeysuckle, St. Andrew’s cross, Virginia snakeroot or Dutchman’s pipe and climbing dogbane to appear in the former Chinese wisteria area of the backyard. My tulip poplar tree in the front yard also had an unusual amount of blossoms for the bees to enjoy.
One of the requirements for certification is to have eight or more wildlife habitat options from the Audubon list of 13. I managed to have the entire list: water feature/bird bath, no cats or kept indoors, several functional birdhouses, brown-headed nuthatch birdhouse (species of concern), rock piles and branch bundles, pollinator garden(s), several snags (maple, black gum, cedar and cryptomeria), window stickers to reduce collisions, leaf litter, reduced lawn areas, minimal use of nonorganic fertilizers, no usage of rodenticides and replaced 30-year-old gas lawn mower, hedge-clipper and weed-eater with battery powered tools. Thanks to my industrious neighbor and friend, Roger Fortman, who made and gave me a bird feeder and two more birdhouses, I have more than the minimum required wildlife habitat options and a very good wildlife habitat suburban garden and yard.
If You Plant It They Will Come
My yard now has 73 native plant species including canopy and understory trees, shrubs, herbaceous plants and vines which flower at different times throughout most of the year. I also have large areas with leaf litter in my yard and a few trimmed dead trees left standing (snags). As the native plants have spread and established themselves, I have observed more caterpillars, butterflies, bees, fireflies and birds as well as lizards, toads and frogs. Photographs clockwise from left: Eastern tiger swallowtail and monarch butterfly on common milkweed (Asclepia syriaca), bumble bee and common buckeye butterfly on butterfly weed (Asclepia tuberose) and Eastern tiger swallowtail on Beautyberry (Callicarpa americana) and scarlet rose mallow (Hibiscus coccinneus).
Photographs from left: Bumble bee on purple passionflower (Passiflora incarnata) and dragonfly on dead milkweed leaf.
Many birds have been observed in the yard this year. Photographs clockwise from left: Female Red-bellied woodpecker and fledgling, bluebird, juvenile Ruby-throated hummingbird, goldfinch, White-breasted nuthatch, male bluebird with beetle and Red-tailed hawks.
Learning about many new native plants since that first NHAS visit in 2018 has been interesting and I found the follow-up visit rewarding and well worth the effort. I do not have any regrets about removing all invasive ornamental plants from my yard as it has given me the opportunity to learn and discover new native alternatives to plant and a chance to welcome nature’s gifts each spring. My yard is much more interesting and entertaining as well because there is a large variety of plants which flower throughout most of the year and wildlife to watch. This transformation to a yard where I can enjoy nature couldn’t have happened at a better time. All the work was worth it and I achieved the highest level of certification.
While I have achieved my goal of Platinum certification, my gardening work is never done and the plan is to remove the severely pruned Burford holly (Ilex cornuta ‘Burford’) foundation hedge at the front of the house. Alan Johnson suggested native alternatives such as dwarf yaupon holly (Illex glabra) or sweet pepper bush (Clethra anifolia) to replace the old hedge. He said the ‘Hummingbird’ cultivar produces numerous flowers and good fall color. To compliment these new shrubs other sun-loving herbaceous perennials such as golden alexander (Zizia), mountain mint (Pycnanthemum mutium) and aster (Symphyotrichum spp.) were suggested. There are many other natives to choose from but they reminded me that it is very important to choose native plants that were grown without the use of neonicotinoids and they provided source nursery’s that did not use this systemic insecticide in their four page report which they emailed to me shortly after their visit.
I proudly hang the Audubon sign on my mailbox for passersby to see and hopefully it will encourage at least one neighbor to undertake this certification process and rewarding experience. I want to inspire like-minded gardeners to contact the New Hope Audubon Society for their own certification so they too can sit back and enjoy the birds they will attract. I am looking forward to next spring and to observing how the garden has matured and perhaps I will see the spotted wintergreen finally flower or a brown-headed nuthatch take up residence in its waiting home. In the meantime, I will buy a frame for my Platinum Certificate from the New Hope Audubon Society.
In a short time I will relocate to a place with entirely different land features and growing conditions than I have enjoyed in Durham County. Of all the places I have lived (three states and six dwellings) my current home is where I have had the biggest amount of land on which to garden and ample time each week to spend gardening. It is also where I learned a lot more about gardening: as a volunteer at Sarah P. Duke Gardens, as an Extension master gardener, and through trial and error in my own yard.
Reflecting on my gardening experiences has brought forth a list of recommendations I would like to share. Each recommendation is followed by the reason it made a difference to me and a tip about implementation. Of note, my garden is primarily ornamental and includes two natural areas, the property (1.74 acres) is fenced (so, deer-free but I contend with my share of rabbits and voles), and I have no outdoor pets.
If I knew then what I know now, I would:
Plant on top of the soil. Digging through clay and rock is not fun for anyone and, often enough, not even successful, resulting in improper planting. When I first heard this tip, I dismissed it as cheating. Years later I gave in and tried it, and I haven’t looked back. Yes, I still attempt to dig a proper hole first. But if it proves too difficult, I dig what I can and make up the difference with commercially bagged garden soil or compost piled on top of the hole and mixed with the native soil.
Add a dose of compost every spring. As with planting on top of soil, before laying down compost rough up the soil surface a few inches deep. It will encourage the existing soil and the compost to mingle and improve the soil more effectively. Great gardens begin with great soils (and soil tests)!
Mulch every other year. Did you know that you are supposed to rake off old mulch before applying new mulch? I have too much garden for that chore! Yet not doing it while mulching every year (as I did for a while) does no good; layer upon layer of undisturbed mulch becomes compacted. Compaction causes a barrier where water runs off and air pockets beneath the soil line are compressed. Lately I’ve compromised by giving the mulch an extra year to break down. I poke and turn it with a pitch fork the days before new mulch is applied. This option is easier on my wallet, too.
Lawns … a) Seed fescue grass every other year (alternating with mulch years) unless it really needs it. b) If ornamental beds haven’t been mulched in a while, don’t seed the lawn (see photo). c) Skip fescue entirely and plant zoysia or another warm season grass. It’s too hot here for fescue to thrive, especially without a lot of time and money.
Plant more native shrubs. I’ve come to appreciate native plants for their benefits to native wildlife. I’m no scientist but I’m in my garden a lot and the more natives I’ve added or let be, the greater variety of insects and birds I’ve observed. But frankly, the native plants are more carefree and thus bring me more joy. (Granted I could really make a difference by getting rid of my lawn …)
Be bold about removing things that aren’t “right plant, right place” (apple tree in a shady valley, hostas in too much sun, hydrangeas in a cramped spot). They will struggle to flourish and you’ll be disappointed. Once something un-spectacular is gone from sight you will hardly remember that it was ever there.
Raise a few chickens. I had never lived anywhere that backyard chickens were allowed. So, it’s no surprise that it took me this long to consider raising them myself. There’s a perfect site in my yard (remember that shady valley where the apple tree struggled). And mine is an egg-eating household. Plus, chickens and gardens play well together.
Rejuvenate or replace the hedge sooner. Hedges are high maintenance. At least the really good-looking ones are. I’m always shy about making the first cut but have rarely regretted giving my hedge a confident trim or applying a rejuvenating prune to a shrub in need. Alternatively, plant a loose hedge; one that need not be squared off or rounded to look decent. Fragrant tea olive (Osmanthus fragrans) is a great choice as is the anise tree (Illicium floridanum).
Foundation plantings. Think twice before putting shrubbery up against the house. Mine were present when I moved in; But had I removed them a decade ago, they would not be the nuisance they sometimes are today. Vegetation up against the house is not necessary (in my opinion) and it’s a pain when it comes time to paint the exterior, power wash, or make a repair. It’s also a hassle to trim bushes placed so close to the house!
Focus, Focus, Focus. If I knew then what I know now, I would have heeded the advice to design and landscape one section of my yard at a time. Not strictly adhering to this rule haunts me on dry summer days as I traipse around the garden with a hose or watering can tending newly planted trees, shrubs or perennials.
There’s no time like the present to learn from our mistakes. Ask yourself what you would do differently and then set out to do it.
are among the most popular shade trees in America. They grow fast and tall,
averaging 40 feet but capable of reaching 120 feet. I remember the one in the
backyard of my childhood home on Long Island. We lived in a suburban development
typical of its time: Finished in the late 1960s, the homes were similar in size
and layout and every house sat on the same amount of land which was some
measure of an acre. The community was called Point of Woods – which was
humorous as most of the “woods” were cleared in order to build the houses. Most
homes were surrounded by large areas of lawn. The yard cried out for a shade
tree. Enter the maple.
tree felt special. My grandmother spotted the seedling growing in her tiny
urban yard in Queens, a borough of New York City. Mature maples lined her two-way
street; they were so large that their tops completely shaded the street and
their shallow roots buckled the sidewalks. Grandma was no stranger to gardening
so she nurtured that seedling for a bit and then potted it up and brought it to
Long Island to plant in our new backyard. With lots of attention, but little
actual care, it grew fast and tall and quickly delivered welcome shade.
Alas, I have no (good) photo to share of the maple of my youth. Besides, my tree may have been the invasive (!) Norway maple (Acer platanoides) which was widely planted as a street and shade tree back in the day. I have something much better to share with you — a spectacular red maple tree that has, for years, graced the Durham County, NC yard of a fellow master gardener.
trees are native deciduous trees. They tolerate a wide range of growing
conditions which may be why they seem to grow carefree. It is one of the first
native trees to flower in very early spring and there is something red about it
year-round. It has red twigs, buds, and flowers in winter, reddish new leaves
in spring, red leaf stalks and seeds in summer, and reddish (or yellow) foliage
in autumn. 1
There are a
number of types of maple trees and it is not easy to identify them from afar.
You need to observe their structure and then get close enough to observe the
bark, the leaves and their arrangement, the flower and/or the fruit. A
distinguishing characteristic of the red maple (in addition to its overwhelming
redness as described above), is that the edge of its leaf, also known as the
margin, is highly serrated.
more about the characteristics of other maple trees, consult the NC Extension
Gardener Plant Toolbox online.
Photos by Wanda Cruthfield, used with permission.
1. Spira, Timothy P., Wildflowers & Plant Communities of the Southern Appalachian Mountains & Piedmont, 2011 University of North Carolina Press
September is synonymous with school. So, this week we are
getting back to basics with a post that defines foundational gardening terms.
The better you understand these terms and phrases, the easier it will be to
identify, select and care for plants in your landscape.
Growing season: The period between the beginning of growth in
the spring and the cessation of growth in the fall.
Hardiness zone: Expressed as a number and letter combination
from 1a to 13b, the US Department of Agriculture has assigned a zone to every geographic
area of the United States based on the average annual minimum winter
temperature. Tags on plants sold commercially often identify the zone(s) in
which the plant will grow.
affected by landscape, structures, or other unique factors in a particular
for the three major plant nutrients contained in manure, compost, and
fertilizers. N stands for nitrogen, P for phosphorus, and K for potassium.
started from seed that grow, mature, flower, produce seed, and die in the same
Biennial: Plants that take two years, or a part of two years, to complete their life cycle. By freely reseeding, a biennial plant may seem to come back year after year, but you are actually seeing new plants.
Perennial: A plant that lives more than two years and produces new foliage, flowers, and seeds each growing season. Tenderperennial: A perennial that is not tolerant of frost and cold temperatures. Applying a winter mulch can help it survive It may die off above ground and regrow from the roots.
Woody perennial: A plant that goes dormant in winter and begins growth in spring from above-ground stems. Herbaceousperennial: A plant that dies back in the winter and regrows from the crown in spring.
Exotic: A plant of foreign origin or character; not native; introduced from abroad, but not fully naturalized. Naturalize: The process whereby plants spread and fill in naturally.
Native plant: A plant indigenous to a specific habitat or area. Nativar: A plant that is a cultivar of a native plant. Cultivar: A cultivated variety of a species. Propagation of cultivars results in little or no genetic change in the offspring, which preserves desirable characteristics.
Integrated pest management.
A method of managing pests that combines cultural, biological, mechanical, and
chemical controls, while taking into account the impact of control methods on
Invasive. Growing vigorously and outcompeting other plants in the same area; difficult to control.
Noxious weed. Weeds that have been declared by law to be a species having the potential to cause injury to public health, crops, livestock, land, or other property. Noxious weeds are very invasive. There are 124 plants in NC that meet the legal criteria.
When a gardening term has you stumped, refer to the glossary chapter of the Master Gardeners Handbook for a definition – there are hundreds of entries — and a small dose of continuing education.