Pretty, but Pushy

Peter Alden - Worcester, MA 2007I was recently interviewed by Karen Nugent of the Worcester Telegram about a topic near and dear to my heart – invasive alien plants, specifically, a state-banned non-native vine called Oriental bittersweet that is popular this time of year. Karen wrote:

“On a visit to Broad Meadow Brook Conservation Center and Wildlife Sanctuary in Worcester, naturalist Peter C. Alden shows Oriental bittersweet, a colorful nonnative vine banned by the state. The sanctuary has largely eradicated the plant; the branches were brought in for demonstration and disposed of later.

Peter C. Alden watched as the well-dressed older woman bought a wreath decorated with Oriental bittersweet, a nonnative vine that he says is rapidly killing off forests, fields and wetlands — and probably trees and shrubs in the woman’s own backyard.

Mr. Alden, a naturalist author, illustrator and lecturer, followed the woman to her car, and explained the environmental dangers of the aggressive vine with the bright orange-red berries.

“She listened, she nodded. And then she said, ‘But it looks pretty’ and got into her car and left,” he said.

>>> Story continues here in the Worcester Telegram