By feorlean

LD 445 Invasive Species

The hill across Loch Riddon from me  has huge patches of purple at present - the late flowering of Rhododendron Ponticum

My picture of is Ormidale House by the loch and pretty as it is, the Forestry Commission is spot on when it says 

"Don’t be fooled by its beautiful flowers... rhododendron is Scotland’s most threatening invasive non-native plant.

Rhododendron ponticum was first introduced into Britain in the 1700s as an ornamental plant. No one could have guessed the damage it would cause. It forms dense thickets and shades out native plants. If left uncontrolled, rhododendron will eventually dominate the habitat to the virtual exclusion of all other plant life.

Its extensive root system and leaf litter is toxic to many other plants. Worse still, it harbours Phytophthora, a fungus-like pathogen that affects many other trees and plants."

Getting rid of it is also very hard , with lots of schemes having been tried , even on this hillside, but it seems always to grow back even more vigorously.  

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