This may be my sworn enemy, Sericia lespedeza*. It is growing on the dam. Unfortunately, I’m not enuf of a botanist to be able to identify it with any confidence.
This is an invasive plant that is not native to North America. My land ethic for Roundrock calls on me to remove non-native plants. It’s a hopless task, of course, but everyone needs a hobby. I’m trying to remove all of the mullein I find, but its seeds can last for 100 years or longer, so that stuff may win in the end. And this Sericia lespedeza is another non-native that is causing big problems in the western reaches of the Heartland.
Like so many invasive plants, this one was introduced with the best intentions. The hope was that it would provide seed for quail and other game birds to eat. And they do eat the seeds. Unfortunately, they’d don’t digest them. Instead they “deposit” them elsewhere and help spread the plant. This invasive is considered a moderately good forage for cattle, and deer will eat it, but it can spread and crowd out other plants. Eradicating it requires several years of intense poisoning, which isn’t good for anyone, and this may explain why whole farms in western Kansas have been abandoned to the stuff.
A couple of trips back, Libby and I were prowling the face of the dam and I noted that somehow a couple of nice specimens of rosemary were growing there. I hadn’t considered at the time what they really were, but once I was back in the air-conditioned comfort of suburbia, I realized what I had seen. So I vowed that on my next trip out to Roundrock, I would attempt to pull these offenders from the ground or at least cut them down with the grass whip before they could set seed. (I’m generally uncomfortable with using herbicides, especially on the side of the dam where it might get into the lake water.)
The horseflies interfered with that intention, and about now I’m sure the plants are full of seeds.
*I’ve also seen this spelled Serecia lespedeza.
- Elderberries begin to ripen.