8-14 April 2000

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  • Although they make attractive ground cover, various species of Periwinkle (Vinca) can sound a deathknell for native plants. These evergreen vines make a dense carpet in both sunny and shady areas and often out-compete all other vegetation--even Japanese Honeysuckle (Lonicera japonica)! The two photos on this page are of the purple-flowered variety of V. major, which is taller than V. minor and has somewhat darker foliage. Both were introduced more than 25 years ago at Hilton Pond Center for Piedmont Natural History, and after almost two decades of relatively slow growth they have been rapidly expanding their root hold. (Note in the lower photo how V. major has completely filled the space between two trails.) Since Vinca is a non-native horticultural escape, attempts will be made in the coming year to eliminate it from areas where it is especially pernicious. Eradication can be accomplished by repeated mowing and harvesting, but may require some chemical control. Without its removal, there is little chance that native wildflowers will ever re-populate the property.

(Photos © Hilton Pond Center)

Ruby-Throated Hummingbird
Chipping Sparrow
Carolina Chickadee
American Goldfinch
Dark-eyed (Slate-colored) Junco
White-eyed Vireo
Blue-gray Gnatcatcher
White-throated Sparrow
House Finch
Brown-headed Cowbird
Brown Thrasher
Mourning Dove

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Hilton Pond Center for Piedmont Natural History is a non-profit research & education organization in York, South Carolina USA; phone (803) 684-5852. Directed by Bill Hilton Jr., aka The Piedmont Naturalist, it is the parent organization for Operation RubyThroat. Contents of this Web site--including all articles and photos--may NOT be duplicated, modified, or used in any way except with the express written permission of Hilton Pond Center. All rights reserved worldwide. To obtain permission for use or for further assistance on accessing this Web site, contact the Webmaster.