Spotted during the Toronto Women’s Half Marathon in the Don Valley this morning (with my 15-year-old daughter; her first race) — masses, and masses, and masses, and masses of dog-strangling vine or swallowwort (Vincetoxicum rossicum, syn. Cynanchum spp., from the Greek meaning “to choke a dog”)
This is a field of dog-strangling vine, almost as far as the eye can see. The next meadow over, it’s dog-strangling vine growing neck in strangly neck with garlic mustard. In another field, it’s wall-to-wall dame’s rocket (Hesperis) commonly called wild phlox. Somehow, this doesn’t seem as bad. However, as I read on another blog, WiseAcre Gardens, just this morning, dame’s rocket is also putting the squeeze on native plants.
Dog-strangling vine’s capable of lusty growth in sun or shade. It isn’t only open fields that are being over-run. It’s like the Badtimes virus warning, only unfunny: we should be very, very afraid.
UPDATE****If you have this plant in your garden, do not simply toss in your compost pile. Tougher measures are needed. More information about safe disposal of this non-native, invasive plant can be found here.
UPDATE*****Blog visitor Susan alerted us to a volunteer movement, Toronto’s Community Stewardship Program, whose aim is to adopt green spaces to help preserve natural species and fight green predators like this one. Toronto blogger Native Plant Girl wrote more about it in this post. And you can link to City of Toronto efforts and get involved at this site.
One of the upcoming events is this Saturday:
Saturday, June 6
East Don Parkland Wildflower Planting
Join us to plant wildflowers in a recently restored
wetland in the East Don River valley. Enter the trail at
Cummer Avenue and follow the signs south to the
Partner: East Don Parkland Partners
For more info, call (416) 392- LEAF or email firstname.lastname@example.org