Daily Archives: November 5, 2021

Understory Autumn

The leaves are all pretty much off the maples and birches, leaving the understory to carry on autumn alone. This is a mass of Barberry…Japanese Barberry, and unfortunately invasive and well established along the trails at Wells National Estuarine Research Reserve at Laudholm Farms. Or maybe not so unfortunately, as it turns out. Tom’s of Maine is currently studying the plant to see if they can make an old herbal recipe for throat care from it, as our ancestors did from the once native Common Barberry. We still have isolated clumps of Common Barberry, but after a concerted effort by the CCC to eradicate it as a “wheat rust” host, and the success of the Japanese Barberry invasion, there is not much left…certainly not enough to harvest for a throat spray. It is Barberry root that contains the active ingredient, so maybe Tom’s will solve the Barberry problem at Laudholm over the coming years. They have already funded the removal of thousands of plants and their replacement with Mountain Laurel and Red Cedar (depending on how wet the soil is). Maybe in 10 years this autumn understory color will be no more. We can hope. And untold thousands of throats will thank us (or Tom’s at any rate). iPhone SE with Sirui 18mm ultra-wide lens. Apple Camera app with Smart HDR engaged. Processed in Apple Photos.