Pretty plant in Holley is a pest
HOLLEY – The photo of a plant by the Holley Elementary School sure looked pretty. We had it on the Orleans Hub on Tuesday.
I wasn’t positive what the plant was. I guessed it was cattails, but I wasn’t certain. Well, it’s not cattails.
Dennis Kirby, manager of the Orleans County Soil and Water Conservation District, did some research and identified the plant as Phragmites australis. This is an invasive plant that is causing a lot of trouble in coastal wetlands.
Locally, it pops up in ditches and wet areas.
“You see it around in a lot of places,” he said.
The plant crowds out cattails and takes over a spot. Cattails provide a good home for muskrats and some waterfowl. But Phragmites australis grows close together and isn’t a good habitat for wildlife, Kirby said.
“This is a very pretty plant, but actually a very invasive one that tends to take over and crowd out where the cattails previously grew,” Kirby said.