Tory Peterson and James Fisher Instruct Jeffrey Zablow

Teasel Wildflowers at Raccoon Creek State Park

I’m now in my 3rd read of Wild America by Roger Tory Peterson and James Fisher (Houghton Mifflin, 1955) and on page 53, they slightly unnerved me. Peterson, the great birder who is so revered by many I know, is touring the Potomac River in Washington, D.C. with James Fischer, this Fisher’s first visit to North America.

Peterson notes that “Hundreds of species-no one knows exactly how many, because new ones are constantly being noticed-are now part of the American flora. The list is long . . .dandelion, black mustard, spearmint, peppermint, forget-me-not, mullein, field daisy . . . yarrow, teasel, tansy, and many, many others.” Teasel? My beloved teasel, that so enabled me back in Pennsylvania when I visited Raccoon Creek State Park as many as 200 times? Enabled me because when it was in bloom, as it is here in this image, it attracted butterflies, moths and Ruby-throateds, and they loved its nectar so much, that I was able to score many, many pleasing images.

So teasel is here to stay, but, it ranks as an alien species. No Leps use it as a host plant. What would Doug Tallamy say of that?

Jeff

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