Keith Kridler, Texas

What is the greatest danger to wild flowers and or narcisus?

June 3, 2008
By

Categories: Daffodil Types, Growing Daffodils, Soil, Species

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I am curious as to the greatest danger these face in their native countries because in America it is not plant collectors going out in the wild and digging up rare plants so much as it is the bull dozers continually clearing land for new infrastructure for new or more people populations. It is the harvesting of forests for lumber and fiber.
As our population grows here in America we need more land for cattle, sheep, goats, hogs and chickens and the grain, hay and pastures to produce the food for these.
I would guess that back in the 1800’s you could walk mountain slopes that few people or livestock were ever using. It would seem to me that in today’s world, sheep, goats and cattle would be changing the biodiversity of an area more so than plant collectors. Livestock compact the soils, their trails and paths lead to erosion on sloping ground and they have certain forbs and grasses that they will exploit to such an extent they exterminate them from their pastures.
In America, herbicides are sold over the counter to anyone with a $20.00 bill. You have dozens of pre emergent or post emergent or selective kill herbicides or total kill herbicides to go out and use any way you want.
It would seem to make sense that there are more species of daffodils under cultivation in the various countries around the world and more variations in bloom form and bloom time than are now left in the wild or were possibly EVER found in the wild. Nature selects for plant hardiness. Humans select plants or variations in plants for cosmetic reasons. Keith Kridler Mt. Pleasant, Texas

4 responses to “What is the greatest danger to wild flowers and or narcisus?”

  1. Loyce McKenzie, Mississippi Loyce McKenzie says:
    Keith, a lot to think about in this letter.
    I read in present-day accounts, such as those of Kathy Andersen,that developments—highrises and highways–are wiping out colonies of species daffodils where they used to find them in abundance.
    Was interested in your mention of herbicides—just this sort of attack on daffodils cost a college president in Mississippi his job this spring–he came to the job saying “I hate daffodils!” and telling the grounds crew to Round-Up them. When some came back anyhow, he repeated the orders, and the college’s Horticulture Club took to the media in rebuttal. And he was gone within weeks.
    Loyce McKenzie

    —-

  2. J Drew Mc Farland says:


    Here’s an apparently analogous issue reported in today’s Columbus Dispatch.  The effect the ash borer has caused I’d think might happen from intentional clearing as well.  I was unaware of this cumulative “invasive meltdown” effect. 
    It is amazing though how resilient some flowering species are though.  We had a horrible ice storm here three (?) Decembers ago and I lost many large trees in my woods.  Since then however, native and non-invasive wildflowers have been blooming where nothing ever bloomed before.  Granted, an ice storm is a different effect than a bulldozer or cattle herd.
    Drew Mc Farland
    Granville, Ohio

     


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  3. Kathy Welsh says:


    In a message dated 6/3/2008 8:15:41 A.M. Eastern Daylight Time,  title= writes:

    It would seem to me that in today’s
    world, sheep, goats and cattle would be changing the biodiversity of an area
    more so than plant collectors. Livestock compact the soils, their trails and
    paths lead to erosion on sloping ground and they have certain forbs and
    grasses that they will exploit to such an extent they exterminate them from
    their pastures.

    Keith,
    Yes, sheep, goats, and cattle are a huge problem in Spain.  Many are allowed to roam wherever they want to find food.  They eat many of the species (especially the tiny ones) that haven’t planted themselves under a prickly bush.  We usually give a big grunt when we go to an area looking for a specific species and see the grass eaten to the ground.  Sheep in particular eat EVERYTHING in their path.  I never thought about the soil compaction. Kathy Andersen could give a far more intelligent response, but I would consider animals to be just as destructive as human expansion.  Many times we will find a bulb growing in the middle of a cow pie.  Has the manure fertilized the seed that has dropped on it’s own or is there some way that the seed has gone through the digestive track? 
    Kathy


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  4. Melissa Reading says:


    Yes, Kathy, it is conceivable seeds might have gone through the digestive tract. With some types of seed it actually enhances germination if passage through the digestive tract removes germination inhibitors or helps rupture a hard seed coat. Of course in other cases, the seed is digested and is simply food.  It seems to depend in part on how long the seed takes to pass. But I don’t have any info in specific on the fate of Narcissus seeds in this situation.
    Melissa

      At 04:19 AM 6/4/2008, you wrote:

    In a message dated 6/3/2008 8:15:41 A.M. Eastern Daylight Time,  title= writes:

    It would seem to me that in today’s
    world, sheep, goats and cattle would be changing the biodiversity of an area
    more so than plant collectors. Livestock compact the soils, their trails and
    paths lead to erosion on sloping ground and they have certain forbs and
    grasses that they will exploit to such an extent they exterminate them from
    their pastures.

    Keith,
    Yes, sheep, goats, and cattle are a huge problem in Spain. Many are allowed to roam wherever they want to find food. They eat many of the species (especially the tiny ones) that haven’t planted themselves under a prickly bush. We usually give a big grunt when we go to an area looking for a specific species and see the grass eaten to the ground. Sheep in particular eat EVERYTHING in their path. I never thought about the soil compaction. Kathy Andersen could give a far more intelligent response, but I would consider animals to be just as destructive as human expansion. Many times we will find a bulb growing in the middle of a cow pie. Has the manure fertilized the seed that has dropped on it’s own or is there some way that the seed has gone through the digestive track?
    Kathy

    Get trade secrets for amazing burgers. Watch "Cooking with Tyler Florence" on AOL Food.