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Multiflora Rose-Invasive Plant-West Va Info Included-With References

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"Multiflora rose is a multi-stemmed thorny, perennial shrub that grows up to 15

feet tall. The stems are arcing canes which are round in cross section. Small

white-red flowers or rose hips (fruit) occur in clusters abundantly on the plant.

Leaves are pinnately ("Resembling a feather; having parts or branches arranged

on each side of a common axis". Definition from

http://dictionary.reference.com/) compound with 7-9 leaflets. Multiflora rose is

easily distinguished from other wild roses by the feathery, fringed bract located

at the base of each leaf". Description of the Multiflora obtained from

http://www.invasive.org/browse/subject.cfm?sub=3071

The Multiflora Rose was brought over to the eastern U.S. from Japan in 1866 as

an ornamental rose. In the 1930s, the U.S. Soil Conservation Service encouraged

its use for erosion control. In the late 1960s, state conservation departments

in many states were giving away the Multiflora Rose to property owners as they

felt it made good wildlife coverage and as food for birds. The plant was also used

as a "living fence" by farmers to keep their livestock in a confined area. More

recently, it has been used as a crash barrier on highways and planted in the

median to reduce the glare from oncoming headlights.

The Multiflora Rose reproduces by seed, root sprouts and layering, meaning the

stem is covered with soil for rooting while still being part of the living plant.

The flowers bloom from May to July, with colors ranging from white to pink. The

rose hips develop in September and October, which become leathery in the

winter and remain on the plant. Its seeds are eaten and carried away by birds

and other animals. The seeds develop within 60 days as long as the temperature

is above freezing. Seeds are capable of surviving up to 20 years in the soil. It

is estimated that an average Multiflora Rose plant can produce a million seeds

in one year.

The plant is an aggressive grower in woodlands, prairies, meadows, pastures,

forest edges, hayfields, fence lines and unplowed land. It has a vast tolerance for

different kinds of soil, moisture and light conditions but it grows best in deep,

moist uplands. It does not grow well in standing water. Multiflora Rose can form

dense growth that is impossible to penetrate. It crowds out and can kill

existing flowers, vegetation, crops and other plants because they compete for

nutrients. Because the Multiflora Rose grows aggressively, they can take over

the entire area. The native plant's quality declines which has a negative impact

on the wildlife as it has little use for the exotic plant.

The Chief of the USDA Forest Service has identified invasive species as one of

the four critical threats to our nation's ecosystems. The introduction of invasive

plants changes the natural ecosystems by taking the place of native plants,

impacting native wildlife habitat, and increasing soil erosion. About 400, of the

958 species that are listed in the United States as threatened or endangered

under the Endangered Species Act are at risk because of competition with or

predation by exotic species. Vince D'Amico, research scientist at the University of

Delaware's Department of Entomology and Wildlife Ecology said "Let's say an

area is taken over by multiflora rose, and the native caterpillars have nothing to

eat but multiflora rose and they can't eat that. What happens to their numbers?

They go down. And these caterpillars form a very big part of the diet of

songbirds. So, you see how there's another level. There are fewer of these

insects that birds rely on to feed their young. The food chain gets disrupted by

invasives coming into the landscape."

About 400, of the 958 species that are listed in the United States as threatened

or endangered under the Endangered Species Act are at risk because of

competition with exotic species.

To date, the best way of controlling the Multiflora Rose is the use of herbicides.

It can be applied to regrowth or freshly cut stumps. It works best if applied late

In the growing season. Another good method is frequent cutting or mowing,

three to six times per growing season, for two to four years. Also, the use

of goats, or goats and cattle, seems

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