Mariton: Winter Green

February 9, 2016

by Tim Burris, Preserve Manager

As preserve managers we often cue in on green in the winter landscape.  These winter greens often indicate non-native, usually invasive plants.  Over time we develop the ability to identify an invasive plant off in the distance just by what birders call GISS (General impression, shape, and size).

Native green in the winter landscape

Native green in the winter landscape

Mariton is graced by several native plants that stay green during the winter.  So, finding green here often raises hope for the spring, rather than alarm.  At Christmas I wrote about Christmas Ferns.  Even after spending two weeks crushed beneath two feet of snow, the ferns above still look fresh and vernal.  Even the mosses in this photo are bright a cheery.

A hillside of green natives.

A hillside of green natives.

The native rhododendron (Rhododendron maximum) abounds at Mariton, adorning hillsides with its green foliage throughout the year, and its white blossoms in late June.

Two of my favorite winter greens.

Two of my favorite winter greens together.