The scourge of alexanders

Used to see this plant near the coast but now its moving inland at quite a pace. It overwhelms everything in its path. The lanes I walk just, perhaps, four or five years ago had hedgerows full of cow parsley, violets, celandines and stitchwort but now just alexanders. It seems to flower and set seed very early and despite many attempts to slash it down and reduce the population (it’s supposed to be a biennial?) we seem to be fighting a losing battle. I have an orchard and for the first time alexanders has sprung up in large numbers under some of the fruit trees - there was none last year. I suppose you have to admire its tenacity and it does feed a lot of insects but I much prefer the diversity of an English hedgerow.
Travelling around Norfolk and Suffolk this invader is beginning to dominate roadside verges and hedgerows creating a monotonous insipid yellow and cloying musty smell. Is there any concern about the impact this plant is having?

I don’t know about the impact but another version of alexanders Perfoliate Alexanders - Smyrnium perfoliatum (I think it was this species) was common ‘weed’ at kew gardens and now seen it growing all over the place at Wisley gardens. Not sure if these gardens were happy for it to be growing aparently where it should not have been or if it is ok as it provides an interesting early contrast to some of the other plants.

Smyrnium perfoliatum is on the government’s list of banned (Schedule 9) invasive aliens.

Up here Smyrnium olustratum doesn’t seem to be a great problem, with scattered inland localities and well as a presence on the Wirral. There’s a substantial population on one lane, but I doubt that was a particularly interesting lane before it arrived.

The plant I’m worried about is Tellima grandiflora. It was all over Rode Hall a few years back, and I saw considerable numbers around Whitemoor NR and Dane-in-Shaw Brook last Sunday.

There’s a suggestion that salting of the roads maybe a factor along with the milder winters creating the kinds of coastal conditions the plant likes. However, the milder winters around here means that the gritters are rarely out these winters so I’m guessing it’s just the lack of hard frosts that’s the key. Be interesting to see a map of its spread inland over time.

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Nice discussion Steve, thanks

It’s becoming a common wayside plant, though not necessarily on the heavily-salted roads, around Huntingdonshire and northwards. I even found it beside an arable-farm track/yard at Ketton Quarry.