Non-Natives :[

Non-native plants are plants that found their way to a new area through human intervention. Whether it be intentional planting, or from intentionally or accidentally bringing living souvenirs such as fruit or leaves from other countries. Non-native plants aren’t always able to survive in the new area, in which case there’s no problem. But when these new plants start to take over, they become invasive species. See the “Why Choose Natives??” tab for more information on why invasive species are bad.

This page will exhibit photos and descriptions of non-native plants I identified on the University of Mary Washington campus.

This is an image of the leaves on a Gingko Biloba, or Maidenhair Tree. These trees are found all over the Mary Washington campus, they are easily identifiable by their semi-circle shaped leaves that turn bright yellow in the fall. The Gingko Biloba is a gymnosperm native to Eastern Asia, with the name being a mis-translation from Japanese to Chinese. They evolved to thrive in stream-side environments. Maidenhair Trees have been a common choice for planting since the early days of humanity, so it’s no surprise that they can be found all over campus. In fact, they’re such a common plant choice that naturally occurring Maidenhair Trees are assumed to be all but extinct. That being said, there’s SOME evidence that a very old grove in southwestern Korea grew on it’s own. But Eastern Asia is the ONLY known place where there are true native Gingko Bilobas growing.

The image above is of Ficus Microcarpa, or Curtain Fig. This kind of bush is ALL OVER campus, to the extent that if you see a bush, it is most likely a Curtain Fig. Other names for this shrub reveal where it’s native to: Chinese Banyan, Malaysian Banyan, Indian Laurel, Gajumaru (ガジュマル). As evident by these names, this is another Asian native plant, it extends through Asia from China, down to Australia. That being said, it is clearly not native to North America. The Curtain Fig was introduced by humans to North America as a popular ornamental plant, and is now considered invasive. To make things worse, where there are Curtain Figs, there are Fig Wasps, which are also not originally native to this area.

This one may be a little surprising if you haven’t grown up in the agriculture world. Cynodon Dactylon also known as Scutch grass but most commonly called Bermuda Grass, is one of the most commonly used varieties of lawn grass. It is the variety of grass used all over the Mary Washington campus from the hillsides, to front lawns of residential halls, to Ball Circle and Jeffy Square, even down to the small strips of grass that run along sidewalks. Bermuda Grass is not from here. Bermuda Grass is native to Europe, Africa, Australia, and Asia. In North America, it is invasive. It is identifiable by its thin pointed blades, which is why it has also earned the name “dog-tooth grass”. Bermuda Grass takes lots of care to upkeep. Constant mowing, fertilizing, and watering. It easily spreads and takes over nearby native varieties of grass and clover.

Cedrus Deodara, also known by Deodar Cedar, Himalayan Cedar, or simply Deodar, can be found by Melchers, the art building here on campus. Indicative by one of its many names, this tree is native to the Himalayas originally. It has also natively been found in East-Afghanistan, South Western Tibet, Western Nepal, Northern Pakistan, and North Central India.