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Nature in my Neighborhood

By: Conner Emery

Campsis radicans

The campsis radicans, more often known as the hummingbird vine or the trumpet vine, is an invasive species originally native to eastern North America. Its large, distributive seed pods and comfort with most soil types make it an especially capable traveler, but the latter can make it an appealing ornamental plant to some alongside its bright flowers. Both an invasive and ornamental characterization have complicated implications, however, as its potential to form enormous vine networks enable it to smother other plants and inhibit structures.

Malus pumila

The malus pumila is an agricultural plant belonging to the malus genus. Commonly referred to as apples, crabapples, or crabtrees, its present-day botany derives from the consumption and trade of the Central Asian malus sieversii, which led to hybridization without intention and by cultivation with western Asian malus orientalis and European malus sylvestris. These factors resulted in a multifaceted tree: bees are fond of its nectar, many birds take a liking to its fruit, and some birds like sparrows may nest among the branches. I enjoy the fruit myself, be it raw or a pie ingredient.

Prunus domestica

The prunus domestica is an agricultural plant native to western Asia and Europe. Usually referred to as the European plum or the common plum, its present-day botany is likely the work of cultivation by early Eurasian agrarian societies—it’s a hybrid of diploid prunus cerasifera and tetraploid prunus spinosa, itself related to prunus cerasifera and overall constituting low genetic diversity. Prunus domestica can contribute spices, herbs, animal feed, and produce, though I’m most familiar with the final.

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