Saturday, January 27, 2007

The source of irritation, part 2

Back in November, I wrote about how privet was making me miserable. Back then, it was Chinese privet (Ligustrum sinense) in bloom and irritating me to no end. Well, like the movie says, “They’re Baaaaaaaack!"

This time of year the culprit is the equally annoying tree privet (Ligustrum lucidum), pictured above, with some in the background, too. Like Chinese privet, the scent can best be described as a sickly sweetish foul stench—not at all pleasant, even in small doses (which is impossible). The tree privet nearest the house is much bigger than the annoying Chinese privet I wrote about before. Fabulous.

If I had my way, every last one of these foul, stinking remnants of horticultural terrorism would be yanked out of the ground in a massive nationwide campaign, probably involving the military, possibly involving explosives. I hates ’em, I do.

I’m not alone, either. Privet pollen is bad for people with asthma or hayfever. The leaves and berries are poisonous to both people and animals. What the hell were those people thinking when they planted privet? “Gee, this obnoxious, toxic plant with no natural enemies will look great once it gets loose and conquers the country.”

Early settlers in particular did a lot of stupid things, as people in those days did. They were ignorant of the world around them, and had no idea their actions had consequences, some of which we’re still paying for today. This was true in most countries in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Fortunately for New Zealand, privet couldn’t be legally introduced today, although that isn’t very helpful for the current problem.

Barring military manoeuvres against these things, I’ll just have to wait it out. Just don’t blame me if I’m grumpy these days; the privet makes me do it.

Update 12:10 p.m.: Since I first published this post, I took a photo of tree privet (above) because I couldn't find one that was copyright-free (my photos and posts are covered by the Creative Commons share-alike license, if you want to know—see the bottom of this page). I also made a few minor edits for better clarity.


Kalv1n said...

OH no. Hopefully they are dying at an alarming rate (ecology be damned!). And good you posting only non-copyrighted material.

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