For the moment, these Ostrich Ferns seem to be holding their own against the swells of Wild Chervil attempting to swamp them, but I wonder how many more years they can hold out.
The umbellate flowers of Wild Chervil resemble those of many other Parsley-family plants, like Queen Anne's Lace or Poison Hemlock, but they have a delicate anise-like fragrance all their own. I can understand why this species was introduced to America's gardens from Eurasia, but I sure wish it hadn't been.
Wild Chervil leaves are really quite pretty, deeply cut and quite fern-like in appearance. But they spread across the muddy soil of the creek bank so densely that no other plants can get a foothold.
Well, here was one plant that managed to squeeze in among the Wild Chervil. This is another introduced garden escapee, this one called Dame's Rocket (Hesperis matronalis), and it, too, has a tendency to become invasive. It's interesting to see what happens when two bullies like this jostle for position. Certainly, Wild Chervil outnumbers Dame's Rocket at this location, but there were many of these pretty purple and white flowers to be seen pushing up among the white umbels. This too, is a species not yet recorded for Saratoga County, so I was able to collect in this one trip specimens of both of these plants, which I will press and dry and send off to NYFA to become officially documented.
I think of this Kayaderosseras Creek bank as a place where plant bullies battle constantly for position. Some of our most vigorous native plants, like Jewelweed, Giant Ragweed, Wild Bergamot, Pokeweed, and Stinging Nettles have somehow managed to thrive against the onslaught of Japanese Knotweed and other invasives, including the Wild Chervil. At least, to date they have. And I bet this meadow-full of Canada Anemone (Anemone canadense), opening now, will push back strongly against the tide of Wild Chervil. At least, I hope so.
Some people consider Canada Anemone a kind of invasive species, too, but it is a wildflower native to this part of the country, so I would say it has the right to grow abundantly. Besides, it is awfully pretty!