February 25, 2020

An Invasive Debate

Rugosa rose

Janine Pineo Photo - Rugosa rose

Rosa rugosa is as much a sight in Maine as lupine. Without either, the state would be a different place visually. Yet much is made of the fact that both are considered invasive species, despite their existence in the state for scores of years  (we’re not going to debate the ecological impact because, frankly, that could be done with many, many plants brought to non-native lands over the centuries, and the reality is that they are here and won’t be going away). Unlike some invaders, the two are known for their beauty, and the rugosa is an established coastal sight. A native of Asia, the rugosa has been used to stabilize beaches and dunes. That includes where this picture was taken, Roque Bluffs. The beach is lined with pink and white rugosas, their scent mixing with the smell of the sea and providing a vibrant backdrop to the beach, a mix of sand and typical rocky Maine coastline. It is rugged, just like our rocky coast, since it survives and thrives in that harsh environment.