Black Swallowwort (AKA “dog-strangling vine”) is one of the most aggressive invasive weeds, and has spread throughout Somerville. Armed with seed pods that look like jalepeno peppers, and grappling-hook-like roots, this pest is LETHAL to the monarch butterfly population.
You can help limit its further spread by removing the seed pods before they release their wind-borne seeds. Seed pods should not be composted as they can ripen after being picked.
The plants are particularly fond of chain-link fences, but can be found in any sunny spot. If possible, dig out the plant (pulling will leave roots capable of regeneration).
This Sunday, July 10, has been designated a Black Swallowwort eradication day by the Friends of Fresh Pond Reservation and associated groups. See the following web site for further information: http://www2.cambridgema.gov/CWD/pod_patrol.cfm