Intrigued by the gigantic heart-shaped leaves and odd pods on the gigantic tree, I knew I'd be checking the Tree Notes blog when I got home from my road trip. The label on this tree outside Andrew Jackson's Hermitage home read "Empress Tree". This single specimen did not worry me that it was an invasive species, but I wondered if it was foreign or primeval.
The kudzu in Natchez Trace State Park, Tennessee, was obviously a more agressive and invasive plant. In some versions of the Sleeping Beauty fairy tale the kingdom is overgrown with briar wood while the princess slumbers. Kudzu could cover the kingdom while the princess took a power nap!
© 2009 Nancy L. Ruder